The book, Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grownup: The Best Money Advice You Never Got is a clear and engaging basic guide to managing your finances. The book is written by Sam Beckbessinger.
During the book’s opening, Beckbessinger explains why she wrote the book. She said that she never got an instruction manual about how money works. This leaves one feeling disempowered and scared. “No wonder so many of us just decide to stick our heads in the damn sand and just never deal with it. I wrote this book, because so many of the people I spoke to told me that they wished someone would,” said Beckbessinger.
The book is designed as a reference, so you can skip straight to the things that matter to you right now. Beckbessinger maintains her quirky sense of humour and doesn’t use a lot of financial jargon that leaves you confused.
Here’s what I’ve learned from reading the book: Don’t be old and poor. It’s the best money advice I never got.
I’m 26-years-old but no one has ever had a conversation with me about a retirement fund. Not family members or friends. I learned the importance of it reading this book. Saving for retirement simply isn’t seen as a priority by many people of colour because their children are their retirement fund.
As many as 50% of South Africans don’t have a retirement plan — and low-income earners can’t afford one. Data in the Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor 2016 reported that those who do save consider putting money aside for funerals to be more important than saving for retirement. The reason for this is probably that funerals often constitute a financial emergency in South Africa.
Financial literacy is key when planning for retirement. Beckbessinger said: “From the time you get your first paycheque, you need to be saving for your retirement. If your company matched your retirement contributions, max that out before you save for anything else. If your company doesn’t offer a pension, go open a low-fee retirement annuity. If this is the only thing you do after reading this book, I’m happy.”
Covid-19 put immense pressure on our personal finances. Retrenchments, salary cuts and a shrinking economy are some of the woes brought on by it. Managing your money like a f*cking grown-up in the time of Covid-19 is crucial.
Watch: How to survive the coronavirus lockdown (financially) – Q&A with Sam Beckbessinger
Beckbessinger said it’s important to calculate the difference between your income and expenses and tracking how much savings or emergency money you have. Then saving one month’s worth of expenses even before you start tackling your high-interest debt.
When paying off debt, she suggests starting with the smaller amounts you owe and working your way up if you have multiple debts to pay off. The next step is to save your emergency fund for three months’worth of expenses. This is if you have a regular income and don’t have a home loan. It goes to six months if you have an irregular income.