The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money

“Saving money isn’t about depriving yourself.  It’s about deciding you love Future You as much as you love Today You”

This book is brought to you by the ladies at The Financial Diet, a site started by two women who readily admitted they were lacking in their knowledge of managing their personal finances and felt others could benefit from what they learn.  Over time they have gathered more contributors and have recently published a book alongside their normal blog posts and YouTube videos.

I follow them on Twitter and they frequently post/link to articles on their site, some that are worthwhile for me, some that aren’t.  What I was interested in was the fact that these are young millennial women.  Most every other book out there is by an “old white guy” with the occasional woman thrown in.  I decided to get the audiobook since I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks on the work commute, as well as the ebook in case I wanted to have a visual reference.

Read on for more!

Audiobook: my favorite part about the book is it is read by the author!  My least favorite part is she attempts to do voices for other contributors to the book, such as male voices.  I would LOVE to hear a book with a man reading male voices, a woman reading female voices…I haven’t found that yet.  “But Lauren” you may ask, “is it a dealbreaker??”  No!  The book also makes several mentions and referrals to PDF files that you can access for their expert tips and any visuals, so you really don’t have to buy the book.  I had purchased the ebook prior to the audiobook so I haven’t downloaded the files.

The information is not repetitive.  While Dave Ramsey’s TMM is a ‘how to’ book, this is more of a ‘why to’ book.  It tells you some of her (Chelsea Fagan’s) background and issues with money when she was younger.

She goes into topics in the book that does help you in the ‘how do I…’ category.  Examples: how to save money by learning to cook like an Italian grandma.  How to pare down your wardrobe.  How to furnish an apartment, and more specifically, a kitchen.  Dave Ramsey’s book does not delve into those types of topics.

Also…what are retirement accounts?  What about investments?  How do I make a budget?  Should I get a side gig?

ebook: given the fact that the audiobook (or at least the Kindle version ebook) includes links to pdf files in the book, it’s not required to have both.  Well, ok, it’s never required to have either, but I think you catch my drift.

One thing that I strongly put in the “plus” category is that this isn’t just the voices of TFD. They bring in experts, ask them questions, and give you their answers.  And guess what? Not all of their answers are the same.  They each approach a problem in a different way, because like each of us, they have different backgrounds and viewpoints.  Dave’s book is very much his own voice.  This book is a little more well-rounded in that regard.

Some things to note:

  1. I think this book is best suited for twenty-somethings or those just getting started.  As a 35 year old woman with a career and have been living on my own since the previous decade, I wish I’d had a book like this back then.
  2. There is some profanity in the book.  Just as a heads up.  I for one am not put off by it, but I also tend to use it in my everyday vernacular…


So do I recommend this book…

Yes, ESPECIALLY if you (or someone you know) is a young female and may not have the best grasp on finances.  If you are older and have been out in the world, while not sounding juvenile, parts of this book may not pertain to you.

If you get this, or any other book in my Finance February series, or have suggestions for other resources, please comment below!

2 thoughts on “The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money

  1. Hi Lauren,

    I’m contemplating whether to get this book or TMM.

    I read some extracts of TFD book and it doesn’t look professional although seeming practical and more suited for women.

    What other practical financial books do you recommend that are written for women but also professional, no profanity?


    1. Great question. I would choose Total Money Makeover. But…if you want a more female approach to the same concepts and principles, then Dave’s daughter, Rachel Cruze, wrote a book called Love Your Life Not Theirs. She still espouses the same principles Dave Ramsey does but she shares it in her own unique way. TMM is more detailed, and Financial Peace University even more so.

      If you like audiobooks and want Rachel’s version, I like it. I like her voice and her style. I still find that having a book makes it easier to get the concepts since I can highlight, scribble, etc. Unless I am paying 100% attention to the audiobook, only parts of it will sink in.

      Another book I have but haven’t gotten around to reading yet is Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin. It’s on my list of books to read for the year.

      Whatever resource you decide to use, please come back and let me know what you think!


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