Books We Love: “Live It, Love It, Earn It”

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Dollar bookmarksIn this perfect read for the new year, Live It, Love It, Earn It, veteran Wall Streeter and self-made multimillionaire Marianna Olszewski tackles the topics of personal finance and wealth creation in a tone that is light and fun (something we can relate to!) and sprinkles in self-help advice, too.
The book offers solid action tips like scheduling a weekly “money date,” living a cash-only lifestyle, and creating a “fun spending plan.” The advice about analyzing your money history will make you think critically about the underlying reasons behind your financial concerns. For the more inspiration-minded, the book includes success stories of regular women accomplishing feats such as landing their first jobs, as well as more famous figures, such as designers Tory Burch and Diane Von Furstenberg, talking about how they became successful.

Olszewski has the potential to alienate readers, though, with her emphasis throughout the book on female entrepreneurship and starting a business as the path to financial freedom. Some readers, after all, are perfectly happy not to be their own bosses. Additionally, while the more cynical pragmatists among us might not quite buy the “if you believe it, you can achieve it” philosophy of the book, it is hard to ignore the success it has brought the author. After all, she has the rags-to-riches cred to prove it.

If you’re looking to make 2010 the year you finally change your relationship with money, consider reading this book for the proverbial “kick in the butt” to get you going.

Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom. By Marianna Olszewski (Portfolio; Jan. 4, 2010; $24.95)

LearnVest recently spoke to author Marianna Olszewski to get her thoughts on some of the ideas in her book.

On Living A Cash-Only Lifestyle:

“When you pay for something with money, with real, tangible cash that you can feel, it’s very real. It makes you consciously think, ‘Do I really want to buy that item?’ And with a credit card or a check you really don’t feel that, you just blank it out, it’s 20 seconds of signing a bill and sometimes we don’t even look at how much it really is; we just sign it.”

(Note that, for responsible spenders who pay their bills in full every month, LearnVest supports purchasing everything on a credit card for product insurance, the ability to dispute charges, one bill to track all purchases, and rewards or cash back. Nonetheless, Olszewski’s advice is a good point about the psychology of money, and should be noted particularly by those among us who have trouble sticking to their budgets.)

On Keeping A Money Diary:

“How many of us, on a Monday morning or a Friday night, take out $100 or $200 from an ATM machine and don’t know where it is one or two days later? When you are spending cash and doing what I call ‘tracking cash’ with a money diary, you have an awareness. And the first part of changing your money habits is really being aware of where you’re spending your money.”

On How Her Book Is Different From Other Finance Books:

“It’s written in a really light, best girlfriend-type, big sister tone, which is different from most finance books. I think a lot of women won’t open finance books because they’re so afraid of getting yelled at. This is lighter and more gentle and easier to read. You can take it to the beach.”

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