Over the past week, I’ve been reading a new book, SHOO, Jimmy Choo! by Catey Hill. The publishers of this book were kind enough to send me not one, but three copies, so read through and find out how you can get your hands on one of these books.
SHOO, Jimmy Choo! The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less and Saving More is a new personal finance book by Catey Hill, who is described as a recovering shoe addict and also the Money Editor of NYDailyNews.com. I have to admit, when I first saw the title, I wasn’t expecting much for me in this book. After all, I’m not a big fashion person. I can’t imagine spending that kind of money on shoes. But once I started reading, I realized just how wrong I was. This isn’t just for people overspending on shoes and clothes. This is a book for everyone trying to learn more about finances.
Let’s be honest – we all have our “Jimmy Choos.” By that, I mean that item or service that we continually spend money on when we really shouldn’t. Maybe you live in a posh apartment or love to splurge on restaurants and expensive groceries, maybe you’re an electronics person or you are always buying books or something else.
But this book goes beyond just controlling your spending and increasing savings. It’s really a great overview from learning how to make ends meet to planning for a great retirement.
The book is divided into four parts, but I would say that it can also be divided into two halves: taking control of your finances and then learning to make the most of your money for the future. The four parts are: Style, Diet, and Fitness… For Your Finances, (Spending) Style, (Debt) Diet, and (Financial) Fitness.
The first thing in my book that caught my eye was the idea of Spending Triggers. Why do you spend? It definitely made me think. I’m definitely a Spender by Category – I’m great about certain budget categories, but other things I just spend and spend without thinking. I never thought about it that way.
One thing I really liked about this book is that Ms. Hill doesn’t just assume that because you’re reading the book, you have loads and loads of credit card debt. She acknowledges people who don’t have debt (or debt other than education and mortgage debt). Just because you pay all your bills at the end of the month doesn’t mean that you’re not in need of a financial makeover. You can pay all those bills but not be saving a penny.
The section on credit cards is very interesting. Not only does Ms. Hill go over the various types of credit card accounts, but she offers some great suggestions for controlling your cards and making them work for you. Now that’s what I like to hear.
The last section of the book is about what to do once you have managed to get your finances under control. You have all this new found money. Now what do you do with it? Ms. Hill covers finding a great job, retirement, savings, taxes, homebuying, and my favorites, insurance and relationships. So many books don’t cover the importance of insurance – both insurance on your stuff and insurance on your person. If you don’t read anything else, read this section. In the relationship section, there is a discussion on paying for a wedding, how to afford a baby, and the ever popular prenuptial agreement discussion. It’s certainly not romantic, but it’s something that should be considered.
I came to a big realization when reading this book. One section discussed whether or not you are ready to buy a home. As I have mentioned, I have been considering buying a condo. Financially, I think I’m ready, but after reading this section, I am starting to rethink. Just because I can afford it doesn’t mean I should. After all, I’m decidedly unhappy in my current job. Instead of locking myself into a home, I should continue to rent while I figure out where I want to work and what I want to do. If I’m stuck with set mortgage payments, I have less room to play with salary. Of course, I want the best salary possible, but I also want a great job I enjoy. So after reading this, maybe I will just get a roommate and see what happens next year.
Over all, I really enjoyed reading this book. Don’t let the title fool you. Sure, it’s great for people who have a fashion splurge gene, but it’s also great for the rest of us too.
And now that you’ve read all of that, you’re wondering, “Hey Megan! Where can I get my hands on this book?” Want your own copy of SHOO, Jimmy Choo!? Well, conveniently, I have three copies to giveaway. And winning is easy! Just leave a comment here and you’re entered to win. If you have a blog and post a link to this site, that’s a second entry. Tweet about the contest? Third entry! For the latter two, send me an e-mail (megan AT countingmypennies.com) with a link to your tweet and/or blog post. The deadline for entries is Monday, February 1, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. Winners will be notified Tuesday evening. And though you can enter three times, each person can only win one copy of the book, in case that wasn’t clear. Gotta spread the love, after all!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.