I knew The Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu was a book on finance but what I didn’t know was that it had a background story upon which the lessons were deduced and taught. The moment I realized it, I knew it was a must-read.
Why The Smart Money Woman?
So, for a long time now, I’ve been thinking a lot about money matters. How to make extra money? What to do to grow the money I earn? Which investments would be right for me? I’ve always felt the need for a financial plan. The only problem was how to go about it. I didn’t even try to figure it out. Instead, I just decided on the barest minimum which is just saving a percentage of my earnings and postponing any financial plans for later.
After reading this book, my blindfolds fell off. This has been the right book for me all along but I thought it was just going to be another boring lecture on finances like reading the finance column in a newspaper. Honestly, I have zero patience for boring books or articles. Thankfully, this has a story and I made an obvious choice.
The Smart Money Woman is a guide for the African Woman to attaining financial freedom. The plot focuses on Zuri, a senior manager at a real estate firm and her group of friends. Tami is a fashion designer with no cares in the world but having rich boyfriends to take care of her. Adesuwa is the conservative lawyer who blindly invests all her money in a scum of a husband. The oil and gas executive who is more focused that the rest is Lara. The group wouldn’t be complete without the housewife whose husband takes care of her every need until… just until… She is Ladun anyway. No spoilers here but it’s an easy guess.
These women go through a lot of financial issues and none of them is perfect. The story takes us through their unique problems of debt, wrong entrepreneurial values, poor investments, financial complacency, extravagance and poor budget planning, African misconceptions about a woman’s finances and a lot more.
It then teaches the average woman the right steps to take when such issues arise and the best solutions to tackle them all. At the end, each woman has no choice but to learn to be The Smart Money Woman.
The Smart Money Woman delivered on all the key issues raised in the most engaging way possible. The story was well plotted even though there were so many clichés. I guess the author just wanted something simple and easy to relate for every reader. She did just that and I think it’s okay for the type of book.
Now, the story and the financial lessons parts did not override each other. She told the right amount of story we needed for a lesson to be taught and there were a good number of in-depth lessons. My point is the right balance was struck between the two and the main message of finance wasn’t compromised.
As regards the writing, I learnt a lot again about fluid transition between scenes. I always talk about this because it’s one aspect of my writing that I’m very keen on improving. In order for the balance which I mentioned above to be made, I imagine she had to cut out unnecessary scenes which a full length novel would normally have incorporated. She did it so well and I didn’t feel like there were any gaps. Fluid transition between scenes is very important for the flow of reading.
The editor of the book has some questions to answer. I saw quite a number of sentences where words were either misplaced or omitted. Once it occurs on more than two occasions and obvious enough to be noticed, it becomes disconcerting. I hope they can make the necessary corrections in a new edition.
Finally, this is a must-read for everyone both man and woman. There’s a horde of financial lessons to learn from it. You don’t want to miss out on any of them. If you want to give someone a gift, this is a perfect gift. So, go get yours!