Friday, December 5, 2008

"It's the economy, stupid!"-Help for your financial woes

So – the stock market is tumbling, businesses are failing, and our (financial) sky is just falling in general. What to do? Time to get back to basics: getting organized, figuring out what you really need, and revisiting Budgeting 101. There seems to be financial advice everywhere you look – where should you start? The following four books are great basic “how to” guides for getting your financial life in order.

Easy Money by Liz Pulliam Weston
One of the internet’s most widely read personal finance writers has put together an easy to follow primer on money management. Covers the basics well, but does an even better job outlining how to simplify your financial life and avoid costly, stupid mistakes. Good for the personal finance beginner or those who want a refresher on certain topics.

Kiplinger’s Money Smart Women by Janet Bodnar
Basic, no nonsense advice for every stage of a woman’s life from the Deputy Editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.Bodnar spells out the differences between men’s and women’s financial needs and money management styles. Covers budgeting, credit, mortgages, retirement saving, investing, caring for children and elderly parents, and more. Contains easy to use worksheets,straightforward examples and lists of other resources.

Money Can Buy Happiness by M.P. Dunleavey
MSN columnist Dunleavey examines the disconnect between how we spend our time and money and which things truly make us happy. Contains simple exercises to help you figure out whether your spending is in line with your values, as well as some very basic financial advice. This is full of good reminders not to get lost in the minutiae of money management before figuring out what you are trying to manage to begin with.

On My Own Two Feet by Manish Thakor & Sharon Kedar
Good primer on money management for young women. Covers saving, budgeting, insurance needs, investing, and the financial ramifications of some major life events. Easy to follow, good charts and examples, and conversational tone. Great for recent grads and those who need a quick brush-up on their personalfinance skills.

Reviewed by Macaire

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