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{Review}Learning the Art of Money

Art of Money Bari Tessler Book Dr

When The Art of Money galleys showed up at author Bari Tessler’s home, this is the photo her husband got of how happy she was to see them.

This is how excited I am about this book. It is. So. Very. Good.

***Full disclosure: I have known Bari for years. I met her when she was very early in her journey with this work and was still giving talks at Whole Foods about conscious bookkeeping in San Francisco in about 2005. I was hooked. I moved away from SF before I was able to take the course, but I did jump in in 2007 when I was in Los Angeles and the course had moved online. I even quit a job I hated because it conflicted with the course schedule. Ah, my 20s- the years of real idealism. I have been following the evolution of Bari’s work for over 10 years now and it just keeps getting better.

So of course I wanted to review this book. It doesn’t come out until June 14, but I wanted to get my mitts on it as soon as I could.

Thankfully, Bari was happy to get me a digital galley to read before my hard copy arrives and I sunk my teeth right in.

Let’s be clear- I was terrified of money in my 20s. I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew the words you were supposed to use and that earning and saving were good and that overspending was bad. I even had a decent command of how to budget in the traditional sense, thanks to my dad’s work in finance.

But there is more to money than the technical parts. Money might be the most emotional topic there is.

I have done this work over and over and over since I first met Bari and first took her class. I was transformed the first time and I’m still working on it. Money has layers. It’s wrapped up in identity and ability and success and freedom and independence. Everything that we see ourselves as gets linked up with money.

So… the book.


I knew I would enjoy it. I knew it was going to be a great review of the concepts I had come to love: Money Healing, Money Practices (all the technical steps), and Money Maps that allow us to plan for the future.

What I didn’t expect? To be absolutely riveted. I could not put this book down. I was so thirsty for a review of money and for the gentle-yet-strong guidance Bari provides in the book.

[Tweet “You don’t just “do money” and then get on with the rest of your life. “]

Money is a force that is along for the entire ride. And the relationship changes. I was pretty clear about money in my 20s with a certain career path. But in my 30s it’s different. I had a plan in place for the single me, but now I’m getting married and live with a partner and that has created a whole new puzzle to work on.

After reading this book, I’m actually excited to have money dates with my man (one of the great techniques in the book). I feel jazzed to look at my numbers. In fact, we spent last Friday night having a hot date setting up YNAB so we can track our expenses together. It was a little nerve wracking, but with all the beautiful stories in The Art of Money, I was inspired to press on. (***This book is tracking method agnostic. If you use YNAB, Mint, Quicken, Excel, or a piece of paper in your underwear drawer, that’s your choice in this method, which is a BIG bonus in my book.)

There will be feelings when you deal with money. And it’s ok. If you take one thing from Bari’s work, please do understand that. There is no point when I will operate like a machine and have no emotions around my finances because they are so slick and smooth and run so seamlessly. I’m ok with that. In fact, I now enjoy the process of discovery that comes from looking at how I use money- how I earn it, how I save it, and how I spend it.

If you are someone who is afraid of money, this book is for you. If you are someone who loves money, this book is for you. If you are someone who has to use money for any reason, this book is for you.

And especially, if you are someone who is suffering because of money, I implore you to order this book. Help is on the way. You are allowed to want things to feel better and you are allowed to have a different money story than the one you do now. Even if you haven’t paid taxes in a few years. Even if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy. There are stories about people whose homes had to be short sold in this book. People who lost everything in bad investment decisions.

This is not a shiny happy money book. It is real and yet so inspiring.

It’s a little bundle of hope. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did. Look how adorable these two are reading it (Bari’s husband, Forest, and their son Noah check out the back cover)

noah and forest reading book galley

The only thing I’m sad about is that it isn’t out until June 14th so you can’t read it until after tax time. In the meantime, if you need some good money mojo and support, Bari’s website is an amazing resource. They’ve even done a podcast on money that is incredibly supportive as well as a web show of interviews of people talking about money. I find hearing other people’s stories makes my own feel relatively mundane, which is actually a great feeling in this case.

I haven’t talked about money and books much on the book dr., but I think that will change this year. I’ve been thinking about money a lot, and reading is an incredible resource to help you with it. Look for more on that soon.

What do you want to know about money? Any other topics you like to read about in that category? I’d love to know. Please comment below or write me at caroline[at] As always, you can chat about this post on the Facebook group and **spoiler alert** I’m planning to make it our book for July in the Secret Library Book club, which is available to all Footnotes subscribers. Join us!

(all photos courtesy Bari Tessler)

*** Full disclosure: the opinions posted here are entirely my own. I received a pdf of the book to read and no other endorsements and I’m not making any affiliate fee from this post.

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