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Review: The Financially Confident Woman

the financially confident woman Mary Hunt, formerly a slave to credit and spending, now helps other women deal wisely with money.  In The Financially Confident Woman:  What You Need to Know to Take Charge of Your Money she helps women come to grips with the basics of personal finance.

However, when Mary was young she’knew’ a few things about money:

  • Spending solves all a girl’s problems
  • Women don’t do money (yet another instance where TV and movies promote ideas that can destroy a person’s life)

In fact, she writes, “I found security and dignity in the color and quantity of my credit cards and in my ability to borrow money.”

These attitudes resulted in a $100,000 debt that had a devastating effect on her family and took many years to pay off.  However, in the process she earned to rely on God rather than on credit for both finances and security.

Now, most of us homeschooling moms are not like Mary used to be.  Most of us control our spending fairly well (except perhaps on curriculum) and are fairly frugal. Does this book have anything to say to us?  I think so.

After pointing out that women can and should learn about money, Mary emphasizes that being responsible is not the same as being boring.  She helps the reader take a money values inventory and discusses how habits can be changed.

The rest of the book promotes and explains nine habits of a financially confident woman:

  • Giving
  • Saving
  • Investing
  • Saying no to unsecured debt
  • Living below your means
  • Preparing for emergencies
  • Knowing your financial condition
  • Getting what you pay for
  • Planning for the future

Mary is very practical.  For example, in the chapter about knowing your financial condition, she shows in detail, with charts and tables, how to

  1. balance a chequebook and why it is still necessary these days
  2. make a spending record and how to use that information to make a spending plan
  3. take charge of your personal economy instead of stressing about the country’s economy
  4. calculate and think about your family’s gross income, cash flow, and inflation
  5. determine your net worth and why that number is important

Mary concludes the book with a six week plan for action, and whoever follows her recommendations will improve her family’s financial health.

But there’s more to this book than only finances.  Two points really jumped out at me:

  • It is very, very important for us parents to make sure our attitudes are Biblical.  Children will pick up our wrong attitudes and often take them a step farther.
  • The media can influence our children in subtle ways that have nothing to do with parental guidelines and ratings for movies and TV shows.  These influences can be devastating, as both Mary Hunt’s and Stacy Eldridge’s experiences show.

If money is an issue for you or if you want a bit of financial inspiration or encouragement, The Financially Confident Woman would benefit you.  Even though it is written for those who have difficulty managing their money, it is full of inspiration, encouragement and tips for all, including those without money hang-ups.  It will remind you to manage your money instead of worshipping it or being controlled by the amount you do or don’t have.

Since, apparently, discouragement with homeschooling is not usually about homeschooling itself, it’s a good idea to pay some attention to the life issues that often cause that overwhelmed feeling:  finances, home management, time management, relationships, faith, and health.  This review is the first in a series that will deal with these issues.

For more information about personal finance, see my reviews on the topic.

For more information about saving money see my discussion of The Tightwad Gazette and the weekly link up Tightwad Tuesday.

To learn how to change your habits, see my review of The Power of Habit.

This is yet another book in the in the 2015 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays.  For more encouragement, visit Coffee for Your Heart, Raising Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Mom to Mom Monday, Monday’s Musings, Missional WeekendR&R Wednesdays, From House to Home, Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Mondays, Faith Filled Fridays

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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4 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    This book sounds like it might be good for a high school girl that I know and love!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, Jenn, I think it would be helpful for high school, especially since Mary begins by discussing her own young years. I hope your dear daughter will love it and be blessed by it; I’m sure you will also enjoy it!

      We also love Dave Ramsey’s finance course for teens but it is very pricey and does not really have much more information than the book, although it is more memorable.

      Perhaps you could talk your church into getting it for the young people if you have a youth program.

      I’ve reviewed it here: http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2011/05/review-personal-finance/ and here:
      http://www.thecurriculumchoice.com/2011/10/foundations-in-personal-finance-curriculum/

      In any case, Mary Hunt’s book would be great for your daughter; I just mentioned the other resource because we’re going through it again and it is a lot of fun for my teens.

  2. Robin says:

    Wow this sounds like a great book! I think I may need to check it out! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This book sounds really good! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

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