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Money, Purpose, Joy: The Proven Path to Uncommon Financial Success Paperback – August 12, 2008
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From the Inside Flap
Money and things--the more we have, the more we want. Of course, we all know that "More" is a game that can't be won. No matter how much we get, it's never enough. But deep down inside, part of us clings to the hope that the next time will be different--with a little bit more we'll be happier. So we keep up the pursuit. Fortunately, there's a better way to manage our money and our lives: Turn toward home.
Just as the prodigal son wandered from home and squandered his inheritance, so have many of us wandered from the financial home God prepared for us. In this inspiring and instructive book, financial writer and speaker Matt Bell helps you redirect your use of money to meet your deepest longings--to turn toward the life God intends for you.
From the Back Cover
Just as the prodigal son wandered from home and squandered his inheritance, so have many of us wandered from the financial home God prepared for us. In this inspiring and instructive book, financial writer and speaker Matt Bell helps you redirect your use of money to meet your deepest longings—to turn toward the life God intends for you.
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I had gone through this book twice, once in a book study at my local church, when I was single and in debt, and another time recently in a small group setting with my (now) husband as we're trying to establish good financial habits. This book, both times, helped recapture my hopes and goals in terms of finances as it deals the honest and tough questions.
This book does have practical steps and charts that will help us get out of debt, understand our net worth, etc. But also and most importantly, it helps us understand what it means to not let money control us, but how to take control of money and be good stewards of the resources that we have. Whether we are people who tend of save or spend, in debt or have investments, young singles or retirees (and any in between), this book can help us purpose our finances to what would truly give us joy.
Matt Bell starts out the book telling his story about how he received a large sum of money as an inheritance when he was young and very quickly spent it all and ended up going into significant debt. Once he hit rock bottom he started to look for help and was able to find his way out of debt and through the process has now started to counsel people who are in similar circumstances about managing their money.
He goes on to share other similar stories through the book of people, some of whom were in significant debt, and others who were simply living beyond their means and working very hard just to keep up with their financial obligations. Sharing how people should focus more on starting at the beginning of who you are and what our true desires are and contrasting them with the pull of our consumer minded culture, Matt urges the reader to stop trying to try and always `keep up' with appearances as it is really taking away from our true joy and fulfillment in life.
Relationships, giving of ones self, and giving back the money that God has provided for us can help a person feel much more fulfilled in life and being able to be free from the constant stresses that money can bring is one of the ways to move closer to that kind of a life.
The book is structured in 4 different sections (1. Where we are, 2 Where we belong 3. How We'll get there 4. Hep for the Journey) with about 2-4 chapters in each section. At the end of each chapter you get a few summary points of what was covered in the chapter as well as a few key points of action that should be taken as a result of reading that chapter which I really found helpful. He also includes charts, graphs and helpful tools and website URL's to compliment the book and what he is trying to explain. There is also a study guide that is a companion to this book that I have not had a change to read yet, but after reading it, I am very interested in going through it with a small group.
I found this book to be very encouraging as well as challenging to change my way of thinking and working towards starting to change how I manage my money instead of letting it control me. There are many things that I will change in my habits right away because of this book and the useful advice that is given and I hope that there are also some long term changes that I cam make to my life so that I'm not constantly working, working, working and not having enough time for things that matter like my family, my friends and giving to things that really matter to me.
I would strongly recommend this book to any Christian or non-Christian whether they struggle with finances or not as it is very helpful to understand the concepts as well as the need for accountability as we are going through the journey together with others who are in similar circumstances.
Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received this book for free from Navpress for reviewing purposes. This post reflects my personal opinion and experience with the book which may differ from yours. No monetary compensation was provided for this post.
In "Money, Purpose, Joy", Bell offers a different challenge: to be builders, not consumers. Instead of fruitlessly throwing money after the latest craze, we should build into the relationships that matter most - starting with God. Bell writes that we need to flip our money usage from: Buy, Save, then Give - to Give, Save, then Buy. This allows us to invest/build into things of significance - these are the things that we should be stretching for.
Though there are a number of personal finance books to be found, this one stands apart. Read it and be challenged.
Part two of the book lets us think about where we really are financially and what really matters most. Do we want to spend time with our family or do we want to work all the time to make more money for our family. It is important for us to see what we really want from our money.
The next section of the book seemed really complicated. I knew what Bell was trying to tell us, but it was so complicated I wonder if someone who really needed this book would fully understand what he was trying to say.
In the last section of the book it became a little more clearer, although in my opinion there were too many steps. The budget guides seem to be very helpful for someone who is new to budgeting.
I am a Dave Ramsey fan, it seems Matt Bell is trying to copy Ramsey's financial plan only calling it by different names. Of course maybe this is the true secret to financial success and both men have come to their own conclusions.
I would reccommend this book to those who are needed to make a financial plan or who are in trouble with too much debt.