Only you can save the economy

IF you've been reading the business section over the last few months you've probably developed a rather bleak view of money.

Banks, previously the foundations on which we built our financial lives, have either failed or at least become shaky and uncertain. It's tempting to feel that the faceless folk who pull the levers on our economy have stuffed something up and those of us with mortgages and retirement funds can only sit back and watch it all burn.

Fortunately, the latest edition of Paul Clitheroe's linchpin book Making Money is here to remind us that we have more control than we might think. The best thing we can do for ourselves is also the best thing we can do for the economy: take control of our finances.

Given the situation, even with the obvious need we to get our money under control, the whole process might feel horrifying or too hard. Clitheroe's book not only covers all the bases you'll need, but doesn't preach, doesn't make you feel guilty about not budgeting, and injects a much needed sense of hope into the reader.

His ten tips to financial security are simple, easily followed steps that, even if you've tried them before and failed, are exactly the kind of stable foundation and reminder that you're looking for right now. No guilt, just the rational process required to get back on your feet.

It's a relief to see, as well, that the book isn't just for the 2.4 kids and a mortgage set, nor is it a screed on becoming rich being the only way to be comfortable. In Clitheroe's world, money troubles fall on the poor and rich alike, and the advice in here could apply whether you're a uni student, tradie, lawyer, or investment banker.

Clitheroe also proves that the basic, fundamental principles behind taking control of your income don't change even when the world is going through a financial crisis.

The book is well written, easy to understand, and you get a real sense of Clitheroe knowing what you're going through, be it a hiccup on the mortgage or flat-out disaster. If you've never had this book in earlier editions, or you picked it up a few years ago, you're doing yourself an immense favor by picking up the latest edition.