Goodreads: Money Hacks
Published: September 2020
Achieve all of your financial goals with these 300 easy solutions to all your personal finance questions—from paying off your student loans to managing investments.
Are you looking for ways to decrease your spending…and start increasing your savings? Need some simple advice for maximizing your investments? Want to start planning for your retirement but don’t know where to start? It’s now easier than ever to achieve all your financial goals!
Many people are afraid to talk about money, which means that you might be missing some of the best money-saving skills out there! In Money Hacks you will learn the basics of your finances so you can start making every penny count. Whether you’re trying to pay down debt, start an emergency fund, or make the smartest choice on a major purchase, this book is chock-full of all the useful hacks to make your money work for you in every situation!
*Note: I saw a Goodreads review mention this is geared towards American readers, and that’s correct. While the general money-saving tips would be applicable to anyone, the parts about student loans, mortgages, retirement accounts, etc. are definitely country-specific.
This is a difficult book for me to review, in part because I’ve read a few financial 101 books in the past years, so (finally!) much of of this is not new to me. The fun of the book is that it really is just 275+ tips, each just a couple pages long. So it’s not an in-depth look at things like 401(k)s vs. Roth IRAs but rather quick suggestions about how to get the most out of your money.
The book is divided into a few parts, focused on saving, managing debt, and investing for the future. While I absolutely do think there is good information in here, a lot of it just wasn’t applicable to me. For instance, the obvious money-saving hacks are irrelevant to me: I don’t even drink coffee much less purchase a cup daily, I don’t have Amazon Prime, I don’t subscribe to Netflix, I don’t purchase my work lunch at restaurants, I don’t actually buy that many books, etc. I’m sure there are places I could cut spending, and that’s probably worth thinking about, but there’s also a point where I just want to buy a couple books a year and not feel like that’s a “bad financial decision.”
And after the more obvious money-saving tips, things just get weird. The book recommends cleaning your refrigerator coils and freezer vents, for instance, to save money on running your refrigerator. It makes a joke about washing and reusing tin foil to save a few bucks each year on tin foil. (Actually, I think a prime opportunity was missed here to suggest not buying single-use things in general; good for your wallet and the environment!). I don’t think the book is wrong about these tips, but readers will have to decide how much saving a few pennies here and there is worth doing these things.
The chapters on debt management and investing were interesting, but I do think I’ve gotten a better overview of these topics from other books. A “quick tip” about your retirement fund could be confusing to a reader who doesn’t know much about retirement funds in the first place, and someone who does know a lot might not need these helpful suggestions of “max out your contribution that your employer will match” and “make sure you are vested before leaving a company.”
Finally, there is a section on making more money–which is where I always end up personally. There comes a point where it gets ridiculous to cut out everything you are buying and you might just need to make more money, which is often easier said than done. And I do think some of the tips here are hit-or-miss. So many “side hustles” don’t actually pay a great wage for the time you spend doing them.
So, this is book is somewhat interesting. It’s a very quick read based on the format. If you want some suggestions for how to save some money here and there and maybe manage your debt a little better or start investing a bit more, it’s worth a read. I’m struggling to think of which tips I personally will be implementing, but that doesn’t mean the tips aren’t helpful to other people.