March madness is upon us and so is the most dreadful time of the year- tax season. As we shockingly flip through our credit card statements, question why we made some hefty purchases or how now to get in trouble with the IRS, money is a sticky topic to bring up in conversation. Finances, budgeting, saving and all the money-related jargon can be overwhelming for the average young adult. I still don’t know why memorizing the Pythagorean theorem is more important than learning how to manage my money and know how to actually function as an adult in this dollar-driven world. Yeah… the education system needs a major renovation if you ask me.
This is where our own curiosity and concern helps us navigate the uncharted waters of the “adult” world. The start of 2018 has definitely sparked my interest in educating myself on my own financial decisions and essentially “making my money work for me.” Partial credit goes to the fact that my 23rd birthday is approaching and it hit me that I’m in charge of planning for future Ashna’s financial freedom.
In honor of all the financial questions we’re too afraid to ask out loud, I present you this month’s book favorite: The Financial Diet. A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money.
“Saving money isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about deciding you love Future You as much as you love Today You.”
Seven moderate-sized chapters, 188 pages, a glossary of financial terms, brutally honest advice, witty humor and a tool-kit of knowledge for the budgeting newbie. Topics ranging from: investing, career checkups to negotiating a raise, TFD is here to break it down for us.
If you’re a fellow millennial reading this right now, I’m sure you can relate. Suddenly you wake up one morning to check the status of your student debt and nothing has changed. Or, you wake up after a night out of partying and realize that you spent your entire paycheck on expensive drinks and Uber rides. Splat! A smack in the face to kick-start your day.
No need to panic. I promise. The Financial Diet is coming to your rescue. Reading this book has been informative, enlightening and overall the best purchase I could’ve made this year. Concepts like credit scores, stocks & bonds, investment accounts vs. retirement accounts and loan repayments were all too foreign to me before. I’ve heard my parents use this type of loaded financial lingo over their morning coffee, but I always felt like an outsider in those conversations.
Not for long, though!! Understanding basic financial concepts is not only imperative to our assimilation in the adult world but necessary for our own personal development. Being independent and knowing how to manage your finances will never go out of style.
“Ultimately, we are all CEOs of our own lives, and that means every hour should be accounted for and well compensated, according to our own personal standards of wealth and happiness.”
Let’s just say I’m not my father’s daughter when it comes to haggling or being an impeccable bargainer. I think those typical South Asian genes skipped my generation or something. Yet, it doesn’t mean I can’t navigate the waters of salary negotiation. I’ve always been afraid to ask for a raise or bring up the topic of money with my bosses in the past. I know that I deserve the pay bump, but now I have to convince someone above me to buy into my sales pitch. Oh god! Find me the nearest exit, right?!
Nope. It’s high time we start earning what we’re working so hard for. The best piece advice I gained from reading TFD is this:
“Whether for your starting salary or your fifth raise, DON’T compare yourself to your coworkers, DON’T get personal, and DON’T threaten to leave. DO your research, DO provide details of your achievements, and DO practice what you want to say beforehand. Compensation should be based on you and your performance, not anyone else’s.”
Friends, there you have it! An overview of a book every young adult should have on their coffee table. TFD is straightforward and contains answers to our most basic financial questions. In need of a money makeover? Give this book a read and you’ll be glad you did!
Hope you all enjoyed this month’s book review! I’ll talk to you all again on the next post.