The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan
  • Title: The Financial Diet
  • Subtitle: A Total Beginner's Guide to Getting Good with Money
  • Author(s): Chelsea Fagan, Lauren Ver Hage
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
  • Year: 2018-01-02
  • ISBN-10: 1250176174
  • ISBN-13: 9781250176172


The Financial Diet” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage is a refreshing and practical guide to personal finance for millennials. Tackling the often esoteric and intimidating world of money management with a relatable and conversational approach, the authors provide readers with a comprehensive roadmap to achieving financial stability and independence. With topics ranging from budgeting and saving to investing and building a side hustle, this book offers actionable advice for readers at any stage of their financial journey.

Unlike many traditional personal finance books, “The Financial Diet” doesn’t just focus on the technical aspects of managing money, but also explores the emotional and psychological aspects surrounding our financial choices. Fagan and Ver Hage delve into the societal pressures and expectations that often influence our spending habits, offering valuable insights into how to break free from the cycle of mindless consumerism. Additionally, the book features relatable anecdotes, interviews, and case studies, making it an engaging read that brings the concepts to life. Whether you’re a recent graduate, navigating your first job, or looking to improve your financial standing, “The Financial Diet” provides a practical and thought-provoking guide to achieving financial wellness.

Book Review

“The Financial Diet” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage is an incredibly valuable resource that tackles the often daunting world of personal finance with a fresh and relatable perspective. In this practical guide, the authors provide millennials with a roadmap to financial stability, offering actionable advice coupled with a deep understanding of the emotional and psychological aspects of money management.

The book begins by emphasizing the importance of creating a budget. Fagan and Ver Hage stress the need to track expenses rigorously and identify areas where one can cut back. They provide a variety of practical tips, such as using apps to monitor spending, allocating funds for specific purposes, and distinguishing between needs and wants. Through relatable anecdotes and real-life examples, they highlight how making small changes in daily habits can have a significant impact on one’s overall financial health.

One of the strengths of this book lies in its exploration of the emotional factors that influence our financial decisions. Fagan and Ver Hage delve into the pressures society places on us to achieve a certain lifestyle and how these expectations can impact our spending habits. They encourage readers to question societal norms and challenge their own beliefs about what constitutes a fulfilling life. This introspective approach sets “The Financial Diet” apart from other personal finance guides and prompts readers to examine the deeper motivations behind their financial choices.

Another key aspect of the book is its emphasis on building additional income streams. Fagan and Ver Hage recognize the limitations of relying solely on a traditional 9-to-5 job and provide valuable insights into starting side hustles or turning hobbies into income-generating ventures. They couple these suggestions with practical advice on managing time efficiently and staying motivated. By sharing success stories and featuring interviews with individuals who have achieved financial independence through alternative means, the authors demonstrate that financial stability is attainable for anyone willing to put in the effort.

Investing is another crucial topic covered in “The Financial Diet.” Fagan and Ver Hage demystify the intimidating world of investing by providing accessible explanations and actionable steps for beginners. They introduce various investment avenues, such as index funds and retirement accounts, and stress the importance of starting early. By highlighting the power of compounding and sharing the experiences of people who have successfully grown their wealth through strategic investing, the authors inspire readers to take control of their financial future.

Throughout the book, Fagan and Ver Hage consistently promote the idea of self-improvement and lifelong learning. They encourage readers to invest in themselves by pursuing education, whether formal or informal, and demonstrate how personal growth can enhance financial well-being. By emphasizing continuous learning and adaptability, the authors foster a mindset that allows individuals to navigate the rapidly changing financial landscape effectively.

The Financial Diet” stands out for its engaging and relatable writing style. Fagan and Ver Hage bring their personal experiences to the table, sharing anecdotes and case studies that readers can easily relate to. This storytelling approach makes the book not only informative but also highly enjoyable to read.

In conclusion, “The Financial Diet” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage is an invaluable resource for millennials seeking to improve their financial well-being. By addressing the practical, emotional, and psychological aspects of money management, the authors provide a comprehensive guide that goes beyond traditional personal finance advice. With relatable examples, actionable steps, and thought-provoking insights, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to take control of their financial future and achieve long-term financial wellness.

Word Count: 598

Key Ideas

The Financial Diet” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage is a personal finance book that provides practical advice and insights for managing money and achieving financial goals. Here are the key ideas from the book:

  1. Financial Self-Awareness The book emphasizes the importance of understanding your financial situation. It encourages readers to assess their income, expenses, debts, and overall financial health. Self-awareness is the first step toward making positive financial changes.

  2. Budgeting Budgeting is a central theme in the book. Fagan and Ver Hage stress the significance of creating a budget to track income and expenses. They provide guidance on how to create a realistic budget that aligns with your financial goals.

  3. Smart Spending The authors discuss the concept of “spending on what you value” and suggest evaluating your spending habits. They recommend cutting unnecessary expenses and redirecting money toward things that truly matter to you.

  4. Emergency Fund Building an emergency fund is a key component of financial stability. The book advises setting aside a portion of your income regularly to create a financial safety net for unexpected expenses.

  5. Investing “The Financial Diet” introduces the idea of investing for the future. It explains various investment options, such as stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts, and encourages readers to start investing early to benefit from compounding returns.

  6. Debt Management The book provides strategies for managing and reducing debt. It emphasizes the importance of paying down high-interest debt and offers tips for negotiating with creditors.

  7. Career and Income Growth Fagan and Ver Hage suggest taking steps to increase your earning potential. This may involve pursuing education, seeking career advancement, or exploring side hustles and additional income streams.

  8. Long-Term Financial Planning Planning for long-term financial goals, such as homeownership and retirement, is discussed. The authors stress the importance of setting specific goals and creating a plan to achieve them.

  9. Mindful Spending Practicing mindful spending involves being intentional with your money and making purchases that align with your values and goals. The book encourages readers to think critically about their spending choices.

  10. Financial Independence Achieving financial independence, where your investments generate enough income to cover your expenses, is presented as a significant milestone. The book explores the principles of financial independence and early retirement (FIRE).

  11. Healthy Financial Habits Developing healthy financial habits, such as saving consistently, avoiding impulsive spending, and automating financial tasks, is highlighted as crucial for long-term financial success.

  12. Financial Challenges Fagan and Ver Hage acknowledge that financial challenges and setbacks are common. They provide strategies for overcoming obstacles and maintaining financial resilience.

  13. Financial Education The authors stress the importance of ongoing financial education. They recommend reading books, following financial news, and seeking advice from experts to enhance financial literacy.

In summary, “The Financial Diet” offers practical guidance on managing money, budgeting, and achieving financial goals. It promotes financial self-awareness, responsible spending, and long-term planning as essential steps toward financial stability and independence. The book is designed to help readers take control of their finances and build a more secure financial future.

Target Audience

The Financial Diet” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage is targeted at a diverse audience interested in personal finance, particularly millennials seeking practical advice and guidance in managing their money. The book is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Young Professionals This book is ideal for recent graduates and individuals in the early stages of their careers who are looking to establish a solid financial foundation. It provides actionable steps, relatable anecdotes, and useful tips to help them navigate the challenges of budgeting, saving, and investing.

  • Individuals Striving for Financial Stability Whether one is burdened by debt or struggling to make ends meet, “The Financial Diet” offers valuable insights and strategies to attain financial security. By emphasizing the importance of creating a budget, distinguishing needs from wants, and adopting mindful spending habits, the book empowers readers to take control of their finances and work towards a more stable future.

  • Those Seeking to Escape the Cycle of Consumerism Fagan and Ver Hage address the societal pressures that often lead to mindless consumerism and encourage readers to reevaluate their relationship with money. The book prompts individuals to challenge mainstream narratives and encourages them to focus on what truly brings them fulfillment, rather than succumbing to external expectations. It is recommended reading for those looking to find contentment and personal satisfaction outside of material possessions.

  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Side Hustlers For individuals interested in pursuing entrepreneurship or establishing side hustles, “The Financial Diet” offers valuable advice on managing finances in the context of self-employment. It provides guidance on starting and scaling a business, identifying income-generating opportunities, and effectively managing time and resources.

In conclusion, “The Financial Diet” is highly recommended for millennials and individuals of all backgrounds seeking practical and relatable guidance on personal finance. From young professionals to those striving for financial stability, the book offers actionable steps, insightful anecdotes, and strategies to improve financial well-being and achieve long-term success. In addition to providing valuable advice, it encourages a mindset shift towards mindful spending and responsible financial habits, making it a valuable resource for individuals seeking financial independence and security.