Today only, May 1, I am pleased to report that readers of Married (with Debt) can get a free electronic copy of Alan Akina’s new book, the Super Duper Simple Book on Money. Stick with me here, because I was able to interview Alan and will share that with you below.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of the book for review, and must say that I am very impressed with it. Alan Akina is a personal finance writer and coach from Hawaii, and he has worked closely with many families to help them get on the right track. He hosts the Financial Fitness segment on FOX affiliate KHON 2 Morning News.
Throughout the years he noticed that many people were lacking certain basic concepts and principles about money. If we can’t get the fundamentals right, we can never begin to master the really tough stuff, things like investing that come after we have put our financial house in order.
This is a book you will actually read. It is beautifully formatted, and it is clear that Alan understands how people read in the Internet age. It is not very long, but it does cover all the important bases.
Alan bases the book around 5 Super Duper Simple Money Principles, which are:
1. Money In
2 Money Out
3. Money We Owe
4. Money We Grow
5. Money We Share
If you are looking to establish a strong foundation in the basics of personal finance and money management, these five concepts will have you covered. This book will work for adults, as well as young people. I can actually see myself using this book to teach my young daughter about how money works.
And if you are an adult, this book is for you as well. The fact that so many people don’t understand the basics was really hammered home in a post by Daisy at Add Vodka. She describes a conversation when she realized that her boyfriend, someone who works hard and puts away money each month for retirement, didn’t know how credit card interest worked.
He thought that by paying the minimum payment he was avoiding interest charges.
This book could actually be used as a high school textbook for teaching kids what to expect when they get a job and start earning their own money. It’s fully interactive, meaning there are hyperlinks to further information and lessons embedded in the book.
Enough from me, let’s see what Alan had to say when I interviewed him:
Interview with Alan Akina
Married (with Debt): There are so many personal finance books out there. What did you see that was lacking that caused you to write this book?
Alan Akina: I first want to say that there are a lot of great books on personal finance, but the majority of them are what I call “fat.” When I say fat, I mean thick, big books with tons of words. So, as a reader I am already at a disadvantage because the chances of me reading the entire book is slim. I wanted books that were simple to read, no “fluff” and straight to the point. Hence the name Super Duper Simple.
MWD: The best thing about your book is the 5 Super Duper Simple Money Principles. Tell us how you were able to take such a broad and complex topic and boil it down to something that people can easily learn and memorize?
AA: There are a couple reasons why I was able to boil it down to this level. First was my upbringing in Hawaii. We like to keep things simple in the islands. The main language in Hawaii is called “Pidgin English”, it's a simplified version of english. Second, my 10 years of Financial Education Classes with my company 101 Financial allowed me the opportunity to work with thousands of middle income families and individuals on their money problems. I have conducted over 2000 speeches, workshops, classes and seminars over this 10 year period. Being in the trenches with the middle class all these years, I have been able to learn first hand what the regular folks, like me can absorb when it comes to money talk.
MWD: What are your thoughts on a public school system that is teaching kids to balance complex chemical equations, but not a checkbook?
AA: I love education, but it needs to be the right education. I think our public schools are so focused on helping our kids to “pass-the-test” that they end up not learning much. As far as learning about money in school it's non existent. Most of us that took Algebra in high school forgot most of it by the time we graduated, never to use it again. Simple money management skills will be used over a lifetime. It's something we deal with every single day (Money In & Money Out). We just don't know what to do.
MWD: Do you think some people feel that because they don’t make a lot of money that they can never get ahead?
AA: I agree with your statement. I have a Mission Statement: “Financial Peace of Mind for Everyone.” I truly believe that anyone with a DESIRE can achieve financial peace of mind…no matter what income level they are currently at. The key word is we need a desire to learn and do something better with our financial lives.
MWD: When you are working with struggling people, what do you think is the most effective way to lock in the motivation required for months and even years of sacrifice to turn things around?
AA: The key is to teach them the fundamentals of personal finance and go at their learning pace. We all have a pace that is optimal for our learning. I have found that when you teach someone the proper techniques of money management, they will lock in and make a lifestyle change. They have to understand the money game first, then the change will follow.
MWD: Do you have plans for any more personal finance topics in the Super Duper Simple series?
AA: Yes, I am considering several topics. We'll see what kind of feedback we get from readers of the book then we'll let them help me decide. Right now I have a request to do a Super Duper Simple Book on Money for College Students, a book on Getting Out of Debt and even one for Kids & Money…We will find out what my Facebook friends vote on in the future…