I am a firm believer in the power of talking about money. The more I have discussed money, casually, without pressure or judgement, with my friends, the better my decisions have been. The more I have felt comfortable saying “I can’t afford that” or “let me help you out there” or “I don’t understand this, can you help?”. I have cut out a lot of waste from my spending, and I wouldn’t have done before. Without losing much, I have saved where I used to waste (and I have a 1.5% interest savings account which has earned me £65 in interest in the last year, and I can access whenever I want).
Money: a user’s guide by Laura Whateley is a money chat book. It’s simple. It’s not judgemental. It’s very clear. It doesn’t assume that you know anything, really, and that’s its major strength. It tells us everything we should know but don’t – and I can as good as guarantee that you’ll learn something from it (unless you work in personal finance, probably).
This isn’t a book for people whose every last penny is accounted for: you’ve already got this stuff covered. But anyone who just don’t really know where their salary goes, or have some savings but suspect they could do better, or people who are thinking about making a big purchase, can gain a lot from this.
Society wants us to know as little as possible about money. The people who have most to gain from our confusion – lenders, and those who profit from debt, the rich, the powerful – don’t want us to understand ways around our financial problems. The more we know, the more we understand, the more control we can have, and the better position we can be in. And this can help.