Review of Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide

By Linsey Knerl on 23 November 2010 0 comments

This past month, I had the opportunity to read a book co-authored by one of our guest posters, Hollis Calquhoun. Hollis has years of financial experience and presents some much-needed info in a portable paperback you can read in one weekend. While the premise of the book is designed to appeal to women going through divorce or separation, there is so much value beyond that, and I’ll share my favorite parts of Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide here.

The tagline of the book is “For women at risk of drowning financially, before, after, and during a divorce” and as a woman who has — gasp — experienced this personally, I can attest to every piece of advice offered. But let’s not assume that the book is only for those at risk of divorce. Even if you never marry, believe that divorce couldn’t happen to you, or think that preparing for a divorce is somehow equal to putting a curse on your marital happiness, you can benefit from this book.

101 Financial Concepts and Budgeting

You need to know how to budget. That’s a simple fact of grown-up life. The book incorporates the terms used in creating a budget with an actual worksheet that you can recreate on your computer or make copies of for your own use. It includes virtually every spending category I could think of.

Tips for Organizing

If you’re prone to clutter, regardless of your gender or marital status, this book could help you out. With just the tips in this book and a weekend to get everything together, it’s possible to cut your clutter to a point where you could find any piece of detailed financial info at a moment’s notice.

Marital vs. Personal Net Worth

Even a homemaker has value. If your husband were to leave or pass away suddenly, could you replace his worth or rely on your own in a way that would be sufficient for you and your kids’ survival? Figuring your net worth both as a part of a partnership and as a single person is important to planning for issues that could occur down the road.

In addition to the concepts reviewed above, Hollis and her co-author, Antoinette Babek, discuss how to accurately analyze household expenses, review your debt and credit snapshots, and calculate your personal income. I really enjoy how “matter-of-fact” the tone is, but even more impressive are the Q&A’s that are presented throughout, asked by real people and answered tactfully. Divorce, after all, is a sensitive issue.

Being unprepared for going it alone could not only be devastating emotionally, it can be financial suicide. If you depend on another person for a portion of your livelihood, whether you’re male or female, married or just living together, this book (and the excellent list of resources in the back) will be useful for you.

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