“Financial Feminist” by Tori Dunlap Audiobook Review
Over the past few months, my Audible credits have really been piling up. Luckily for me, I recently came across a perfect candidate for download: Financial Feminist by Tori Dunlap — known as the founder of Her First $100K. Subtitled Overcome the Patriarchy’s Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build a Life You Love, it’s clear that the book isn’t your average personal finance read. Then again, that’s exactly what I enjoyed about it.
To start, I once again need to acknowledge that I’m not exactly the target market for this book. As you might expect, the book is definitely aimed at women and is tailored to them. Yet, despite the fact that I don’t fit that demographic, I definitely identified with some of the topics discussed.
For example, in one of the later chapters of the book, it’s mentioned that women are often afraid to apply for jobs if they don’t meet all of the requirements whereas most men don’t have such qualms. This chapter was also about negotiating compensation — something I’ve admittedly never really done. So, while I can’t relate to the female experience overall, these were just some of the instances where I had a lot to learn.
Unlike some other books I’ve reviewed, something Dunlap makes clear is that Financial Feminist is meant to be read in order and also encourages some hands-on participation. In fact, there’s even an acknowledgment early on that, while readers/listeners might be tempted to skip the section, they should be sure to stick around. In my case, even though I wouldn’t really try to skip around on an audiobook anyway, I never felt any desire to. Even when Dunlap is covering some of the more basic personal finance topics, the book remains both entertaining and engaging. Plus, I don’t think there was any single chapter where I didn’t have at least one takeaway.
Speaking of “the basics,” one aspect I found interesting was the “three-bucket rule.” Under this plan, consumers first look at their absolute essential costs for bucket one. Then, bucket two is for goals such as debt payoff, retirement contributions, and investment. Finally, bucket three is for everything else. In contrast to other options, such as the 50-30-20 budget, the percentage that each bucket represents can vary by person. For me, this is the type of budget I can get on board with, and so I appreciated being introduced to it.
Of course, as much as Financial Feminist is a money how-to book, it’s also an examination of why activism is needed. Some of these issues are ones you’re likely familiar with such as the pay gap. But, on top of that, one disparity pointed out that I hadn’t realized involves personal finance writing itself. As Dunlap notes, Googling “financial advice for women” would often pull up articles about frugality and spending, whereas articles geared towards men would focus on building wealth and how to invest. Luckily, this issue is starting to get fixed thanks to writers like Dunlap and many others — but the point remains nonetheless.
Whether you’re reading the book or listening to the audio version, you will hear from many voices in Financial Feminist. That’s because it includes sections from Paula Pant, Ramit Sethi, Tanja Hester, and many others. In each case, I thought these anecdotes and advice segments were great inclusions that served to further illustrate Dunlap’s point, add a different perspective, or just shake things up a bit.
In my view, there’s a lot to like about and learn from Financial Feminist — regardless of who you are or how you identify. Not only does the book do a commendable job of covering some important money topics but also addresses several larger realities. Through it all, Dunlap keeps things entertaining, making it a pleasure to read even if you may find some topics frustrating on their face. Whether you pick up a printed copy or consume via audiobook as I did, Financial Feminist is another one worth checking out.