Stacked: Your Super-Serious Guide to Modern Money Management

Joe Saul-Sehy and Emily Guy Birken. Avery, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-33067-8

In order for people to take control of their finances, it’s got to be fun, write Stacking Benjamins podcast creator Saul-Sehy and money coach Birken (The 5 Years Before You Retire) in their lighthearted if cursory survey. Using transcripts from the podcast, they cover the basics of money management: setting goals (drawing them rather than writing them down), budgeting (setting up a meeting with a spouse can help), managing debt (with a fill-in-the-blank worksheet to keep track), and investing (breaking down risk, time horizon, and liquidity). With quirky chapter headings (“The Condom Broke and Other Risk-Management Horror Stories”), jokes and cartoons—plus some interjections from Saul-Sehy’s mother—the authors make good on their promise not to take themselves too seriously. But while the advice seems aimed at young people trying to make a start, their tips feel out of date and don’t break new ground (start a side hustle, ask for a raise); in one case, readers are urged to save every $5 bill they “come across” as a way to jump-start their savings. The commentary on developing a more financially attuned mindset is on point, but only readers starting from near scratch on the financial planning front will be able to make the most of the rudimentary advice. (Dec.)