Be Your Own CFO by J.D. Roth - A Book Review

By Melissa Batai

As a small business owner, you likely pay attention to your business finances.  You keep your books, run reports, and do cost analysis as well as profit and loss analysis.  As a result, you're able to stay in business and keep your company finances solvent.

Yet, do you do the same thing when it comes to your personal finances?

One of the best ways you can relieve the stress of being a work at home mom is to make sure that your finances, both business and personal, are in order.  Yet, many of us are so busy with our businesses, that we neglect the personal finances.

J.D. Roth, author of the ebook, Be Your Own CFO, urges all readers to treat their personal finances as if they were their business finances.

Who Is J.D. Roth?

J.D. Roth is a blogger who created the blog Get Rich Slowly.  Ten years ago, Roth was in debt and guilty of bouncing checks.  He decided in October, 2004, to manage his finances like he managed his business.  Now, he is a millionaire.

Book Contents

Roth's book is divided into 10 sections:

Missions, Goals, and Action Plans

In this chapter, Roth urges you to create a mission statement, set short, medium, and long-term goals, and develop a plan of action that helps you reach your goals and stays true to your mission statement.

Process Improvement

Too many of us handle our finances in a haphazard fashion.  Roth is blunt--if you want to be successful in your finances, you must set aside time to manage them.  In addition, he urges you to simplify your finances and automate as many bills as possible.

Financial Reports

You likely create balance sheets, income statements, and other reports to measure your business' well being.  Roth asks you to generate the same reports monthly for your personal finances.


Ah, the b-word: budget.  Roth takes a unique approach to budgeting, which may help you find this task less tedious.


Roth urges you to compute your profit and profit margin monthly.  He also urges you to take steps to improve your profit margin just as a business would. 


One of the best ways to improve your profit margin is to reduce your overhead.  Roth urges you to be ruthless in your search for ways to reduce expenses.  Roth himself has sold his home, moving instead to a condo.  He also sold his car and now walks or bikes everywhere.


Another way to increase profit margin is to make more money.  Roth urges readers to take classes to get a raise at work, sell stuff, or get a second job.

Opportunity Costs and Conscious Spending

Every dollar you spend is money that can't be used to improve your future and security.  Roth doesn't tell you to avoid spending.  Instead, he asks you to spend consciously.  When you do spend, make sure it is in line with your mission and goals.

Saving and Debt Reduction

Get your finances in order by getting out of debt and creating an emergency fund.  If need be, create separate savings accounts to meet your various savings goals.


Don't let investing overwhelm you.  Start small.  Keep your fees low.  Automate your investing so you don't have to be disciplined to invest the money every month.  Think long term and diversify your investments to reduce your risk.  You can do this!

Is This Ebook Right for You?

I've read plenty of financial books.  Roth offers a genuinely unique approach to personal finance that should appeal to practical business owners.  Using his method, your finances should improve, perhaps dramatically.

Be Your Own CFO is part of a year-long course to improve your finances.  The course offers the ebook as well as weekly lessons and tools for 52 weeks.  Packages range from the $39 Back to Basics package to the $58 Money Mavin package to the $97 Wealth Builder package.

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