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Reviewed by Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, is perhaps best known for having traveled around Britain and Ireland on horseback in the early to mid-1700s to bring his own special brand of outdoor preaching to local communities. Peter Dixon, in Gain Save Give: Doing the Right Thing With Money, brings back a key sermon that John Wesley gave. In it, Wesley articulated his personal rule about money, summarized as follows: “Having first gained all you can, and second, saved all you can, then give all you can.” Dixon then provides commentary on how one might follow Wesley’s suggestions. For example, Dixon says it is important that one gain money through honest industry, avoiding diversions, procrastination, and half-measures. As to saving, he emphasizes the need to be consistent, adding little tricks for how one might decrease expenses and increase savings along the way, as well as commentary on the wisdom of creating a budget, and of adding to one’s savings by virtue of careful investments. Finally, Dixon discusses the importance of giving and the forms giving might take from outright financial gifts to charities and churches, to assisting friends and family in getting ahead.
The subject of money is often deemed as taboo as the subjects of religion and politics, yet there is so much to learn about how to handle money wisely and well. Peter Dixon provides a terrific outline for the three main issues relating to money in Gain Save Give. He provides thoroughly practical insights and simple suggestions for each. For example, in the section on “gain,” Dixon discusses the importance of choosing work that is not damaging to ourselves or others, while emphasizing that each person must make this determination for himself. With regard to saving, readers will find practical suggestions, such as avoiding credit cards unless they are disciplined enough to keep them paid in full each month, how to avoid impulse buying, and using their time well. Finally, I fully identified with Dixon’s discussion on how people might need to “learn” how to give by starting small, increasing over time, remaining consistent, and even by contributing their time or items they might no longer need. In short, Dixon offers in a non-judgmental manner everyday practical ideas that anyone could follow, making way for each reader to find the “gain save give” path that is right for them.