Having ready many books about personal finance and money management over the last decade, I recognize most new books as offering nothing particularly new to readers. Some of the world’s favorite money gurus rehash the same ideas repeatedly, some on a predictable yearly release schedule, and these books become best-sellers due to the names attached. There have been some notable exceptions to the endless supply of old ideas, and I try to recognize them when I can.
There is a reason for repetition, though. Here are a few:
- You might have missed “Get Out of Debt 2012” because you weren’t thinking about money at the time, but “Get Out of Debt 2013” was released at the perfect time for you.
- “Wealthy Dad, Middle-Class Dad” might not have been a book that caught your attention, but “Wealthy Sister, Middle-Class Sister” was recommended by your favorite talk show host.
Kimberly Palmer, the author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back, has decided to take a different approach with her latest project. Kimberly has been a guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast — twice — and she also writes for U.S. News and World Report.
The author has created a series of workbooks, meant to appeal to those of us who are more creative, designed to help guide participants through the financial aspects of life. The workbook approach transforms readers into participants, and if the workbooks are engaging, they can be much more effective in someone’s life than just reading a book.
Normally, I’m not a fan of worksheets. These are great learning tools for elementary school students, and any time I’m asked to complete an assignment like that, I begin to think that the author is treating readers like children. As I’ve discovered by maintaining this website since 2003, writing things down works to change your life. Once you complete a worksheet that asks you to write down your financial goal for the year, that goes becomes real. It adds a level of commitment. While there are no consequences for missing your goal other than self-reprimand, writing things down can add motivation.
Kimberly Palmer is offering several self-published money planners on Etsy.
- The Money Planner is designed as a companion workbook for Generation Earn. The activities match the book’s chapters.
- The 2012 Money Planner breaks down the coming year by month, with tasks appropriate for the time of the year.
- The Debt-Free Planner focuses on the one specific task of eliminating debt.
- The Baby Planner helps expecting families get ready for the new financial responsibilities of having kids.
To get an idea of whether these planners are right for you, I’ve included the first page of the Money Planner. Kimberly indicates the creative and visual approach will appeal more to right-brainers like herself. Whether your mind is ruled by the logical or creative aspects of thought, anything that inspires you to take action will help improve your finances.
The key to success is maintaining your motivation over a long period of time, and workbooks can inspire success more than typical books. In the end, however, success depends on a family’s or individual’s ability to maintain focus and motivation.
If you’re interested in one or more of Kimberly Palmer’s Money Planners, visit the author’s Etsy shop.
Published or updated December 28, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.