Gerlsbeck: What I'm reading... - MoneySense

Gerlsbeck: What I’m reading…

A bunch of new personal finance books are just coming out. Here’s one I actually like


One of the perks of being a writer at MoneySense is I get review copies of all the new personal finance books hitting the market. Did I say perk? Okay, what I really meant is I get to spend my evenings plowing through tomb after tomb of get-rich-quick books.

I’m usually sent a book a week in the mail, but lately I’ve been inundated and I’m starting to fall behind. I’ll recommend a few of the books I like next week, but for now I’ll mention the first one that caught my eye: Earn, Spend, Save: The Savvy Guide to a Richer, Smarter, Debt-free Life (Wiley). The book is from Chatelaine and written by the magazine’s financial columnist, Kira Vermond. Naturally, it’s aimed at women.

Normally, I’m suspicious of personal finance books for women. The principles of saving and investing are no different for men than women. So why buy a female-focused book when there are plenty of classics already out there? (The Wealthy Barber, The Millionaire Next Door and The Four Pillars of Investing, to name a couple.)

Plus, I’ve not been impressed with a lot of these books so far. They seem to approach the topic of money as if the readers were in an episode of Sex in the City. (“Hellooo! Do you really need another Prada purse. Those RRSPs aren’t going to take care of themselves, sister.”)

Earn, Spend, Save is a vast improvement on what’s already out there. The advice is easy to digest but doesn’t sacrifice solid information for style. This book seems to be targeted to younger women just starting to build their careers. In that respect, it provides a nice overview of investing, debt, credit scores, taxes, RRSPs and mortgages. Reading it won’t steer you on a path to riches, but it will provide a solid foundation of personal finance know-how.

Now, back to all those other books I have to read. Stay tuned…