I am usually irritated with books that claim to teach you how to put your money to good use but are downright boring, offer no practical steps and make you feel like demanding a refund of the time and money wasted on a misadventure.
I must admit, I had a subconscious bias against this book when I picked it up. Not for any particular reason but I am just one of those readers who balk at reading any Finance or Money book that is not written by the usual suspects (Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner, Suze Orman…).
I wish I read the book and made this review sooner.
This 146 paged book is divided into 12 chapters with character set in Lagos. If you like Chick Lits like I do, this book follows the same pattern but with a very intelligent twist.
At the end of each chapter, Arese defines certain terminologies that are used loosely in a section called “Smart Money Lesson”.
Afterwards, she gives her readers a number of simple (but powerful) exercises to understand their starting point and create a road map and action plans to get to their desired financial goal.
Don’t be put off by these exercises as they are quite easy. Initially you will think they are basics but these basics are fundamental and provide clarity or confirmation depending on your current financial situation.
It’s a tale of 4 friends who have been keeping up with the Joneses with no clear strategy on how to maintain their lifestyles, set aside emergency funds and trim the excesses. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes you’d sympathise with them and other times, you’d feel like wringing their necks.
The book not only gives the reader insights on how the ladies got into their financial mess in the first place, it goes the extra step of giving practical strategies on how anyone can implement actions to pay off debts and stay debt free.
The story of the protagonist, Zuri, is relatable as many single women get obsessed with turning up at the most expensive weddings/ parties to have their pictures in tabloids/ celebrity magazines and blogs but are neck-deep in debt and hoping for their Knight in shining armour to rescue them.
Zuri’s story proves that even if you find yourself in a financial mess, you can get yourself out of it by implementing Arese’s lessons.
The book is quite easy to read and it took me a day to finish it (yes, I work gruelling hours but still read this book till the end on day 1 as I simply could not put it down).
If you are looking for a book that simply breaks down the fundamentals of living a financially upward life and provided practical steps to do just that, this is a fantastic book to start with.