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Book Review: Train Your Way to Financial Fitness

train your way coverIt’s not been that long since Shannon from Financially Blonde came onto the personal finance blogging scene, but I knew right when I first visited her site that this gal knew her stuff.  Now, to go along with her great blog, she’s published a book.  Train Your Way to Financial Fitness is a new release by Shannon McLay, and I’m so honored that she’s asked me to review it and give my thoughts.

To be honest: I’ve kind of had my fill of personal finance books.  I’ve read just about all of them, and there seems to be a huge problem with many of them: they don’t discuss all financial types and they don’t give specific enough advice to help all financial types.  Train Your Way to Financial Fitness has solved both of those problems.

Since I count Shannon as a friend, I wanted to be objective when reviewing this book, so I decided to read it from the viewpoint that I was a “regular” customer, reading the book to fit our particular situation and seeing how it helped me.

When I first started reading, I found the book had an amazing combination of refreshingly honest and yet still positive and upbeat.  Shannon holds nothing back as she discusses the different types of financial fitness: she’s clear, precise and blatantly honest.  Shannon creates an atmosphere in the book of what she calls a “judgment-free zone”.  The book was written in a way where I felt I could be honest as I took the financial fitness quiz and not have to worry about being shamed or judged for poor financial choices.  It was awesome to be able to take the quiz freely, openly and honestly, knowing that, whatever the results, Shannon was here to help me overcome any financial obstacles.  I cannot tell you how freeing that was!  It allowed me to be truly honest with myself while taking the quiz.

After tallying up the score of the quiz, Shannon has outlined in the book very clearly what needs to be done in order to get a person financially fit.  It has real and doable action steps that will get you from either too skinny or too fat to financially healthy.  The book goes on in great detail about what obstacles may be in your way, shares real-life stories about anonymous clients Shannon has worked with that might have similar elements to your life, and gives solid advice about how to overcome the financial obstacles one might be facing.

But perhaps what I loved most about the book was the positive attitude Shannon had throughout.  Don’t get me wrong: there’s no rose-colored glasses going on here: instead, Shannon makes it clear that everybody can indeed find there way to financial fitness, no matter how out of shape their finances are, and she gives reasonable and doable tips and road maps for getting there.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve come across a personal finance book that I felt would benefit everyone, but Train Your Way to Financial Fitness fits the bill.  If you have money, want money or need money, this book is for you.


  1. I really enjoyed the book, too! I think you hit the nail on the head with “If you have money, want money or need money, this book is for you.” Shannon really covers a range of topics and tailors the chapters for each situation.

  2. Sounds like it’s worth a read Laurie – it’s definitely getting harder these days to cut through the millions of books that are out there and filter which ones to make it on your reading list. Anything that has some really clear actions like you’ve described (or a unique perspective on the world) is usually going to add some value.

  3. Thank you SO much for reading the book Laurie and for all of your awesome insight. We both know that it is really hard to make progress to your goals when you feel embarrassed or judged, and it is extremely important for me to not judge my clients but instead to focus on helping them. I am glad that you felt that coming through when you read the book. 🙂

  4. I love this line in your review: ‘It has real and doable action steps that will get you from either too skinny or too fat to financially healthy.’
    It’s so true … it can go either way … I’m guilty of being ‘too skinny’ sometimes and need to have some fun!

  5. Great review, Laurie. Shannon has a way with analogies, being direct and also encouraging – pretty much what everyone who has made mistakes in the past needs!

    Congratulations on your Plutus award, Laurie! Very happy for you and what you have achieved. 🙂

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