Susan Tillery offers seven basic financial principles to help individuals and allow them to better help others, in the short, effective, faith-based money guide Purses Everywhere.
The book’s title hints at Tillery’s goal of empowering women. She commits to donating any profits from sales to organizations that fight illegal trafficking of women and children. It’s also a reference to a Bible quote that admonishes those who squander resources: “You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
Tillery lays out simple but effective guidelines for personal money management, striking a perfect balance between detail and broad overview. The chapters are short and focused, but explain important concepts, including the Rule of 72—an easily remembered way to calculate when invested money will double—along with advice on debt ratios, emergency funds, and asset allocation. The text includes many Bible quotations, and chapters on thankfulness and stewardship seem to stem from Tillery’s own personal faith, but they offer excellent, universal advice for people of any gender or religion.
While Tillery provides Internet links for detailed budget spreadsheet templates and other information, the book’s strength lies in its simplicity. At each chapter’s end, she offers an “action step,” in which readers perform a few simple calculations or commit to goals for saving and giving.
Occasionally, non-religious readers might feel skeptical, such as in a description of the author’s conversation with God, in which He specifically mentions the Rule of 72. Financial nitpickers might also quibble with a line here or there; for example, although the tax-deferred nature of a 401(k) plan is explained accurately later in the book, the first mention tells readers “If someone is willing to give you tax-free money, I suggest you say yes!” (Italics added by reviewer for emphasis.)
Overall, however, the book is clear and succinct, providing an engaging and informative guide to the basics of personal money management from a Christian viewpoint.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.