FinanciElle Bookshelf – the art of money by Bari Tessler

This month I started the FinanciElle Bookshelf Book Club, and the inaugural book pick was the art of money, by Bari Tessler. I’ve developed a book club guide if you’d like to read along with your B.F.F.s Best FinanciElle Friends.

Some background:

Bari is a Financial Therapist with over 16 years of experience guiding thousands of people into happier, more empowered and refreshingly honest relationships with money. Her Art of Money podcast is a FinanciElle Fave and I’ve downloaded every episode to listen to. She helps everyone from individuals to couples to creative entrepreneurs.

This book is about:

This book brings together everything that Bari has been teaching over the years in her 12 month school The Art of Money.  It goes through her 3 phase framework – Money Healing, Money Practices, and Money Maps

My highlights:

I pretty much love everything about this book which is why it was my first book club pick. As someone who works in business finance and has gone through a lot of training on the technical pieces of finance/accounting/money, it was really great to be exposed to the emotional side of money because it’s definitely true that it’s really never just about the money and whether you’re the one dealing with the money or your helping other people deal with their money in a business or personal context, it’s important to remember that.

Before you even get into the 3 phase framework, the book starts with the question, why are you really here?

Of the eight money areas listed – clarity, intimacy, knowledge, ease and peace of mind, success, value, hope and support, I discovered my why was ease and peace of mind.

Growing up in an entrepreneurial household you see the ups and downs that come with the challenges of running a business and how hard it can really be for all those involved, for me, part of having peace of mind is having a certain level of savings and investment maintained and set aside so that I can worry a little less, which let’s face it I do anyways, and lets me feel more in control.

I’ve always loved business and learning about money, hence the accounting route, I think I thought if I studied money that again would tie back to the ease and peace of mind thing, knowledge is power right?

The first section of this book, Money healing, and the exercises within, especially the money story visualization helped me realize this about myself, and while it’s interesting writing this out here, if I’m asking all of you to talk about money, I thought it’s only fair I do the same.

The first section on Money Healing taught me the most, section two and three on money practices and money mapping are where we get in the land of numbers and systems and data, which is my happy place … total numbers nerd.

In section two on money practices, Bari talks about money as a self-care practice, money dates, and values based bookkeeping, and your financial toolbox. I knew she was a kindred spirit when the chocolate came out.

Values-based bookkeeping was a really interesting concept to me and I can see how, both personally and even in a business context, it can bring more of yourself into the managing money process so that finances don’t feel like an “other” concept, far removed from what matters most to you but part of tracking what matters to you and if you’re being true to that.

In section three on money mapping, Bari gets into budget baggage and how to really create a money map that reflects you and helps you create a financial vision and life mission for yourself and(or) your business, this is where you get into saving, spending, investing, making financial decisions, and thinking about your money legacy.

There’s a quote on investing in chapter 13 that I really love and has made me think of investing differently,


“Rather than wrinkling up one’s nose and doing “investing” the way we have been taught, we are asking people to take a step back and really think about what a powerful and creative role this activity could play in their lives. This begins with expanding our notion about what investing truly is, so try this on for size: investing is something that we all do by directing our time, attention, energy or money in ways that move us toward our future dreams, using a diverse range of strategies. We think investing is really cool. A focal activity where people make decisions that change their lives and the world.” –  Hall Brill, Michael Kramer, and Christopher Peck. The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money

I think now when we think of impact investing, angel investing…this quote reflects the sentiment behind these new and necessary ways of investing – doing well by also doing good.

I really hope you read this book, starting a new year off with the inspiration and practical tools to help you get started on your financial journey.

If you’re interested in learning more, Bari has a free 7 day mini art of money course

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