Master Your Money by Ron Blue Book Review

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Do you feel like your money is in charge of you, instead of you being in charge of your money? Do you ever wish that you knew how you could master your money?

Entrepreneur and accountant Ron Blue has a few ideas in his new book Master Your Money. This is a re-vamped version of a previous edition published in the late 80s. This time, he’s made some updates, adding personal reflections to the end of each chapter. He’s also added a special writing partner, his son Michael Blue, to add commentary at the end of each chapter.

Master Your Money offers a decidedly  Christian perspective with a heavy emphasis on the spiritual aspect of money management. Probably the biggest takeaway from this book is the idea of stewardship: that God “owns it all” and that people don’t truly own their money or possessions, but are simply caretakers of the things they have. The second takeaway is the huge emphasis placed on giving. Blue talks about giving and goes beyond emphasizing tithing as important, but states that is is the first purpose money should be used for in a budget  (even before taxes, and states that tithing should be done from gross instead of net income). He discusses estate planning for charity and making faith pledges beyond what you think you can give (to help your city, the world, orphans, the poor).

There are some changes that could have been made to this book to make it stronger. There are two big issues that people in this country are suffering from financially that aren’t addressed at all in this book, which could have been updated: student loan debt and health care costs. Blue talks about types of debt, but leaves student loan debt completely out of the picture, which is concerning given that student loan debt cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. This is a critical issue given that so many students have defaulted on their student loans and are overextended. Another issue that needs further addressing is rising health care costs. The sample budget given for health care costs seems low given that families are experiencing increased costs in the areas of premiums, drug costs, etc. This is not a political issue but a financial one, and to not address it doesn’t give an accurate picture of what everyday families are up against in their personal finances.

Another strange part about this book is in the sample budget, there’s a line item for “margin” – a 2 percent category for a family to help them increase their cash flow. Yet, there is no line item on the sample budget for saving money for the future. When savings is not automated or made intentional in some way, it doesn’t happen. I don’t know if this “margin” category is the author’s way of saying “savings”, but it seems odd that a financial expert wouldn’t urge people to be intentional about creating an emergency fund of some kind, when so many people probably do not have one. Furthermore, I’m not sure why the author wouldn’t encourage people to save more than two percent of their budget when he is urging them to give 10 percent to others. The Biblical mandate is to provide for your own household or you are worse than an unbeliever… how can a wise person prepare for the hard times that will inevitably come in the future without making plans?

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of Master Your Money from the publisher, Moody Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

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Christmas is coming: dangers of the holiday season

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but did you know that the holiday season poses some dangers you may be unprepared for? Before you head to the mall or begin party-planning, ensure you’ll have a holly jolly Christmas by taking steps…

The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money!

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Have you ever thought about starting your own business, creating your own product, or making money off your own idea?

Steve Mariotti has, and he’s taught high school students how to do the same. He’s written a book which has been recently updated, and it’s entitled The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money!

The title is somewhat deceiving. While it geared towards younger people starting a business – it features entrepreneurs that are all currently under the age of 30, and often addresses the reader as if he or she is college-age or younger – the material is much more dense. It’s thick enough to be a college textbook, packed with definitions, formulas, and even a sample business plan. While the first chapter of the book was tough to progress through – the material there is very dry and adults are likely to know the very basic terms contained there – this guide is very comprehensive.

I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of starting their own business. The guidance, advice and practical suggestions could save an individual much money and time. The profiles of successful entrepreneurs could be inspiring. Overall, this is a read that is very much worth the time for those interested in business and entrepreneurship.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

I Can’t Afford College: What to do When You Can’t Afford School

 

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(Photo by Psychonaught via Wikimedia Commons)

Can you afford to go to college?

If you’ve already saved money from a part-time job and looked into applying for scholarships, and you still don’t have enough money for school, you might be ready to give up.

But before you do,…