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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
This book simplifies the money map step-by-step. It first discusses the biblical views of finances to give a foundation. I read one chapter at a time. I've already finished step-one on the money map and have read the chapter on step-two. Instead of getting overwhelmed, this book allows you to focus on your curent step.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
I give this gift out at weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations - any occasion! I've read a lot of books about money and investing, but what I needed was a step by step guide. As of today, I am on Destination 3. I have $1000 in emergency fund, developed a spending plan, know where all my money is going, paid off all my credit cards, paid of my car, and am paying off my student loans. I didn't realize what a weight debt is on our shoulders until I started paying off my debt.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2007
If you are looking for advice on how to get out of debt, then you want to read this book.

The author uses solid Christian principles to explain how he, and others have moved from a debt laden lifestyle, to a debt free portfolio.

Howard breaks his program down into "destinations". The text is easy to read and does not require a financial understanding. He takes you through each step, and provides suggestions and resources to help you along the way.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
(¤Thank you for reading this review and your votes - either way!¤)
INTRO:
This book was included in the Family book-package purchased at a Weekend-To-Remember seminar by [...] and it was the only one dealing with finances (so I was very excited to sit down with my wife and read it together). Also, on the front cover, the book gets the endoresement of Rick Warren, author of 'The Purpose-Driven Life' ("The most effective method we've every used to train people to hadle money God's way.") - another plus. The dissapointment came throughout the 3 days spent reading & finishing 'Your Money Map' due to lack of credibility from the author, over-optimistic agenda, and mixed messages/themes regarding this "Proven 7-Step Guide to True Finacial Freedom."

AUTHOR:
Howard Dayton, is "CEO of Crown Financial Ministries" and host of the nationally syndicated radio program 'Money Matters.' He writes very clear and direct. His wife is named Bev. Both seem like genuine loving people, Christians that love the Lord, and folks that I would love to meet. I really wanted to love this book and give it 5 stars.

DOWNSIDES:
There were three claims that frustrated me and made me question the credibility of the author:
1) CLAIM #1 - the Subtitle states that this is "a PROVEN 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom." The author is very convinced that his 7-step plan will work ("God's way of handling money" used ubiquitously) YET he never states that himself, Bev, or Larry Burkett (Crown's co-founder) have reached all the 7 Destinations. On page 242, we learn about a couple who are "making progress" on the journey, but not a real-life example of one that has "achieved true financial freedom." Quite on contrary. The author introduces the story of the Michells (Matt and Jeniffer) in Chapter 1 (pg.17) with all the markings of a 'real' story and a 'real' couple that the Howard and Bev Dayton take under their wing to mentor and help through the first 6 Destinations. ONLY as late as Chapter 22 (the final chapter) is there a small footnote stating (on pg.252, footnote 1.) that "Matt and Jennifer Mitchell are a fictitious couple." I wondered then ... how many of the statements made (like "this is what we did", "God told us ...", "we needed to ...", or "we decided to ...") by Howard and Bev Dayton were also FICTITIOUS.

2) CLAIM #2 - On page 18 we read that "the Bible contains 2,350 verses on how to handle money and possesions. You might be surprised to learn that 15 percent of everything Jesus Christ said had to do with it" WITHOUT any single reference to an outside source for verification. While the Bible may contain 2,350 references to money or possesions, I highly DOUBT that all these verses had something to teach about HOW to handle money or possessions. This about it, just a mere mention of how much an item cost or labourer makes will be counted as a reference to money in the Bible! (really makes these statistics & numbers LESS significant).

3) CLAIM #3 - On page 40, (Chapter 4 - "Who's the Real Owner?") we read "When the Crusades were fought ... the Crusaders insisted that the mercenaries be baptized before fighting. As they were baptized, the soldiers would take their swords and hold them up out of the water to symbolize that Jesus Christ was not in control of their swords ..." (AGAIN, without references to outside sources). I checked with a friend who is also the head of the Theology department of the Univeristy of Copenhagen (who is a specialist in Church History - the Crusades era, and he had never heard of such a story/historical fact).

CONTENT + UPSIDES:
While my credibility in everything the author presented & wrote has been undermined by the 3 dubious claims shown above, as an lutheran and evangelical Christian, I believe that a lot of the principles presented are Godly and beneficial to any family. I think some of the verses quoted to support a financial strategy are a bit forced or taken out of context, but the JOURNEY to your Financial Freedom presented by the roadmap with the 7 Destinations on pages 34-35 looks very solid. The book does a great job on budgeting and demonstrating how important this initial step is. Also, kudos for the encouragement to start "Crown small group studies" (where families and couples can go together thru the study of this book), but the numerous references to the Crown Ministires online resources and 4 pages of pure advertisement for other Crown resources gave me the feeling of a over-pitched financial product.

While some of the ADVICE given in this book (on what percentage to save before making a major purchase, or what to purchase/set-aside first before another goal) may seem logical, MAKE SURE to always check with a financial adviser (with a valid CFP education credential) before making life-changing financial decisions. Howard Dayton does not claim to have any financial planning education or certifications.

MIXED MESSAGES/THEMES:
Chapter 21 ("Eternity is Forever") and chapter 22 ("Destination 7: True Fiancial Freedom") are purely dogmatic in their religious overtone. While these chapters and many of the quoted Scriptures will appeal to Christians, they also make the book less accessible and interesting to non-Christians. The message & theme of the book is focused on how to become financially independent BUT in the last 2 chapters the focus is shifted to spiritual groundedness, eternal assurance and personal salvation (almost feels like trying to 'shoot two birds with one book').

CONCLUSION:
I so much wish to give this book a 5 star rating, but due to the questionable "facts" presented in this book (see claims 1,2,3 above), the over-optimistic and cookie-cutter-formulas (without any recommendation by the author to consult with a certified financial planner), and the mixed themes/focuses on the book, I cannot give more than 3 stars.

Remember, "CAVEAT EMPTOR" ! (famous Latin phrase for "Let the buyer beware")
(¤Thank you for reading this review and your votes - either way!¤)
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
I've had this book for about two years now and have only read the first 55 pages. I bought the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey yesterday and I have finished the entire book. The money map is largely biblical based, which is fine and all, but my money problems go beyond the bible. The total money makeover is a book for real people with real problems written by a christan man. You can quote money verses in the bible all day, that is not going to help me get my finances under control. Keep in mind I am a 22 year old wife and mother of a toddler. This book may work for you, but it had not for me. This book DID inspire me to put 1k in my savings. But it stopped after that. The total money makeover has real facts and numbers, it is much more eye opening in MY PERSONAL opinion.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2007
My wife and I (married for 2 years) just read through this book.

It can be a little corny at times in the way the conversations take place, and it makes something as big as paying off credit card debt seem like a 2 week ordeal.

However, it does have a lot of good examples and is based on sound principals. I highly reccomend any engaged, single, or newlyweds look at this book as early as possible.
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on July 8, 2015
simple steps to clear up your finances
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2014
Great book very helpful. Bought it for my nephew and his new wife. Great information when you start life together.
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on July 7, 2015
Very good condition.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2013
I read Howard Dayton's earlier book, Your Money Counts twice. Very good book on finance, seeing from a biblical lens. Already have both audiobook and ebook version of Money Map, and listened to Money Map twice. One thing I like about Money Map is its practicality and Howard Dayton has a good voice and engaging narration approach. So I got many useful insights out of personal finance from him.

You can also read The 4 Laws of Financial Prosperity, which is also a great book, as well as Uncommon Cents (the Money Windows are highly practical tools).
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