Money at 30: “Young, Fun & Financially Free” Book Review

Personal finance often gets a bad rap. Despite dozens if not hundreds of bloggers insisting that, no, budgeting doesn’t mean depriving yourself of all non-essential spending, there’s no question that this is still the impression most people get. Enter another expert here to insist that you can indeed lead a fulfilling life not in spite of financial responsibility but because of it. In Young, Fun & Financially Free: Live the Good Life Now and Build a Kick-Ass Futureauthor Leanna Haakons lays out a plan for Millennials and others to get a hold on their finances and change them for the better — without cutting out all of the enjoyment.

Before we get into the review itself, I should explain how Young, Fun & Financially Free first came on my radar. I actually had the chance to meet Haakons while attending FinCon 2019 earlier this month. After skimming her book and hearing her overview, I was ready to fork over my money to get a copy for myself. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any for sale! Instead, she was nice enough to send me a .PDF copy for review. With that out of the way, let’s jump into it.

The first few chapters of Young, Fun & Financially Free provide a mile-high overview of how you can change your money mindset to better your overall finances. It was clear from these early entries that Haakons and I are pretty much on the same page as far as our money philosophies go. Nevertheless, for me, the book doesn’t really take off until around Chapter 4. That’s when Haakons really starts getting into specifics while covering topics such as the pros and cons of credit cards,   Each of these chapters flows well and is rich with helpful info and insight. That said, I did find it slightly odd that a chapter dedicated to working your way out of debt fell later in the book instead of being bumped up to an earlier chapter. Then again, the material still worked well regardless of its physical placement.

Elsewhere, some of my favorite chapters came towards the end where the book looks at some finance-adjacent topics not typically covered in books like this. For example, Haakons highlights the importance of cybersecurity, insurance, and even having a strongbox for your personal documents — all vital points that deserve more attention from the book’s intended audience. I also appreciated a chapter exploring the need for a strong “core support system,” if for no other reason than it encourages friends to discuss money openly and honestly, which is something I’m a big believer in.

Something of note is that, as a Canadian who now resides in the United States, Haakons frequently refers to products or programs specific to each of the countries. In these cases, she is mostly careful to note which recommendations apply to those on which side of the border. Including the Canadian information helps the book stand out in my mind as I do have a few Canuck friends who could benefit from reading this.

Like many personal finance books these days, Young, Fun & Financially Free offers supplemental material online. By visiting Haakons’s site, readers can gain access to bonuses for each chapter. For the most part, these bonuses make sense being offered separately as they are more worksheets than anything else. However there were definitely a couple of bonuses I couldn’t help thinking should have just been included in the main text (especially given the book’s slim figure). On a somewhat similar note, the author does also plug her day job and website a few times — even offering a free advisory consultation — but, thankfully, these mentions are made sparingly so as not to annoy or distract.

At just under 150 pages, Young, Fun & Financially Free: Live the Good Life Now and Build a Kick-Ass Future is a breeze of a read. Yet, in those pages, Haakons manages to pack in a lot. While you may have heard some similar advice before, the author’s ability to weave in her own personal experiences while also veering slightly from the regular personal finance playbook makes this worth a read.


Also published on Medium.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and has recently starting publsihing his own personal finance blog at https://moneyat30.com/

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Nice review, not only for younger generations but also for those who want to learn more how to better their finances.

Got a chance to read this from a friend and glad I have read it. Got some new and fresh ideas with regards to managing my finances.

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