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Personal Finance Book Review – Money-Smart Kid

By: Gail Vaz-Oxlade (2005)

Published by Collins (An imprint of Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.)

2 Bloor Street East, 20th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4W1A8

ISBN 978-1-44341-229-2

Book Price: $6.99

Canada’s #1 personal finance expert

Gail Vaz-Oxlade is the #1 bestselling author of Debt-Free Forever, Never Too Late, and It’s Your Money. She hosts two television shows, Princess and Till Debt Do Us Part, and is a columnist for Chatelaine and MoneySense.ca. Her no-nonsense approach to finance has helped thousands to begin a new life of financial free living.

Financial confidence and control

With 5 informative chapters, Gail Vaz-Oxlade teaches children financial confidence and control. She covers, benefits of giving children an allowance (Ch. 1), the ages and stages of financial responsibility (Ch. 2), training kids to wisely use credit cards (Ch. 3), starting early in life with savings (Ch. 4), and wisdom for spending habits (Ch. 5).

Practical, instructional approach to financial education

With a personable tone, Gail Vaz-Oxlade also confronts with a practical and informative message. Her approach is framed by words such as, “… an allowance not only provides kids with the bucks they need to experiment with saving and spending, it also gives them the responsibility for keeping their money safe and using it wisely.”

Vaz-Oxlade challenges readers in order to help them train their children. In the case of financial responsibility she expresses, “If you want a responsible and independent young adult, keep your hand out of your pocket and let the consequences of your child’s behaviour teach some important lessons.” Experience can be a blunt reinforcing tool!

Gail’s primary approach is centered on practical application rather than mere information. She guides parents to “… show your kids that balancing today’s needs with tomorrow’s wants sometimes means you have to find ways to spend less money.” Her approach does not tend towards a message of lack rather, a message of restraint.

Gail displays her prominent method of communication, being instruction. A discussion about savings, reveals, “Tell him there are lots of things we have to plan before we can pay for them… setting aside a little money… ”

The prominence of instruction in Gail’s approach also contains informative clues. Sharing on debt she reveals, “Making the point that inconsistent repayment affects a person’s ability to borrow in the future.”

Children with financial competence

Gail Vaz-Oxlade teaches parents how to bring children up with financial wisdom and practical competence!

Success Step: List, in point form, a plan for practically educating your children (allowance, savings, giving, etc.).


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Foundation To Personal Finance Planning And Achieving Financial Freedom

Even as you are generating wealth you need to find ways of cushioning yourself from losing your acquired riches. Personal finance planning is therefore a crucial element of managing your finances. It is essential to start early when it comes to managing your finances rather than waiting until you have become a millionaire. It is through organizing and budgeting in advance that will easy your way towards achieving financial freedom.

* Keep a record of all your expenditures. Apart from this helping you manage your finances it may come in handy when you need to do an audit of your financial progress in the future.

* An integral element of personal finance planning is negotiation. You should learn tactics of negotiation and hence get the best deals. In addition, realize that you will not succeed in all kinds of negotiation, you also have to be ready to let go and settle whenever things are not going your way. Therefore, this means you need to have tact and know when to seal a deal.

* It is advisable to delegate duties especially when you become overwhelmed with things to do. But try as much as you can not to trust others to sign your personal checks. In case you have no option and have to delegate, make sure the person you choose has shown true elements of trust over a long period of time. All said and done you are the one who is entirely responsible for your personal finance planning and management.

* Nothing in life is perfect hence you should never but your eggs in one basket. Proper personal finance planning calls for you to have several streams of income. Also remember to back up your financial documents. This you can achieve by involving your personal lawyer and keeping a copy of the same documents in a safe deposit box with your bank.

Making Bank The Personal Finance Lessons They Never Taught Us in School

Making Bank: The Personal Finance Lessons They Never Taught Us in School, Claudio M. Ghipsmann, 2010, ISBN 9781934454398

This book attempts to distill a subject like personal-finance into small, easy to read pieces. The author speaks as someone who learned personal-finance the hard way.

The first thing a person should do is to purchase, or free download, some sort of money management software like QuickBooks. Get in the habit of entering all of your income, and all of your expenses. After that is done, you can start printing reports, like a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss, which will show you exactly where your money is going. Each month your expenses need to be less than your income. If that is not your situation, the sooner you start changing things, the better.

If you are thinking of getting into the investment world, have extra cash on hand, and pay off your credit cards first. Decide on your level of acceptable risk. Are you more interested in safe, conservative investments, or in high risk investments that could go through the roof, or crash and burn? There are, seemingly, 1 million places to invest, so research is needed ahead of time.

Paying off your credit cards, by itself, is a good way to put money in your pocket. Imagine a card with 20% interest, and you are carrying a $2000 balance. You are giving the credit card company $400 a year, for no reason. Pay off the card and that $400 will go in your pocket. Banks are getting rich on the everyday mistakes of their depositors. Use only your bank’s ATM, and you will save that one or two dollar fee each time. Sign up for online access to your bank account, and check it often. When your balance gets low, you can transfer money from another account, or just not use that account for the time being. It will save you from an overdraft fee, and a bad check fee, which can be substantial. Get familiar with your 1040 form, so you can intelligently talk to your tax preparer, or do it yourself and save some money. The author also looks at insurance, real estate, and how to take care of your credit score.

This book does a very good job in taking the reader through the basics of personal-finance. Money management skills are rarely taught in high school, so even if the reader takes away one or two concepts from this book it will be a big help. Yes, this one is worth reading.

Consumers Look for Lower Loan Rates

The average interest rates for loans will vary based on the market. Consumers want to find the lowest loan rates because this will allow them to pay less over the course of the loan. There are many different options for every consumer and every type of loan.

Every financial institution will have a different rate that they are going to be looking at. This is because they figure out their rates and try to match them to the average of all of the different banks. This is something that can change from day to day.

At the closing of a loan, the bank representatives are going to let their consumers know what the interest rate is going to be and possibly before closing. Some people do not think about this because they want their home, but it is important to think about the interest rate and what will be repaid.

The interest can also be based on a credit score. There are many possibilities that can affect this score. Paying bills, previous credit accounts and more are going to be things that are going to affect the score as well as many other things.

When someone chooses to get a loan, they are going to check out which loan is going to be best for them. The interest rates can vary based on the type of loan and the length of time that the consumer plans on taking for the repayment of it.
It is also important to take into consideration other fees that may be associated with the loans. There are closing costs, down payments and more. The amount of time before a person can get the money is also important to consider.

Some people need the money right away. These people are going to be paying more for their loan and may have less time to pay it back. The people that are not in a hurry to get a loan will have more options available to them and may also be able to borrow the money much cheaper than someone else.

There are many different things that will be taken into consideration. If someone does not have enough accounts to show that they are responsible borrowers, they are going to have a higher interest rate. Someone who has had accounts and not necessarily paid them on time will also have a higher interest rate.
Many of the loan rates that are advertised are based on a loan for someone that has a good history of borrowing money. This is something that is going to be very important. Even many of the household monthly bills can affect someone’s ability to borrow money.

A lot of people do not realize how the interest rates are figured. They will go by what the bank tells them that they owe. It is important to be able to figure this out though. It is important to make sure that the bank has figured everything correctly as well.

Borrowing money for a house will have a different interest rate and guidelines than someone who is borrowing money to purchase a vehicle. This is because of the values that each will have over time. Vehicles will usually decrease in value, but a home may increase in value over time.

Loan rates will vary based on many different factors. When someone is searching for the best interest rates, they are going to check with a lot of banks. Some people will do business with the same bank all of the time too. This will establish a good relationship and give them more borrowing options.