Some personal finance advice is timeless, but there are always new things to learn in our ever-changing world.
Because now there’s an app for that.
Effie Zahos’ new book: Ditch the Debt and Get Rich is a combination of both the timeless and the up-to-date. Having an emergency fund is timeless advice. Paying with AfterPay or investing in EFTs using micro-investing apps is very today.
The book is personable, approachable and easy to read. Each chapter ends with an action plan (I love me a good action plan!), making it easier to actually take action. Because how many of us (myself included) read a book, think it’s great but then don’t take action?!
What I most like about this book are the examples – you can’t beat some solid maths when making financial decisions.
For example, in the chapter on debt, there is a table that compares the five major debt reduction strategies: snowball, avalanche, balance transfer, rolling all debts into a personal loan, and topping up a home loan to eliminate ‘bad’ debt.
The results were surprising. It shows you should always run calculations for yourself (or get help from a professional financial advisor or the free National Debt Helpline) to work out the best strategies for your circumstances.
On the other hand, this book is meant to be accessible and doesn’t go deep into topics. If you’re looking for more detailed information on specific topics, then it might not be the book for you.
About the Author
You’ve probably seen Effie Zahos on the telly.
She is a regular money expert on the Channel 9’s Today Show as well as on radio. Effie was also the editor of Money Magazine up until 2019 and is now Editor-at-Large at Canstar.
With more than two decades of experience helping Aussies make the most of their money, Effie is one of Australia’s leading personal finance commentators.
If you’re interested in her other writing, she also wrote the book A Real Girl’s Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutins and The Great $20 Adventure, which is a kid’s picture book.
Who is this Book For?
People who would get the most from this book are younger Australians new to managing their finances or those who have been ignoring their finances but would like to get on top of their money.
If you need help with budgeting, getting out of debt, saving for various life-stage goals, or investing, this book will be helpful.
On the other hand, if you’ve already got your financial ducks in a row, then you probably won’t get a lot out of this book.
What’s in the Book
This book covers five aspects of personal finance: money mindset, debt elimination, saving, investing, and frequently asked questions. As it’s an Australian book, it covers things specific to Aussies like super and HECS/HELP. There are many personal finance books out there, but you don’t need to skip whole chapters on irrelevant information with this one.
Part 1 – Master Your Money Mindset
Behavioural economics has some super-useful insights into spending psychology to help us everyday consumers be better with our money. This book makes those insights relatable and easy to understand. Knowing your money personality can help you make better financial decisions. So too does being aware of our financial fears and the marketing tricks that can manipulate us into spending money.
Part 2 – Deal With Debt
This section covers good personal finance foundations: creating a budget, eliminating debt, and building an emergency fund.
Part 3 – Saving For Life Goals
Part three includes tips for financing cars and holidays, saving for your first house, and paying for renovations.
Besides savings tips, it covers information like the pros and cons of different ways to finance your car purchase, expenses to consider when saving for a home beside the deposit, and overcapitalizing on renovations.
Part 4 – A Few Tips to Get Started Investing
Can you invest with $100 a week?
According to chapter 11, the answer is yes.
(With micro-investing apps, you can invest with even less than $100.)
This section covers micro-investing, picking shares, EFTs, investing in property, retirement planning, and how to get sound financial advice. These topics could be covered in whole volumes, so what you’re getting from this book is an overview of things to consider.
Part 5 – Frequently Asked Questions
We all have burning financial questions that we’re not quite sure about. This section answers some of those questions to help you make better financial decisions based on your own individual circumstances.
And if you’re still unsure, Chapter 17 of the previous section helps you find where to get good advice.
Where to Get Your Copy
This is a book about better money management, so of course, the best place to get this book is at your local library and read it for free.
But if you would prefer to purchase your own copy as a reference then check out your local bookstore or these online sellers:
Melissa Goodwin has been writing about frugal living for 10+ year but has been saving her pennies since she first got pocket money. Prior to writing about frugal living, Melissa worked as an accountant. As well as a diploma of accounting, Melissa has an honours degree in humanities including writing and research and she studied to be a teacher and loves sharing the things that she has learned and helping others to achieve their goals. She has been preparing all her life to write about frugal living skills.