If you’ve ever felt embarrassed or just flat out clueless about anything that relates to money, you’re not alone. I hated seeing the teller at the bank because I was scared they were judging me based on my transactions and account balance. I would google things about investments and loans then end up closing the browser, even more confused than I was to begin with. Living paycheck to paycheck with a HUGE student loan and a maxed out credit card over my head stressed me out every. single. day.
Enter: The Financial Diet (TFD). I guess google could tell I needed help by all the things I was searching because this channel pretty much just fell into my lap while I was browsing YouTube one day. After binge watching all their videos, I felt empowered to take control of my finances once and for all. I started with a no spend month challenge in August and since then have been taking baby steps toward financial wellness and being stress-free about it.
Earlier this month, Chelsea and Lauren released a book by the same name. I instantly bought my copy a few days later and it was the best investment I’ve made so far in 2018.
SMALL CHANGES I MADE TO GET MY FINANCIAL SH*T TOGETHER (before reading TFD)
- Switched to a no-fee bank account & cancelled unnecessary monthly payments (this took about a month to actually complete because I was just SO LAZY to make calls/go to the bank)
- Started taking my side hustle more seriously
- *Attempted* to start an emergency fund and pay off credit debt ASAP (and failed)
- Keep track of my monthly credit score for FREE on the Mogo App
- Switched from a Metropass (monthly transit pass) to a Presto card (pay as you go transit pass) and I walk to places when I can = cut transit expense from $146.50 a month to about $80 a month!
- Got a library card to save $$$ on books (except The Financial Diet haha)
IN REVIEW — THE FINANCIAL DIET: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money
Written by Chelsea Fagan / Designed by Lauren ver Hage
What I love most of all about The Financial Diet is that I never feel bored or confused while watching their videos, and the same goes for the book. It’s relatable, educational, comical, and empowering all at the same time.
REAL AND RELATABLE
The author, Chelsea, has gone through her fair share of money mishaps. Reading about her hilariously horrifying experiences definitely made me feel less like a loser and more like “if she can get it together…so can I!” I feel like I’m more receptive to her advice because she’s gone through exactly what I and so many other millennials are going through.
BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED + VISUAL LEARNING
At first flip-through, you’ll notice TFD isn’t your typical financial guidebook. Forget boring white pages full of words you don’t understand and say hello to colourful pages with diagrams, checklists, and even downloadable resources.
The beautiful design and illustrations are just the cherry on top of all this valuable information, and it makes tackling your finances not so scary and stressful.
SOLID ALL-AROUND ADVICE
The book is separated into 7 different chapters: Budget, Investing, Career, Food, Home, Love, and Action.
TFD touches on the basics like how to build a budget, credit scores, types of bank accounts, and WTF investing is, but it also goes above and beyond that. It dishes advice on everything from what to look out for when renting your first place so you don’t get screwed, why you should learn how to cook, building a professional work wardrobe, and getting real about achieving your dreams.
For every piece of advice given, there’s some sort of “how-to” so you can put that advice into action almost immediately.
Plus, there’s a glossary at the end if you’re ever stuck on what a certain financial term means.
*Note: since I’m Canadian, the bit on retirement savings (401k’s and IRA’s) weren’t exactly useful for me, but it did remind me to seek out more applicable information on this. If you’re Canadian or from another country, don’t let this deter you from picking this book up because the information in here is still super valuable!
DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW
Throughout each chapter you’ll find small sections with interviews and advice from a variety of financial experts, side hustlers, and other industry professionals. Of course not everyone’s advice will mesh with each other’s, but I think having multiple points of view is so important because there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to financial wellness. Plus, it opened up my eyes to even more great financial advice resources.
Some books should just be borrowed, some bought. TFD is a book I know I will keep on my shelf and refer back to for years, and I already have a few people asking to borrow it. It’s a true guide for beginners but would be useful for anyone who wants a fresh point of view on their personal finance. For less than 25 bucks, you can’t go wrong.
Since reading TFD I’ve began tracking my spending, automated my savings and am finally building an emergency fund, and am well on my way to tackling my debt. Although I’m still struggling with creating a budget and cutting down excessive spending in certain areas, I feel confident that I’m on the right track to slowly building a healthier mindset when it comes to money. I haven’t stressed over it in weeks!