Billfold Book Review: Financial Freedom

Grant Sabatier’s new book Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need was exactly the book I needed to read right now.

I’ll be honest with you: I get a lot of advance copies of personal finance books, and some of them I kind of skim through, but when I got Financial Freedom I read the whole thing in full and then spent most of a Saturday reading the whole thing again, and this time doing all the exercises.

Why is this book so important? When I interviewed Grant Sabatier about Financial Freedom, he explained that he viewed it as a necessary companion to Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s financial classic Your Money or Your Life. (You might remember that I interviewed Robin about YMOYL last year; you might also notice that she wrote the Financial Freedom foreword.)

Your Money or Your Life is an incredible book and it changed my life,” Sabatier told me, “but as Vicki noted in the foreword there’s a huge gap in it. There’s nothing in the book about making more money.”

That was the inspiration for Financial Freedom. As Sabatier says in the book’s trailer: “The book is designed to help you make as much money in as little time as possible.”

If you watch the trailer, you might think that this is just another book about achieving Financial Independence — and you might skip it because you aren’t currently working towards FI. I’d suggest reading it anyway.

“Financial independence is one level of financial freedom,” Sabatier explained, “but it’s not the only level. I think we often overly focus on saving a million dollars or becoming financially independent when you can get 90 percent of the benefits of financial freedom so much earlier. You can get so much time and space and freedom in your life even with six months’ expenses saved.”

Sabatier and I both agree that saving money only goes so far — figuring out how to earn more money is a huge component of financial freedom, and Financial Freedom includes dozens of different paths towards increasing your income. “There’s a mindset shift when you go from cutting back to making more,” Sabatier said. “And at the end of the day you’re making the most of your time, which is a finite asset.”

As you read Financial Freedom, you’ll probably want your budget close at hand — when I spent most of that Saturday going over the book’s exercises, I ended up adjusting my YNAB to put $500 into my brokerage account every month instead of $300 — and you’ll also want quick access to the book’s online tools and calculators. You can use these calculators to determine how much money you’ll need to retire early, figure out how your current savings rate is affecting your path towards financial freedom, and even calculate how much an individual purchase is costing you in future investment earnings. (This is one of the reasons I started moving money around in YNAB and turning more of my spending dollars into investment dollars.)

Sabatier also warned me that people who read his book often follow it up with big life decisions, such as changing jobs, changing careers, or starting businesses. (Yes, the book only released today, but a lot of people read it during the editing and publicity phases — and yes, I also made a big life decision after reading Financial Freedom.)

So read it at your own risk.

But read it. Like Your Money or Your Life, Financial Freedom is the type of book that will change the way you think about money — and probably help you figure out ways to start earning more.