I thought I’d take the chance on the tail end of Women’s Money Week to post a book review on a book by non-other then Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Anyone who’s been on the personal finance scene, especially in Canada, will know that Gail is considered a guru when it comes to finances. Fitting the theme of the week “It’s Your Money” was written to provide financial advice specifically for women.
It breaks down into four parts, the psychology behind money, general information on a variety of financial subjects, life events, and “just in case” scenarios. The first section I found by far the most helpful and the most interesting. Here Gail talks about how people think about money and how this affects their day to day interactions with money. Going a step further Gail provides a number of questionnaires to help determine your “money personality.” Since your money personality helps to determine what types of money problems you may encounter (yes even misers like me have money issues) it gives you ideas and types on how to deal with potential problems. If you’re one half of a couple these quizzes may help to clarify how your other half thinks about money.
The second section covers topics seen in most personal finance books, goals, budgets, emergency fund, credit, housing, investments, insurance, taxes and wills. The information is presented in a conversational and understandable way. That said the information provided is very similar, if not identical, to the advice provided in any other personal finance book. On most topics the book provides a good foundation on the subject, however I would recommend further reading and research on most of the subjects before making a decision that fits you best.
The third and fourth parts cover a variety of life events and scenarios that could change how you manage your money. From having a baby to becoming the sole breadwinner Gail breaks down the financial changes that you will likely be changing. There is good advise on when you should make changes to your financial plan as your life changes.
Though this book is directed at women to help them take care of their own finances I found that most of the advise, despite the feminine pronouns, is gender neutral. The life changes and “just in case” scenarios are of equal value to males. Though I do concede to the points made at the introduction, women are still at a financial disadvantage in many areas, I do not believe that the lessons required to remedy these problems are gender specific. Both males and females can benefit from the advice in this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is new to the world of personal finances or who is undergoing a major life change.