48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
I am a CPA who works principally with the self-employed. I just finished reading "The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: the only personal finance system for people with not-so-regular jobs." I recommend it for anyone who feels their finances are mysterious or out of control or who suffers from a variable cash flow.
It's a nice little book, compactly throwing in nearly every lesson I would want my clients to have as a foundation. It talks about fixed monthly expenditures and how to get more aware of the monthly discretionary expenditures. It talks about the need to address savings AND debt repayment at the same time while keeping in mind that quarterlies are a fact of life. It talks about basic tried and true budgeting methods like using the envelope method but updates it to the 21st century with references to Get Rich Slowly, mvelopes.com, mint.com, irs.gov and online banks.
The strength of this book is that there is no hook. It's just the plain unvarnished truth laid out in a well-written readable fashion. You have to set up your finances as a self-employed person in essentially this way, with very little variation possible. Essentially, if you are not already doing this then you're doing it wrong. This book could serve as mandatory financial literacy for anyone who has a variable cash flow. As such, it could be enormously important to someone who hasn't figured this all out yet... like, say, anyone in business who doesn't happen to already be a financial advisor themselves.
I could find a few things to add to this, but nothing to take away. And the things I could add are things that a reasonable editor might cut for brevity or to keep me from sounding too insane a Doomster. But that's okay, this means that I can still add value to my clients even AFTER they've read the core of my teachings that this book neatly lays out.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2010
Whether you're living off an unemployment check, disability or found household items auctioned off on E-bay this book is for anyone trying survive in the hard times of today's economy. The authors point out the little known fact that everyone on the planet is working for ourselves, our families and our futures. How we spend and how we save IS within our control.
Even if you are drowning in debt or simply trying to eat less in order to afford health insurance this book, written from the perspective of two freelance writers and authors who for years have practiced what they preach, offers hope. Hope that we can make ends meet even when clients are late paying us, we can survive on part time or permalancing(contract-based) income. I like that the authors let our checking account be referred to as our Spending account and all we need to commit to saving is a mere 10 % (divided three ways to an emergency account, retirement and a cushion for when the tax man comes calling.)The authors also help us to draw the line between our wants vs. needs and encourage us to put our goals and dreams into action even while we are still paying off our credit card debts.
With useful tips sprinkled throughout and detailed charts and lists this book is resourceful and encouraging to anyone wondering if they can do what they love, make a comfortable living and still plan for their future. I highly recommend this book!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2010
Let me first say that while I am an author, I do not know the authors of The Money Book personally. So, this is not a "friendship" recommendation. I write this review because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book and I encourage all freelancers, self-employed people and people who are even thinking about starting their own business to buy The Money Book and take action on its contents!
How I wish this book had been available when I started my own business 11 years ago! Mr. D'Agnese and Ms. Kiernan lay out a step by step plan to keep the entrepreneur fiscally fit. While most financial books are written for the person with a regular paycheck, this book gives those of us with irregular incomes a plan of action for saving money, getting and staying out of debt,realizing dreams, and keeping our businesses (and lives) financially sound.
Anyone who is in business for themselves long enough knows that the joy of being your own boss also comes with the burden of being completely responsible for generating the paycheck. When the cash is flowing - life is great! When it's not (and there are always times when it's not) life is terrifying, stressful, and not at all what you dreamed being self employed would be like. The beauty of the plan in this book is that it works with your cash flow! If you put it to work right now, you'll be ready for those lean times because you'll have the money to get through them. I've learned it's not how much money you make - it's how much you keep. The Money Book shows you the best way to start keeping more of your money. And...It's chock full of financial resources you may have never heard of that can help you grow the money you do make!
If I had read this book 11 years ago I might have saved myself a lot of heartache and sleepless nights. How grateful I am to have found it now! It's an easy, fun read - I devoured it in 2 days! In the next two days I took immediate action and am already in a better financial position than I was before I read the book!
I can't recommend The Money Book enough. If you are a self-employed person - or a person who is thinking about going into business for yourself - buying this book may be the best money you ever spent!
Author of The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red Carpet Customer Service
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2011
I really like books that give you advice in a step-by-step format. This book is essentially a step-by-step guide on how to get your financial situation in check if you are freelancing. It offered some advice that might seem "duh" to some people, but can often times go unconsidered unless you're really thinking about it. They address all possibilities and options, as well as offer links to resources to help you further your financial stability.
The book is in a very conversational and easy to understand format, not full of jargon and eye-glazing financial terms that other self-help books use, making this perfect for folks like me who want to better their situation without spending a lot of time on it.
Being freelancers themselves, the authors understand how mind-numbing a lot of these subjects can be, but offer simple solutions that are easy to begin TODAY so you can be on your path to financial stability with an unstable paycheck, no waiting. You can start the process as you read the book and develop better habits without radical life changes.
Would recommend for anyone in the freelancing world, from novices to pros who might just need a few reminders of how to manage their time and money for a better future.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2010
I found this book a couple of weeks ago in the "new" section at my library, and I've just added it to my amazon wish list for future purchase, as I feel it will become a constant companion for a while. Nearly 12 years as a self-employed person and former accountant in career days, it's not that I don't understand all the concepts written here individually, but putting all that knowledge together with a plan for the variable income has been my problem.
The authors caught my attention right away in the introduction, and, though I haven't finished reading the book yet but am trying to organize my items as I go along with it -- you know, as business owners, time is money, and I try to do things only once and finish a whole job -- I have been thrilled with the style of writing, the direct comments, the grace provided for poor financial planning, the reminders not to judge but to just face things and get on with it, etc., etc., etc.!
I'm looking forward to creating a savvy, smart plan for myself, getting out of debt, and building my savings so I can allow myself choices and stop losing time striving and worrying everyday about my next account. I know that if I can stay calm and follow a plan and not be sidetracked by money worries, I will be far more productive each day and thus (praying hard for this one) far more financially secure.
Thanks Joseph and Denise for putting your story and a practical and personal understanding of what we variable income earners go through in The Money Book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
This book should be required reading for the self-employed. I have run my own private practice for four years, and although I was doing it right in many respects, I still found myself struggling with the unpredictable fluctuations of income. Quarterly taxes have been stressful and I wasn't saving enough for retirement. The Money Book outlines a simple and effective system that has decreased my financial stress and helped me get on top of my financial goals and obligations. Prior to reading this book, my system has been to use Quickbooks to keep track of income and expenses, and to keep separate bank accounts for business and personal use. All income goes into the business account, from which I pay business expenses, and the money I transfer to my personal account is my "income" -- not the worst system in the world, it was actually suggested to me by my accountant, and it still forms the basis of my system. But, improvements based on The Money Book have brought everything into focus. It all seems so obvious now... WHY haven't I been doing this all along? I suppose it's because I'm a health care professional and not a financial expert. I am deeply grateful to Joseph and Denise for writing this book. Oh, and their writing style is engaging and supportive, so if you think that a book on money is going to be dry and depressing, think again! I very highly recommend this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2010
If you're a freelancer, solo professional or someone who works multiple gigs for a living, trying to manage your finances like a traditional worker will only cause you heartache. Most of it just doesn't work when your income is variable and you have to pay Uncle Sam directly, take care of your own healthcare and fund your own retirement. But the problem is, there's very little good advice out there for those of us who aren't traditional employees. And the bit advice that does exist is either complex or impractical (or both!).
The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed is the book ALL independent workers need to survive and thrive financially in what is clearly becoming a freelance-powered economy. The system that D'Agnese and Kiernan have put together is brilliant. It's simple and easy to implement, regardless of your current financial knowledge. Best of all, it works! I've already implemented a few of their ideas and am getting great results. And, get this -- you'll actually have fun reading it. In fact, I think this is the first personal finance book that has made me laugh! The authors' voices and personalities really come through, and they keep you engaged and entertained all the way to the end. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
Co-author of The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2010
A little over two years ago, I quit my day job and started writing full time. I went from having a retirement plan and benefits and a regular paycheck to none of those things, unless I provided them for myself. Now I get paid two or three times a year, if I'm lucky, and it's hard to correctly budget for that. I wish I would have had this book in the beginning. I plan on applying the ideas I learned from it immediately.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
As a full-time freelancer for many years, I've been consistently frustrated by books, TV shows, radio programs, financial counselors, bankers, etc., all doling out fiscal advice based on the erroneous assumption that everyone's income is inecessarily based on receiving a salary--a reliable annual sum which is doled out to them in identical weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly increments, with taxes having already been taken out; and that everyone ALSO necessarily has a health insurance plan provided by their employer, AND a retirement account to which their employer contributes. And so on. Even when talking one on one with bankers or fiscal counselors, repeatedly TELLING them that I'm a full-time freelancer, my earning conditions are wholly different from that, and NONE of their assumptions apply to me... they're always unable to pull themselves out of that paradigm. Instead, it's always a version of, "Well, since you're a freelancer, I guess you'll just have to work out how to adapt my assumptions to your reality and proceed from there."
So finding this book was a great relief to me, since it's just about the only fiscal advice I've ever come across that's based on UNDERSTANDING that I get paid very irregularly and unpredictably, that I can go months without receiving a penny of income, that the size of my payments varies from low two-figures to mid-five-figures, that I DON'T KNOW in April or June what my annual income will be (because it will depend on what work I get in the remaining 6-8 months of the year, as well as whether I am paid on time--my payments often arrive 2-4-6 months after they were due; and occasionally, payment is defaulted altogether). It's also based on giving specific advice about HOW to set money aside for taxes (which no one does FOR me, thanks), rather than just saying, "Oh, but if you're self-employed, then do that yourself somehow." The book is also specific and practical about advice for retirement, emergency fund, funding the business, etc., which is, again, usually just annoyingly vague and laughably impractical for the freelancer in other financial-advice resources.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2013
As a few other reviewers have noted, this book operates heavily on the assumption that you are a low-earner saddled with debt - and believe me, I've been there, and likely will be again at some point in my life. Right now, though, I'm freelancing successfully, have finally gotten past the ridiculous debt I accrued in my teens and twenties, and am transitioning from the corporate world into the world of self employment.
I was hoping for an advanced level book - one that really helps you make REAL calculations around tax liabilities, how to evaluate insurance plans, etc. The best advice this book offers is to consult a professional CPA, financial adviser, and attorney. I agree with that advice, I was just hoping to learn a few more helpful tactics from other successful freelancers along the way. Instead, I ended up with very generic and overly simplistic advice (save 10% of every check, or 20 or 30% if you can).
My biggest fear is that too many people will listen to this advice, and assume that 10% is going to cover their tax liabilities. The book did nothing to break down the realities of self employment taxes, or address some of the critical ways you can reduce your liabilities.
If you're new to responsible management of your own finances, this book may be a good start, though there are TONS of great books on that topic and I'm not sure I would start with this one. If you are looking for a heavyweight book on managing finances as a freelancer, I'm sorry, but this one isn't it.