If you’re going to write a book about personal finance, Job One is to say something different than the hundreds of books already covering the topic. Novice author Gordon Stein aced this test.
“Most personal finance books say save 10 per cent and invest it,” the author of Cashflow Cookbook told me when I met him recently for a coffee. “But most people would say, I don’t have 10 per cent. My book shows how to carve out money for saving, without being cheap.”
Mr. Stein is a sales executive in the tech industry, an MBA and an engineer. Appalled at the financial mistakes he’s seen people making, he has written a book with 60 “recipes” for saving money in all aspects of everyday life. Car repairs, grocery shopping, the daily commute and home maintenance are among the subjects he tackles. .
Some of the ideas were inspired by the financial moves of people he’s worked with over the years. “People buying lattes when we have a perfectly good coffee machine in the office, and then buying a snack of chips and coke in the afternoon. You could be leasing a Honda Civic for the price of all that.”
That’s sort of the idea of Cashflow Cookbook. Find a bunch of different ways to save and then use the money to improve your finances. Mr. Stein suggests paying down debt first and then investing for the future.
Mr. Stein’s book is available from Amazon.ca as well as his website, where you can also find free spreadsheets for tracking debt, net worth and the long-term wealth you can build by saving money every month. He’s also started a blog where he’s recently covered topics like dividend stocks and how parents can help financially launch their adult children after graduation. One recent post looks at whether budgeting may actually be damaging your finances.