Personal Finance Step-by-Step Budgeting, Saving, Building Wealth & Strategies for Mastering Money Management Matthew Smith, CFP

Book Review: Personal Finance Step-by-Step: Budgeting, Saving, Building Wealth & Strategies for Mastering Money Management

Personal Finance Step-by-Step by Matthew Smith, CFP, is a comprehensive guide designed to equip readers with the knowledge and tools necessary to take control of their financial future.

This book offers practical content and lessons on various aspects of personal finance, making it a great resource for individuals at any stage of their financial journey.


Smith’s book is structured into 15 chapters, each focusing on a critical aspect of personal finance.

From the basics of budgeting and saving to more advanced topics like investing and tax planning, the book covers a broad spectrum of financial concepts.

It begins with an introduction to personal finance, emphasizing the importance of financial literacy and setting financial goals.

Subsequent chapters delve into assessing one’s financial situation, creating effective budgets, and developing strategies for debt management.

The book also addresses the psychological aspects of money management, offering insights into behavioral finance and overcoming financial biases.

Smith provides a thorough exploration of investing basics, retirement planning, credit scores, insurance, and risk management.

Advanced investing techniques, planning for major life events, and creating multiple income streams are also covered, making this book a holistic guide to personal finance.


One of the book’s major strengths is its clear and logical structure. Each chapter builds on the previous one, ensuring a smooth learning curve for readers.

The author’s step-by-step approach demystifies complex financial concepts, making them accessible to a broad audience.

Whether you are a novice just starting to manage your finances or someone looking to refine your financial strategies, this book provides valuable insights tailored to different levels of financial literacy.

Smith’s expertise as a Certified Financial Planner shines through in his practical advice and real-world examples.

The chapters on budgeting, saving, and debt management are particularly strong, offering actionable tips that readers can implement immediately.

The inclusion of psychological aspects of money management is another highlight, as it addresses the often-overlooked emotional factors that influence financial decisions.

The book also excels in its comprehensive coverage of topics. From foundational principles to advanced strategies, Smith leaves no stone unturned.

The chapters on retirement planning and tax strategies are detailed and informative, providing readers with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their financial future.

Additionally, the book’s focus on financial literacy for children and young adults is commendable, emphasizing the importance of early financial education.


The book’s breadth of coverage means that some topics are not explored in as much depth as others.

For example, while the chapters on investing basics and advanced techniques are informative, readers looking for in-depth investment strategies might find the content somewhat introductory.

Another potential drawback is the book’s assumption that readers have a certain level of financial stability.

While Smith provides valuable advice for managing debt and building an emergency fund, those in severe financial distress might find some recommendations challenging to implement without additional support or resources.

Additionally, the book’s focus on a broad audience means that some of the advice may not be applicable to everyone. High-income earners and those with significant assets might find the content on budgeting and saving less relevant to their financial situation.

However, this is a minor criticism given the book’s goal of providing a comprehensive guide to personal finance.

Overall Rating

Overall, Personal Finance Step-by-Step by Matthew Smith, CFP, is a highly recommended read for anyone looking to take control of their financial future.

Its clear structure, practical advice, and comprehensive coverage make it a valuable resource for readers at any stage of their financial journey.

While some topics might benefit from more in-depth exploration, the book’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses.

I would rate this book 4.75 out of 5 stars. It is a well-rounded and insightful guide that provides readers with the knowledge and tools needed to achieve financial stability and build wealth. Whether you are just starting out or looking to enhance your financial strategies, Personal Finance Step-by-Step offers something for everyone.

About as a complete and insightful of a personal finance guide on everything – budget, saving, investing, debt management, and more – as you’ll get in under 160 pages.

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

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