The Money Revolution by Anne Boden

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The Money Revolution by Anne Boden

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Category: Business and Finance
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An interesting, punchy book about the best websites and apps to help manage your money in different ways for different purposes.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: June 2019
Publisher: Kogan Page
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1789660616

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Money is changing. It might not be in the ways you think. We're not suddenly getting a 3p or £3 coin (and have you ever found a country that offers anything different to the 1, 2, 5 model, either?) We're getting a lot more digital with payments, which seems to suit most people apart from charity collectors and the homeless on the street, but although this book has the subtitle that includes the word digital, it's not really about this. Instead it's about the management of your finances, and how to take control.

It's a short book, but it's an interesting one. The author is the founder of Starling bank. It won 'Best British Bank' in 2018 and 2019 but you shouldn't be concerned if you've not heard of it. I certainly hadn't before reading this. However, she clearly knows her stuff and writes in an accessible manner.

I found the book to be a mix of the new and intriguing, and the quite obvious when it came to recommendations of how to act, and also predictions for the future. For example I know my credit score and know how to check it (for free) through various online services. Heck, I even know that on occasion Quidco will essentially pay you to check your credit score. This wasn't a ground breaking recommendation for me, however the fact that up to 40% of us would consider banking with Amazon, Apple, Google or Facebook were they to enter the market, was quite startling.

Each section of the book features usable tips and tricks, some of which I was more taken with than others. Though the book taught me more about loyalty apps and electronic 'wallets' which can keep your cards all together in one place, I'm still probably not going to do so. As you can see, not everything in the book is about banking, but about the wider area of finances – how you keep track of where you're up to, and how you maximise easy avenues (including the aforementioned cashback sites such as Quidco).

At one point in the book, the author writes that the problem with overdrafts is that it's often not clear what the charges are for going overdrawn, and you're left with a little guesswork. There's also the issue of not knowing if you can afford something in the first place because, guess what, you're not keeping track of your finances. There are lots of ways to do this of course, from an online banking app to regular alerts. When I worked in Colombia, every time anything happened with my bank account, I got a text. Been paid? Here's a text. Withdrawn some cash? Here's a text (often while you're still standing at the ATM). Used your debit card in the supermarket? Ping, check your phone. I've noticed this creeping in more in the UK now, too. My husband gets an alert each Friday with his current account balance. I got a 'friendly' text from my bank last week asking if I'd really just spent £££ at Amazon (the retailer was no surprise, but I usually buy in double digits not triple). One method recommended by the book is a digital CFO (Chief Financial Officer) which keeps track of all your finances (and, spoiler alert, the bank founded by the author offers just such a product).

An area I was most intrigued by was the notion of Pay as You Go insurance for cars, and other general developments in the industry. However, this felt a bit more like it was a glimpse into the future – perhaps because I'd not come across these models or providers before – so I left with more knowledge but no concrete plans to change my habits just yet.

The book is nothing if not expansive. Travel money, pensions, mortgages, even charity donations, all get a look in, though at times the information is short and punchy, maybe just a few lines followed by a recommended list of products to try. My head was swimming by the end, but I took a lot away from this book, and will keep it to hand for dipping in and out of if and when I have specific queries.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review.

For more hands-on-help, The DIY Investor: How to take control of your investments and plan for a financially secure future by Andy Bell got 5 stars from our reviewer. You might also appreciate Money: The Unauthorised Biography by Felix Martin.

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