I normally don’t review books targeted at women, for obvious reasons, but I chose to receive a copy of Emotional Currency , by Kate Levinson, because I think there are plenty of people, men and women, with unhealthy relationships with money (the subtitle of the book is “A woman’s guide to building a healthy relationship with money). A book like this, especially now after a sort of credit “shock” period, is especially important because it can help us develop healthier approaches to our financial futures.
Emotional Currency takes on the emotional aspects of money and how you should be integrating your emotions into your finances, so that you have more balance in your life. Instead of making decisions in a vacuum, she makes it OK to be emotional and shows how that is essential. This is a refreshing book because it’s not designed to teach you how to be rich or make you a better investor, it’s about helping you have a much better approach to your finances.
I think the real gem is Section 2 – Exploring your emotions around money. The first chapter talks about fear and confidence, which are the two emotions that I think have the biggest impact on your finances. Do you know people who hate getting bills in the mail because they don’t want to see them? They’re afraid of how much they owe on the credit card. They’re afraid about their paychecks or losing their job. The solution? Gain confidence by learning how to work through your problems and gain the confidence you need so you believe you can find the solution to something. How do you gain more confidence? Gain more knowledge. Attack the things you are most fearful of so you deal with them, rather than cower in fear.
Another great part of the book are the real life examples. Levinson holds Emotional Currency workshops and so she’s come into contact with a lot of people and experiences. She’s able to draw on those to help illustrate her points – which can make abstract concepts very real. That’s a plus.
While the subtitle may say it’s a woman’s guide, I think anyone with a very emotional approach towards their money will benefit from this book. Not everyone can separate emotions and finances (not that you should), but those that definitely cannot will benefit from the strategies and techniques from this book.