My reading habits include switching between fiction and non-fiction books; often, after I have read (and really enjoyed) a novel, I yearn for different reading material to give my mind something to do, and while I know it takes skill and is an art to capture the reader's mind with a good story and well laid-out characters, I think it is even more difficult to write non-fiction that is both entertaining and informative.
Suze Orman's book "Women & Money" aims not only at being informative, but inspirational. And that inspiration is supposed not only to reflect on the financial part of one's life, but on everything; the subtitle "Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny" gives you an idea of what the author has in mind.
It was, you guessed it, another free e-book from the Amazon Kindle shop, but that should not fool anyone into thinking it is worthless - quite the contrary. I believe that a lot of people will find Miss Orman's advice very, very useful, myself included (although I must take away one of the two "verys", since a lot of the information does not apply outside the US, which is of course not the author's fault; she had clearly directed her book at women in the US, and so it is "my fault" that I have read a book only partly meant for me).
"Women & Money" starts off by examining why women often find it so difficult to have a healthy relationship with money - their money -, or simply are not interested in financial matters at all.
The book then sets off to explain what can and should be done to remedy the situation, and at the same time as money and how one deals with it becomes a natural part of one's life, that person's life gains power.
Sounds a bit unlikely? Well, it is not; all points in this book are presented in a logical way that is easy to understand.
While I skipped the chapters that are dealing with US-specific topics such as FICO scores, IRAs and 401(k) plans, I liked the way the whole book is set up in the shape of a 5-month-action plan to set the financial part of one's life straight. Miss Orman does at no point promise eternal wealth by some obscure scheme, but she gives clear directions towards financial security. There are check lists at the end of each chapter, and in the introduction of each chapter she talks about what this particular chapter will help you with. Also, there are many references to the author's website, where one can find useful calculating tools, more check lists, detailed tips on how to keep daily spending in check, and so on.
Yes, there is quite a lot of pep talk, but it is well put and probably necessary.
It inspired me to tackle a few issues, too - for instance, already earlier this year, I wanted to speak to my boss about a raise (I have completed my first year with the company in May), and after reading "Women & Money", I have a much clearer idea of what I am going to say, and am more determined to really have this conversation. And soon!
After this interesting excursion into the world of finances, I am very much looking forward to reading Frances Garrood's new book.