Knowing What You Want -“The Simple Dollar” A Book Review

“The Simple Dollar” by Trent Hamm was my second book assignment for March.  This was the most recent addition to the list of  books I’ve read that cover budgeting, personal finance, frugality, and money-saving tips.  All the books have had at least a couple new things to say, have added a fresh new angle on the same topics, and have together proven that certain money-saving strategies really work.

In regards to “The Simple Dollar” I want to focus on a particular point Hamm makes because it is something that everyone should ask themselves sooner or later about their relationship to money.  It certainly resonates with the message I feel God has been speaking to me over and over in the past couple months.

Trent Hamm says, “Money is nothing more than a tool with which you can create the life you truly want.  The true challenge is knowing what you truly want, taking control of your situation, and putting yourself in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way while protecting yourself from the obstacles life throws at all of us.”( p.235)

I have to include God’s will in this statement for it to pertain to my life.  I believe that God has roles for me on this earth that He has called me to accomplish.  I would describe money as a tool that enables me to fulfill my God-given roles.

I agree with Hamm that obstacles are going to come sooner or later.  These need to be planned for.  The mistake my husband and I made was thinking that medical problems would not touch our lives until later in life.  We had no idea that health insurance and expenses beyond health insurance’s normal coverage, could become so expensive.  We were naive and inexperienced and we are paying for it now.

I would also like to add something to Trent Hamm’s statement: make room for dreams.

As I said in an earlier post, we aren’t the same people today as we were ten years ago.  We will be different people ten years from now than we are today.Changes in ourselves and our family members can also be expenses for which you can’t perceive ahead of time.

The day my husband and I married I had no idea that we would decide down the road to become homeschooling parents.  I’d like to think that had we known this, our financial choices would have been different.  For one, we would have realized that we would be a one-income household.  Earlier on our financial choices could have been made with this in mind and perhaps would have brought a bit more stability to our financial situation now.

My husband has a dream to be his own boss.  I share the dream that as a family we could run a business together.  His dream job is completely different from the one he had when we got married.

In summary, I’m realizing a budget benefits from a financial margin for not just emergencies but for the unknowns.

So what do you want your money to do for you? What are your dreams? Is there anything you believe God may be calling you to do that you can’t say “yes” to because there isn’t enough financial margin in your life?  Is your current budget keeping you from being free? Are there changes that have affected your family that require you to review your financial situation again?  Has life changed?

I thank Trent Hamm for writing “The Simple Dollar”.  It was a thought provoking read that is helping me along my financial journey.


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