Review: “The Financial Diet”

Paul F. Davis

Zoë Strickland | Editor-in-Chief

“The Financial Diet,” written by Chelsea Fagan and designed by Lauren Ver Hage, is a finance guide geared towards twenty-somethings that want to stay on top of their finances. The book, while both useful and interesting, missed the beat when it came to recognizing some of the inhibitors that millenials may face when trying to save money.

“The Financial Diet” is based off of the work done for the duo’s financial website. As an on-again, off-again follower of Fagan and Ver Hage’s work for the past few years, I picked up their book in hopes that it would offer new insights into the world of saving money.

The guide is easily palatable; it’s split into seven chapters, all of which focus on a different aspect of one’s finances. Each chapter is broken up by expert interviews and illustrated diagrams. My only qualm with this is the inclusion of a ‘food’ section.

The fourth chapter of the book focuses on money-saving in the kitchen. There is a bunch of great advice offered, but I think the chapter is lacking when it comes to advice on what to keep in your kitchen. There is a list of spices and oils that one should have on-hand, and then the chapter delves into recipes. I love a good recipe as much as the next person, but if I wanted recipes, I could look online or in a recipe-specific book. These pages could have been more useful if they instead included lists of multi-purpose food items you can buy or examples of cheaper food that packs a lot of nutrients.

The information offered in the rest of the book is useful. Fagan explains some of the lesser-known aspects of being a financially responsible adult; she discusses the importance of investing, home ownership and credit scores.

While all of this information is useful, I think the book would be more insightful if it went more in-depth about how to specifically set money aside for things like emergency funds and college loan payments. It’s easy to say that people should pair down their expenses in an effort to save money. However, there are some people in the target age range for this book, like college students, who may not be able to cut their spending that easily. A hefty portion of the advice offered in “The Financial Diet” is focused on those who are living above their means.

“The Financial Diet” is a good book for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing crash-course in financial responsibility. However, it shouldn’t be your only source of financial research.


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