"Your Money Ratios by Charles Farrell (Avery, $26). Why not manage your family finances as you would a business? Farrell is a money manager who makes a convincing argument for that approach. He uses rations more common in the business world, such as the debt-to-equity ratio and the capital to income ratio so that readers can figure out how they are really doing. The book is direct and numbers-focused, and offers answers to questions like "How much should I be saving?" and "How much insurance do I need?"
"Charles Farrell, an investment adviser in Denver, has long written about financial planning. In particular, he has developed, in recent years, some of the smartest tools we've seen for gauging the health of your nest egg. Now, he has combined these calculators with additional guidelines in a new book, Your Money Ratios: Eight Simple Tools for Financial Security. Mr. Farrell uses easy-to-understand ratios to help individuals manage savings, debt, investments and insurance, all with the goal of achieving a secure retirement. In short, one of the best financial books to cross our desks this year."
-Wall Street Journal
"What I like about the use of ratios is that it imposes discipline on emotional spending decisions. When you do the math based on specific goals, real household income and exact time frames related to age, it becomes crystal clear that you really can't afford to blow out the back of your home or expand the kitchen, no matter how attractive or tax-deductible the financing may be."
-Laura Rowley, Yahoo Finance
"Everyone wants to know, 'Am I on the right track?' Thanks to Charlie Farrell and his delightfully simple Money Ratios, the answers are just a few pages away."
-Jonathan Clements, author of The Little Book of Main Street Money