Book Review: Financially Fearless

Book Club Part 2:

Financially Fearless by Alexa Von Tobel, CFP

Let's make money an issue so it becomes a nonissue. Doesn’t that sound good? Well that is exactly how Alexa starts her book. She has a way with words and wrote a fantastic book. I’ll start my book review with some of her one liners:

  • Learn how to manage your money so it doesn’t end up managing you.

  • No matter how much or little you make, we all have the same money concerns: am I spending too much? Am I saving too little? Will I ever be able to retire?

  • What is your recurring money concern when you lie awake at night?

  • Finding a way to spend your money on the important things in your life.

  • Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

  • You work about 40 years to fund 70 years of your life.

  • The more specific you are with your goals the better because you will start to visualize them.

  • It’s not about getting richer, it’s about getting your money under control to live a richer life.

There are some pretty good ones huh? The book goes through all the pillars of financial planning such as cash flow, insurance or risk management, investments, estate planning, and retirement planning. And here are 5 tips from her book:

  1. How about your cash flow? Do you know exactly how much you make, spend, and save each month? If not, it is time to start tracking your money. And as Alexa says: Spending isn’t the problem, its misguided spending that’s the problem, such as spending money because it’s a “good price.” Spending money because you may need it one day. Spending money because you have money to spend. She gives you permission to spend money, but it is when you are spending money on stuff that doesn’t matter where the problem comes in. And she has a solution to this which I LOVE. Think of the fulfillment factor before you buy something. How much fulfillment or satisfaction will this item bring into your life? And for how long? Will others benefit from it?

  2. An estimated 10 million Americans have taken time off to care for an elder parent. This resulted in $3 trillion of lost wages and retirement benefits. I get this question a LOT: Who will take care of me? Start researching for your medical, legal, and financial situation and make known your plan to someone. ElderCare.gov is the department of health and human services elder care locator free resource to find home care, meals, and transportation.

  3. Investing is like sitting on the couch but still losing weight. While you are at home doing nothing or on vacation, your money can be working hard for you. Try to maximize on that!

  4. Gifting: if you spend more money on a gift that person will probably be stressed trying to give you a gift of similar value. Therefore, more expensive isn’t always better.
    -always go shopping with a dollar limit in mind.
    -try gift card granny.com where you can buy gift cards below value.
    -instead of doing a big dinner out, invite friends and family over, entertain at home
    -utilize rewards while you are shopping during the holidays.
    -create a Pinterest board for all the holidays’ items you want to buy. When you see them all together you’ll get a better idea of the magnitude of the total costs of the season. See which items you need versus which ones you just want.

  5. How to break bad habits:
    -It will usually take 2 months so be prepared.
    -Have instant little rewards to keep you going and to give you satisfaction.
    -Know your some of your bad habit will be harder and take longer to break.
    -Write down what triggers that behavior and a way to avoid it.

And I will leave you with her recipe for success:

3 traits of financially successful people:
1. Organization
2. Thoughtfulness
3. Independent thinking

Can you check all of those off? Are you ready and committed to crossing them all off?

This information has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Raymond James is not affiliated with nor does it endorse the services or opinions of Alexa Von Tobel.