February 28, 2013

Pocket Your Dollars {a review}

Cover Art

"Oh, you sound just like your father!" My mom declared one afternoon as we spoke on the phone.

"Has he been talking about being bombarded with commercials and consumerism too?"

"Yes," she laughed. "Did you know I just read that only 55% of Americans have more money in savings than credit card debt?"

"Well, at least it is over half," I replied dryly. Though we both laughed, neither of us were really amused. It was a sad statistic.

Are you or someone you know part of the 45%? Are you someone who has borrowed more money than you have saved? {I'm pretty sure mortgage is excluded from that statistic.}

Then, perhaps Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes, by Carrie Rocha would be an informative and personal financial challenge to read.


The Book

A personal financial testimony begins the book. Rocha shares how both she and her husband, individually and as a couple, spent more money than they had. She also shares how they realized their predicament and its effects on their lives.

Following the personal experience, Rocha steps into five attitudes surrounding money. This is the first main part of the book. Each attitude is discussed in depth and with examples. There are also self quizzes to determine if the attitude is part of your money decisions.

Rocha exerts that changing these attitudes is the only way to get out of debt and stay out of debt. Therefore, the second section deals with changing these attitudes. Examples and solutions are presented.

The final, but smallest, section gives readers ideas for paying down debt and saving money. These are practical ways which include more than just clipping a coupon or waiting for a sale, though those are named.

My Thoughts

Personally, I needed the back story. I needed to know about how this couple started their financial journey, how they got into debt, and how they got out of it. Without the personal touch, I am not sure I could have read the book as easily. After all, when a person writes some ways to get out of debt, I need to know they were once there. It lends credibility, real life experience, and encouragement to the words.

The five attitudes were quite interesting. Some of the motives for spending money were commonplace. I see them all over society. "You deserve it" is an advertising go-to for commercials nowadays. It did not surprise me to see "I Deserve It" as one of the five attitudes. However, the "I Can't Afford It" attitude was surprising. I wasn't sure how not spending money and being restrictive could impact finances in negative ways. Also, I was surprised at the attitudes in my own heart toward money which were revealed when reading through this section.

The second section on changing the attitudes may just be the most beneficial section of the book. All the examples and solutions are filled with encouragement. Rocha seems to offer a hand up and out. It is not a commiserating I'm-right-there-with-you-let's-stay-here-and-be-victims kind of sympathy. No, it is more of an I've-been-there-and-let-me-show-you-it-is-possible-to-get-out kind of sympathy.

The final section does include helpful tips to get out of debt and save money. Though it is not the main purpose for the book, it is quite a handy reference section.

Bottom Line

Overall, the book was good. It clearly presents the attitudes and changes effectively. It was helpful to read. However, for me it lacked a Biblical perspective of stewardship. Let me be clear, this was not promised by the author nor the publisher. I just assumed that since the author stated in several places a personal belief in a higher being and attendance of church, she would eventually get to a Biblical stance on finances. This did not happen. For me, it is the one thing lacking in this book. And, for this reason alone, I have struggled with whether to recommend this book or not.

~ Dorie

Fine Print: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

1 comment:

  1. This does sound like a good book, overall.

    I checked who the publisher was, bc I was thinking if it is not a Christian publisher, I can understand that the biblical stewardship might be left out.

    However, I fault Bethany House as much as the author for neglecting this important part of how we might pocket our dollars. They are a Christian publisher, and should not neglect it.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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