Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (4/19)
“Redesign The Reality Of Your Finances” by Marc Barlow is a read every high school and young adult should read before heading out into the real world. The guidance and examples Barlow provides are easy to read and understand tips on how to not only develop financial security, but how one can make changes in their current situation while encouraging readers to be the best person they can be.
I especially enjoyed the information on how to pay off credit card debt and making wise choices on monthly spending in areas such as groceries, entertainment and personal spending. While many of these ideas my husband and I currently employ, the paying off of credit cards hit home. As a grandparent, I always feel the need to help my grandkids with medical bills, clothing and school expenses. Recently I was able to pay off an orthodontist bill for my granddaughter. Rather than spend that money I acquired, I immediately put it toward another credit card bill. My husband and I now make several changes in our monthly spending such as groceries, eating out and items we would like but don’t necessarily have to have.
In Chapter 8 the author discusses making concrete plans. This could mean to some not eating out several times a week and instead make one’s lunch or making dinner from fresh items rather than packaged items. Youth today are used to instant gratification which carries over into adulthood and then they wonder why they have no money left. As the author states, it takes a plan, start date and commitment. It isn’t easy as one has to monitor spending for a few months and then identify where they can cut expenses. A great example is cable tv- do you need 100 channels? Can you do with the basic or fewer channels? He also provides great ideas on how to negotiate with internet and cable companies for lower prices.
It all comes down to discipline, can you do it and stick to it? First and foremost develop a budget. We say this to our adult children all the time. Plan for emergencies and put money aside for them, just because you have money doesn’t mean you need to spend it all.
I liked that the author gave personal examples of his financial situation, problems that occurred and how he and his wife eventually worked through them. Marc Barlow’s writing style is engaging, and personable. He does not lecture but provides support throughout his book. I highly recommend “Redesign The Reality Of Your Finances” for everyone regardless of age and income; there is always room for improvement in each of us.