Matt Bell’s Money Strategies For Tough Times – Book Review

By: Matt Bell (2009)

ISBN 978-1-60006-664-1

Book Price: $12.99

Personal finance

Matt Bell is a personal-finance writer and speaker, director of the Willow Creek Association’s Good $ense financial ministry, and author of Money, Purpose, Joy: The Proven Path to Uncommon Financial Success. He has been quoted in major media such as U.S. News and World Report and Chicago Tribune.

Strategies for wealth in tough times

Matt Bell releases strategies for wealth in tough times, contained in eleven chapters. He addresses issues like; you can get to a better place (Ch. 1), Secured debt solutions (Ch. 5), tapping reserves (Ch. 7), a money plan for any kind of weather (Ch. 9), using your experience to help others (Ch. 11), and much more!

Real solutions for real financial problems

Matt Bell addresses his audience with no-nonsense ideas and integrity! He delivers solutions to money troubles without false promises of quick fix ideas. He states, “First, it’s not about quick-fix solutions… Second… Tough times call for timeless principles, and the principles taught in God’s Word have stood for thousands of years.”

Practical steps will give readers actionable ideas to step out of financial crisis. Matt Bell speaks about finding money to pay down debt, saying, “There are three ways to find extra money to put toward your debts: selling possessions to raise money, increasing your income, or managing your spending more effectively.”

Bell uses powerful quotes to introduce chapters. He opens a chapter about overcoming failure with a quote from Les Brown, “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.”

Matt introduces spiritual solutions for readers to achieve miracle results. He asserts, “When spending is your first priority, you never seem to have enough… give, save, and then spend. His Word contains strong cautions against the use of debt… If you orient your finances this way, being generous… you will build a strong financial house… “

Bell sites data to support claims. With budgeting he says, “Just 7 percent of households use a detailed plan with specific monthly spending limits… A plan will give you the knowledge you need to make any needed adjustments.”

Build a strong household

Matt Bell supplies readers with solid strategies to overcome tough financial times, to build a strong household.

The Smartest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – Book Review

Title and Author:

The Smartest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Synopsis of Content:

During the 1920s George S. Clason wrote a series of pamphlets on how to gain financial security and success. Financial institutions gave them away to customers. In 1926 Clason brought them all together in a book called The Richest Man in Babylon.

The book is written as a fable about a man in ancient Babylon who is getting nowhere in his finances and learns valuable lessons from a wise man who has mastered the use of money. He tells the compelling story of the struggling Bansir who builds chariots for a living but never has any wealth to show for it and how he learns lessons from the successful and wise Arkad, the richest man in Babylon. As he spins the tale he teaches these key principles to the reader.

In addition to identifying these key principles he explains how they are used to build wealth and financial security. The lessons would have been valid in ancient Babylon, were equally valid in 1920s America and remain equally valid today.

He identifies seven key principles to achieve lasting financial success:

1. Start thy purse to fattening.

2. Control thy expenditures.

3. Make thy gold multiply.

4. Guard thy treasures from loss.

5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment.

6. Insure a future income.

7. Increase thy ability to earn.

He also examines the common failures that lead to losing wealth and failing. He teaches how to avoid these failures and overcome the weaknesses that lead to so much loss and suffering.

By writing a fable of an ancient civilization Clason brings us ancient wisdom which can be used today.


This book is immensely useful to anyone who wishes to master the critical principles of building, preserving and growing wealth.

Readability/Writing Quality:

This book is very readable. It is like reading a small novel.

Notes on Author:

George Samuel Clason (November 7, 1874 – April 7, 1957), also known as George S. Clason, was born in Louisiana, Missouri, and died in Napa, California.

George Clason is best known for writing a series of informational pamphlets about being thrifty and how to achieve financial success. He started writing the pamphlets in 1926, using parables that were set in ancient Babylon. Banks and insurance companies began to distribute the parables and the most famous ones were compiled into the book The Richest Man in Babylon.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. Learn and apply Clason’s seven principles of financial wisdom.

2. You must take control of your finances. It requires daily effort to do this. It will pay off handsomely.

3. Living below your means will result in an ability to increase your means significantly.

Publication Information:

The Smartest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Copyright 1924-1955 by George S. Clason

Published by Penguin Books, USA.

Wealth Book Review: The Kabbalah of Money – Jewish Insights On Giving, Owning And Receiving

By: Rabbi Nilton Bonder (1996)

Published by Shambhala Publications, Inc., Horticulture Hall, 300 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, Massachusetts 02115

ISBN 1-57062-804-1

Book Price: $22.95

Rabbi presents Jewish teachings

Rabbi Nilton Bonder was born in Brazil and ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He is the author of several books revealing Jewish teachings: Yiddishe Kop; Creative Problem Solving in Jewish Learning; Lore, and Humor; The Kabbalah of Food; and The Kabbalah of Envy.

Rabbinical teaching on money

Rabbi Nilton Bonder shares timeless Jewish money principles in ten chapters. He addresses such topics as, the limits of wealth (Ch. 2); wealth increased by having less (Ch. 5); living in the material world (Ch. 6); agents of livelihood (Ch. 7); obstacles to wealth (Ch. 8); death and wealth: can you take it with you? And much more!

Enhancing money beliefs via the Jewish context

Rabbi Nilton Bonder converses with readers in an informal, educational style. He relies heavily on Jewish thinking to inform his readers. This is seen in his opening remarks, “A Jewish aphorism tells us that a man shows his character in three ways: by his cup (that is, his appetite), his pocket (his relationship to money), and his anger.”

Insights gained from a Rabbi’s perspective amplify and qualify Bonder’s presentation. He affirms rabbinical views often, as follows, “The rabbis tell us that… our money is an extension of our reactions and beliefs.” & “The rabbis saw poverty as an unparalleled tragedy. In the Midrash (Exodus Rabbah 31:14) we read: “Nothing in the universe is worse than poverty; it is the most terrible of sufferings. A person oppressed by poverty is like someone who carries on his shoulders the weight of the whole world’s sufferings.”” He clearly communicates Jewish ideals.

Rabbi Nilton’s aim is clearly to motivate readers to embrace and act upon rabbinical wisdom, seen here: “… it is our duty to create maximum abundance for all without generating scarcity. In the language of the rabbinical Market, this is the ideal condition in which “one party doesn’t lose, and the other gains.”” Sounds like win-win!

Bonder is pointed in much of his addressing of solutions to our financial crisis. His answers carry a convicting sting as he states, “Much existing wealth cannot be made available to us, because of our unwillingness to share.”

Jewish concepts release money to us

Rabbi Nilton Bonder shares Jewish concepts that release money to us, helping readers to overcome poverty.

Success Step: List 3 things you believe about money. Let your money beliefs be cultured by Jewish thought.