Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Review: The 60-Minute Money Workout

So moveover money "makeovers," it's time for the money workout. ~Ellie Kay in The 60-Minute Money Workout

While I find the information sound in The 60-Minute Money Workout: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Finances into Shape by Ellie Kay and I understood the intention of the "workout" concept, it felt regimented and less motivational in comparison to other books I have read on personal finances. However, I can also see how this book would be very beneficial for people who need a positive structure in approaching discussions about finances with a spouse.

I felt the author added confusion in some areas about how to use the book. For instance, in the second chapter: The 60-Minute (Split) Personality Workout it reads:

Now that we are ready to look at what this workout entails in detail. Please don't read ahead in this chapter, because you will spend part of your sixty minutes reading about the different personalities and another part of the timed work assigning a ranking to those personalities. You don't want to jump ahead of yourself because you'll lose some of the spontaneity that is essential in getting the kind of instinctive response that might be lost if you work ahead. Read the following carefully, and then go straight to the 'Workout Tip Sheet' at the end of the chapter, skipping over the money personality section, and you will find the workout much more genuine as a result.

I found myself thinking: Why not just put the Workout Tip Sheet before the money personality section? She also put the chapter on retirement and saving before the one on debt, yet advises do the debt repayment workout first. I think it would be less confusing to place the chapters in the order she suggests they should be done and just recommend those without debt to skip the chapter on debt repayment.

There were also Preworkout Tests in the chapters that help the reader evaluate his financial situation. Like most finance advising books this one covers debt, spending, retirement, savings, being thrifty, recreation, college, and starting a home based business--just like the author has done.

Ellie Kay's ideas on children's allowance lined up with my ideas on it very well. She believes "[t]he main objective in implementing an allowance is to teach our children about responsibility." She does not believe in tying allowances to chores because then a child would not do them unless paid, but if chores are done by another family member because they were left undone, the child would have to pay the one who did them and lose some of his allowance. I think that many of the bad financial decisions people make are because they did not learn how to manage money as children and the chapter on allowance, although brief, is a balanced approach in preparing them for financial responsibilities in adulthood.

Overall, the book is helpful for those coming to the table about managing finances for the first time in their lives and slanted towards those who are in military (understandable as the author's husband was a fighter pilot) and others who appreciate a regimented approach to manage finances.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.


  1. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for your thoughts and the review. Have a super weekend! :O)


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