Ever grab a book on a whim and have it turn out to be really great? I borrowed the e-book version of this gem from my library to read while on vacation, and I finished it on our departing flight. The book is geared to young adults (and their parents), and I am neither, but I still found it very engaging. Rob Carrick’s no-nonsense style with humour thrown in makes the often-dry topic of money management interesting to read about.
How not to move back in with your parents offers basic yet detailed information on so many relevant topics – funding post-secondary education, buying a home, paying for a wedding, the list goes on. Each chapter is centered around a particular topic and includes a case study at the end. I loved this combination; it was really interesting to see how the lives of recent grads are panning out with today’s economic realities.
I also really liked the balanced approach this author takes. So many times financial gurus push ideas that are simply not realistic for the average person – like maximizing your RRSP’s, TFSA’s, emergency fund, and paying off your mortgage all at the same time. Carrick offers suggestions on how to balance these priorities while having a life at the same time. The specific account types are geared towards Canadian readers, but those from other parts of the world will still find the discussion relevant.
Of course, I didn’t agree with all of his advice. For example, his advice to married couples to set up both joint and separate accounts – joint for household expenses and separate for personal items. Each partner contributes a set amount to the household budget based on their means, but uses their personal account as they like. To me, getting married means there is no more “yours” and “mine.” It’s all “ours”. Personal expenses are all part of the negotiation. Separate accounts may be warranted when one partner is completely irresponsible with money, but hopefully this isn’t the norm. In my opinion, joint accounts are better for the marriage relationship as a whole in most cases.
For every piece of advice in the book that I didn’t agree with, there were many more that I did. If you have a young adult in your life, or are looking for ideas of financial wisdom to pass along to your kids as they eventually reach that stage, I would encourage you to get this book. It’s a wealth of information packed into a quick and entertaining read.
Amusing observation #1
I’m writing this post from sunny Arizona (apologies to those back home who are buried in snow). On the plane ride here, one of the flight attendants actually stopped on her way up the aisle and told me how great it was to see our kids with books. Here’s her quote: “I was telling the pilot that it’s been a long time since I’ve seen kids on the plane with books.” Say what?! The fact that we brought books onto the plane was newsworthy enough to make it to water cooler talk with the staff. Wow.
Amusing observation #2
Me: “Where is the closest library?”
Siri: “You’re checking out a library? Good for you!” (and then “she” proceeded to navigate me to the local branch) Even my kids burst out laughing at that one.
Have you read any interesting financial planning books lately?