Book review: I Wish They Taught Money in High School.

I saw a post in a Facebook group where I belong to regarding this back-to-back book, I Wish They Taught Money in High School. I must admit that the covers alone caught my interest. Cute covers, don’t you think? And then I read the title and I immediately thought that the book was definitely for me! Very catchy!

I read the first one, I Wish They Taught Money in High School So I’m Not Dependent on My Paycheck by Clarissa Seriña-de la Paz. Let me tell you first that I was prepared to like the book. I wasn’t taught how to handle money back in high school but I knew that we didn’t have enough so I learned early on to manage what little school allowance I had. This book tells of the author’s experience in handling money and being taught by her parents. It also tells of how the author used Robert Kiyosaki‘s Cashflow 101. And so much more!

The second one, the other book at the back, I Wish They Taught Money in High School So I Can Start My Own Business Right Away, is, well, all about money and doing/investing in a business.

Let me just say something about the two books. Both authors grew up with privileged lives. They were not typical Filipino kids who struggled with their school allowances and all that. Growing up, they had parents who had enough money to give to them and to teach them how to manage it. They didn’t grow up seeing their parents cry over not having enough after paying all the bills. They didn’t grow up seeing their parents struggle with paying their tuition fees. I am not saying they grew up with perfect lives. But finance-wise, I don’t think they really know the meaning of stretching the last centavo.

This blogger, along with majority of Filipino kids, grew up with almost nothing!

I know that both books are meant to teach us how to become good handlers of money. I like that a lot! Now, I have enough so the book will somehow be able to help me handle my finances better. But majority of Filipinos in this day and age are minimum wage earners. I don’t think the book will help them stretch what little cash they have.

Let me focus on one lesson that Ms. de la Paz got from her mother. Always pay your credit card bills in full. That is one very good advice! But let me tell you what reality is. You apply for credit cardS because your paycheck is always not enough! You use your credit card for grocery shopping. You use your credit card to get appliances and furniture for your home in installment basis. You use it to pay for school supplies and other stuff that your kids need. When your credit card bills arrive, you pay whatever amount you can afford above the minimum amount due, and then you wait for bonuses and other work incentives to be credited to your paycheck before you pay for most of your bill. No matter how much the average Filipino worker desire to pay his/her credit card bill in full, when the take home pay is not enough, he/she can’t! And that’s the reality of it.

I appreciate the efforts both authors put in their books to teach us all about managing our finances. It is great that they want us to increase the value of our net worth. But the sad reality is that, no matter how much you want to invest in stocks, money market instruments, time deposits and such… no matter how much you want to put up your own business, if you don’t have enough, you can’t. Believe me, I’ve been there so many times in the past. Even now that I have enough, I have priorities I need to allot cash for before anything else.

Overall, the book is for Filipinos out there who have more than enough to spare after paying their bills. Both books are good but not meant for everybody, in my opinion. It is certainly not for me.

Note: I am really sorry I would like to give the books a more positive review but I have to be true to what I felt like after reading both.

Note-2: The book was given to me for free in exchange for a review.

Blogger’s note: This review was also posted in Addicted to Reading.

2 comments

  • Wow! Book review!
    Sometimes advices do not really apply to all. I totally agree with you that those books might not just be useful to most Filipinos including me who lives by the day!

  • Hi Sis! Di ba ano?

    I also felt bitter about how privileged the authors’ lives were when they were growing up. No wonder they could impart financial advices like that. Di nila naranasan how it is to grow up with parents who could barely make both ends meet. Hay 🙁