It’s the first Tuesday of July so it must be…
Book Review Tuesday!
OK, I know this is only the second of these posts, but my aim is to feature my top recommended books each month that will help your freelance life run a bit more easily.
Last month I featured the fabulous Marianne Cantwell’s Be A Free Range Human, all about finding the life and work that you love – and that you were born to do.
This month, I’m focusing on money.
I’ve written in the past about how to save enough to quit your job and how to cut your costs when going freelance, and I have to say a huge amount of credit for all of this has to go to Ann Wilson, author of The Wealth Chef.
I first came across Ann via another website about 6 months ago. I started off by reading a free chapter of her (then online only) publication, The Wealth Chef, and from there on in, I was hooked. I’ve since subscribed to her emails and regularly read her blog. In fact, she featured in my recent Top 10 Recommended Small Business Blogs.
I now have the recently published print copy of the book and, it’s fair to say that I live my financial life according to Ann’s wealth recipes.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT
The Wealth Chef focuses on changing your attitude towards money by flipping the common perception that we work for money into money should work for us.
What I particularly like (and this probably says more about me than anything else!) is that, while Ann encourages you to cancel your debt, build your ‘wealth pots’ and create an income to give you the life that you want, she doesn’t say you have to deny yourself entirely of any pleasures.
In fact, she talks in the book about how being too frugal can sometimes backfire and result in a money ‘binge’ – or, worse still, not having your money work for you in the way that it really can.
Ann shows you – through her down to earth writing style – how to set financial goals, how to pay off debt (with handy tools to fix your financial goals each month, quarter and year), how to set up investments and how to earn passive income.
She also turns some common perceptions on their head.
I have ALWAYS thought of my house as one of our assets. Ann shows just why that isn’t the case, particularly if it’s mortgaged.
As the title suggests, kitchen terms are used to refer to different ways of saving, spending, investing and blitzing debt. Ann talks of creating recipes for wealth and growing wealth pots and this approach really helps you to start to see how your money will work for – and against – you. In fact, I found the whole book really visual and appreciated the easy to follow guidance.
I’ve got a degree in Economics so I do understand a bit about the stock market – but you certainly don’t need a business degree to get the most out of this book. It’s easy to follow, and is completely jargon free.
Like Marianne Cantwell in my last review, Ann Wilson has also walked the talk. She’s come from a background where she earned a good salary, before she came rocketing down to reality when her lifestyle came crashing around her ears.
Through trial and error, Ann has taught herself how to view money differently in order to create financial success, as well as teaching herself practical lessons in investing in the stock market and creating passive income streams.
The fundamentals of wealth cooking are introduced – assets, liabilities, income and expenses – in a way that is SO easy to understand, I wish my high school teachers had read this before coming to my class! You can see how and why money might not be working as successfully as you would like.
Ann also gets you to think big, to dream of a life that you want and create tangible goals for your wealth – so that you’re not just aiming to ‘be rich’ but instead have specific goals in mind when you start out on your journey.
And of course, the beauty of it is that your goals can be as different and as large or small compared to the next person, as you want them to be.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT
Aside from the practical, easy to follow advice, as someone who loves to plan and to see goals written down, I particularly like the downloads that you can access after reading the book.
Putting in to practice the lessons that you’ve just learned, and using your own financial situation, you can create monthly budgets, a balance sheet, and long term investment goals.
There is nothing more powerful than seeing your debt destroyed.
We didn’t have a huge amount of debt – but by determining which debt we wanted to blitz first, and assigning a monthly payment target, we were able to completely pay off our 2 main consumer debts within 4 months.
We still have our mortgage but it is diminishing through the overpayments we’ve managed to set up by following Ann’s advice and blitzing the other debts we had.
Anyone can invest and take advantage of the real gains that are available in stocks and shares and the property market. Savings interest rates are so low at the moment, they are hardly worth bothering with and the only way to really make money is through longer term investment.
Once only available to the very wealthy or the very knowledgeable, investing in the stock market – and using investments to grow your wealth – is attainable for many of us.
WHO SHOULD READ THIS
Unless you are so rich that you already have an investment portfolio that is providing you with all of the wealth that you need, this book is a good read for anyone with a passing interest in improving their financial situation.
Even if you’re not interested in creating a stock market portfolio, there are lessons in everything from blitzing your debt, to paying off your mortgage early, and from reducing your monthly outgoings to creating passive income streams. Even if you only wanted to find out about one of those aspects, this book would be worth reading.
Ann gives you the whole picture about creating a secure financial future and – combined with the practical worksheets for you to plug your own figures into – I personally, found this book to be the one that I go back to again and again – to remind myself of key lessons or just get back on track with my overall financial goals.
This is a book written for anyone who wants to make money work FOR them, to create a lifestyle that they love, by harnessing the power of money to their own ends – rather than constantly chasing it.
You can get The Wealth Chef here.
Have you read it? Or do you have any other book recommendations for us – let me know in the comments below.