The Joy of Money

The Joy of Money

"This book is a welcome addition to women's bookshelves as we all want to know how to better manage our money, avoid bad debt, put something aside for the future, and make sure the money we work so hard to earn will be there when we need it most. I've never paid much attention to money until now; I'm at an age where I wonder what will happen if I'm no longer working and earning money. I would imagine that is the same for many women." - Kate Ceberano, AM

Authors Julia Newbould, financial writer and editor-at-large of Money magazine, and well-respected financial adviser Kate McCallum combine their expertise to bring you this comprehensive and practical book The Joy of Money, The Australian Women's Guide to Financial Independence.

Money isn't just about money. It's about security. It's about choices - to live your best life. It's about everything money enables you to do and just as importantly what it allows you not to do. Women know that they need to be smart about money, but are often stopped short: they don't know where to go, how to start, or who to trust. They want expert guidance about money that explains the detail and the big picture, which is why Julia and Kate wrote The Joy of Money.

The Joy of Money starts with the personal foundations of money – what matters most to us, our values, goals and priorities. It then covers the practical elements at the intersection of money and life: creating a system for managing money, career, family, relationships, investment, superannuation, insurance, wills and estate planning and retirement planning.

This step-by-step money guide is designed to bring money to life – to help women gain confidence and discover the joy of money.

Julia Newbould and Kate McCallum want money to be a joy to women by helping them to feel confident to make positive decisions today and for a better tomorrow. Julia Newbould has a background in economics and journalism, leading editorial teams for financial services publications. She also founded and ran the Stella Network for BT from 2013 to 2019, supporting women in financial planning. She is currently editor-at-large for Money magazine. Kate McCallum is a financial adviser and director of award-winning firm, Multiforte Financial Services. She is Chair of FINSIA's NSW Council and National Chair of the Association of Financial Advisers' (AFA), Inspire Women's Community, and the winner of AFA's 2014 Female Excellence in Advice Award.

The Joy of Money
Bauer Books
Authors: Julia Newbould and Kate McCallum
RRP: $29.99

Interview with Julia Newbould and Kate McCallum

Question: What inspired the book, The Joy of Money?

Julia Newbould: What inspired the book for me was that I was in a role which I couldn't see myself staying in until retirement. I knew I needed to make a change but needed to get on top of my finances before I knew where I stood - what I needed to earn, how long more I needed to keep working and when I could afford to make a change. When I talked about this to friends, I found that many of them also wanted to make changes in their life - some regarding work, some regarding changing careers, or where they lived, some the way they lived and others - relationships. All the decisions around change eventually came down to money.

Kate McCallum: I noticed that many of the women I knew – whether it was clients, family, friends – would tune out or when money and investing was the topic of conversation. Or worse, would avoid it altogether. In our research for The Joy of Money, we found that most women didn't feel confident, and often found making money and investing decisions stressful. We also identified that most – more than 80 percent – felt like they were behind the eight-ball financially. We wanted to change that.

Most of the existing information on investing is very good and very factual. But it's like a weight loss program. We all know that we need to eat better and exercise more, but most of us need tips and tools - and stories of how real people have used them – to help get us there. The Joy of Money provides these tips and tools, with real life stories of women who've used them successfully. It's a book that provides a practical and comprehensive "how to" guide on all aspects of money and investing. And it's written in a way that talks to women.

Question: What was it like working on this book as a collaborative project?

Julia Newbould: The book worked wonderfully as a collaboration - I think we both were aware of not letting the other down and so we worked to promises and expectations. Also, I think that while I had more of the questions about money and what people wanted to know, Kate had more of the answers - and that was a good combination. We took a long time planning the content and the logical format and then when we'd done that we were able to divide the chapters and work on our strengths. We wrote sections separately then both went over each others' work and I think the tone is pretty even throughout the book. It also helped that hanging around together was fun, and we agreed on most things about the direction of the book, the level at which it was aimed and the amount of time we thought it would take to get it written. We're already planning the next one.

Kate McCallum: It was a lot of fun. Some people describe writing a book as a chore. But somehow we found a wonderful flow.

We did a lot of research – around 100 interviews – before we put pen to paper. And we spent a good amount of time playing with the structure and developing a solid outline for the content. We also worked a lot on creative ideas to present the detail (and yes, there is detail) fresh and easy to access. We divvied up the chapters with each of us creating a good initial draft. Then we'd swap. Then edit and revise, cutting material that was likely to be found elsewhere (or boring but not valuable), and creating more material that was new, important for women, and engaging. So each chapter has a bit of each of us. And yet our voices integrated so easily that it's now hard to recall who wrote what!

We each added some creative touches, again bouncing off each other's ideas – Julia devised the idea of using song titles throughout; Kate came up with 'quick steps' and then Julia added the red shoe icon.

Question: What's the main message you hope readers take from The Joy of Money?

Julia Newbould: I would like our readers to be more confident about money - to know that just because some people do it differently it doesn't mean one way is right and what is wrong. I would like people to be able to focus on the future (especially now) and not worry about what they did or didn't do in the past but just focus on what they can do from today. I would especially like people to pick up tips from the book so that they won't make mistakes that people who are more familiar with finance might know instinctively.

Kate McCallum: Small steps can make a significant difference.

Making decisions about money and investing doesn't need to be complex, confusing or hard. Use the tools and tips to take the negative charge out of money, and put the joy in.

Question: How can we bring money to our lives, with a small change, today?

Julia Newbould: This might sound super simple, but spend less than you earn. I know a lot of people on high salaries who live it up and don't put anything aside. It's always important to set money aside - for the bad times, for the future and for the unknown. Money give us options. So I guess, it's important that for any change, the best advice is to start today. Now.

Kate McCallum: My single biggest tip is to do something, not nothing. Read the book. Take one small step. That creates more experience and more confidence.

Now take another step. More experience, more confidence. And as they say "rinse and repeat."

Question: What book are you reading, right now?

Julia Newbould: I've just read a wonderful biography of author Daphne du Maurier (who wrote Rebecca) called Forever Manderley. She was a writer's writer and the biography explains how her writing was paramount in her life and everything around her came second. She was a fine writer and a strong woman and her ramblings around Cornwall were a welcome distraction to self-isolation.

Kate McCallum: Hilary Mantel's The Mirror & The Light. I am very evidence-based, and love the intersection of history and fiction. Mantel offers meticulous research wrapped in immersive story telling.

Interview by Brooke Hunter

The Joy of Money 
Bauer Books
Authors: Julia Newbould and Kate McCallum
RRP: $29.99