Kate Northrup * Hay House * September 3, 2013 * 237 Pages
I wanted to like Money, A Love Story. Like the author, I, too, love reading financial advice books. Your Money or Your Life, The Millionaire Next Door, and The Total Money Makeover have all helped me get out of debt, build an emergency fund, and contribute monthly to my IRA. I have a much better handle on my money now than I did five years ago, and yet I still enjoy a good book about finances–and especially a good financial come-back story.
Unfortunately, Money, A Love Story fell flat to me. It isn’t that Northrup gives terrible money advice all the way through. In fact, she gives some really good advice at parts…but it is mostly regurgitated from other books! And even the advice that is more about encouragement and self-help (and less specifically about money) still originates from self-help books she’s read and seminars she has attended. She quotes so often from other books that her own book reads like a college essay: yes, there are a lot of ideas in there, but they aren’t original to her, and she hasn’t added anything unique to the discussion.
I suppose other readers might argue that Northrup shares her personal story, and THAT is what makes this book unique. But Northrup’s personal story is one that I simply cannot relate to at all. She is unbelievably privileged — and, honestly, in and of itself, who cares?! People are born into poverty and people are born into wealth; that isn’t something we can control. However, it became irritating to me to keep reading how she had “struggled” to pay off her $20,000 in debt and get right with her money, when all of her debt was accumulated through shopping trips at high-end department stores and the way she eventually paid off that debt was by selling and moving out of her condo (paid for by her wealthy mother) and moving into said mother’s comfortably accommodating home. Northrup acknowledges at several points that she is lucky to have the parents she has and privileged to have had the experiences that having money allowed her, but I feel like she also tries too hard to push an “I am you, you are me, we are the same, and we are in this together” mentality. It just doesn’t work, because it isn’t true. And the more she focused on that, the more distant I felt as a reader.
In short, I did not enjoy this book like I thought I would. However, if you are just starting to learn about money, haven’t read many other books on the subject, and grew up wealthy, you honestly may enjoy it. Still, I would highly recommend the three books I listed above before I would ever suggest reading Money, A Love Story.
Advanced reader copy provided through Amazon Vine.