Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review: The Wealthy Barber

Book Review: The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton

I picked up this book from my bookshelf this weekend and couldn't put it down. Yes, it's that good. This book is a very practical look at how any person can put their finances in order. The things that appeal about this book are:
-It's a fictional story so it's easy to follow.
-It's simple and the premise is simple and easy to grasp.
-It's Canadian written and geared to Canadians.
-It covers all the basics of good financial planning without getting too technical.

In short, if there is only one book you read about finances in life (and apply) this is the one. Like many other books it espouses "pay yourself first" as the core principle. What makes it different is it covers some other basics like
-Why a will and life insurance are totally important (and what kind and how much insurance does someone need)?
-What do you do with your 10% (where and how to invest it)
And many others practical things that some of the books miss. And it assumes that managing your finances is not something you want to spend a lot of time doing. I like how Chilton has a realistic view of human nature when it comes to saving and budgeting (basically that we are weak) and makes this part of the book. If you already know that you won't read this book and want a good summary, check this one out here.

The best part of this book is its accessibility. You don't have to be an accountant to be able to manage your finances wisely and build wealth for yourself and your family. I rate it 4.8 ninja stars out of 5.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mark!
I like this idea of 'pay yourself first', but where does that fit in with tithing. Many people i know say that the tithe should come first. Just curious what you think, i personally don't lean either way on that one.

Jay Boaz said...

Lend this book to Jay you will?

I don't know why I wanted to ask you in Yoda-speak, but I did.

Mark said...

Hey Eric, good question. My first thought is that anytime anyone says you "should" do something - watch out! Though their motives may be great, beware of their attempt to "should" on you!

The principle of paying yourself first may seem like an anti-tithing sentiment at first but I don't think it is. The basic idea is that we need to pay ourselves first - in other words set aside money for the things we find most important. For many Christians who wish to give with a generous heart setting aside a set amount for giving at the start of the month works for them. If in a 5 minute span you put away 10 percent (or whatever you choose) for your tithe and 10 percent for investing in your future, how much does it matter which comes first? If it is important to you, you will pay it first - plain and simple.

I just had a thought: Giving is a lot like sex. It can't always be planned or it gets boring. It also can't always be spontaneous or it won't happen. Both planning and spontaneity are part of healthy sex and a healthy giving strategy. Anytime someone says to me "You have to/should/must pay God first" I rebel a little under that. Is there a rule written somewhere that says we must do it exactly that way?

I believe that God desires obedience to his directive to give is but he also desires obedience to his directive to give generously and with a cheerful heart.

Personally, I'd rather give at the end of the month with a cheerful heart then at the start of the month without one. Anyway, to answer your question (sorry about the random ranting), those who have trouble disciplining themselves to give might want to consider tithing first, saving for investing in their future second. But the main thing is obeying the heart of God's commands and not worrying too much how different people do it. Enjoy the freedom!

Mark said...

Jay: Sure you can borrow it! Stop by anytime. I'd be curious to know what you think of it.