How to Budget: A Guide for Beginners stands out for two primary reasons.
Firstly, it’s practical. It’s not about spread-sheeting, although that is one of many tips. Where most budgeting books focus on the need to spreadsheet, Christina Sorg talks about it briefly but spends most of the time offering excellent tips and tricks for real life circumstances.
The second reason this audiobook is so good is because it’s short, running at approximately 90 minutes. Let’s face it – we all want the information, but we don’t want to spend hours and hours listening to waffle and irrelevant information. Sorg’s writing is tight and to the point. Her chapter headings are useful, and she wastes no time getting to the very practical “how to” suggestions that cater for anyone’s situation. Most chapters also feature a Task List at the end which summarised the lesson by offering a series of ‘to do’ ideas to set you on the right path.
While Sorg’s book is, sadly, focused strictly on an American audience, the tips are transferable to any western culture. She discussing everything from credit card debt to retirement; savings plans to buying your morning coffees. Even the need for sleep gets a mention. This is good, simple advice for a beginner, and an excellent reminder for those already in the know but who have gone off-track. What also impressed me was her inclusiveness of starting at any age, offering alternative suggestions for different financial situations, and her ability to comment without judgement.
Amy Barron Smolinski reads with clarity without talking down to the listener, and the bonus of listening to this audiobook is that it frees your hands to make copious notes if you wish. And you will want to. Christina Sorg doesn’t presume to know your situation. She offers everyday advice regardless of your age, financial situation or understanding of budgeting.
By far, this is one of the better budgeting books I’ve come across. Bravo.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 9
Published by: Dimitri Schlegel and available through audible.com.au
Release date: July 2016