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Reviewed by Sarah Ell

We’ve all read the headlines. Easy access to debt, slick marketing, and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) culture means that many young people today are struggling with their finances. It’s an even more unfortunate fact that young women, who might not have been encouraged to talk and think about business and money, are especially vulnerable to getting into financial dire straits.

Australian accountant, entrepreneur, and writer Melissa Browne has a short and simple message for these people, printed in pink letters on the back of this eye-catching, all-black book: ‘Dear Gen X and Y, this is your handbook to financial freedom.’

Browne says people, especially women, need to be more open about money, and stop it from being a dirty little secret, the way sex is now more widely and openly discussed, thanks to pop-culture phenomena such as Sex and the City. Her book, which has a title as attention-grabbing as its cover, is aimed squarely at the younger, female demographic.    

She uses modern, direct language to get her message across, with chapter titles such as ‘Let’s get naked about money’, ‘How to break up with money’, and ‘Sexually-transmitted debt’. Got your attention? That’s the idea.

She talks through taking a 30-day financial detox, goal-setting, conscious consumption, and making regular ‘weigh-ins’ to assess your financial position. She also looks at the age-old question of ‘Should I buy a home?’, bank accounts and shares, and how to break the cycle of spending money just because you can.

Browne has an important message, and her ideas are both useful and practical for those struggling to achieve both resilience and what she terms ‘financial wellness’ – at any age. If the title and the packaging put you off, it’s because you’re too old. If it strikes a chord with you, then read on.

Written by Melissa Browne
Published by Allen & Unwin, NZ$27.99