After writing many articles about finance, I decided to take a break and write about something lighter. After much thinking about what to write, I remembered someone mentioning me a book called “It is Only Money and It Grows on Trees!” by Cara Macmillan. The subject of the book intrigued me. It deals with how our concept of Money has been influenced by religions, geographies, events, cultures and traditions, family values over generations, and experiences over time. It also tells the readers that we have a choice to take control of our finances and suggests ways to achieve it. So, last week, I gave the book a read and thus here’s the review:
“It is Only Money and It Grows on Trees” is an excellent example of how the concepts of Money and Personal Finance can be explained in a layman’s terms. The book deals with the context of money in the real world and how different people have different attitudes towards money. What does money mean to different people? How are some people happy even when they are poor? Basically, our attitude towards money affects how we view money.
Then, it explains how these attitudes are formed and are moulded by various beliefs. It cites examples of how money has been viewed in different religions like Hinduism and Christianity and how the views have influenced the concept of money in religious households. An excerpt:
“The key to Hinduism is the values by which the people choose to live. The pursuit and want of money is acceptable. Greed is not. Hindus lead a simple life. Money is to be shared.”
The book then delves into how our memories and family values affect our perception of money. It says: “The resources that we need and want are based on who we are and how we live. To define who we are, we need to know what our values are. This can be different from our parents’ values, our grandparents’ values, or our memories of them.”
It is Only Money also explains how we can utilise different investment instruments as well as our talents to build wealth. Instead of being stuck in a rat race, nourishing our talent will provide income while keeping us happy.
The book in its lucid style advises us to invest time in order to take informed and sound financial decisions. It says:“Cars are not an investment. They do not increase in value. Major purchases like cars lose approximately ten to twenty percent of their value in depreciation when they are driven off the dealership’s lot and have now become ‘used.’”
Explaining how consumers are today cash cows for businesses, the book tells us that, we can and should avoid falling for their misleading ads. It is Only Money clearly distinguishes between one’s needs from one’s wants and suggests excellent ways to assert control over indulging impulsive shopping.
What I liked most about the book, is that it seamlessly flows from explaining our attitude towards money, to how to take control of our financial situation. There’s something in every religion and culture about managing money which can be practised to increase our wealth. It also touches upon how it’s crucial for a business to nurture its relationship with old customers. An excerpt: “Well, the first store is designed to do transactions. A transaction is a sale—one sale. The second store is designed to nurture customer relationships.” The book advocates that one should be a steward rather than a slave to money, which is absolutely true. After all, it’s only money…just a resource which should be utilised sustainably.
Overall, It is Only Money is a great book, fun to read, easy to understand and a must-read for all personal finance enthusiasts and especially for the ones who have just started their journey towards financial independence. Cara MacMillan has done an amazing job in presenting the aspects of Personal Finance in a very simple language.
Investment in Reading always gives Great Returns- WalletFunda