Talking About Money Book Club:  Your Playbook for Tough Times by Donna Freedman

Talking About Money Book Club: Your Playbook for Tough Times by Donna Freedman

Your Playbook for Tough Times will teach you to be your own best advocate and to stretch your dollars farther than you ever dreamed they could go!


Participants in my train-the-trainer series know that I like to talk about books related to money.   In fact, before I facilitate professional development training I create a big blank chart entitled “Book Club” and stick it on the wall.  During the course of the training if I am reminded of a book that feeds into our discussion then I write it on the chart.  At the end of the training participants can snap a photo of the “Book Club” list and add the titles to their lists of books to read.

I just finished reading Your Playbook for Tough Times by Donna Freedman.  Donna has a striking bio and I urge you to get to know her at In the introduction of the book she states that her mantra is “Save where you can so you can spend where you want.”  I like this philosophy since it encourages you to be mindful of your spending and to cut corners where it makes sense for you so that you can free up those dollars to spend in areas that are meaningful for you.

Donna invites readers to start by taking a hard look at the absolute minimum amount of money that their household needs to survive, dubbed “The Financial Fire Drill.”  She instructs readers to examine at all expenses and to consider negotiating lower debt payments, insurance rates and utilities.  She also recommends taking inventory of personal items that you can sell in a flash.  Then update your resume in the event that you would need to go out and look for a new job tomorrow.  Once all that hard thinking is done she recommends that you create a file folder and keep your hard work at hand in case you ever need it.

I like this book because it is chocked full of money hacks that anyone can use to make their dollars stretch farther.  And not only is this book full of helpful hints it is also written in a no-nonsense manner that speaks to readers and inspires them to take control of their financial lives. 

For example, Donna encourages readers to examine every piece of financial paperwork that comes into your home and to question everything that you do not understand:

Are you surprised by a high medical bill?  Call the billing department and try to negotiate it down. 

Wondering if you are paying too much for insurance? Call the customer service line and ask to review your policy with an intent of saving money. 

Frustrated by expensive cable television?  Call and tell the provider that you are planning to cancel your service – you will instantly be connected to the person who can lower your monthly bill.

In the end I recommend this book because it teaches readers how to be their own best advocate and not to succumb to paying more that you need to “because that is just how much it costs.”  And once you get over the initial apprehension of asking for a lower price/haggling/bartering/etc. you will find that it gets easier.  And while you might not always get the response that you desire, sometimes you will and that savings can be redirected to spending on something that you value more.

What are your best savings hacks?

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