I first met Carrie Rocha from the blog Pocket Your Dollars at a blogging event in Minneapolis in 2009. We were both relatively new Minnesota bloggers, but I immediately recognized that she had an intense focus.
I likened her a little to a tenacious terrier – scrappy and determined to make her way. After reading Rocha’s new book,Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, and Keep More of What You Make, I realized that her unwavering drive is what got her out of debt and allowed her to teach others to do the same.
Rocha begins the Pocket Your Dollars book by sharing her personal story with money and debt. From childhood to adulthood, she recounts how she and her husband’s attitudes toward money got them into debt and the turning point that changed their lives.
Rocha and her husband went on to pay off more than $50,000 in debt. They have continued to live debt-free (except their mortgage) and have paid for everything from unexpected emergencies to new vehicles with cash.
Her book is a guide to changing your attitudes so that you can develop a similar positive relationship with money.
Assessing my own attitudes
Pocket Your Dollars outlines five attitudes that can keep you broke and unhappy.
- If I only had more money.
- I deserve a treat.
- It won’t happen to me.
- Fake it ’til you make it.
- I can’t afford it.
As I read through Rocha’s description of these attitudes and her own struggle with them, I found myself nodding my head in agreement. We have been debt-free (except the house) since 2007, but over the past two years, we have found ourselves struggling more. I have noticed us living a little too paycheck-to-paycheck for my liking, and we have not been able to replenish our depleted savings as I had hoped.
In each of these chapters, I saw that we have been cultivating our own bad attitudes toward money. We go out to eat more often than we should because “I deserve it.” I find myself telling my kids that we can’t afford things they want, when in reality I should be teaching them why we don’t buy certain things at certain times. I spend time complaining that life would be better “if we only had more money.”
Instead, I need to do what Rocha recommends – to choose to accept responsibility for my own actions and to stop justifying poor attitudes and behaviors.
Rocha writes, “If you want something different, then you are responsible to create it with the money you have.”
In the second half of Pocket Your Dollars, Rocha helps you focus on changing those negative attitudes into constructive frameworks for financial change. From learning to appreciate what you have to figuring out how to exert self-control without deprivation, Rocha covers all the bases.
And while her own website is primarily focused on couponing, and deals, you won’t find much mention of those things in her book. Instead she focuses on creating positive relationships with money as she tackles how to track your expenses, establish a spending plan, and prepare for emergencies.
Rocha’s story of her debt repayment is not all that unique. Lots of people (including myself) have paid off similar amounts of debt or even more. And there are people who do pay for things with cash. (Yes, really!)
What sets her story apart is that she has figured out why she got into debt. What makes Pocket Your Dollars worth buying is that she is able to take those reasons we get into debt and give us actionable steps for changing our own attitudes toward money.
Pocket Your Dollars is a quick read, but its message is one that will stick with you for a very long time. I highly recommend adding this book to your reading list.
While Bethany House did provide me with a review copy of this book, the opinions expressed here are 100 percent my own and were not edited by the publisher, author(s), or their affiliates. This post also contains affiliate links which help support this blog at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclosure policy for more information.