Not all our book recommendations are about finance and frugality (in fact most of them won’t be), but we thought this a good time and a good series kick off our book recommendations. The Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella and published by Random House are among my favorite light reading matter, and I have actually read most of this series twice.
The protagonist of the series, Becky Bloomwood, is a London financial journalist who writes for a magazine called Successful Savings and gives financial advice to hundreds of people, but she is completely clueless when it comes to her own personal finances. This is due to the fact that she is also a shopaholic who can’t resist a store, sale or anything that can (and sometimes can’t) be bought with money, and as a result, at the beginning of the first book Confessions of a Shopaholic, suddenly realizes that she is £6,000 in debt.
So she embarks on a mission to get out of debt, but being her incorrigible self, seems to find herself in deeper trouble with each attempt be it cutting back or making more money, getting deeper in debt, and all the while dodging her bank manager and many creditors.
While Becky Bloomwood is not a heroine after which we should all model ourselves, she is definitely a great example of financial “don’ts”. She always finds a way to convince herself when spending money that she is actually saving money or making an investment (even when the item in question is a pair of strappy clementine sandals).
She is so incorrigible that at times I actually get annoyed with her, wondering just what the heck she is thinking … (well, we do know what she is thinking, because the whole story is told from her point of view) … but she is also so hopelessly optimistic in all her harebrained endeavors that you sort of can’t help laughing and liking her. I found the 4th book of the series Shopahoic & Sister especially funny as spendthrift Becky meets (and clashes) with her very prudent and frugal sister.
All in all, it is a very entertaining (and financially educational) read.