Sunday, January 29, 2012

Budgeting Smarts by Sandy Donovan (ARC)

Since I'll be living overseas for my university (for the first time in my life! The living independently I mean), I figured that it'll be good to brush up on financial knowledge such as budgeting. I may (currently) be spending the least in the family, but my book purchases are starting to add up, and I heard that the cost of living in Japan is much higher than Singapore.

Budgeting Smarts is aimed at the teenager (my demographic) and covers the topics on why we should budget, banking, spending wisely and a brief overview of credit and debit cards. The book is actually really easy to read, with interesting real-life stories and easy to understand explanations. They show you how it's so easy to spend all your allowance in an instant, and to prepare a simple but adequeat budget, and of course, how to identify needs and wants.

All this being said, the book is very elementart, an introduction into the world of budgeting if you will. It's probably because I studied budgeting a little, so I expect terms like "variance" to pop up now and then, and these are terms probably not found much in personal finance. Plus, a lot of the information can be gleaned if you regularly read the personal finance blogs (thank you Zite!) or any book that tries to teach you how to live on less money (like Chick Living: Frugal and Fabulous and Savvy Chic - although I haven't read Savvy Chic yet).

But since the books I mentioned aren't really read by teens, because, well, it's kind of awkward to have around. I think that to some extent, being money-smart isn't looked upon very well. I'm the kind that always thinks twice before making purchases (except, perhaps, for books), and almost never impulse purchase and all that means that my mom and sis call me "miserly", and joke about how much cash I have (It's not that much, because I keep everything in the bank).

Which is why, I would think that if you want to introduce a teen or someone slightly older or younger to the concept of money-management and get them to be responsible with their money, this is a pretty good book. The graphics/layout should appeal to them, and the language is simple to understand. The content? After they read this, they'll probably be wondering why they didn't think of it before.

Disclaimer: I got this book free from NetGalley. I was asked to write a review in exchange, but all opinions here are mine.

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