Jennifer Streaks on her financial help book, “Thrive! …Affordably,” and what you can do to keep track of your finances.
“Thrive! …Affordably” isn’t you’re ordinary financial help book. Instead of taking the classic approach of a “Take Charge Today! Save Money! Get Rich!” manual, author and South Carolina native Jennifer Streaks decided to create a financial help journal to get interactive with your finances. Broken down month-by-month, “Thrive!” helps you take control in a simple and effective way, tackling aspects like taxes, budget, and living your best life step by step. Using easy to understand language, Streaks creates a simple how-to that keeps you engaged and on top of your finances all year. Streaks has previously worked in financial compliance and has given breaking financial news commentary on TV networks such as Fox Business and MSNBC.
“Thrive! …Affordably” was recently picked up for distribution by Walmart.
Washington Life: Why did you write this book?
Jennifer Streaks: After fielding many questions, I decided to write a book, or rather I had no choice but to write a book. There were some nights when I could not sleep because I had so many ideas running through my head! I used to sleep with a pen and pad next to my bed! Still do! The idea of “Thrive! …Affordably” was born.
I found in my work that I was not getting questions about retirement or investments, but how to make the money last through everyday life. I also realized that people did not know where their money was going. That is why I wrote the book. I thought that if I could help people make their money go farther and last longer, that would be a big help….People want to know how to make a good life on a budget. This is important. The holidays, travel, food, work commutes, really wipe people out, so using my book helps you map out a strategy to deal with everyday expenses and plan to spend on the big ticket items.
WL: Why is this book in a journal/planner format?
JS: I really thought about the format this book. I said to myself, if a financial manual that just talked at a person was going to work to get the message across, it would have done so already, so I decided to put together a financial journal, a monthly “how-to” and make it interactive so that the individual is more involved in working with their finances. You can sit down with the journal and your bills and map out your goals on a month to month basis. My favorite is that there are pages that you can use to write notes, place pictures, jot down thoughts etc. So you can really make it your own.
Getting the book into Walmart was huge because it extends the reach of my message “living your best life without breaking the bank” and Walmart with its low prices is a perfect partner for that message.
WL: In a nutshell, what are your tips on what women can do to take control of their financial life?
JS: I think the most important thing a woman or anyone can do when it comes to their money is to know where their money is going and to understand how they spend. So many people tell me they don’t know where their money goes! Or they don’t know why their interest rates on credit cards or car notes are so high.
You have to get these things under control. A quote that I love from my book is “If you plan to spend, you won’t overspend.” So two things: Know where your money is going. Write it down. Save receipts. And plan to spend so that you won’t overspend. Shop around, plan to get the best deal.