Save Money, Ditch Debt, Build Wealth [Book Review]
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When you’ve been reading about personal finance for more than a decade, you might think there isn’t much new you can learn.
But I always enjoy reading new perspectives and seeing what I can share with Women Who Money readers.
This review of Bola Sokunbi’s book, Clever Girl Finance- ditch debt, save money, and build real wealth is by Vicki, co-founder of Women Who Money.
You may have already heard about Clever Girl Finance. Bola has one of the top personal finance websites for women and a fantastic community of followers.
In June of 2019, she released a new 200-page book “to educate and empower a new generation of women on their journey to financial freedom.”
And that certainly aligns with our mission here at Women Who Money!
More About Bola Sokunbi
Bola is the youngest (and only girl) of four children. Her father was the breadwinner, and her mom was a stay-at-home mom.
As time went on, Bola’s mother realized she was not as involved in the family finances as she wanted to be; so she took action and made some amazing changes.
Bola’s mother had a significant impact on her life and decision to become financially independent.
Clever Girl Finance was Bola’s way to create a platform to help women get a financial education that made sense.
She wants women to live life on their own terms and make informed financial decisions for their current and future selves.
Bola is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), financial expert, author, and social media influencer.
The Clever Girl Finance Book
Bola understands that women need support and encouragement as they work to take control of their finances. Alongside her successes, Bola openly shares mistakes she’s made with money.
Getting women to talk openly about money and their challenges with it is the beginning of helping them make significant changes to their financial wellness.
In the introduction, Bola explains that her book is a step-by-step guide on how to get peace of mind about your finances.
She aims to meet women “where they are” and move them forward in their financial journey. She also discusses why women need a safe place to learn and talk about money.
Bola states that the book isn’t any kind of “get rich quick” scheme. She shares that initially, this is hard work and requires taking action.
Bola encourages readers to the root of their “money story” and understand how it affects their finances.
The book is then broken up into three parts, each with a few chapters. The chapters are full of great information, inspiring stories from other women, and action steps to make changes.
Part 1 – The Start
In the first part of the book, Bola explains the importance of knowing your “what” and your “why.”
She helps women recognize they can learn from their money mistakes and move forward. She wants women to dream big and shift their mindsets to take control of their finances.
Then, Bola explains how to get organized for financial success. She helps you figure out what records to keep, how to track your spending, and why you need to identify bad money habits.
Bola shows women how to set goals and focus their spending based on their values.
Part 2 – The Plan
I loved that Bola used the word “plan” instead of budget. While she says to use whatever word motivates you to stay on track – a “plan” seems more personal to me.
Bola also uses quotes and sayings throughout the book, including the one we’ve all heard – “failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Whether you plan or budget, Bola explains basic styles and why they work for different people. She even goes into planning with a varying income and with a partner.
Bola explains (with charts) the debt snowball vs. debt avalanche method of paying down debt. She also introduces readers to investing and the power of compound interest.
Part 3 – The Necessary
In the last part of the book, Bola digs into the “necessary” topics that will affect your ability to build wealth and stay financially healthy. She busts myths about credit and explains why your credit score is so crucial to your finances.
Protecting yourself with the proper amount of insurance, keeping your personal information safe, and recession-proofing your finances is Bola’s focus in Chapter 7 of the book.
Bola helps readers figure out where their money should go (building emergency funds vs. paying down debt) so they are better prepared in case something terrible happens.
Bola doesn’t just want you saving money; she also wants you to make more money. She explains the importance of learning skills to negotiate higher salaries without getting emotionally involved.
Leveraging your skills and starting side hustles to diversify income streams is another of Bola's suggestions. She reminds readers that these things can be a game-changer when it comes to boosting your bottom line.
She wraps up Clever Girl Finance with the key financial actions you need to take to keep all the plans you’ve made intact.
It’s a great reference to keep coming back to if you need to protect yourself, your partner, your children, or your aging parents.
This book provides plenty of information to help you build your financial house.
Where to Find Bola Sokunbi
You can learn more about Bola and check out all of the resources and programs she offers on her website, Clever Girl Finance. You can also follow her on Twitter and join her thriving Facebook and Instagram communities.
More personal finance book reviews here.