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Real Life Money: An Honest Guide to Taking Control of Your Finances

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Money does not only exist in our wallets and bank accounts, but is woven into every fibre of our lives, dictating where we live, how many children we have, and how well we sleep at night. Real Life Money is a holistic approach to personal finance that addresses the deeper causes of debt and financial difficulties. Part memoir, part guide, Real Life Money takes the reader on Money does not only exist in our wallets and bank accounts, but is woven into every fibre of our lives, dictating where we live, how many children we have, and how well we sleep at night. Real Life Money is a holistic approach to personal finance that addresses the deeper causes of debt and financial difficulties. Part memoir, part guide, Real Life Money takes the reader on a journey that can be adapted to their own pace and circumstances. It will cover everything from how to negotiate repayment terms with creditors and setting realistic budgets without punishing yourself, to dealing with money anxiety. The goal is not to get rich overnight, or to pay off debt at the expense of all of life's pleasures, but rather to gain an understanding of why we feel the way we do about money, and how we can use that to change our mindset and our finances for good.


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Money does not only exist in our wallets and bank accounts, but is woven into every fibre of our lives, dictating where we live, how many children we have, and how well we sleep at night. Real Life Money is a holistic approach to personal finance that addresses the deeper causes of debt and financial difficulties. Part memoir, part guide, Real Life Money takes the reader on Money does not only exist in our wallets and bank accounts, but is woven into every fibre of our lives, dictating where we live, how many children we have, and how well we sleep at night. Real Life Money is a holistic approach to personal finance that addresses the deeper causes of debt and financial difficulties. Part memoir, part guide, Real Life Money takes the reader on a journey that can be adapted to their own pace and circumstances. It will cover everything from how to negotiate repayment terms with creditors and setting realistic budgets without punishing yourself, to dealing with money anxiety. The goal is not to get rich overnight, or to pay off debt at the expense of all of life's pleasures, but rather to gain an understanding of why we feel the way we do about money, and how we can use that to change our mindset and our finances for good.

30 review for Real Life Money: An Honest Guide to Taking Control of Your Finances

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alex H

    A very honest view from someone who has struggled with money management and debt for years. It was nice to not feel so alone in that. Its definitely helped me reshape my view on how to better handle my money and allow myself some grace too. Definitely a book to start with on the journey to be better with money.

  2. 4 out of 5

    willow foster

    This book is brilliant. Funny, honest, well thought out and well written. An essential read for anyone whos feeling like they are not managing their finances as well as they could be

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I follow Clare on Instagram and so I knew her story and I am already familiar with a lot of the content. If you are just starting out to budget and want a simple psychological explanation for your spending then it's a great book to start with. I would say everything in it you can get from following financial accounts on Instagram and doing a bit of online research yourself. I was curious about the book when it was released but didn't think I would get a lot out of it and I was correct. I eventua I follow Clare on Instagram and so I knew her story and I am already familiar with a lot of the content. If you are just starting out to budget and want a simple psychological explanation for your spending then it's a great book to start with. I would say everything in it you can get from following financial accounts on Instagram and doing a bit of online research yourself. I was curious about the book when it was released but didn't think I would get a lot out of it and I was correct. I eventually ending up buying it on Kindle for 99p and I'm quite glad I didn't spend a lot of money on it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy R

    I've always struggled with financial education stuff, and spent a lot of time internally screaming at advice to 'just cut out lattes!' So this book was an absolute godsend- a straightforward, down to earth introduction to budgeting, debt repayment, and the psychology of finance. I've always struggled with financial education stuff, and spent a lot of time internally screaming at advice to 'just cut out lattes!' So this book was an absolute godsend- a straightforward, down to earth introduction to budgeting, debt repayment, and the psychology of finance.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Princessa

    I read this book thanks to Blinkist. This book is for anyone who feels overwhelmed because of money. This book is a best friend. It is very easy to read, which is great, and provides some essential starting points for good budgeting. I already know these points & apply them to my real life, which is why I give the book 3 stars. It’s great, but not innovative. I also love the Frugal year instagram account and the author’s personal story for starting it! The key message in these blinks: Although it hel I read this book thanks to Blinkist. This book is for anyone who feels overwhelmed because of money. This book is a best friend. It is very easy to read, which is great, and provides some essential starting points for good budgeting. I already know these points & apply them to my real life, which is why I give the book 3 stars. It’s great, but not innovative. I also love the Frugal year instagram account and the author’s personal story for starting it! The key message in these blinks: Although it helps to be accountable for your financial problems, it’s important to understand that it’s not all your fault: your upbringing, gender, and the broader economic climate all play a part. When you are ready to take control of your financial situation, know that concrete goal-setting can really help. Just don’t forget to live your life.  Actionable advice: Try coloring in to help you save money or pay off that debt. To help you manage your finances better, take a sheet of squared paper and, for each time you make a saving or debt-payment, color in a box. By making your progress visual, you’ll be able to track just how far you’ve got to go before you can afford that dream holiday or clear your student debt. What to read next: Millennial Money Makeover, by Conor Richardson Now that you’ve read about the financial traps and pitfalls that millennials have to navigate in the twenty-first century, why not learn about more of the solutions by checking out the blinks to Millennial Money Makeover, by Conor Richardson. In these blinks, you’ll find concrete, actionable steps to improve your finances: from learning how to pay off student loans to investing for the first time or buying your own home. And, despite the title, you’re certain to glean some wisdom from the blinks to Millennial Money Makeover no matter your age bracket!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    A very useful and easy read. The author strikes the right tone with talking about difficult subjects relating to money. I’ve followed her Instagram account since the beginning so I knew she spoke sense and made points about money that were relatable - especially when it comes to having a growing family, the difficulties of maternity pay/leave and the perils of Instagram shopping. The point about not being able to budget when on maternity leave because you can never actually work out what pay you A very useful and easy read. The author strikes the right tone with talking about difficult subjects relating to money. I’ve followed her Instagram account since the beginning so I knew she spoke sense and made points about money that were relatable - especially when it comes to having a growing family, the difficulties of maternity pay/leave and the perils of Instagram shopping. The point about not being able to budget when on maternity leave because you can never actually work out what pay you are going to receive is just 👌👏 In my family I’ve always been classed as “good with money” but I never feel it. With children is a big struggle to keep the books balanced and this book had some very useful tips and advice. For anyone that avoids checking their bank balance and bills then this is well worth a read. The book does rely quite a bit on other advice from Instagramers and my only wish is that the net was cast a little wider to bring in more experiences, advice and examples.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura Corbett

    I finished this book in a day, it's a nice easy read and it has a good layout too it. There's a lot of good information in this book and it's nice hearing someones personal opinion on the matter instead of just being hit with fact after fact as some books do. There are some really good tips about how to speak to your partner/friends/family and good ideas on sticking to a budget. I also enjoyed the chapter on feminism. The slight negative I have is I personally didn't learn much from the book, I h I finished this book in a day, it's a nice easy read and it has a good layout too it. There's a lot of good information in this book and it's nice hearing someones personal opinion on the matter instead of just being hit with fact after fact as some books do. There are some really good tips about how to speak to your partner/friends/family and good ideas on sticking to a budget. I also enjoyed the chapter on feminism. The slight negative I have is I personally didn't learn much from the book, I have been following Clare on Instagram as well as following lots of others from the "debt free community" and I'm almost at the end of my debt free journey. I think this book is perfect for someone who isn't in debt, or has just started their journey into becoming debt free. It is also great for young people to read to avoid getting into bad habits.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan Salter

    This is the best book I've read when it comes to getting to grips with your finances and learning to manage your money, and I think it's because reading the authors story and how she ended up getting in to debt was as if I was reading my own story. This book has helped me feel that i'm not alone, and I'm not the most horrible human being for getting myself into the position I am. It's also really opened my eyes to the clear problem I have when it comes to impulse buying as a way to not deal with This is the best book I've read when it comes to getting to grips with your finances and learning to manage your money, and I think it's because reading the authors story and how she ended up getting in to debt was as if I was reading my own story. This book has helped me feel that i'm not alone, and I'm not the most horrible human being for getting myself into the position I am. It's also really opened my eyes to the clear problem I have when it comes to impulse buying as a way to not deal with what's really going on under the surface. I loved this book so much that I've gone on to buy the journal that was only released a couple of weeks ago to as a way to help me spend the start of 2021 sorting my financial life out. I think the reason I was so drawn in with this particular book is the author is still very much on her journey to being debt free. She is somebody just like me who is trying to fix her mistakes and work towards a better life for herself and her family, and that is far easier for me to relate to than a huge success story who's now a millionaire.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    This book is brilliant. Honest, insightful & it breaks down the stigma around money issues & debt. It has great practical guidance on how to improve your relationship with money & work towards being in a more positive situation when it comes to money. It’s really helped me make take some steps to change my relationship with money, especially my emotional relationship & how much I am led by my emotions when it comes to buying!

  10. 4 out of 5

    M

    A surprisingly down to earth, precise and easy read about real life finance in the modern age. All the points listed are less of the tech know how in finance but more on providing clarity to most people’s deep seated finance problem. It was equally if not kore important than tech know how IMO:(Speaking from a finance person

  11. 4 out of 5

    QUINNS

    Although it helps to be accountable for your financial problems, it is important to understand that it is not entirely your fault. There are many factors playing a part of that. When you are ready to take charge of your financial situation, know that concrete goal-setting could help tremendously. Finance management through money tracking, for example, would be better than going about mindlessly.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zhivko Kabaivanov

    Real Life Money (2020) is part memoir, part financial guide. Through describing her own painful struggle with debt, author Clare Seal sets out a path for anyone wanting to get a handle on their finances. She examines the complex personal relationships that many of us have with money, as well as the social and economic factors that determine our circumstances.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Oleksandr

    5* for beginners in personal finance It a good book for beginners in finance. If you have read other books in personal finance then this book is not for you however do give this book to others who are bad with money or have no idea how to manage their finances. I gave it 5* because it great book for beginners and it aims for UK population

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott Caldwell

    Simple, practical tips A very useful book, pitched at just the right level for common people worrying about debt. The author is sincere and open about her own struggles and even though parts of the book are more relatable to women I found myself nodding along with behaviours I recognised in myself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sjlarobadiere

    Focus on emotional spending and keeping up with the Joneses like pressure of spending and debt pay off. Interesting, and a few good moments of clarity on thought process and shame/guilt with debt, money and spending. Personally not as helpful a tool as i hoped for my particular money anxieties. Glad I read it though.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Overview I'm not personally in debt but I do like reading about personal finance. I think this book is a great read for anyone in debt or not in debt! We all make bad money choices and this book delves into some of the reasons that may be and how that can be tackled. The writer is really personable in the audiobook too. Overview I'm not personally in debt but I do like reading about personal finance. I think this book is a great read for anyone in debt or not in debt! We all make bad money choices and this book delves into some of the reasons that may be and how that can be tackled. The writer is really personable in the audiobook too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily Yolland

    Everyone should read this! Found myself nodding my head so often - I may be in a privileged position of not being in debt but I know my emotional spending and finances in general are not the best! Feeling empowered with new tools and positive outlook going forward

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This is a must read for any young-ish person and anyone who thinks they are not ‘good’ with money. Brilliantly written, touching and real with practical tips too. The influencer world and social media that impacts our spending are rightly called out along with other triggers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wulan Suci Maria

    Irrelevant topic for me but thanks to the book, it helps me to reflect back and review on what has been working in my current financial life - in short basically, just live within our means and be grateful on what we have

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kasia

    Oh jeepers, this book! I cannot recommend this enough if you have any kind of debt, money worries or class yourself as bad with money. Brilliantly honest, I loved the authenticity of this book. Thank you Clare Seal for being brave enough to share your story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Haven Hightower

    Finally a book about money that doesn’t make me feel like a loser.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katey Lovell

    Thought provoking book about spending, saving and paying off debt.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate Henderson

    Made me think differently. Gave me the kick up the backside I needed!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angharad Elin

    Really good book that simply outlines taking control. Simple, concise and not shaming 👍

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Turner

    Enjoyed this. Really informative.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Tebb

    review to come...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I've honestly received as much help with life as I have with dealing with my finances. This was superb, would recommend to EVERYONE! I've honestly received as much help with life as I have with dealing with my finances. This was superb, would recommend to EVERYONE!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    What a refreshing read on finances !! Brilliant tips on money and how to go about sorting your money issues out if you have any debt thoroughly recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Francesca Astraea

    Interesting, useful, non-preachy and a holistic look at finances and debt. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their finances or just feel a bit more confident with their money (borrow it from a library, of course!).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wraight

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