Need Help With Money? Read End Financial Stress Now!

Women Who Money
4 min readOct 25, 2018

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This review of Emily Guy Birken’s book, End Financial Stress Now is completed by Vicki, one of the co-founders of Women Who Money and Women’s Money Talk.

I’ve been reading personal finance books, articles, and blog posts for the last ten years. Even though some of the information and advice is repetitive, I usually learn something new!

Emily got my attention in her introduction when she talked about the negative impact of financial stress on people’s health and relationships.

I have friends who have divorced over money issues, and I know people who abuse alcohol as a way to deal with financial problems.

On the second page of the book, Emily states — “I believe the entire idea of financial security is an illusion.” I went back and reread it.

Isn’t seeking financial security everyone’s goal?

At this point, I knew Emily’s book could offer me a new perspective. If seeking financial security isn’t realistic, how do you stop stressing out over money? I had to keep reading to find out.

What I’m happy to report is that Emily wrote a book providing advice for anyone — no matter what your income is or what stage you are in life. She doesn’t offer a “sexy” solution though. There is no quick fix, and you probably won’t get rich doing what she suggests.

What Emily will help you do is make peace with money. And that’s priceless.

You’ll reduce stress levels and improve your health and relationships. It’s a realistic plan that doesn’t make big promises, and that’s why I like it. It doesn’t let you get away thinking you won’t have to do work either.

Her book reminds me a lot of the Younger Next Year wellness books I’ve read and reviewed. It’s sound advice with research to back it up, and it aligns with our mission here at Women Who Money.

Emily breaks up the process of making peace with money into four parts:

  1. Redefining Money
  2. Economic Reasons We Struggle With Money
  3. Psychological Reasons We Struggle With Money
  4. Achieving a Stress-Free Financial Life.

I was really interested in what I learned in an exercise related to determining what money really means to me. It helped me make sense of some poor money decisions I’ve made in the past and showed me what I could do to change my behavior in the future.

Have you ever heard of the denomination effect? I hadn’t. But it certainly makes sense to me now.

What are your mental accounting errors? Hint: You probably make some. I make plenty, and now I know why.

Emily also focuses on decision-making in End Financial Stress Now. In case you didn’t know, that was the focus of my dissertation. It’s also what I talk about on my website, Make Smarter Decisions.

Emily talks about combatting behaviors preventing you from making decisions and learning how to make decisions you won’t second guess. That goes right along with my site’s tagline — Maximize satisfaction. Minimize regrets.

I appreciated the very specific advice Emily gave readers on what they could do to reduce their stress. Again, there is some work involved, but everything she suggests is doable and will have an immediate impact on how you feel about money.

The section of the book on the psychological reasons you struggle with money will give you answers you’ve been looking for.

What are your destructive money scripts? Emily will help point them out and show you how to change them.

How are you going to get past the small barriers that might be stopping you from achieving the big goals you’ve set for yourself? You can learn how to do that too.

In the final section of the book, Emily shows you what you can do to move forward. These chapters will accelerate your progress, and with every move, your stress should go down.

Will you be financially secure when you finish? Probably not. And Emily doesn’t think that’s a problem. But taking control of your money and learning how to manage your relationship with it will reduce your stress. And that’s what Emily has promised.

If you’re ready to do the work to understand why you are stressed about money, pick up End Financial Stress Now and give it a read. Better yet, read it and do what Emily suggests. Turn off the TV, stop scrolling through social media and devote some time to taking care of you. Invest in yourself because you’re worth it.

You can check out Emily’s other books too! They include The 5 Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, and Making Social Security Work For You.

Originally published at on October 25, 2018.



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