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Money: A User’s Guide

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,241 ratings  ·  124 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 December 24th 2020 by Fourth Estate (first published October 4th 2018)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  1,241 ratings  ·  124 reviews


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Gareth Davies
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Does its 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!
Lizzie
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Everyone should read this. Wish there'd been a book like this years ago. ...more
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
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. ...more
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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Jennifer
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐️ 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.
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.
RavenclawLibraryBooks
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know how they could be using their money better. It is full of tips and tricks for making your money work harder, with explanations of how everything works that anybody can understand. With plenty of food for thought and a few statistics/thoughts I had never considered and can put into practice. Definitely one to buy.
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. ...more
Lewis
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5

An excellent introduction to personal finance in the United Kingdom, covering everything from budgeting, to pensions, to bank accounts, to renting vs buying a home. Most importantly, it's entirely readable, without getting bogged down in long descriptions of financial products, etc. [though, caution, I find such descriptions relatively interesting so I may be biased]. From a personal perspective, much of the information I was already aware of thanks to being pretty interested in personal financ
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Bethany Rose
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this from a friend, and read it cover to cover. Money management can seem to be quite a tedious subject matter, but Whately has a really easy going and entertaining tone which meant I couldn't out this book down! I'll be purchasing my own copy as a "go to" guide to sit on the bookshelf for my future financial decisions. It's seperated into step by step chapters which make it easy to navigate and useful if you're looking for specific help. It's an entertaining and easy read but also ma ...more
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.
Alex Kennnedy
Feb 01, 2021 rated it liked it
I recommend this to anyone who is ready to buy a house but for a 22 year old who is very much in the overdraft it's not hugely useful. Some good tips for life (on bills and savings etc.) but it was pretty dense and I can't remember any of the tips. ...more
Brogan Ryan-Byrne
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining and really explains some basic things everyone should know about fiance.
Shivangi
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: corona-szn-2020
I really enjoyed and learned a lot from this beginner's guide to personal finance. The book is concise, easy to follow and filled to the brim with specific recommendations and concept explainers. Covers a lot of ground (from investment to mental health), and made me a lot more curious about the stock market and managing my money than I was when I began reading. While it is written very specifically for UK based readers, I found many takeaways as someone outside that target audience. A solid reco ...more
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 Wharmby
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent must read for anyone that uses money. So everyone
Silvia
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
"We are psychologically programmed to make poor financial decisions."

I think I'm broken 'cause I can't finish any fiction book I start, fantasy or anything, really. And the more I want to read, the less I can focus, the more I get frustrated and don't read. Ugh.

Anyway, I managed to actually finish this one I started some time ago, and oh my god, finally a help book that really helps!!! You guys, I found the Holy Graal of help books.
You are reading it, things are getting explained to you, and on
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Jono
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
- Tax Brackets are progressive! For eg:

£100,000 - Total Income

Initial thought @ 40% Tax = £40000 paid

Actual:

£12500 - Personal Allowance
£12501-£50000 - Basic Rate (20%)
£50001-£150000 - Higher Rate (50%)

£12500 - No Tax = £0
£35000 - 20% Tax = £7000
£50000 - 40% Tax = £20000

Total Tax Paid = £27000

- No stamp duty for first time buyers

- It’s good to talk about money in a relationship

- Getting married has tax benefits

- Get a joint account for joint expenses & separate bank accounts for personal spend
...more
Caroline Smith
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has *some* bad habits with money, I’ve been looking for something to give me some well needed advice for a while. I first saw it online being read by one of my favourite YouTubers and knew instantly that this would be the book for me. Whateley writes in such a friendly and relatable way with many anecdotes and real life examples which, for me, really helps the advice sink in. The book covers many topics which makes it a good source of information for whatever point you are at in l ...more
pexfa
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: finance, 2020
What is it?
Gives a broad and general overview of personal finance topics aimed at millennials. She doesn’t go into much depth on any of the topics. Rather she treats them with a broad brush — a sort of whistle stop tour covering housing, debt, savings, investments, pensions, tax, bills and insurance, car payments, mobile phone contracts etc — everything that requires money. Some thoughts are also shared on money and relationships and ethical finance.

Why read or not read it
Read it if you want a g
...more
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 isn'
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Asera
= Read this book from NetGalley UK in exchange for a fair review. =

Achieves its objective by arming the intended readership with financial knowledge. Of how to navigate money in the real world.

Great for school-leavers, new to workforce, living in the UK. The Introduction provides a good context before kicking things off. It’s divided into 3 parts:

Part 1 covers things related to housing, personal debt, budgeting, saving, investing, pensions, taxes, bills, and insurance.

Part 2 talks about the psyc
...more
Self-Titled Club
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Money: A user’s guide by Laura Whateley is a personal finance book covering all of the essential things you wish you had learned about money in school. From building your credit history, handling taxes and taking out loans or investing, to all things related to housing and mortgages, pensions and even the effect money has on mental health and one’s love life.
Although this may not be the most exciting of topics to read about for most people, this is definitely a very informative book and contain
...more
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 b
...more
Chayong
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 o
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Caron
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you like Martin Lewis you'll love this. Handy, chatty, sympathetic and wide-ranging guide that assumes no financial knowledge at all and doesn't get bogged down in too much detail. Written largely for millennials; no coincidence that the cover resembles a Monzo card!

Main caveat is the book's short use-by date. It mentions specific apps etc. and will date quickly. Furthermore, the 2008 crash is repeatedly held up as the nadir from which all financial woes stem. Post coronavirus, the text will
...more
Christine
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Comprehensive, easy to understand guide to everything a recent graduate needs to know about money. I consider myself as pretty knowledgeable about personal finance having read up on the topic for years. Yet this book covers all the bases that I never thought about or simply ignored (like pensions, dry topic but very important nonetheless). I was particularly anxious about dealing with household bills but after this book, I am excited to start taking ownership of my bills. Overall, this a great i ...more
Leon
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We need books like this for every country. A great introductory book on personal finance especially for people in the UK in their 20s/30s. But not so much for those not from the UK. The thing about saving some money here and there is that it might seem insignificant/negligible, but over time it really adds up. However, the most important thing here is that once you start taking full control of your financials, you develop very beneficial habits/systems that will help you for the rest of your lif ...more
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