Book Review - Dollars & Sense by Cynthia Sumner
I just finished the book Dollars & Sense - a mom's guide to money matters - by Cynthia Sumner. This book is a great book for people trying to get a handle on their finances. Dollars & Sense is well written from a mother's perspective to other mothers. This book is loosely based on the theologian John Wesley's three rules for managing money: gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.
I found Dollars & Sense to be perfect for someone that really needs information on the basics of how to handle money. The book talks a lot about how and why to set financial goals and covers this area very well. On page 35 it says "When you are living hand-to-mouth, it's hard to look down the road toward financial goals". But this is a very important time to be setting financial goals. Having goals will help you get out of the mess you are currently in. This book will help you do that.
There is a chapter titled Get Control of Your Finances and it will walk you through exactly what you need to do if your finances are out of control. It tells you step by step how to balance your checkbook, get organized and make a budget. Like I said this book is excellent if you don't know where to begin but need to get a grip on your money.
There are chapters on how to choose a bank, starting to save and the different ways you can save your money (savings account, college fund, retirement, etc.) the basics of credit, what to do if your identity is stolen and how to prevent it, getting rid of debt, ways to save money, teaching kids about money, and a question and answer chapter.
On page 142 Sumner has you ask yourself "Are my priorities in order? Do my family and I spend more time having good, "old-fashioned" fun together or visiting the mall?" To me this goes back to the goal setting she has you do in the beginning. Does the way you spend your time and money line up with the goals that you are hoping to achieve? For many people the answer is no - because they either don't have clear goals or they don't even realize how they are sabotaging their goals by their behavior. Dollars & Sense will help you figure this out.
If you are looking for a book that covers all the basics of money management and will help you get control of your finances, Dollars & Sense is the book for you. This book is an easy read and is filled with good information for moms.