When it all hits the fan, how do you keep financially afloat? Personal finance writers take a sober look at how readers can protect their families’ financial security in crisis times, from Christian as well as secular perspectives.

Broke Millennial Talks Money

Erin Lowry. TarcherPerigee, Jan. 2021

The truism that you don’t discuss money in polite company may make for a conflict-free dinner party, but it leaves most people woefully unprepared for critical financial conversations. This companion to Lowry’s two previous books of frank direction for the young and broke—which together have sold 82,000 print copies, per BookScan—provides scripts and advice for the hard conversations, whether about planning eldercare, negotiating a prenup, or downgrading girls’ night from Dante to the local dive bar.

A Catholic Guide to Spending Less and Living More

Sam and Rob Fatzinger. Ave Maria, Apr. 2021

Who better to advise on frugal living than a single-income couple raising 14 kids? This softball team–size family living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., have built a lifestyle grounded in cost reduction, goal-setting, and accepting substantial gifts of money, bikes, cars, and other necessities from their community. The Fatzingers urge readers to approach financial stability and flexibility through a Catholic lens of “good stewardship,” keeping an eye on the use of limited income to cover a family’s needs.

In Case You Get Hit by a Bus

Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer, with Gene Newman. Workman, Dec.

A team of executives from Everplans, a company that brands itself as a source for digital life planning, help readers devise a to-do list for bereaved loved ones. The authors provide planning templates and tips on topics as diverse as password management for key accounts, the drafting of wills and powers of attorney, and the collection and storage of family photos.

Money Matters

R. Paul Stevens and Clive Lim. Eerdmans, Jan. 2021

Two Christian authors—one a theology professor who grew up with wealth, the other the CEO of an investment firm who grew up without—grapple with rendering unto capitalism while also rendering unto God. Drawing on history and scripture, the authors discuss how Christian faith may be squared with financial practicality, cautioning readers away from the extreme poles of the prosperity gospel vs. the shunning of filthy lucre.


What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits

Michelle Singletary. HMH, May 2021

Singletary, of the syndicated “The Color of Money” column, speaks to worst-case-scenario money management. She addresses readers who have suffered a Covid job loss, for instance, or taken a financial hit in a bear market, with advice on ensuring medical coverage, triaging bill payments, and keeping savings intact.

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