By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal finance isn’t a laugh-a-minute topic, it’s just not. Therefore, personal finance books tend to be dry — there’s only so many ways to spice up important but mundane topics like how to budget, save, invest, etc. So it’s always a welcome change to see a personal finance book that tries to put the “fun in funds” with a little different approach. Here in early 2018 that book is The Financial Diet, which offers a unique mix of personal finance topics, laid-back writing, and, especially, a fun visual approach rarely seen in money books.
Chelsea Fagan (the writer) and Lauren Ver Hage (the designer) are collaborators on this book as well as on the blog/website that spawned it, also called The Financial Diet. Fagan openly admits to being a money mess in her early adulthood, and writes accordingly, meaning she offers sage advice while acknowledging the consequences she faced when not taking that advice in the past. Her goal is to make you feel comfortable, even if you feel like a complete beginner. The message: You can’t be any worse than I was.
The basic personal finance topics you’d expect are here: budgeting, investing, career advice, etc. However, the book also goes into less-common territory for the genre, including food (budgeting as well as actual recipes), caring for your home or apartment, and the dicey combination of money and relationships. A number of outside financial expert voices (plus Fagan’s mom) are added to the mix to liven up each section.
In many ways, The Financial Diet is more like a handbook for living on your own for the first time, telling you what you’ll need, how to afford it, and how to plan for the future once your foundation is set.
I will give one final shout out to Lauren Ver Hage for the book’s design, because it’s the design as much as anything else that will keep you reading. One of the challenges in a book like this is that it can become a laundry list of advice that makes your eyes glaze over. The various design elements here look great while also chunking up the content in a way that makes it easier to digest.
If you are in your 20s/early 30s and still figuring things out financially (or otherwise), The Financial Diet is a must-read on your journey.