- “Finance for the People” is a new book on personal finance that actually addresses systemic injustice.
- In the book, financial expert Paco de Leon recommends scheduling weekly financial time.
- I tried it for a month and it helped me file my fees and change my name in my bank accounts.
- Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.
It’s tiring to hear personal finance experts offer tips to reduce your morning coffee consumption to save money.
on a house regardless of how much the cost of living has changed for millennia and the Zer generation in particular, especially after the financially devastating effects of the pandemic.
Enter: “Finance for the People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances” written by a strange Filipino expert and former financial planner Paco de Leon. In the book, de Leon addresses the systemic injustices that affect our relationship with money, and then offers readers advice on how to obtain the “financial surface” within that system.
Before getting into the essentials of debt repayment, saving for an emergency fund and increasing wealth through investment, de Leon’s first step is to schedule weekly financing time. Weekly funding time is 30 minutes to an hour each week to perform personal funding tasks, such as checking monthly subscriptions or calling you.
provider to see if you qualify for a lower rate.
For people like me who have been through financial trauma in the past, it is easy to let money-related tasks become bigger problems over time. After reading the book, I scheduled my own weekly funding time for a month and it helped me do these three daunting personal finance tasks.
1. Submit my fees
I spent weeks worrying about my taxes because I had recently gone through a change in my legal gender name. After reading “Finance for People”, I felt like I had a cheerleader in my corner who knew what I was going through. I agreed to pay my taxes for an hour at a time, and I was shocked at how short it actually lasted.
In 2021, we had a combination of independent, full-time income. I had to collect W-2, 1099 and other documents to prepare to file my taxes effectively. It only took me an hour and a half to get organized and another half hour to file my taxes through H&R Block.
2. Tell my service providers about changing my legal name
The most daunting task of personal finance is related to changing my legal name. Renaming was one of the best and happiest decisions I’ve ever made, but navigating the bureaucratic process is terrifying for me. On the phone or in person, customer service representatives always make me feel that I’m cheating on their system or that my life experiences are simply uncomfortable for them.
I used my lunch breaks on Wednesday to make those calls. Somehow, having some time on my schedule to tackle an emotionally charged personal finance task made such a big difference.
3. Go to the state office for the disabled
I received a gender reassignment surgery in November, but I still haven’t been paid for the time I left work. I had to fight personally to check the medical leave at the state office for the disabled.
I scheduled an hour of my weekly funding time to take care of that, but the queue took two and a half hours. Nearly 100 people were waiting in line to talk to three customer service representatives about disability and medical payments.
Just as I filed my fees and contacted my service providers, scheduling a special time to do this task helped me prepare mentally and emotionally. I even brought the book with me to read while I waited in line and it made me feel less alone.
What I appreciate most about Finance for the People is its ability to meet the reader where they are on their own financial journey. Some people need help choosing a pension plan or saving for their first home, but others still need encouragement to simply build a healthy financial base.