If you’ve been following this blog for any significant time, there’s one topic that I haven’t touched: the military. Some of the most obvious reasons include my personal lack of experience in the military and my failure to connect money to military, but that’s only the beginning. The truth is that I’m internally conflicted when it comes to the military. While I am more than thankful for all of those who have served this country, I also hold this in balance with the recognition that military action has been used for some pretty horrible things.
It’s not my intention to bring up a political debate in this post, but to give you a brief personal background. We all see things through our own perspective – our own rose colored classes – and this is just part of the baggage that I brought to Soldier of Finance. Despite my naive reluctance, I read the book primarily because a friend of mine wrote it – and I couldn’t be happier that I did.
What Soldier of Finance is All About
For those who don’t already know, Soldier of Finance is a personal finance book that is written from the perspective of someone with military experience. Jeff Rose, the author of this popular personal finance book, crafts a practical and intriguing spin on personal finance. Rose creates a metaphor based on his time in the military and applies to personal finance. He describes the book in his own words…
“By approaching my own finances with the mindset I learned in the military, I found the resources and the attitude that I needed to get myself out of debt and begin a successful program of investment.”
We all learn from our own experiences, but Jeff Rose takes it to a new level. (Sidenote: I used to think that I wanted to write a book, and then I heard what it took him to produce this book and I quickly changed my mind).To this day, I haven’t seen or heard of a more interesting analogy to personal finance. Does anyone else realize that personal finance books usually are a list of commandments or steps? I used to wonder when authors would realize that they need to capture a larger audience by putting a unique spin on personal finance management. Jeff does just that.
So, how successful was his metaphor? While all metaphors break down at some point, I remember finishing the first few chapters and thinking, “Wow, that really does apply to personal finance – that makes sense.” (Yes, in case you’re wondering, I really did think that – I know that I’m a nerd) I thought the metaphor had to come to an end and he would slip into another boring personal finance book, but I was proven wrong once again. From the Soldiers manual to Humvees, the analogy continued – successfully.
My Take-a-way(s) from Soldier of Finance
I could stop right there and tell you all to go buy the book and that it’s well priced, has lots of valuable information – but that would feel a like an injustice. The truth is that despite my initial skepticism, this book had a personal effect on me. It shaped how I see personal finance – and for that I am grateful. Before reading the book, I didn’t understand how you could take military experiences and apply them to personal finance. These are two very separate things. I guess that’s what makes it such an interesting book.
Through reading Jeff’s personal stories and life lessons from his time in the military, I began to realize how much succeeding at managing your personal finances is about training yourself to do so. That may not sound like that much of a breakthrough, but it truly is. I’ve been very lucky in my life – never had any debt, paid my way through college, found the love of my life in college, scraped by the first two years out of college (but survived nonetheless), and many other things. While I’ve had my struggles, I’ve always felt like I have a handle on my finances. But the truth is that I’m far from perfect and I make mistakes. Even though it may not sound like much of a compliment, Jeff helped me see that I still have work to do. I may have done some things right, but there is a lot more to learn and do.
Beyond that, Jeff helped me see the normal, every-day personal finance topics that I obsess about all the time in a new light. Reading about investment vehicles may still catch my interest after years of inquiry, but reading about actual motorized vehicles that served a specific purpose in the military forced me to reconsider the smallest of decisions that affect my finances. I know I keep coming back to the brilliance of this rather simple metaphor, but it was the main reason that I kept turning the pages.
Here’s the best way that I can summarize my review of Soldier of Finance: If you want to read a book on personal finance that will keep your attention, actually teach you something new, and give you a practical application to your life, I strongly recommend that you buy Soldier of Finance.