In The Trenches Reviews

Please note:  We have added In The Trenches Worksheets.
Click on the coins on the sidebar. (March 20, 2010)

The Real Deal, July 22, 2010

By Rainmaker on

This is a great book for anyone who needs some chicken soup for the financial soul. It's a collection of short stories illustating a perspective not often seen in most of these types of books with real practical applications. Be prepared to do a few things that may raise some eyebrows from people who know you, but I can almost guarantee you they will be following your lead when they see you both happier and healthier financially and spiritually.
Common Cents...and Dollars March 2, 2010

I found "In the Trenches, Financial Survivial During Times of Hardship" by Carol Schultz-Weil to be a very down-to-earth approach to finances. The advice is helpful for the affluent as well as those of us who must pinch the life out of our pennies. There is advice for people who are out of work and out of money. The charts are a little on the small side, but my copy machine can enlarge them for my personal use. She gives a bare bones budget for those in dire straits. There is also a chart with a few more items listed in the budget. This thought provoking read is not only informative but entertaining. The true life stories rang true. I urge anyone who needs financial advice on the home front to buy this book. It is well worth the money and may help you dig out of a pit.
Elaine Littau, author
of Nan's Journey, Elk's Resolve, and Luke's Legacy
Posted by Elk's Resolve & Heritage Series

January 27, 2010  Jill Early
I purchased your book on Amazon and read it on the plane.. I could hardly wait to read it. It was so fun to read. I loved the basic knowledge that anyone can use. Especially in these economic times. Good timing for your book!
I loved the parts, in the book, about getting out and working....not being the victim. The school of rough-knocks is good. We need to hear more about that nowadays.
I also loved the personal stories that you shared...

Posted on March 16th, 2010 by Jodi -- Food Storage Made Easy

Please note: We are beginning to review some food storage, emergency preparedness, and self-reliance type books. Hopefully it will help you in deciding which ones to add to your own library.

Background: For those of you who have followed Julie and I on our food storage journey over the past two years, you may recall that in the beginning we couldn’t seem to get a grasp on using food storage during natural disasters (i.e. If there is an earthquake and you have no power, how are you going to COOK all that wheat anyway?) So we decided to focus on the thought that we were much more likely to have an “economic disaster” in our lives and we wanted to use food storage to help be prepared for that. Well about 3 months after we started our blog and started to build our food storage, my husband lost his job and was unemployed for about three months. Luckily I had already stockpiled quite a lot of 3 month supply food storage and we were able to spend only about $20-$30 on groceries during those months. Every little bit helps when you are living off of savings! When we were given a copy of In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship I knew that I wanted to be the one to read and review it since this topic hits close to home for me. (My husband recently lost his job AGAIN but we were lucky enough to find a replacement job in less than a week this time!)

What I Liked: In The Trenches is not a typical “finance book”. If you want a step-by-step, more formal plan all laid out for you, I highly recommend getting Dave Ramsey: The Total Money Makeover (Dave and HIS BabySteps have literally changed my life). However, if you are looking for a more personal and friendly approach, perhaps just a few tips to survive during hard times, In The Trenches is fantastic. Carol Schultz-Weil shares her stories of living for 6 months without indoor plumbing, and going from being a bank manager to working at McDonalds. She literally has lived in the trenches and pulled herself out. She offers some great tips on saving money, but the real appeal is the emotional support she gives you throughout the book. It’s one thing to cope with numbers on paper, it’s another to be able to get through each day when your kids need new shoes and you feel like a failure.

Favorite Tip: One of the questions we get asked a lot is “How do you build up a food storage on a tight budget?” In The Trenches addresses this very issue using a simple method that everyone can start using immediately. The concept she suggests doesn’t even require a change in your budget. All you do is take your normal grocery budget each month and set aside 10% of it as a “stocking up fund”. Each month at the grocery store you use that special fund and “stock up” on 1 or 2 items at the store that are on sale and that are part of your family’s normal diet. Using our 3 month supply worksheets can help you easily know EXACTLY which items to watch for to go on sale. After a few months, you will be buying less and less food at full prices and can save your family a lot of money on groceries. If you are interested in long term food storage you can use that savings and start purchasing some of the bulk items like wheat, sugar, oats, etc. Remember this is all coming out of your original grocery budget so it is really something you can do and not worry about extra expenses!

Feedback: In The Trenches provides some great worksheets to help you analyze your budget, expenses, net worth, etc. However, some of the sheets are too small to be very usable. I would want to photocopy and enlarge them all so I could fill them out properly. It would be really nice if they could be made available in pdfs or as an excel file on her blog.

Summary: For someone going through a time of financial hardship, In The Trenches can be a great tool to use. If you are just looking for some creative tips for saving money and living a cheaper lifestyle you will find this book to be helpful too.

Posted on March 29, 2010 by Christian Finance

Book Review - In The Trenches

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to read In the Trenches, by Carol Schultz-Weil. It is a two part book focusing on the basics of personal finance.

Part one deals with those details that many find to be mundane - yet necessary - when applying to real life - budgets and the like. I particularly enjoyed her discussion on the differentiation between needs, wants and desires. This part also includes an interesting comparison between job opportunities, aptly demonstrating why a higher paying job may actually cost you money.

Part two is comprised of a series of real life anecdotes that demonstrate her putting these plans into action while turning hardships into successes. It opens with the concept of millionaires amongst us - my advice is to not look down on the janitor! The stocking money plan for food and household item purchases was intriguing and is something that I plan to try out in my personal life.

The author is very straightforward: hard work pays off - and a lazy person will not achieve success.

In the Trenches provides a introduction that addresses the basics of personal finance - and unlike many other personal finance books that primarily talk about investing, this one deals with the day to day realities of life. It is a good read for someone who is looking for this type of overview.

Posted on April 9, 2010 by Christine -- Money Funk. net

This is a book review In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship

Are you In The Trenches? Feeling like your financial future needs an overhaul or the choices of the past are now catching up with you?

Have you lost your job, home, or relationship and it’s time to start over? Or, do you just want some tips for how to record and budget your money more efficiently?

In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship is for the millions of Americans that are starting over or just looking for a new way of doing things. The book contains stories, budgeting charts, and ideas. It is a springboard for your future.

In the Trenches is the story of one family’s survival of economic challenges brought on by a terminal illness in the family and loss of income. Getting creative, learning to budget, and looking at the situation through the eyes of opportunity can turn around any bad situation.

My Thoughts

This book offers great down-to-earth advice and true experiences of how to survive difficult financial times.

The first section of the book offers forms and worksheets to access your current financial situation, where you need to go and how to get there. I really enjoyed the job profablity worksheet pairing examples between working at a fast food restaurant versus the office job. And the eye opening results. As Carol states, “not everything that glitters is gold”. This holds true.

The second section is a collection of stories and ideas from Carol’s family’s experience in scrambling to make ends meet. We’re talking bare bones survival and realizing toilet paper is the best investment. She learned to take 10% of what ever amount she had to spend on grocery and stock it away; thus, ‘Stocking Money’. With this money she learned to build a food storage, so that her family never went hungry. I commend Carol for pulling out of these situations she has experienced. And she discusses her experience with good humor (after all, they say laughter is the best medicine, right?).

In The Trenches, Financial Survival During Times of Hardship is a diamond in the rough. I loved this book. It is 168 pages of great reading and a valuable resource for anyone looking for ways to pull through their difficult financial times.
Full-size worksheets are available on the author’s blog, In the Trenches, for your personal use.

About the Author

The author, Carol Schultz-Weil, spent a number of years in banking where she was a manager and procedural analyst and reviewed departmental processes and procedures to determine and implement cost savings ideas. Upon leaving that career she worked in various administrative positions while rehabbing homes. She is also the author behind two blogs, America for Fair Banking and In the Trenches.