Cookbook For Money: A Financial Guide for Women Who Want to Focus on Creating Home, Health and Happiness

Book Review
By Suzanne Krasna, CFP®

A 'delicious read!' -- an appropriate, though unusual, comment to make about a financial planning book for the consumer. Cookbook for Money, A Financial Guide for Women Who Want to Focus on Creating Home, Health and Happiness by financial planner Greg Warner, uses a cooking metaphor with financial planning topics (e.g. investments, taxes, insurance, et. al.) and it works beautifully!

Though slanted toward women, many men will want to read this book, too. Greg does a great job pairing food and money together. His book is informative, enjoyable and serves up an ambiance of fun alongside important 'ingredients' of financial planning for the consumer.

It is the type of book one could sample here and there, rather than cover to cover. As a matter of fact, Greg designed it that way. I thumbed through a few chapters and before I knew it, I had read the whole book! The food and cooking titles are unique and I was intrigued to see how he approached each subject.

I liked all the chapter titles but the most memorable was Creating Memorable Meals - Happiness, Money and Retirement. Greg shares his view of what financial planning and professionals can really try to achieve for clients. Rarely can one do it all, fix it all, have it all 'perfect', but if you can make a few key changes in how you view and use your money, you could see, feel and have results important to you.

But there is a lot more to this book than great chapter titles. As 22 year veteran financial planner, it's important to me that I help my clients understand concepts. Greg's book is easy to read, filled with thorough information, which is clear, unbiased and straightforward. Best of all, my clients can learn about the important elements of their financial life in 'plain English' rather than industry jargon.

For those of us looking for really great recipes, the chapter Recipe for Successful Spending Plan includes ingredients, instructions for preparation, the process, and when done --- though I was looking for how many it will serve! In this chapter a subheading asks, "What do you have in the pantry (what is your income)?" Greg helps the reader identify all their sources of income, including wages, bonuses, rent, interest, and capital gains to name a few.

Cooking for Life: Are you Catering a Wedding or Planning a Family Gathering --What do you Want to Accomplish? Greg guides the reader to think about and identify short, medium and long-term goals for themselves and their family. Because, as he says, "Food only nurtures you if you eat it. Like food, money in and of itself is worthless." With that in mind, what do you really want to accomplish with your money?

One of my favorite metaphors is in Chapter 3, Cooking Basics for Money: letting the bread rise-how money grows, how perfect! He also includes a Recipe for Growing Money, using ingredients such as time and yeast (compound interest) and a dash of Rule of 72. Well, you know my personal question...how many does it serve - and am I invited?

Serving Your Five-Course Meal - Investing, covers such topics as soups and salads = cash and cash equivalents, vegetable, potatoes and rice = bonds, meat, fish and poultry = stocks. Since I have a sweet tooth, the Deserts, Cheese and Fruit section interested me. These are real estate, precious metals and collectables. This book makes it easy for any person to feel that they have an understanding of the basics without thinking they need to know it all.

Everything from soup to nuts is covered (excuse my metaphor) with just enough information on every basic financial concept to assist women and men to better understand their situation. I can see asking my clients to read certain chapters as 'homework' before our next meeting. Cookbook for Money, by Greg Warner, is a delicious read, and makes a great gift for clients and friends alike.



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