Pocket Your Dollars by Carrie Rocha

Pocket Your Dollars Review If I had to sum this book up in one word, it would be “conviction.”

Jonathan and I went into our marriage having already talked about money quite a bit. We had listened to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace talks on our trips between Indiana and Minnesota. And when we got married, it was the two of us living in (almost) the cheapest apartment we could find on one income for a year and a half while I finished school online. But we had a budget that we stuck to, and we tracked our expenses. And though we had to be careful, I never felt like we didn’t have enough. We managed to tithe, save for a new-to-us car, take several trips to Michigan, and spend a few days in Duluth for our first anniversary.

And then I started working full-time at the church, Jonathan switched to his job at the paper, and all of our careful planning went out the window. We could afford to be not-so-careful, so we stopped tracking our spending. We moved into a nicer apartment. We bought a Sleep Number bed (this was much-needed). And our monthly budget meetings? Those went out the window. While I think it was valuable for me to shed my “spending guilt” during those first few months (all I ever heard growing up was that we didn’t have any money, so the money I did get to spend was on cheap stuff), I regret that we stopped being so intentional with our money.

I’ve been thinking for awhile that we need to tighten things up and be more intentional about paying off debt and cleaning up our expenses, and I think Pocket Your Dollars was the kick I needed. The book is broken into three parts—“The Five Attitudes That Must Go,” “Skills You Need to Change Your Attitudes,” and “Now That You’re Ready, Some Simple Budgeting Advice.” Each section was helpful in a different way. Rocha uncovered the underlying attitudes that cause us to over-spend and under-save, shared the tools needed overcome those attitudes, and offered practical tips for creating a spending plan and saving money.

In part one, each chapter is on a different “attitude” and ends with a helpful quiz that allows you to identify if you struggle in that area because, let’s be honest, it’s not always easy to see things like that in yourself.

I was really impressed with this book. While I had heard much of it before from Dave Ramsey, I found myself getting excited about the changes we could make to our financial situation. It’s not full of jargon or boring, impractical information like these books sometimes are. Rocha included lots of great examples that just about anyone can relate to. Her writing style was easy and conversational, and because she was sharing out of her own experiences with debt, I never felt like she was talking down to me as the reader. It was more like listening to a friend give advice.

If you’re ready to have your saving and spending habits challenged, or if you’re ready to get to it and make some changes, read this book. It’ll be a motivating first step on your journey to financial freedom.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.