Mastering Your Money Book Review

Reviewer: Jimmy Nzioki

Date: 26th March 2022

Money. Everybody wants it, many need it, few know how to make it and others simply cannot keep it. It can be an emotive subject depending on your relationship with it and the social status it has given you. If you certainly want to develop great money habits then look no further as Chacha Nyaigoti Bichang’a’s book: Mastering Your Money: A Practical Guide in Your Journey to Financial Freedom (2020) has got you covered.

For the personal finance enthusiasts who might have scoured the internet in search of guides and or books on the subject you soon realize that there is an ocean of material on the subject but very few are contextualized for Africans, more so for Kenyans. This book has come to fill that gap by offering a well-structured guide that almost reads like a textbook on personal financial education. It is a superb manual on the subject of money.

The book is divided into three main parts each addressing a critical issue on the subject of personal finance viz., Putting Money into Perspective, Financial Stressors, and Pillars of Mastering Your Money. The first part entails debunking myths that are associated with money and wealth creation while the second part explores the causes and indicators of financial struggles. The last part, my favorite, has to do with how to create, grow and preserve one’s hard-earned money. As a way of engaging the reader, the author infuses his personal stories where applicable and at the end of every chapter ensures the reader gets to recall and reflect on what they have just read by issuing some personal questions.

The book seems to target average readers who would like to know how to get back on the road to financial freedom. For instance, in one of the chapters, he discusses the trap and shame of debt. Here he gives a quite compelling quote that says, modern-day slaves are not those in chains, but people trapped in debt. He further distinguishes good debt from bad debt to help his readers understand the difference between consumer debt and money borrowed for a guaranteed return on investment. 

While the arguments presented in the book are not entirely novel, they are quite accurate. Furthermore, there is the sense of it being rather didactic in its approach. The author tries to gracefully tell you how not to get yourself into a financial quicksand while at the same time telling you that there is more to money than cents and notes. He digresses a bit sometimes to give you some tidbits on psychological facts and personal development habits that he believes will help the reader have a better relationship with their money. For example, he talks about fear of taking risks, purpose, goal setting, and the like.

The whole layout of the book is intended to appeal to the so-called “slow-readers” who can use it as a manual and/or discuss its content with family and friends. It is certainly not a book to be read and immediately shelved or discarded if one desires to seriously milk it for all its worth. Reading it may seem challenging but the cumulative payoff is good. The simple and well broken-down principles recommended in the manual can change your mindset on saving, giving, budgeting, protecting assets and investments. The opening of every chapter with a quote makes it easier to relate to the forthcoming content.

Do you crave to break your poor money habits or increase your wealth through prudent financial management (no pun intended)? Then do grab yourself a copy.

By Jimmy Nzioki, Author: The Gift of Presence and In The Belly of The Fish (debut novel).