Welcome to my long-awaited (at least by me) review of Your Money: The Missing Manual
. It’s taken me weeks to review this book because it is so damn good. Obviously, I’m a fan of J.D. Roth’s approach to managing money. I was a loyal reader of his blog, Get Rich Slowly, for years before I became a staff writer there.
I thought I knew what to expect from his book, and would dash off a quick happy review of it. What slowed me down? The book is even better than I expected. It’s so good I couldn’t put it down or skim it quickly. If you’re going to read one personal finance book, it had better be this one. (Dear husband, that means you. Read this book!)
The book goes beyond the blog though in it’s simple focus. This isn’t a collection of essays plucked from his years of writing on personal finance. It’s a roadmap to managing your money.
J.D. starts and ends with the simple premise that what really matters isn’t money at all, it’s happiness. Then he gently guides you to an understanding of how what you do with your money affects the joy you get from life.
From an elegant argument against consumerism through some great guidelines to setting financial goals, you gain an understanding of why money management is an essential part of a balanced happy life. Hopefully you also come away with a clearer image of how you want to manage your own money. From there, the book gets down to business. You get detailed, clear advice on managing everything from debt to grocery shopping to investment accounts.
There are more in-depth books on every topic this one covers. J.D. unhesitatingly recommends them. He’s read dozens of personal finance books over the past four years. His own book distills the best from the best of what he’s read. You’ll come away with a decent handle on every major financial issue most adults face, and a reading list to help you dive deeper into the areas you need more help with.
I reiterate: if you’re going to read only one book on personal finance, make it this one. In case I haven’t done enough to persuade you to go out and buy your own copy, here are two more reasons:
- I’m in it! I have a short but sweet sidebar on page 203 about my family’s decision to move into a cheaper home closer to my husband’s job. AKA: THE BEST THING WE EVER DID.
- The more copies of Your Money: The Missing Manual
sell, and sell quickly, the more support J.D. will have from the publishing gods in writing and promoting his next book. Which I for one can’t wait to read.
I went out and bought a copy as soon as Your Money: The Missing Manual
came out, and then J.D. sent me a copy as a thank-you gift for my contribution. So now I have one to give away.
I’ll give it away a week from today, via a random draw. To enter, leave a comment with your favorite money hack. Tweet this post for an extra entry.