Money at 30: “Know Yourself, Know Your Money” Book Review
Ever since I decided to start consuming and review more personal finance books, I’ve realized that I tend to stay in one main arena — namely early retirement and financial independence. However, when looking for recently-released titles, I came across something a bit different: a book called Know Yourself, Know Your Money: Discover Why You Handle Money the Way You Do, and What to Do About It by Rachel Cruze. Having previously seen Cruze speak at FinCon 2018, I was curious about the book and decided to cash in my latest Audible credit to download the audiobook version of the title.
What “Know Yourself, Know Your Money” Is All About
As you may or may not be aware, Cruze is the daughter of famed financial host Dave Ramsey. In fact, she works at the family business – Ramsey Solutions. Moreover, this book was published by — you guessed it — Ramsey Press. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that you will read/hear all about the Seven Baby Steps throughout the book along with mentions of other Ramsey products include Financial Peace University, the app EveryDollar, and more. That said, Cruze does keep these self-promotional plugs to a relative minimum and, in my opinion, they did not distract from the material. Instead, each instance felt relevant and earned.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the book. Throughout Know Yourself, Know Your Money, Cruze lays out several different money personalities across a number of financial topics including spending, saving, giving, and more. This starts off with a look at the four quadrants — or “classrooms” as Cruze calls them — of money communication. Specifically, this section invites readers to reflect on what type of “classroom” they were raised in and how these lessons may impact our attitudes toward personal finance today. While I’m sure you could imagine what these four quadrants look like if you thought about it, I found Cruze’s explanations and examples to be truly interesting. In fact, after hearing her describe the different classrooms, I could definitely see where on the scale my upbringing fell.
Another section that that caught my attention was about talking to your spouse about money. To be clear, this is an area where my wife and I operate quite well and have from the beginning. Nevertheless, Cruze’s suggestion that couples imagine their ideal life and work backwards in order to make it a reality really struck me. As she explains, by doing this, both partners will be moving in the same direction.
Elsewhere, Cruze also takes a look at giving — including how there are different types of givers, such as those who plan their gifts and those who give do so more impulsively. As someone who’s been making an effort to be more charitable, I thought that this particular chapter offered some useful ideas, such as making giving the first line of your budget instead of an afterthought. I also appreciated how Cruze points out that giving doesn’t just mean money, but could also involve donating your time or talents to benefits others.
Something important to note about Know Yourself, Know Your Money is that, in the vast majority of cases, Cruze’s isn’t casting blame on certain personality types or saying that they’re wrong. Instead, the point of the material is simply to help readers realize what categories they fall under so that they may communicate with other personality types more effectively. For the most part, I’d say that the author walks this line well, although there is a short section about being an “-ish” person — as in “budget-ish.” Still, if you’re a credit card-loving, zero-based budget-hating person, I don’t think you’ll take too much offense to Cruze’s assertions and will still find value in the rest of the material regardless.
On the whole, I quite enjoyed Know Yourself, Know Your Money: Discover Why You Handle Money the Way You Do, and What to Do About It. Although I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I downloaded it, I was pleasantly surprised by what the book had to offer. Also, after complaining about a couple of past audiobooks, I have to give props to Cruze for her narration here as well as the overall production. So, if you want to learn more about your money personality, how to communicate with others about finance, and be able to more effectively map out goals, I think Know Yourself, Know Your Money could be a great place to start.
Also published on Medium.