In the last ten years, I’ve read a lot of personal finance content. Whether it’s in books, magazine articles, or just chatting with friends, I’ve come into contact with a lot of good, and bad, personal finance advice. One thing stands out, the vast majority of the advice focuses on tactics. It focuses it on what you should be doing, rather than how you should be thinking. The strategy seems to be “fake it until you make it,” that is, do the right things until they become habit.
Farnoosh Torabi takes a slightly different approach, as you can guess based on the title, and advocates changing your mindset first and letting these behavioral changes direct you in the right direction. The book helps you develop those good habits by starting with your mindset, rather than starting with the habits and hoping they change your mindset.
The book is separated into three parts – Draft Your Financial Blueprint, Psych It Up, and Raise the Bar. Draft Your Financial Blueprint covers the traits of the wealthy and helps the reader define what they want. Psych It Up builds on that blueprint and helps you remove all the extraneous stuff that is getting in the way. The final part, Raise the Bar, helps the reader expand their horizons and go beyond the basics of personal finance. There’s a lot more to each part than what I just wrote but that should give you a good taste of what’s inside the book.
The value in this book is in whether you can change your mindset after reading it. One big theme runs through the book – you are in control. You have to decide what you want, you have to draw a map on how to get there, you have to accept that you only have what you have, and you need to go out and complete your goals. It’s a very proactive and empowering message that really drives home the point that your mindset is crucial. I think it’s refreshing, especially after all these months of hearing about how the recession did this or the financial crisis did that.
If you’re looking for a book that teaches you how to build a budget, this isn’t your book. If you want to empower yourself and get a fresh perspective on both your life and your finances, give this one a look.