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Lean Reviews – Lost and Found by Geneen Roth

I recently came across the book Lost and Found by Geneen Roth. What a fascinating read!  Geneen is a NY Times bestselling author and workshop leader on the topic of women and food.

What does this book have to do with personal finance, well Geneen and her husband lost all their life savings in the Bernie Madoff scandal which led Geneen to examine the relationship between money and food. Surprisingly the two are tightly linked and rooted in our beliefs from childhood.  Who would have guessed that wanting too many donuts is the same as wanting too many shoes?  The way we deal with money is similar to the way a lot of people it seems especially women deal with food.

She brilliantly coined the phrase, financial bulimic.  That is a person that shops for the rush with full intent of returning the items.  I actually know a couple of women that do this, one is quite a spectacular shopper when she is angry with her husband. How silly is it to buy beautiful things just to cart them back to the shop because you know you can’t afford them; what a waste of time and energy.

Geneen makes the point that the way we handle our finances is based a lot around self esteem, not feeling worthy which leads both to over spending and to an unbalanced relationship with food. I could go on and tell you all the bits I have marked (12 post-its) but I think you would get so much more by reading it yourself.  Lost and Found has made me think about triggers and feelings that make me want to spend money.

It is refreshing to read a personal finance book that delves deeper than just explaining budgeting and telling us to get out of debt. This book makes you think about how and why you got to this place and how you can change your behaviour. It is not at all preachy but is thought provoking and gently helps you figure out why perhaps you do what you do.

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