‘The Money Mentor’

Getting to grips with your finances
By Ash Carter
IVP. 182 pages. £7.99
ISBN 978 1 844 744 909

An excellent and biblical book about managing your finances, but not for the faint hearted. It is both spiritually challenging and practically demanding.

The first chapter demonstrates that the problem with money is us. Our problem with money is a disease of the heart (Jeremiah 17.9), so we are seduced by an ungodly world-view. ‘We have got it badly wrong, and for the sake of the church we need to get God’s house in order.’ We need to change both spiritually (chapters 2-4) and practically (chapter 5-13). The book ends with a call to ‘radical church’; our use of money should set us apart from those about us.

The author suggests tracking our spending over a month or so as a practical starting point; then reviewing how much we have actually spent and on what. He encourages us to make a budget, and then review progress against budget. This takes time and effort.

I have not adapted my own method of budgeting and tracking of spending to those set out in this book, so I cannot speak of the detailed practicalities, but the book contains a large amount of sound spiritual advice and practical wisdom on how to manage your money. It is an excellent primer for a young person just starting out in employment and learning how to handle their money in a godly way; I have already recommended this book to a recent graduate in our church. If you wish to seriously review your use of money, then this is also a great book for you. Just how much does your spending reflect gospel priorities?

This book is well worth reading, more than once, and a very useful companion for your credit card and online banking security.

Marcus Watkins,
Head of Finance at Christian Medical Fellowship and member of Longmeadow Evangelical Church, Stevenage