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Money: A User’s Guide

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  588 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Take control of your personal finances with this concise, timely and indispensable guide, from acclaimed money expert Laura Whateley.



Ten years on from the financial crash, and we are still bad with money.We press ‘cash only’ at ATMs, and accept that we’ll be paying back our student loans with our pension savings.


Money: A User’s Guide cuts through all the panic of personal
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Paperback, 364 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Fourth Estate
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Elizabeth I wish someone would have taught me this in high school! I might not have listened as closely as I ought to have but something might have stuck - I…moreI wish someone would have taught me this in high school! I might not have listened as closely as I ought to have but something might have stuck - I hate that we are just expected to know this once you hit 23 y/o or whenever you graduate school.

My only comment would be that this book is very British economy focused, it talks about "ISAs" which is a British government scheme to help young people buy their first house (https://www.gov.uk/individual-savings...) and a scheme which closed November 2019 as the writer acknowledges. It might be worth skimming the book to see if it's applicable to how the American system works but otherwise you would only be teaching students how to manage money if they lived in the United Kingdom! :-)

However if there's an American alternative to this book I think it would be great to teach to high school seniors, before they go out in to the world.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  588 ratings  ·  59 reviews


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Gareth Davies
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Does it’s job brilliantly. A complete education on personal finance and written as if you are just sitting next to her in a coffee shop. Surprisingly engaging for a book on mortgages, loans and pensions. Intended audience is British millennials (which she defines as anyone born between 1980-2000), but if you are older or younger, this can still be useful!
Elton Stone
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written, informative book that covers many complicated areas of personal finance in an informal, easy to understand way
Lizzie
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Everyone should read this. Wish there'd been a book like this years ago.
Lorna
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
A *very* useful guide for someone as financially illiterate as me, and a really great primer on all things money - pensions, investing, mortgages, taxes etc. - my copy is annotated all over and sandwiched with sticky notes. Everything is explained in an accessible and digestible way, I'd definitely recommend to anyone feeling daunted about all that adult-ing entails.
Jennifer
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I feel like less of a clueless nit-wit now. Recommend to any ex-pat living in the UK who wants to get down with the finance lingo here.
Amile Inusa
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before I start, let me say one thing. This is THE most comprehensive overview on money that I’ve ever read. Its also a book that I wish I read at 18 or just after leaving university.

Last August, I decided to take 2 years out of training to do locum work (basically, freelancing for doctors ). Despite being a professional with a useful degree, I didn’t actually know much about money outside of my pay cheque, PAYE taxes and my savings account.

Fast forward some months and I’ve learnt a lot through
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Sarah Molloy
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this as a good introduction to financial matters for someone of roughly my demographic - a millennial in a professional role. I read it cover to cover but you could also dip in and out to read the chapters most relevant to you eg I didn’t need to read the part about house buying as I’ve already done that. The section on saving and investing made me think seriously about setting up my financial future.
Vanessa
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every 20-something needs to read this! It explains student loans/savings/investing/mortgages/renting/pensions/debt/etc explained in a friendly, concise way. It's everything that you know you *need* to know about personal finance but have never bothered reading up on... Until now.
Fiyal
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely informative and easy to read!

Extremely informative and easy to read! All jargon was explained well. I even enjoyed reading the chapter in pensions, the world most unsexiest subject.
Rebecca
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book containing everything I wish I had been taught at school.

It’s so easy to read and understand. It is like the author is your buddy down the pub just giving you advice. I feel so much more confident now about my finances and I will keep on referring back to the book for years to come I am sure!

Thank you Laura Whateley!
Jake
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent must read for anyone that uses money. So everyone
R7835
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, calibre
This was good. Gives the right amount of information for the intended audience (roughly, those born between 1982 and 2000). It's written in a friendly, relatable manner.
I found it useful, and I'm looking forward to putting what I've learnt into practice.
There were a couple of downsides - as the author addresses, some of the information will be incorrect as the years pass (current interest rates, tax brackets etc). Also, the information given is for England, meaning some of the information
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R
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent book for anyone who really wants to take care of their personal finances! Although this book is aimed specifically for those living in the UK and Wales, I could not help but find similarities and parallels to my own situation. As such, have begun to make my own strides into taking control of my finances as well as my family's, and many of the points of this book brought up interesting questions for myself and the way we look at money.

I am a person who gets overwhelmed and stressed
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Claire
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to feel in control of their finances. It takes about the emotional impact of money, the stress that comes with not feeling you have enough and personally I feel this book would benefit from this setting the book up, before embarking on the finer details.

I saved 460 this year just learning about a tax break I was eligible for which is not well advertised. I learnt about ethical investments and making my money grow without compromising the planet.

My
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Busayo Agbetuyi
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book cost me 7.99, but I quickly make that money back with all the helpful money saving tips suggested!

Finance should be taught in the school curriculums. Fortunately this books is a One stop shop to all pressing financial queries & matters. It’s a great first step and covers everything from budgeting, savings, investing, bills, mortgage & more in plain and simple English. I cannot recommend it enough, especially as a guide or prerequisite reading, it’s really been the holy grail I’
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Brett Cloke
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Life changing. I've been struggling with money since graduating and am now looking to buy a place. I had no idea about mortgages, pensions and all the other fun money related stuff that comes with being an adult and this book explained everything brilliantly. It wasn't dumbed down but was explained in an easy to digest manner. There's lots more I could be doing to make my money go further and I'm so excited to get started! Read this in an afternoon and I'll be sure to use it as a reference ...more
Madina
i don't think i can give a fair rating for this book bc it's heavily based on the financial system in the UK, and i'm very much so an indonesian living in indonesia lol - so the context doesn't really mesh with mine. but the basics provided in it is very crucial to understand, and it gives me the push to really, truly think about my financial decisions & state - & that's really impt as i'm (beginning to?) approaching ""adulthood"".
Hrefna (Habbi) Helgadóttir
I really wish I would have read this book a lot earlier in life but I'm glad that I have now. It's only relevant to people in the UK though which is a bit of a downside but I met the author and I know she's contemplating how to make it more universal. It's not a thrilling read per se because it's just giving a lot of practical information, but honestly if you live in the UK you should read this book. Like, do it for yourself and your family.
Devan
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very basic overview of financial literacy in the UK. I appreciate the broad overview of many topics, and it will give you enough of a push to look into these things on your own - great of you have absolutly no idea where to begin on things like investing or mortgages. Also helpful as I'm originally from the US, and while I generally understand how things work there, they are usually not the same in the UK.
Gio
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Are you a broke millennial who has no idea how to manage his/her money? Get yourself a copy of this book ASAP. In this short guide, Whateley tells you all you need to know about making your money work for you. Whether you want to buy a house, invest your money in the stock market or get out of debt, Whateley's got you covered. Plus tips and strategies to save money on bills and save for your pension (I know it seems so far away but trust me, one day you'll be glad you started planning for it ...more
Kaimon Thompson
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolute eye-opening book. Recommend for all people, young, old and middle aged. Is definitely something I’ll read again at least 5/6 tines over my course of my life. As well as very informative, was impeccably written and flowed nicely. Wasn’t ever a boring chapter and was written well to make it engaging.

9/10!!!
Kirsty
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I would quite happily never think or talk about money for the rest of my life. But life is full of boring but necessary things, so I might as well try to understand them.

This book was aimed at people like me (late 20s-early 30s, not rich but making enough to live on and have some to spare, either a first-time homeowner or planning to be one soon). It was useful. I took notes.
Paige
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended this book. Full of great advice and food for thought, I personally have come away with things to look into to make sure I am making ethical and benificall money decisions. I found this to be a quick read, but it also a great reference book to dip in and out of - I will be saving it on my book shelf for a long time!
Keeley Hobbs
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every young adult should read this! It teaches you everything you need to know about money from pensions to student loans and does the job brilliantly by breaking complex things down into a simple way. I'll definitely be recommending this to my friends and will no doubt come back to this in the future when needed. Such a handy book!
James Evans
An excellent book through and through. As someone who is the books target demographic, it taught me many lessons about what I should expect in the future like renting or getting a mortgage to pensions and stock markets. I highly recommend this book for anyone my age and to anyone who needs a little more confidence with money
Daniela D
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A pragmatic guide with plenty of suggestions on how to handle money as a young-ish person living in the UK of today. Anything from how to budget, to all you need to know about tax or saving for a home; and most importantly how to handle your own mental health and relationships; or attitude to money.
Heather
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This could alternatively be called A Beginner’s Guide to Adulting; aimed at the 20- or 30-something self-employed or traditionally employed individual who’s trying to get their shit together, this is a great and realistic reference on how money works and how to achieve your goals. Super helpful and informative and not at all condescending. I’ve already bought two copies for friends.
Aparna
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Well written, accessible, comprehensive overview of basic finances. This book covers everything from mortgages, renting, the stock market, taxes and saving. This isn't a 'get rich quick guide' - these are great financial tips but the bottom line is that you must work hard and save money. This book provides some excellent advice.
Lauren
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has definitely made me feel a little more adult. I did skip a few bits that weren't applicable to myself, but that's not the books fault. I'll definitely be picking this up again for tips and tricks.
Eleanor Case
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most useful and educational book I’ve ever read aside from any books I’ve read in school. I recommend this book to any other young people (or any age!) who want to understand and feel in control of their finances.
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