The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money by Art Rainer is a short book, but stuffed with content. At only 148 pages (and in a smaller sized hardcover book, at that!), this book is an easy read to get anyone started on their financial plan.
Being a savings and finance blogger, there was nothing new to me here, but I like to review books like this to let my readers see what is out there as resources. This book is one that I would highly recommend.
Even though I am good with money, I am not where I would like to be in life with my bank account. Part of that is because I took care of my sick mother for so long, meaning I couldn’t get a job outside the house. So, I feel like I’m starting again when it comes to money. I’m sure I’m not the only one in mid-life like this.
This is a unique book because it is a finance book written like a novel. It was a quick read, and very easily understood. It covers everything from savings to retirement to living wisely.
The one thing I disliked about the book was I felt there was an over-emphasis on getting your finances in order so you can give money to worthy organizations. I agree this is a worthwhile thing to do, but I am not sure I will ever be able to be in a situation where I give money as much as I give other things. I am a coupon queen, so I can donate diapers to a women’s shelter without much money out of pocket. If I become aware of a need, I can go into my pantry and grab a few bags of groceries to give to some (or a food bank) from what I have gotten for free. I feel the idea of in-kind giving was left out of this book, and for some of us that is much easier for us to do — as well as making our money go further. I can get at least twice if not three times more using coupons than if I gave the same amount of cash to a food bank. So my caveat about this book is don’t forget about the gifts and talents you have that you can also donate, because that is an important part of giving as well.
I really appreciated the chapter about living appropriately. I know many would not think I live appropriately because of my travel, but I spend very little on it. I use credit card rewards. Also, I want to point out here that our perception of others might be they live more lavishly than they should, but you may not be aware of the whole story. There was one year I had a number of free coupons for a fast food restaurant. I knew I wasn’t going to use them all, so I gave them to a thrift store to give to homeless and semi-homeless people so they could get something hot to eat. Some might think those people were living inappropriately by getting an egg biscuit, but in reality they didn’t pay anything for it. So, I feel it’s important to only judge our spending, and not worry about what other people do.
Another thing I disliked was the avoiding separate accounts when married. I know the reasoning, that marriage is for life, you have to be all in, etc. But in cases of abuse (by either party), its a good thing to have some money set back to help you get away from the abuse. I know of more than one friend who wishes they would have done this.
I do highly recommend this book. Unlike many other books of this genre, this is a short read with suggestions that you can implement and immediately see changes. If you are new to trying to get out of debt, I highly recommend this as you won’t get bogged down in extended explanations. The length is great if you also have a short attention span or think you can never get out of debt, because you CAN do this.
I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.