September Must Reads Part 4: On My Own Two Feet, a Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor & Sharon Kedar
On My Own Two Feet is a new and updated edition to the original On My Own Two Feet published in 2008. After Manisha and Sharon wrote their first book, the US had the Financial Crisis of 2008 and a lot of factors changed not only in the financial world but also in people’s personal situations. So they decided to rewrite it and update all the statists in the book, On My Own Two Feet, a Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance.
The book has three parts to it: financial tools, savings, and real life situations. They make it all very relevant with their real life applications to their concepts. They relate savings to wearing sunscreen by saying: “asking when to start saving is like asking your dermatologist when to start wearing sunscreen.” You might want to start before you get burned.
They have great tips on credit cards and the traps of the credit card companies. One of these traps is the interest rate on your credit card debt. The credit card company can legally raise your interest rate after the “teaser rate” expires. Guess what happens next…they sky rocket your rate to a whole new level. Credit card debt is a growing problem for Americans, as only 35% of users pay off their balances each month. Unfortunately, that leaves 65% of the population in credit card debt, so of your ten friends, 6.5 of them are in debt. These odds are not in your favor.
Manisha and Sharon do a great job of explaining and simplifying investment and insurance basics. One point I want to highlight in the book is liability insurance, which is a topic we bring up in all of our client and prospective client meetings. An umbrella policy is liability insurance that will cover liability for both your house and your car. Our clients have encountered several law suits from car accidents or someone getting hurt in their house. The umbrella policy will cover any lawsuit expense after your home or auto insurance coverage taps out up to a limit of say $1 million or $3 million. If you have children driving, and they are on your auto insurance policy, you might want to add an umbrella policy. I would imagine you wouldn’t want to postpone your retirement because your son or daughter was sued for $1 million after causing an accident playing PokemonGO.
In the book, they keep their suggestions realistic and more possible to achieve. When you look at your budget, think about what is really important to you. Is it eating out, traveling, or going to concerts? Then maybe you should spend less on an apartment or house so you have more available funds to do these activities. Or maybe, you’d rather have a nice house or car, then you might have to start doing your own nails or shopping less. I read once that you should write down your top 10 financial goals in your life, and then pick three. Chances are you won’t have enough money for all of them, so reflect on what really matters to you and start there.
I have to say I don’t agree with them on everything in the book, they tend to generalize some of their recommendations. Everyone’s situation is different, but a solid foundation can be built from reading this book. If you know a woman just starting her career, is in college, or starting over, please share this book with them. It is a quick read, and makes the overwhelming idea of finances more tangible and less daunting. It would also be a good idea to have them meet with a financial advisor as well to get some personalized guidance. On My Own Two Feet will create the groundwork to getting your finances on the right path. Use it to learn the different financial terms and ideas, not necessarily to put their exact recommendations and strategies to work.
If you have any other book recommendations please share them with me by emailing to Jessica.Weaver@raymondjames.com or posting them on my Facebook page Jessica Weaver, Wealth Advisor.
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James.