In reviewing The Meaningful Money Handbook, I bring to you my favorite personal finance personality, someone most Americans haven’t yet heard of — Pete Matthew. Pete is a top resource for folks of all ages looking to better understand their finances. In 2012, Pete launched the Meaningful Money podcast and began reaching a wider audience.
I started listening to his podcast in 2014 when I was fresh out of college. At the time, I was just beginning my career and wanted to develop a strong financial strategy for my own future. Despite the fact that Pete is based in the UK, I found the advice he offered on his podcast to be sound and straightforward – just what I was looking for. I quickly became a dedicated listener to his weekly show and continue to be an avid fan to this day, eagerly consuming any content that Pete publishes.
200 podcast episodes later, Pete has organized his vast library of content into an easy-to-understand financial handbook. This month, I had the pleasure of reading the fruits of this labor. And Pete did not disappoint.
About the Author
Pete Matthew is the managing director of Jacksons Wealth Management, a financial planning firm based in the UK. In his younger years, Pete worked in electronic design and management for McDonalds. Much to our benefit, Pete eventually made his way into the finance industry. In addition to writing, podcasting, and financial planning, Pete is a married father of two and dog father of one.
A Brief Summary
Let’s face it, most students don’t graduate high school prepared for the financial intricacies that lie ahead of them. This gives financial institutions a significant advantage over young adults who are suddenly faced with an onslaught of buy-now, pay-later opportunities. Pete himself was handed two credit cards as a “bonus reward” for opening a bank account. In a world where the financial institutions feed on the ill-prepared, sound financial guidance is crucial.
To achieve any measure of financial success, there are several aspects of your lifestyle you need to rewire as quickly as possible:
- Create lifelong wealth-building habits
- Become forward-thinking
- Understand WHY building wealth matters to you
- Know what you want to do with your money before you accumulate it
Despite being a financial advisor, Pete’s mission isn’t to convince readers to drop everything and hire a certified financial planner. In fact, Pete is confident that most people can secure their financial future without seeking professional advice and he gives you the tools to do it yourself.
Despite the fact that we live all complex lives and face unique challenges, there are fundamental financial principles that everyone should understand and apply to their own situation. Pete describes those principles in The Meaningful Money Handbook.
How To Build Secure Financial Future in 3 Simple Steps
The Meaningful Money Handbook is organized into three main sections:
- Spend Less than You Earn and Clear Debt. This section discusses strategies, tools, and habits that will leave you with more money in your account at the end of each month.
- Insure Against Disaster. Working our tails off to accumulate wealth is a daft undertaking if we do nothing to protect what we earn. Pete explains what you can do to protect your assets.
- Build Up Your Savings and Invest Wisely. Once you’ve formed proper financial habits that result in disposable income, it’s time to grow your net worth. Pete talks about ways to do this in a tax efficient manner that also fits your investing personality.
What I Like About The Meaningful Money Handbook
Action without knowledge is useless. And knowledge without action is futile. This seems to be the guiding concept with respect to how Pete explains information on his podcast and in writing. The Meaningful Money Handbook cleverly separates information in two categories:
What you need to KNOW. And what you need to DO.
This two-step approach to educating readers is invaluable. Pete essentially creates a checklist for readers to follow so they know exactly what information they need to understand and how to apply that information to their own lives. I cannot stress enough how valuable this format is. Learning before taking action is a chronologically imperative financial process. This is a concept that Pete repeats time after time.
For me, The Meaningful Money Handbook deserves the highest rating possible – five stars. Pete’s personality shines through the content in a way that makes reading a couple hundred pages go by in a flash.
As I mentioned earlier, Pete is a UK-based financial planner so his book often references UK-specific financial concepts. Despite a few sections where the explanations won’t help US readers, the vast majority of the concepts Pete covers are so universal that readers of any nationality can benefit.
If you’re interested in a similar book with a similar style that focuses entirely on American financial systems, I’d recommend Dave Ramsey’s The Complete Guide to Money. Personally, I find Pete Matthew to be a more open-minded financial advisor but I’m confident that either book will provide a pleasant boost to your financial well-being.