A Little Background
Another thing that rankled me was the cluelessness of the woman and (surprise!) the man swooping in to solve all of her money problems. In one of my least favorite sections of the book, Dylan shows up to the door and Amber is really excited about some changes she has made to her spending:
“I brewed my own coffee rather than buying a latte on my way to work.”
Dylan snickered as he slipped past me into the apartment.
“I thought you’d be excited,” I pouted. “I saved over three dollars.”
“Three whole dollars?” He couldn’t keep the sarcasm from his voice.
“OK fine, it’s not a lot. But think about it in percentages. I saved over 90% on my morning coffee expenses. Sounds a lot better that way doesn’t it?”
He stifled another laugh.
“You’re still not excited.” I stamped my foot on the floor like a five-year-old. “I thought I did so good.”
Amber goes through a lot of character growth, and you come to appreciate her over time. I just wish Dylan had the same vindication– instead, he stays smug. In the beginning of the book, Amber expresses her life-long desire for a diamond ring, no matter the relative worthlessness of a well-marketed rock. By the end, she realizes that she doesn’t care about the ring anymore, but it would have been nicely redemptive if Dylan had sacrificed his own assuredness and given her the ring of her dreams after all they had been through together. That’s a lesson a lot of FIRE folks like Dylan could learn. Even if you don’t value something highly, that doesn’t mean that other people are wrong to want it more than you.
By the end of The Cash Machine, I was impressed with how much the authors managed to cover. The book goes over what to do with a windfall, the steps of buying a foreclosure, wedding hacking, how to explain the concept of financial independence to friends and family who think you’re crazy, and more! Any reader will come away with more tools on their financial toolkit to build their own cash machine.
The book highlights every argument against being financially independent and artfully knocks them down. This would be a great book if you wanted to introduce a loved one to FIRE, convince a spouse about a much-needed lifestyle change, or want to teach a graduating senior the basics (and beyond) of money management.
Ultimately, the book drove home the lessons of self-sufficiency and the importance of examining your values and goals in life and how you plan on getting there.
What are your thoughts?
Have you read The Cash Machine?
Would you want to read a fictional story centered around FIRE?
If you had to write a book about FIRE, what would you want the characters to learn?
Let me know in the comments below!