He Said It! I Did It!
Lessons from my Father on Mastering Personal Finance
Publisher: Orman Press Inc
Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team
The material found in this book can be found in works written by other Christian authors. However, it is actually a complement to say that Buffington’s book can be compared to best-selling authors such as Larry Burkett or Ron Blue. He acknowledges that personal finance is not rocket science, and that in the grand scheme of things nobody should reinvent the wheel when it comes to handling one’s finances.
However, every book has its own flavor. What you expect to get from a book often determines your appreciation for it. I suppose that some people might pick up a book on personal finances written by a Christian author and think that the book should necessarily have the characteristics of a Bible study. There are in fact some books on the market that have as their main purpose the examination of scriptural texts relating to finances and a Christian’s relationship with money. Buffington certainly mentions the spiritual ramifications of how we handle our money, but his main thrust is to teach people the basics of how to get into a position of financial freedom. As such, this book is not overly concerned with spiritual sounding phrases, but rather it contains a lot of practical information for wise management of money.
Another thing to keep in mind as you’re reading this book is that Buffington assumes that you are not in love with money and material possessions. What I mean to say is that Buffington does not apologize for casting a vision of financial freedom, even if the rewards of that financial freedom include material possessions that may in some cases enslave the soul with idolatry. Buffington just lays out the principles for how to have financial freedom without getting bogged down in the reality that for some people greater amounts of financial resources would only reveal their love of such things. However, this is not a fault of Buffington, for the purpose of the book is not to correct the sin of loving money. The purpose of the book is to help people, specifically Christians, to understand the ABC’s of personal finance.
One of the enjoyable aspects of this book is first laid out for us in the title of the book- He Said it! I Did it! Lessons From My Father on Mastering Personal Finance. In a day where the younger generation always thinks it knows more than the previous, here is a book written by a son who gives explicit credit to his father for all of the content of this book. What’s more, the son learned these principles only after bungling his own finances for a period of time in his adult life. It was at that point that he turned to his father and asked for advice and counsel. How refreshing it is to see a son looking up to his father for guidance, even when that son is already a grown man.
With practical chapters on living below your means, keeping a budget, investments, avoiding debt, tithing, and home ownership, Buffington gives the reader more than their money’s worth in this fast-paced book. Make no mistake, whether you already understand these principles or are coming to the topic of personal finance for the first time, you’ll find this to be an enjoyable book to read. Buffington may not provide an ocean of original material, but he also does not bore. I enjoyed reading this book, and I gained some new insight and new motivation for making sure that I am walking with wisdom in the handling of my personal finances.