Money at 30: “My Money My Way” Audiobook Review
This past week, I had the chance to do a bit of international traveling. So, with a pair of 8-ish hour flights occupying my week, what better way to pass the time than listening to another recently-released personal finance audiobook? My choice this time around comes from Kumiko Love — AKA “The Budget Mom” — who released My Money My Way: Taking Back Control of Your Financial Life last month. What I found was an engaging, inviting, and potentially life-changing book for those looking to turn their relationship with money around.
First of all, like with Rich as F***, I do need to mention that I am not the intended audience for this book. However, while I used that as a way to say that I didn’t care for Rich as F***, that’s not the case with My Money My Way. Instead, while I did indeed enjoy the book, Love crafts her message for women. Of course, this doesn’t mean that non-women won’t learn or benefit from Love’s lessons, but those in the key demo are likely to get a little something extra out of the author’s personal anecdotes and her overall angle.
A great benefit of picking up the audiobook version of this title was getting to listen to Love. The passion she has for the material really shines through the recording and makes the writing itself spark. Also, as a frequent audiobook listener, I appreciated the production on this one, which sounded pristine (even over jet engines).
One of the key sections of My Money My Way in my mind is the one on becoming an intentional spender. Specifically, this is where Love introduces listeners/readers to the envelopes method of budgeting and gives this solution a rousing endorsement. Love also takes the time to offer alternatives and fixes to some common concerns that this strategy can illicit among newcomers. In each case, I thought Love’s suggestions were clever and could well be effective. But, lest anyone confuse Love for a female Dave Ramsey, she does admit to having a credit card… even if she does immediately cover her online purchases made with the card via her cash envelopes.
As someone who not only writes about personal finance but also consumes a lot of personal finance books to review, I was fairly familiar with a lot of the concepts Love discusses throughout the book. Yet, I have to say that her explanation of how a Health Savings account (HSA) actually works may have been the best I’ve ever heard. Her description coupled with the fact that she ranks maxing out HSAs as the second retirement investment priority slot (behind getting the most out of your 401(k) employer match) has inspired me to look further into these accounts and whether or not we might qualify. While we might not, hopefully those who do are able to pick up on this advice and take advantage.
Another aspect of the book I enjoyed was some of the personal stories Love shared. These not only come directly from her life but also from some of the women in her Budget Mom community. Love suggests tying budgeting, saving, and getting out of debt to a specific experience you’ll be able to have once you reach your goal. The inclusion of these stories really helped ground the material and provide a glimpse into what readers can achieve if they take action.
These days, there are plenty of personal finance books that will teach you how to budget, pay down debt, invest, etc. Although some might see this as a crowded field only growing fuller, I’d argue that having more books for readers to choose from gives them a better chance of finding the one that will resonate with them and instill change. After reading My Money My Way: Taking Back Control of Your Financial Life, I can definitely see this book and Kumiko Love being that gamechanger for a lot of people. If you think you might be one of them, I’d definitely recommend checking it out.