Beautiful Money (★★★★☆)

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Leanne Jacobs   *   Tarcher Perigee   *   January 3, 2017   *   288 Pages

Advanced Reader Copy provided by publisher.

According to author Leanne Jacobs, Beautiful Money is a “book for creating holistic wealth.” She believes financial abundance comes when people pursue what they are most passionate about. To that end, she lays out a four-week plan that uses practical money management advice, personal stories, and various guided exercises to help people move beyond pointless busyness, chaos, and drama to figure out what really brings them joy, value, and personal fulfillment.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure I liked Jacobs very much when I started this book. She shares some of her personal story right away–specifically, what led her to want to change her life and become a financial and lifestyle coach. Basically, she was married and making big bucks in sales and marketing for a Fortune 500 firm, but at some point she realized how exhausted and unhappy she was. So she decided to quit her job, divorce her husband, and travel across Europe for a few months.

Right there I started feeling like, yeah, we aren’t living the same life, my friend. I guess I shouldn’t care that she had the financial means and mental/emotional willingness to just bail on life–especially since it seems like that “break” helped her ultimately change herself for the better. But, let’s face it, most people don’t get to just take a time-out like Zack in Saved by the Bell. I wasn’t sure I was going to vibe with this book at all.

And, yes, after finishing it, I can definitely say Beautiful Money‘s target audience is women who are making six-figures or more while “climbing the corporate ladder” or “expanding [their] entrepreneurial empires”–i.e., not me. I can be honest and admit that I’m not in a financial position to need a Beautiful Money Team with an accountant, tax strategist, lawyer, and estate bookkeeper on call…

With that said, however, I do think that people making under six-figures can still benefit from Jacobs’s advice. There’s actually a lot of good stuff in here! Once I reached Week 2 of her plan and figured out my Four Pillars (my four core values that I need to experience in order to feel happy)–and then especially when I got to Week 4 and created my Beautiful Money Map (where I set approximate net worth goals for the next five years and finally spelled out for myself my passions and favorite daily activities to focus on, as well as what specific financial vehicles I was going to use to make money)–I was honest-to-God drinking the Kool-aid. Jacobs spends so much time focusing on stripping away the unnecessary garbage that holds us back that when it finally comes time to make a plan for the future, that plan unfolds almost effortlessly. For me, it felt like the answer had been right there in front of me all along, just waiting to be seen.

In the end, I’m kind of surprised to say that this book truly and practically helped me. Not only do I better appreciate what I already have, but I now have meaningful goals to work toward and I have a plan for achieving them. It makes me excited for the new year.

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