Her Money Matters: Book Review

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Wow, this book looks amazing! Even if you know what you should be doing with your money, it can be hard to actually do it if you have mental blocks. This book helps you change your money mindset to fix your personal finances.

Have you ever read a book that just hits you? And hits you hard?

I just had that experience over the past couple of weeks.

Jen Hemphill, Accredited Financial Counselor and integral member of team Brystalifer, recently released her new book: Her Money Matters. She was kind enough to supply me with a free advance copy so I could let you all know my thoughts on it.

A Different Kind of Personal Finance Book

I’ve read some pretty amazing books on personal finance.

This one is different in the best of ways. It’s for people who know what they should be doing, but struggle to make actual progress. Maybe you keep hitting bumps in the road that force you to drain your emergency fund. Maybe your past money experiences are informing the way you make financial decisions in ways you’re not even conscious of.

Whatever your block is, Jen gives you actionable steps to help you overcome. To help you dream bigger, focus on positivity and get your personal finances functioning in the way want them to.

The biggest lesson that really struck me was that confidence is one of the biggest factors behind motivation. I had never really thought about it in this way before, but it’s so true. When we feel like we’re capable–when we feel like we really can reach our goals–we’re more likely to work at them full force. We’re going to be more excited because we feel like we really can achieve, and that our efforts will not be fruitless.

This can apply to so many areas of your life, but it definitely applies to your money.

A Personal Experience

I’ve been in one of those ruts lately. The kind where you know what to do and fully intend to do it, but one emergency or another keeps popping up and derailing your plans.

Prior to this read, I wouldn’t say that it was shattering my money confidence as much as my hope that things would improve. But now I understand those two things are intertwined.

After reading Jen’s book, I have some of that confidence back. And I have a clear vision of the path I need to pursue it. I want to share the results of just a couple of these confidence-building exercises. And encourage you to do them, too.

I’d also encourage you to pick up a copy of the book. Because it’s fan-freaking-tastic.

Identifying Your Why

A big thing that Jen points out in the book is that you can have all the goals, but if you don’t know why you have those goals, you’re going to have a harder time turning them into reality. You need to identify your “why” for those times when the going gets tough; if you can zoom out to the bigger picture, you can put a small blip in your financial life into perspective–no matter how nasty that blip may feel in the moment.

She goes into great detail, helping you identify and construct your “why.” Here’s mine:

My money matters because I want stability and security for myself and my children, and I want to be an actor in my life rather than a passive vessel.

Healthy finances help me achieve both of those goals.

Building Your Confidence

One of the many things Jen has you do to build your money confidence is to list out your past financial wins. I have this hangup where I feel guilty praising myself, but this read helped me realize I’m going to have to get over that if I want to get out of this weird funk.

So here are my wins:

  • When I was a teenager, I paid off ten grand in six months.
  • I paid off the last round of debt in a quarter of a year.
  • I’ve stashed significant money into my emergency fund multiple times–even while I was living on a lower income.
  • I’ve become a pro at fighting health insurance companies–though it agitates me to no end that I have to do so.
  • I pulled my income up above the poverty line.
  • I got paid to return to college as a nontraditional student.
  • I’m saving for retirement.
  • I’m really good at taxes.
  • I’ve been fortunate enough to help other people with my money.
  • I once wrote a successful goodwill letter to fix my credit.
  • I’ve been meaning to get around to sending old clothes in to threadUP for waaaaayyyy too long. In the past couple months, I finally made it happen. My closets are much cleaner, and my wallet is a tiny bit thicker.
  • Booking crazy cheap travel so I can see more of this interesting world. I’m able to do this most of the time.

Writing this list was like pulling teeth at first. I felt gross listing out things I had done well, and had to stop myself from qualifying them with the negative money moves I’ve made in the past.

Full honesty, I feel gross posting it for the world to see, too. But I’m doing it anyways. Because I know I can’t be the only one with this issue. Also, my goal for 2018 is bravery.

As I went on, though, I noticed that it was starting to work. I realized that because I had done all these things before–sometimes with less resources than I have now–I can get things back to where I want them to be if I set my mind to it.


Obviously, it’s a resounding “yes”.

If you’ve read the conventional advice, but your money isn’t where you want it to be, this book is my number one recommendation. Jen gives you a fresh perspective, and puts you to work implementing these new concepts at the end of each of the twenty-three chapters. I gave you an example of just two of them.

If you want to fix your money, first you’ve got to fix the way you think about it. You can do that by getting your very own copy of the book.

What is your financial “why”? What are some of your past money wins? Let me know in the comments!

19 thoughts on “Her Money Matters: Book Review

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Hmmm that’s a great question! It just dropped, so I don’t know if there’s a translation available yet.

  1. Done by Forty

    I really like the concept of listing your wins. Thanks for sharing those: I know that for us midwesterners, it is very hard to talk about ourselves in a positive manner publicly.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Maybe that’s it. I’m so reticent to think of myself as a midwesterner (I don’t see myself in the overall culture,) but you could very well be right.

  2. Prudence Debtfree

    I’m surprised that you had a hard time listing your wins. There was nothing arrogant or boastful in the way you did it. I’m not surprised that they build your confidence, and what a valuable thing to do! I used to find it difficult to state my “wins”, but I don’t anymore. Again, it’s not about bragging; it’s about remembering success to build confidence. Equally important I think, I’m also comfortable stating my failures. It’s not about self-denigration; it’s about humble honesty, and an understanding of where things went wrong so I can make them better. The book sounds like a winner!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It was so hard, and you’re right–it shouldn’t be! This was the first time I was introduced to listing your wins as a confidence builder, so it was super interesting and a great pivot point for me. I think what you point out about the other side of things is important, too; we have to recognize our shortcomings so we can fix them.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Highly recommend picking up a copy! And I agree–those two points were fantastic. There’s 24 more in the book, too that are equally amazing!

  3. Melissa

    This sounds AWESOME. For me, it feels like “being bad with money” is such a “girl thing.” I don’t know what exactly it is, but talking about “money wins” is a GREAT idea! We should remind ourselves we’ve done some kick-butt things with money!

    Can’t wait to check the book out. Thanks for the review!!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      I think I was very fortunate to have female role models around me when I was young–had confidence I could handle money, just took me a while to figure out how to get my hands on enough of it.

      During this little funk I’m in, my confidence has waned less because of gender stereotypes (though I can see how those are the norm for most people!) but moreso because of recent lived experience. I’m just a little bit tired of all those emergencies popping up! But now I have a good bit more faith that I won’t collapse under them, because I’ve gotten out of worse before. 🙂 So the kick-butt thing–yes!!!

  4. NZ Muse

    My why looks very similar to yours!

    I can see why you would have trouble writing out that list. But absolutely none of it looks OTT. Those are all awesome wins!

    For the last few months my biggest $ win has been landing a job with a fabulous compensation and benefits package that I am so so grateful for (and negotiating up too).

  5. Tracie

    My why has shifted from bring my children to my grandchildren now. Leaving them with financial knowledge as well as their inheritance drives every dollar I spend and don’t spend.

  6. Aparna @ Elementum Money

    Really liked the review and also how you put some of the things you read about, in practice right here on the post.

    I know what you mean by not wanting to brag about money wins, and I have found it much easier to brush those “money wins” under the carpet and focus more on where I am lagging. But, I see how that could actually be impacting my money confidence.

    Identifying your why is yet another important part to ponder upon. What I have realised is that the why can often evolve with time. With my family and friends spread over the world, for now my why is really about ensuring money does not become a barrier in keeping them close to me.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      So glad to hear I’m not alone in the feeling like I’m bragging thing! I wonder why we do that to ourselves? Lots of ideas above, but I’m still not sure I’ve pinpointed it yet–at least for me personally. I suppose there’s a whole lot of reasons we practice humility to a fault.

      And I love that why. I had a family member I almost didn’t get to see before they died because travel was too expensive, and missed one of my best friend’s wedding because of it. I’ve fixed that situation now, but it is a powerful motivator!


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