Book Review: Young, Fun & Financially Free - Leanna Haakons
Young, Fun & Financially Free - Leanna Haakons

Money at 30: “Young, Fun & Financially Free” Book Review

Young, Fun & Financially Free - Leanna HaakonsPersonal finance often gets a bad rap. Despite dozens if not hundreds of bloggers insisting that, no, budgeting doesn’t mean depriving yourself of all non-essential spending, there’s no question that this is still the impression most people get. Enter another expert here to insist that you can indeed lead a fulfilling life not in spite of financial responsibility but because of it. In Young, Fun & Financially Free: Live the Good Life Now and Build a Kick-Ass Futureauthor Leanna Haakons lays out a plan for Millennials and others to get a hold on their finances and change them for the better — without cutting out all of the enjoyment.

Before we get into the review itself, I should explain how Young, Fun & Financially Free first came on my radar. I actually had the chance to meet Haakons while attending FinCon 2019 earlier this month. After skimming her book and hearing her overview, I was ready to fork over my money to get a copy for myself. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any for sale! Instead, she was nice enough to send me a .PDF copy for review. With that out of the way, let’s jump into it.

The first few chapters of Young, Fun & Financially Free provide a mile-high overview of how you can change your money mindset to better your overall finances. It was clear from these early entries that Haakons and I are pretty much on the same page as far as our money philosophies go. Nevertheless, for me, the book doesn’t really take off until around Chapter 4. That’s when Haakons really starts getting into specifics while covering topics such as the pros and cons of credit cards,   Each of these chapters flows well and is rich with helpful info and insight. That said, I did find it slightly odd that a chapter dedicated to working your way out of debt fell later in the book instead of being bumped up to an earlier chapter. Then again, the material still worked well regardless of its physical placement.

Elsewhere, some of my favorite chapters came towards the end where the book looks at some finance-adjacent topics not typically covered in books like this. For example, Haakons highlights the importance of cybersecurity, insurance, and even having a strongbox for your personal documents — all vital points that deserve more attention from the book’s intended audience. I also appreciated a chapter exploring the need for a strong “core support system,” if for no other reason than it encourages friends to discuss money openly and honestly, which is something I’m a big believer in.

Something of note is that, as a Canadian who now resides in the United States, Haakons frequently refers to products or programs specific to each of the countries. In these cases, she is mostly careful to note which recommendations apply to those on which side of the border. Including the Canadian information helps the book stand out in my mind as I do have a few Canuck friends who could benefit from reading this.

Like many personal finance books these days, Young, Fun & Financially Free offers supplemental material online. By visiting Haakons’s site, readers can gain access to bonuses for each chapter. For the most part, these bonuses make sense being offered separately as they are more worksheets than anything else. However there were definitely a couple of bonuses I couldn’t help thinking should have just been included in the main text (especially given the book’s slim figure). On a somewhat similar note, the author does also plug her day job and website a few times — even offering a free advisory consultation — but, thankfully, these mentions are made sparingly so as not to annoy or distract.

At just under 150 pages, Young, Fun & Financially Free: Live the Good Life Now and Build a Kick-Ass Future is a breeze of a read. Yet, in those pages, Haakons manages to pack in a lot. While you may have heard some similar advice before, the author’s ability to weave in her own personal experiences while also veering slightly from the regular personal finance playbook makes this worth a read.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

In Community We Trust

P2P Lending Platform SoLo Funds Responds to CFPB Lawsuit

After being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the FinTech SoLo Funds has now issued a response. About the lawsuit and response: Recently, the CFPB announced that it was suing SoLo Funds, accusing the company of misleading customers about the true costs of loans obtained through the platform. This stems from SoLo's model, which allows prospective borrowers to offer a "tip" to lenders as well as provide a...
Richard Branson and Virgin and Synchrony bank execs holding a giant credit card

Virgin Red to Partner with Synchrony for New Rewards Credit Card

Virgin Red is readying a new co-branded credit card in partnership with Synchrony. About the partnership and new card program: This week, Virgin and Synchrony revealed plans to launch the Virgin Red Rewards World Elite Mastercard. The new card is currently expected to debut during the second half of this year. While details of the card were not fully announced, the companies note that the Virgin Red Rewards card will...
Robinhood margin fee graph

Robinhood Introduces Lowered Margin Interest Rates

The popular investing platform Robinhood has announced new margin rates as it looks to attract advanced traders. About the changes: Robinhood is rolling out new, lowered margin rates. Now, the rates that customers pay will vary by their total margin balance, with these rates ranging from 5.7% to 6.75%. These tiers breakdown like this: Up to $50k: 6.75% $50k to $100k: 6.55% $100k to $1 million: 6.25% $1 million and...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories: Amazon.com, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...
Rent Day

Bilt Announces Home Collection Deal for May 2024 Rent Day

For May's Rent Day, Bilt is offering a deal that will allow members to decrease their rent bill while also adding to their home decor. About the Home Collection offer: Bilt has crafted a unique Rent Day offer for May 2024. Through the 1st, when Bilt members redeem their points toward rent payments, they'll receive the same number of points to be used toward Bilt Home Collection items. To take...