Changing The Conversation Book Review - A Book About The Emotional Aspects Of Money
(Household Management 101)
Changing The Conversation: Transformational Steps To Financial And Family Well-Being
I was recently given the chance to review the book Changing the Conversation: Transformational Steps to Financial and Family Well-Being, written by Gary Klaben.
I started reading the book thinking this was going to be another book on personal finance
, but dealing with it from a family angle. However, the book doesn't provide much personal finance and money management advice at all.
Instead, the book states it is really centered on the emotional aspects of money, and how we need to grapple with these issues before we can really actually deal with the money itself.
Once I got over the fact that the book was about something else than what I expected it was a quick and entertaining read, but without too much meat to sink my teeth into.
Mr. Klaben's point is that money should be used as a tool, but it is something we must control and not let it control us, because money is not what is most important. Instead, our family is much more important.
I think this is a good sentiment to remember. However, I think this sentiment is best for those who have more than enough money in their lives, not for those scraping by. For instance, while I was practicing law, it would be a book I would have recommended to some of my well off clients who were interested in passing money on to their kids, but who were ambivalent about how the money might effect their offspring.
This book was not written with everyone in mind. It is meant for those who will be able to pass on a good size inheritance to their children. If this isn't you, I'm not sure the book will provide much of real value for you.
That being said, there were a couple of gems in the book that I think everyone could use. The main one of these is a small section toward the beginning of the book where Mr. Klaben discusses teaching your kids how to responsibly deal with money. This is so important, from teaching them the value of money, planning for purchases, budgeting, the basics of debt, savings, and balancing a checkbook.
He even recommends several potential resources and books which discuss this topic in greater depth, but then doesn't continue on with this thread
like I would have liked.
The book also discusses some topics common to most personal development books
, such as discipline, developing good habits, and setting and achieving goals. All of this is helpful information, although it generally just skims the surface of the topics, and frankly I'm not sure exactly how it deals with the emotional aspects of money.
That is where I would have to say that Changing the Conversation
fell flat for me. It had some good ideas and points throughout the discussion, but those points were shotgunned throughout the book. I didn't feel a cohesive thread throughout about how each topic dealt with the emotional aspects of money.
There is so much that can be said about our society's conflicting beliefs and morals about money, such as the conflicting beliefs that money is the root of all evil and that we should use money as a tool to make the world a better place.
Another example of our society's schizophrenic view of money is the belief that money can't buy happiness, as opposed to the consumer culture which says to buy it, because you deserve it.
I really didn't find much discussion about this ambivalence about money and its uses, and I think that is a real shame. To me, to really deal with the emotional aspects of money some of this ambivalence should have been explored, to make sense of how money should be treated in our lives.
After all, as the book does say, life is all about money, and life is not about the money. That part, of course, is true.
Have any of you read this book? If so, I would love to hear your comments about it below.
In addition, if you have a recommendation or review of any personal finance books you think would be helpful to us household managers you can share your reviews of book on personal finance here
.A courtesy copy of this book was provided to me for review. However, the opinions expressed within this book review are my own, after a thoughtful and careful reading of the book, and were not influenced by anyone else.
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