Book review: Your Best Friend’s Guide to Cash by Kara Gammell
We love a good personal finance book here at Penny Golightly, so I jumped at the chance to review Your Best Friend’s Guide to Cash: Eight things every woman needs to know about money by award-winning personal finance journalist, Kara Gammell.
The book is written in a pleasant conversational style and aimed mainly at women in their late twenties and thirties who are parents or planning a family. The ‘eight things’ in the title are essentially the eight sections in the book as far as I can tell. The chapters are as follows: home budgets and major bills; savvy spending; debt; saving; buying property; having a family and paying for it; work and money; planning for the future.
One of the most important things Kara stresses is the gender pay gap in the UK, which has actually worsened in recent years. That’s right, we’re going backwards, and if you thought we had something approaching equality then think again. This emphasises the importance of handling your money as sensibly as possible, and being prepared.
By far the largest chapter in this book is about having a family, and the related financial issues. This section does an excellent job of outlining things like maternity pay and benefits, buying things for babies in a thrifty way, ways to cut childcare costs, major financial decisions as a parent, making a will, saving for your kids etc.
There’s also a section at the end about pre-nups and divorce, maybe the chapter could have been called ‘relationships and having a family’. Anyway, it’s a good solid amount of information, and contains all the main organisations to contact for further advice so that you can take things forward easily.
The final chapter of the book is ‘scary stuff’ which covers pensions, retirement savings, and the shortfalls that many women will have, plus a section on investments. This is the sort of information that you could easily write a whole book about, so it’s more of a jumping-off point to get you thinking about the subject and taking it seriously.
To sum up: a useful, friendly book that’s mainly aimed at young mums and will get you to sit up and take notice about the importance of personal finance. I’d also like to thank the publisher for refreshingly not doing a pink cover with a handbag and a pair of high heels on it.
‘Your Best Friend’s Guide to Cash: Eight things every woman needs to know about money’ by Kara Gammell is available for Kindle at Amazon, priced £2.09.