Book Recommendation: Money, A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want
When I heard the title of this book, Money, A Love Story, by Kate Northrup, author, and entrepreneur, it spoke to me. It sounded right, because whether or not we love it, our relationship with money is central to our lives. I wanted to find out what Northrup meant, to learn how she took an often stressful subject and turned it into a love affair.
Her advice was different and offered insight into money matters beyond the usual tips reminding us to save before we spend, avoid credit card debt, create a budget, live within our means, look at spending habits, pay bills on time, and establish solid credit. These are invaluable guidelines to live by, but if it were that easy, wouldn’t we be free of financial worry and pain?
How Are Your Finances Like a Love Story?
In Money, A Love Story, Northrup develops the thesis that until we treat our own relationship to money like any good love story, replete with ups and downs, twists and turns, even heartaches, we will struggle to understand ourselves in order to make improvements in our financial lives.
In her experience, there is no avoiding the emotional charge everyone has around money. She provides a quiz to look at where you stand in your relationship with money. The quick quiz will help you learn what’s holding you back from the abundance you desire, and reveals what your current relationship with money says about your approach to life—crucial information for anyone trying to improve their financial circumstances.
Writing Your Money Memoir
The author goes on to share her own complicated money love story with you. She lived a life of stability and prosperity growing up, then fell into $20,000 in credit card debt and scarcity in her college years and beyond. At the end of this section, she tells you write down your own money story. What was your first memory? What were the messages you received as a child growing up into adulthood. What do you do now and why?
With pen in hand, and a journal, I heeded her advice. In my case, my mother taught me that money is security and independence. She repeated this core belief often to my siblings and me, and it stays with me to this day. My parents were “Conscious Savers and Spenders.” Because they came from Argentina with very little money, they watched every single penny. “Respect it,” my mother would caution. “Or it might just leave you one day.”
Money Messages From Parents
I found this personal exercise in the book helpful and empowering. I learned I am not as frugal as my parents. I do not watch my every penny. I live within my means, but I could be less wasteful and more present to my spending habits. Northrup emphasizes that unless we are totally present with our feelings and behaviors around money, we won’t progress. Thanks to her, my guiding mantra is “Don’t buy it if you’re not going to use it.” I also ask myself, do I really need this or does this feed another one of my addictions? With me, that’s books! I now track every expense monthly to see what I truly value in this world.
Be Your Own Financial Savior
Northrup shares her personal story of how she moved from rags to riches by paying attention, working hard, and never, ever giving up from her goals and dreams. The book takes you further into what it means to have your own back, to take care of yourself, and to realize that you deserve to have abundance in your life. She also provides solid feel-good financial planning and tangible next steps toward the achievement of true financial freedom.
Lastly, she invites you to join the money love community because, “the book is only the beginning of your love affair with your money, yourself, and your life. There’s a whole lot more fun for you over at www.moneyalovestory.com.” This community offers ongoing support and community for success in any area of your life. Northrup states, “One of the biggest factors in my own ongoing financial (and overall) wellness has been a posse of women holding one another accountable, being guides for each other, cheering one another on, and loving one another. I want this for you, too.” There, Northrup has put together resources, education, programs, tools, and ongoing support for her readers.