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If you're someone who tries to read money books but finds your eyes glossing over and mind wandering before hitting page 10 I've got good news for you.
There's a recently released personal finance book on the market that, despite its playing with a ‘super serious' subtitle, can have you learning and laughing your way to better money management and bigger stacks of cash.
Stacked, Your Super Serious Guide to Modern Money Management is written by two financial experts and self-proclaimed money nerds, Emily Guy Birken and Joe Saul-Sehy.
Emily is the author of several personal finance books including The 5 Years Before You Retire and End Financial Stress Now (which we also reviewed).
Joe is a former financial advisor turned creator and cohost of the very popular Stacking Benjamins Podcast.
With this book, the Stacked authors deliver a sure-fire recipe for financial success, with a zesty side of wit.
The Stacked Philosophy of Money
Disclosure: While Emily and Joe are friends of ours from the personal finance space and I did receive a free book from Penguin Random House to review, the opinions expressed in this written review are honest and sincere.
Like a fancy meal but without the finely dressed waiters and fanfare, Stacked is presented in four parts, over 300+ pages of text and graphics.
As a whole, the book feeds your appetite for motivating financial tips like growing your income, getting out of debt, and saving more money each month.
It then jumps into heartier topics such as investing, insurance, taxes, and retirement planning without overstuffing you with excessive
The book also discusses how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that people often fall prey to.
In addition, Saul-Sehy shares interviews with money experts conducted on his personal finance podcast and tales from his time as a financial adviser.
A Taste of What You'll Find in Stacked
Each chapter starts with a “Tools You'll Need” section, but don't worry you won't have to buy, beg, borrow, or steal for any of them.
The authors relate real-life (and a few hypothetical) stories to present topics in an easy-to-understand manner, with plenty of jokes, metaphors, and gamification tactics to keep it light and avoid putting you to sleep.
Chapters end with a “So Why is This Important?” section, a financial expert interview, and a checklist of achievements for you to knock out.
Here are a few highlights from Stacked to whet your taste buds without spoiling your appetite for more.
Part 1 – Staking Your First Benjamin
In Part 1, the authors explain the importance of setting up a solid foundation for your future finances.
It makes up one-third of the book and contains five and a half chapters with fun titles such as:
- One Magical Idea to Rule Them All
- Budgeting Tetris
- Debt, or Driving a Moped Down a Dirt Road to Hell
- Credit, aka One for Me, Three for the Bank
This part of the book presents numerous takeaways and is a must-read for money management novices.
Those who aren't new to the money table shouldn't just skip this section though, especially anyone who is still unsure of the best way to budget, eliminate their credit card or other debt, and improve their credit.
Part 2 – Building a Stack of Benjamins + Part 3 – Holding On to Benjamins (Without Burying Them in the Backyard)
Parts 2 and 3 together make up another third of the book with chapters including:
- What to Expect When You're Investing
- Taking Action, or “Let's Actually Do Something Here!”
- The Condom Broke and Other Risk Management Horror Stories
- Insurance Bingo
Joe and Emily do a great job in Part 2 of explaining the basics of investing, what insurance you (probably) need, and how to decide how much coverage you should buy.
Chapter 7 on Taking Action is extremely helpful for anyone who struggles to make decisions.
It will help you understand opportunity cost, sunk cost, analysis paralysis, and, more importantly, how to overcome them.
Part 4 – Stacking Benjamins on Top of Your Other Benjamins: Buying Some Security and Comfort
The final third of the book is made up of Part 4 and a Conclusion.
Included in this section are chapters titled:
- Fighting Fear and Creating a Benjamin Stacking Mindset
- Inflation and Taxes: The Two Horsemen of the Investing Apocalypse
- How to Get Rich Quicker
- Hiring an Advisor Who Won't Bleed You Dry
And ending with a ‘So Why Is All of This Important?” conclusion.
The last third of the book dives into the mental money or emotional side things.
This will help you better understand your money script, emotions, and what investments will best suit your needs when.
Those newer to managing their money will enjoy devouring the whole book. Others who've already tackled the basics, may still enjoy Part 1 but find the savoriest topics in Parts 2 – 4.
Anyone looking to start building wealth could benefit from reading Stacked.
The book is ideal for beginners who want to take control of their finances, learn to budget their money effectively, and start saving and investing for the future.
It's also beneficial for those further along their financial journey who want to ensure they're managing and protecting their savings and investments while accruing stacks of benjamins in the best way possible.
Gold-star seekers will especially love it.
Beginners and more advanced readers will find the book informative, helpful, and motivating, with the occasional wackiness that at times felt a bit forced, while other times a bit PG-13ish (middle school humor meets dad jokes maybe?).
Still, due to some salty humor in Stacked, those with super-serious personalities might want to pass.