A big part of adulting is managing your money. From negotiating a salary to managing a budget to starting a side hustle, money is present in every aspect of your adult life. So why not read a book on how to make the most of what you have?
Enter 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses by Kalyn Brooke.
The premise of the book is simple: take a long, hard look at your finances and figure out how to reduce them. And not just the little expenses, like the daily coffee or new purse or book. The big ones like your housing expenses (there’s more than you think!) or groceries. Reducing your expenses on the big things frees up more money for the fun things so you can maximize your income and even save!
It’s not always an easy task, reducing your expenses. It takes time and means making some hard choices and trying to do it all at once is overwhelming. Fortunately for the reader, Kalyn breaks it down, day by day. As in, she gives you a task to do each day.
For instance, one day you’ll look at your electric bill and the next you’ll negotiate your car insurance and the next you’ll learn how to manage special occasions. And while the book is structured in a way that all items under one category are grouped together, you can read and apply them in an order that’s most helpful to you without losing the message.
Each budget category she has you examine comes with a minimum of 4 tips to practically and realistically reduce your spending. She’ll tell you where you can find deals or coupons, websites for ideas, even simple and frugal hints for hair and pet care. Everything she presents is reasonable and at no point does she make you feel like you must do what she says.
It’s all helpful advice, like you’d get from a financially savvy or frugal friend (and she even includes tips from her blog readers. I enjoyed getting their perspectives as well as Kalyn’s). And even those who are already great with money might pick up a hint or two.
The only part of the book I’d caution about is that the first 14 days or so are very homeowner directed. While renters can certainly find pieces of helpful information, it’s not necessary to heavily invest in those chapters if you don’t own a home. Maybe read and store the information for a later day, when and if you choose to buy a home.
Overall, this is a practical guide to keep on hand for when you feel like your budget is getting away from you. It also makes a great primer for anyone just starting out or finding themselves on their own for the first time.
These are the important Adulting takeaways.
- There’s always room to reduce an expense, even when you think you can’t
- Everything is negotiable
- Fixing your budget doesn’t happen in one day; it takes time, discipline and patience
- DIY is a great way to save money but sometimes you need a professional. Have an emergency fund for those occasions
- Understanding Parkinson’s Law alters your position on your income dramatically
- Planning is key to managing your money
- Changing your money habits ultimately falls on you