Whether you are seasoned in practicing responsible personal money management or brand new to all of this, Larry Burkett’s “Money Matters” is an excellent pick up. While I personally do not agree with a lot of his arguments and reasoning (yes I believe credit cards are evil) a lot of the principles fall in line with my view points of personal money management and I would recommend this book. It is told in a Question and Answer format though and is broken down into several unique and interesting sections such as: Money in Marriage, Housing, Education, etc. For me, I found this most beneficial because I plan on facilitating Dave Ramsey’s FPU course in the near future and want to become more exposed to concerns that people may bring to the table. Sure, I had my own specific set of hurts, hang ups and challenges, but I imagine in a room full of people during a 13 week course, there are going to be so many questions and scenarios that everyone can and probably will bring to the table, that I at least want to have some basis covered.
Some of the topics that I found most intriguing that I never would have thought people asked, and a lot of which is knowledge that I take for granted included: Whether investing in the stock market is biblical (i.e. concerns that it is the equivalent of gambling), what’s wrong with the extremist that wants to get out from their overvalued home and live in a trailer as they work the baby steps and how to handle cash gifts from grandparents to grandchildren.
One of the biggest differentials though between Burkett and myself is our viewpoints on God’s involvement with our daily budgets and goal forecasting. (In a marriage scenario) You’ll often find Burkett, in questions of discernment, lay the line “You should pray about it along with your spouse and see where God wants you to be.” While I do believe in prayer and embracing a spiritual connection with my spouse outside of church, I also believe that thinking for yourself and working along with your spouse is apart of God’s plan. Sure, he may know which decisions you are going to make, but with sound fundamentals in personal finance and spirituality, I do believe that we should be able to rationalize for ourselves which decisions need to be made. So while most of this review found its way onto my soapbox, I will say that “Money Matters” gives a great overview of the ways in which living under the strains of debt keep us slaves to the lenders.