Jimmy Nzioki

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making cents

Making Cents (Waceke Nduati) - Book Review

Stories. The darling of the literary world. What would it be like if someone told you a story on money? Wait, not one but three stories on personal finance, well woven to not only entertain but also educate? Look no further. Waceke Nduati Omanga’s book, Making Cents: Real Conversations about Personal Finance (2019) is a book worthy of your bookshelf space or better still the one book you would want to be seen reading in all public places.

The book’s cover might seem a little bit enigmatic- a chair for a book on personal finance. It is not that far off considering the last time you had a money problem(s); your instinctive reaction must have been to sit down and think through it. You most likely did not pace around. Furthermore, the layout of the book is simply superb. It immediately captures the reader’s attention and the writer’s intention. It has simple 2D illustrations coupled with outstanding quotes that break the monotony of words on a page.

The chapter titles are like YouTube clickbait titles that just make you want to click and watch but, in this case, to flip and read. With seven well-written chapters the reader is taken through stories of three characters: Douglas, Faith and Dishon. So as not to seem so far-fetched, the author herself is vulnerable enough to share her own story alongside the three individuals. These stories are told in an almost linear fashion with factual interjections of articles adapted from previously published works. The articles sometimes serve to demonstrate or reiterate a scenario mentioned in one of the story’s protagonists. Thus, the reader gets treated to a wholesome meal on personal financial management principles.

While these stories might not appeal to advanced readers on the subject of finance, it widens the net for the vast majority that just cannot seem to hack money. It relates with those who have had tough times dealing with their own habits when it comes to handling money i.e., those that know how to earn but not retain, those who do not know how to earn and those who are ‘professional’ spenders. She calls these last lot: individuals who are good at building other people’s factories.

Overall, it is a simple and reflective read. Want to learn how to budget, save, spend wisely and invest?

Then grab yourself a copy, you’ll thank me later.