Book Review by John Vyge, CFP
It’s More Than Money-It’s Your Life!: The New Money Club for Women by Candace Bahr, CEA, CDS and Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP, CDS, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., $24.95, 262 pages, Hardcover, 2003, ISBN 0471449741
Dealing with several different financial issues all at once, can be a daunting, if not paralyzing task, even for experts. According to the authors of It’s More Than Money – It’s Your Life!, the key to the process is to isolate each financial topic in life into its own ‘Money Zone’. And collaborate with others to address that financial topic in regular support groups called ‘Money Clubs’. Candace Bahr, CEA, CDS and Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP, CDS started the Women’s Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) back in 1988 and have empowered millions of women worldwide with their books and Money Club system.
Predictably, this book contains a boatload of technical advice for women in the areas of investing, debt pay down, Social Security, estate planning and virtually every other financial topic or ‘Money Zone’ there is. However, what makes this book so useful is the way it empowers women to establish regular sixty-minute group meetings, called Money Clubs, to focus on financial issues of importance to them. As the author’s explain in one of 7 Truths in the book, “A Man is Not a Financial Plan.” The authors invite their readers to adopt a collaborative approach to their finances, by collaborating at regular group meetings, with supportive friends, associates, and neighbors who want to improve their own financial lives.
The book starts by helping you figure out your own money type based on whether you hoard, avoid or splurge when it comes to money. It then takes you through a series of financial topics, called Money Zones that every woman needs to understand and address in order to take control of her finances. The core of the book, the Money Zones, is peppered with advice, questionnaires, and tongue-in-cheek quizzes on various financial topics to help you understand, improve, and empower yourself to take control of many different areas of your financial life.
The book then moves on to discuss various money trouble-causing events that women run into in their lives such as divorce, remarriage and widowhood. The book concludes by showing you how to set up your own Money Club and directs you to a website that’s filled with worksheets for holding regular Money Club meetings with people who are also motivated.
This is a thorough, entertaining, and empowering read for married, divorced, and widowed women (and men), grounded in real-life problems and solutions. I’m a big believer in empowering yourself with financial & investment expertise and It’s More Than Money – It’s Your Life! is a must own book for achieving that goal.
By John Vyge, CFP