How to Raise a Family on Less Than Two Incomes: The Complete Guide to Managing Your Money Better So You Can Spend More Time with Your Kids

Denise M. Topolnicki, Author
Denise M. Topolnicki, Author Broadway Books $12.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0565-7
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After having her second child, Topolnicki, a former writer and editor for Money magazine, wanted to build a freelance writing career and spend more time with her children, though her financial savvy led her to wonder whether having only one full-time salary would dramatically alter her family's lifestyle. After taking a long, hard look at her expenses, savings and child-care bills, she quickly realized that making her own work hours and eliminating a lengthy commute would not mean that she'd have to penny-pinch. There were some cutbacks--more activities closer to home, fewer high-priced lattes--but Topolnicki has compiled her best strategies and advice to convince readers that most people would benefit from having one parent stay at home. In addition to detailing her own experience, Topolnicki offers insights from her interviews with other parents and includes their tips as well. She covers the basics of money management--budgeting, mortgages, retirement funds, insurance--in intelligible detail. Though solid, her conversational, friendly style is almost too simplistic. This book will best serve people who are intimidated by money matters and who haven't read other personal finance primers. There's lots of useful information here, along with some ""thrifty"" advice on price clubs, groceries and play groups that seems awfully familiar. (Feb.)
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