Book Review: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

I know what you're thinking, what does a non-sounding personal finance book review have to do with improving savings, investments or your debt situation?! 🙄 Bear with me...

📗Barking Up The Wrong Tree by by Eric Barker is one of the few books where I've sat on the tube past my stop to complete the chapter I was on 📗.

This fantastic book covers what it take to produce success; it takes conflicting ideas, and through science and experiments, unpicks each of the concepts to determine the theory that results in success. For example,

  • do nice guys always finish last, or
  • do quitters never win, and winners never quit, or
  • do you expend the mandatory 10,000 hours to become an expert in something? 


How Does This Relate to Money?

Without giving too much of the book away (please, please, do read it) here are my favourite top 5 ways, as abstracted from the book, to master your finances:

  • 👫 Friendships 👫 Eric Barker explores the concept of connections in your life. I deliberating excluded the word "networks"; one of the running themes of the book is that life is made up of friendships. Your co-workers, your mentors, your boss, the company board are all friends. To help with your finances, and to save you hours of painstaking reading, find friends and mentors who are knowledgable in the area and are willing to coach you in your personal finances.


  • 👍 Surround Yourself with the right people 👍 Who you surround yourself with is also important; if you surround yourself with people who don't care about their finances, or who are frivolous and spend like crazy, the chances are that you are going to end up like them. 


  • 📚 Have a plan 📚 : plan your finances, and plan the financial steps in your life. If you intend to have kids, start saving now. If you want to retire at the age of 45, start planning for it now. Scheduling is a core concept discussed in the book; instead of writing an out of control to do list, schedule chunks of time in your diary to do the necessary tasks. And always add on an hour as the tasks will take longer than expected.


  • 🎁 Give Back 🎁those that are generous always have good come into their lives. If you discover something on your personal finances, share your knowledge; give back.


  • 🎉 Have Fun 🎉: if you play, you learn faster, and become better at what you are doing. Have fun with your finances; find unique ways to cut costs, or fun side projects to make more money. Either way, have fun. 



Why Is This Book So Good?

The wonderful aspect about this book is that it's grounded in science and phycology, marrying the quantified with the qualified. It also provides a conclusion at the end of each chapter, providing a clear answer to the conflicting view points; this is compared to most lazy writing that merely summarises, without providing an opinion or an outcome. Finally, the writing style means that while this book is educational in nature, it is delivered in an exceptionally engaging and digestible manner. 

Photo from the beautiful

Wee Scot Finance