Financial Times Guide to Managing Your Money
How to Be Better Off by Making Better Financial Decision

By Cliff D'Arcy
Financial Times / Prentice Hall
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
April 2009
ISBN: 9780273717034
205 Pages, Illustrated
$38.50 paper original

If you want to be better at money management, feel more secure about your financial future and be on top of your personal finances than this is the book for you.

By adopting simple, everyday techniques in eight key areas, you can develop your own personal and practical approach to money management. This will help you make better decisions about both your monthly budgeting and long-term financial planning.

Because finances don’t have to be boring, in an informative and entertaining style, this book will:
• Give you lively advice and practical examples about every aspect of money including budgeting, spending, borrowing, saving, investing and scams.
• Ensure you have the basics covered in a way that is most financially beneficial for you.
• Ensure you feel more confident about tackling many of life’s biggest financial challenges such as buying a home, buying and running a car, holidays, marriage, the expense of raising children, sickness, unemployment and other hiccups.

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Mastering Money In this short introduction, you will begin to understand how better money management will fatten your wallet or purse, plus make you feel better mentally, physically and spiritually.

2. The Benefits of Better Budgeting
How to:
Boost your earnings
Claim state benefits
Get a pay rise
Get help with childcare costs
Keep a spending diary
Keep up with the Joneses
Manage your money like a business
Measure and manage your progress
Spend less than you earn

3. The Secrets of Spending Less
How to find gains without pain, including:
Bash your bills/trim everyday expenses
Beware of your latté factor
Claiming cashback
Getting discounts
Giving to charity/Gift Aid
The paradox of ‘affluenza’

4. Become a Better Borrower
Everything you need to know to get to grips with:
Credit cards
Current accounts and overdrafts
Getting out of debt
Home loans/mortgages/secured loans and second mortgages
Store cards
Understanding your credit report
Unsecured personal loans

5. Be a Smarter Saver
Discovering the joys of saving, including the ins and outs of:
Accounts for the over-fifties
Cash Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
Child Trust Funds (CTFs)
Children’s savings accounts
Everyday savings accounts
Guaranteed income bonds (GIBs)
National Savings & Investments (NS&I)
Regular-savings accounts

6. Protect Yourself and Your Assets
Learn how to protect yourself, your income, your family and your prized possessions through insurance.
Breakdown insurance Car/motor insurance
Critical illness cover
Dental insurance
Extended warranties
Home insurance
Hospital cash plans
Income protection
Life insurance and mortgage protection
Making a Will
Payment protection insurance
Pet insurance Private medical insurance
Travel insurance

7. Turn into an Intelligent Investor
How you can harness the power of long-term investing to make you rich.
Topics covered include:
Alternative investments
Buying into businesses is not like buying a lottery ticket
Buy-to-let/property investing
Choosing a stockbroker
Employee share schemes (Sharesave/SAYE and Share Incentive Plans)
Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)
Fund supermarkets and discount brokers
Guaranteed equity bonds
Index trackers
Individual savings accounts (ISAs) and Personal Equity Plans (PEPs)
Investment styles: high-yield, index-tracking, value, etc.
Monthly saving and investing lump sums
Picking individual shares
The power of compound interest
Unit trusts and open-ended investment companies (OEICs)

8. Pump up Your Pension
Planning ahead for a luxury retirement; advice covering:
Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)
Defined-contribution/money-purchase schemes
Final-salary/defined-benefit schemes
Occupational pensions
Personal pensions
Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs)
Stakeholder pensions
State pensions
The tax benefits of pensions

9. Steer Clear of Scams
By the end of this chapter, you will be able to recognise and avoid a whole host of swindles, including:
Advance-fee frauds
Bogus property investments
Boiler rooms
Criminal cashback
Dodgy share-trading software
Fake invoices and data-protection services
Fake lotteries
Gambling syndicates
Home-working scams
Land-banking scams
Make a Million seminars
Phishing emails and calls
Ponzi, pyramid and matrix schemes
Premium-rate telephone lines
Sham charities
Share-buyback frauds

10. Summary and useful contacts
Addresses, telephone numbers and websites


No matter how much or how little money you have, this book will help you get to grips with the basics. And as the credit crunch bites, what better time to make sure that you have things under control?

The idea of managing your money can seem confusing, boring, and even pointless. But the FT Guide to Managing Your Money makes the advantages of getting to grips with your budgeting, spending and saving crystal clear and is packed with practical, easy-to-use advice on what you need to do to master your money.

In eight easy-to-follow chapters, you will learn the simple secrets of financial success, including how to:
increase the amount of money you have coming in, while reducing the amount going out
borrow money while paying as little interest as possible
buy a home without putting a strain on your finances
earn more cash from your savings ü protect yourself and the things that are important to you
build wealth over the years through investing
retire comfortably by planning ahead
make sure that no swindlers steal your hard-earned stash!

Thanks to two decades in financial services, Cliff has inside, expert knowledge on what makes financial firms tick and how they go about making money from consumers. Naturally he uses this information to show his readers how to become richer by ditching the dirty deals!

As a freelance writer and broadcaster, he covers all aspects of personal finance from budgeting, spending, saving to insurance and stock-market investing.

The FT Guide to Managing your Money draws on lessons from his own experience of learning to get to grips with his personal finances. He turned his life around from being in debt in the late nineties to now being in the top 2% of the country for income and personal wealth.

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