Among the many personal finance books on the market proclaiming their ability to help readers save money, Jennelle L. White’s Easiest Short/Long Term Plan for Saving Money probably has the most truthful title.
White, a registered nurse, boils the art of saving down to the basics. Her plan simply requires knowing the amount you want to save, the timeframe in which you’d like to meet this goal and the number of paychecks you receive in that period. For example, if you want to save $1,000, divide $1,000 by the number of times you’re paid during the allotted time—such as 26 for those who are paid biweekly, or 52 for those paid weekly. The result is the amount that needs to be saved from each paycheck.
While this is easy, and as mentioned, makes her book’s title literally true, it doesn’t offer a very enlightening read. Although White mentions that to save money regularly, one has to often do without even small luxuries, there’s no further discussion of the psychology or mindset of saving. She simply runs through the math with different savings goals.
White includes worksheets meant to make these calculations easier, but these are repetitive, simply setting up equations for savers with 26, 52, or a blank number of weeks. The worksheets take up over half of the book, and it’s hard to imagine that a few worksheets and a photocopier wouldn’t have accomplished the same goal for readers at a lower price.
For a certain target audience, Easiest Short/Long Term Plan for Saving Money might be just the push that’s needed to save. As White writes, “The Plan is that you will work towards that goal once you have visually seen it,” and it’s been documented that the simple act of writing down a goal instills a greater sense of commitment toward achieving it. But those looking for anything more than a very basic saving guide will find White’s book lacking.