Amanda Steinberg is the founder of the website Daily Worth, a mecca for all sorts of financial advice specifically targeted to women. Recent posts include Childcare And Taxes: Five Things You Should Know, Is Pet Insurance Worth It and How Your Health Affects Your Long Term Wealth. The site even has a post for book lovers like us on the 10 Best Finance Books For Women.
Steinberg decided to recently publish her own manual on how to take control of your financial life called Worth It. It was one of the books featured on my February 2017 Book Releases list and I was lucky enough to get a copy from the publisher to review.
I’ve read my fair share of personal finance books, and I think what Worth It has to offer that others books I’ve read don’t do as well is a framework through which to reflect on your current financial practices and money personality. Steinberg is dead honest in the book about her own past financial mistakes and introduces topics like investing, buying a home and cash flow through the experiences of other real life women just like her. If you’re looking for detailed advice on investment vehicles, types of mortgages or budgeting strategies, this isn’t the right book to turn to. It’s the right pick for someone who wants to start to re-evaluate their relationship to money and rethink their attitude towards managing their finances.
Worth It by Amanda Steinberg
Published: February 7th 2017
Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)
From the founder and superstar CEO of DailyWorth.com—the go-to financial site for women with more than one million subscribers—comes a fresh book that redefines the relationship between women, self-worth, and money. Worth It shows women how to view money as a source of personal power and freedom—and live life on their terms.
Millions of women want to create financial stability and abundance in their lives, but they don’t know how. They are stuck in overwhelming confusion and guilt, driven by internalized “money stories” that have nothing to do with what is really possible. As the founder of Daily Worth, a financial media and education platform, Amanda Steinberg encounters these smart, ambitious women every day. With this book, she helps them face their money stories head on and wake up to the prosperity that awaits them.
What I Liked
Understanding what your money story is. My favorite parts of the book were the ones that made me reflect on my own ‘money story’, or the story we all tell ourselves in our heads about what our capacity to manage money is. A ‘money story’ will have layers to it, come connected to the way in which your family managed money during your childhood, others having to do with your initial experiences managing money on your own. Steinberg provides guided journaling exercises through which you can reflect on how you’ve related to money in your life, with questions like “What’s your earliest memory of money” and “How much money do you think you have in relation to your friends and family”.
In the next step, Steinberg offers examples of statements about money that might correspond to your way of thinking about it, guiding you to choose the ones that most closely align with your own experience with money. I felt that the process of journaling and establishing your money story or money personality would be invaluable to someone looking to completely rethink their management of their finances. It was also surprising and informative to me, even though I’ve done a lot of reflecting in the past about my relationship to money. I would recommend going through this process to anyone, in fact. It’s important whenever rethinking a significant aspect of your life, to take a step back and look at your history and present situation.
Steinberg’s ultimate goal is to help readers identify negative thought patterns they may have about money, and then reshape these into more positive messaging, so that you’re attitude about your ability to manage your own finances will feel renewed. Even as a relatively savvy manager of my own finances, I felt that the process of re-examining my own relationship to money was very helpful, and since then I’ve been able to view have a more positive mindset about my ability to make the right financial choices for myself.
Anecdotes from the lives of real women that i could relate to. This was the other part of the book that I really loved. For each type of scenario or topic that Steinberg tackles in her book, she provides real life examples of women who have either been really successful at managing that aspect of their finances or have struggled with it. These examples span different ranges of income, different attitudes about spending and saving, and a whole array of options of how a small or large amount of money can be invested or spent. Most readers will find at least a couple of examples to relate to and that will be helpful to them in terms of using them as mirrors for their own money management practices. There’s also the voyeuristic aspect of learning about women who have huge incomes and are still struggling to make ends meet, just like you and I might be on a lower income.
More money doesn’t always mean a lack of financial problems and Steinberg uses herself as an apt example of this. Before founding Daily Worth, Steinberg was working in finance and making a six figure salary. By all measures she should have been financially comfortable, but she over-extended herself by purchasing a home that ended up being a bad investment and significantly upgrading her lifestyle until her income was busting at the seams. After a difficult personal experience, Steinberg decided to rethink her entire life, from her profession to whether she would own or rent a home, and to the importance of saving for a rainy day and for retirement.
I felt it so refreshing that a money guru like Steinberg would be so candid about her own travails with money. None of us are perfect and beating yourself up about your financial ‘failures’ is not useful – that’s Steinberg’s fundamental message. It’s definitely one I think most women need to hear. We’re the best at being judgemental of ourselves and our abilities, when a more positive frame of mind would be much more productive in our attempts to fix what might need to be fixed in our finances.
What I Didn’t Like
Beginner level financial advice. Like I said in the intro, this isn’t the right book to turn to if you’re looking for detailed advice on complex financial topics. It’s much more of a self help book that will help you to rework your relationship to and attitude towards money. I think this may be a positive for some readers and a negative for others. If you’re already pretty advanced in your understanding of topics like mortgages, investments, retirement savings etc., there will be nothing new for you here on those topics, and in fact you’ll feel a bit like Steinberg only scratched the surface on these. If you’re just starting to explore your thoughts and feelings about money though, and are embarking on a path of discovery of how you might get better at managing your finances, then this is definitely the book for you.
Because I read so many finance blogs and have read my fair share of financial advice books, the second part of the book in which Steinberg starts to break down personal finance into its various segments felt like it lacked depth to me. I think I would have liked the book better if, in addition to the self help aspect of the first part of the book (which I found really interesting and useful), Steinberg had balanced this with more detailed financial advice in the second part of the book.
A book that will make you reflect about your relationship to money and the way in which you can change your mindset when it comes to spending and saving. Great for newcomers to personal finance but not for those looking for complex financial advice.
About The Author
Amanda Steinberg launched DailyWorth in 2009 to bring a fresh voice and an outsider’s perspective to personal finance. Today, DailyWorth’s newsletter reaches more than 1 million subscribers.
In 2015, she started digital investing service, WorthFM, which received front-page coverage in The New York Times Business section
Oprah selected her for the exclusive SuperSoul 100, and Forbes named her one of 21 New American Money Masters. Amanda has also appeared on GMA, Today, CNN, and MSNBC. She’s also the author of Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms released in February 2017.
Have you read Worth It? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.
You can also read other recent reviews on the blog including for scientific nonfiction title Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, contemporary fiction novel This Is How It Always Is, feminist memoir How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran, and historical fiction novels Before The Rains by Dinah Jefferies, The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and News Of The World.
I received a copy of Worth It from the publisher North Star Way’s publicist in exchange for an honest review. Please note this post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.