Edited by AJC Publishing
Work Less, Make More aims to inspire you to take control of your personal finances.
The book focuses on using money to its full potential – from home ownership strategies, insurances, and super, to modern investing tactics. By avoiding simple mistakes, readers can provide themselves with financial security and the confidence to make their own financial decisions.
Following two millennials, Penny and Shriram, the book shows how simple decisions can make an enormous difference to your wealth.
In the current social and economic climate, it is more important than ever to use knowledge to build financial security.
This is your guide to financial freedom.
Let's talk about it
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy, and have been to the Melbourne and Canberra Comedy Festivals a number of times to see famous and fledgling comedians. In 2020, I finally achieved my dream of performing a stand-up comedy routine in front of an audience at Smith’s Alternative in Canberra. I can safely say I wasn’t the worst performer on the night, with one other person forgetting their lines halfway through their routine! I’m almost certain I heard laughter from people other than who knew me. It’s still one of the most fun nights I’ve ever had, and I’ll be getting back onstage soon.
Why did you choose the themes in your book and were you aware of them from the start?
I’ve been interested in personal finance for a long while, and had spent many hours talking with friends about how to get ahead. Despite this, so many friends and family were unaware of the incredibly simple steps they could take to improve their finances. All the while, they continued to talk about side hustles, new businesses, and chasing more money up the corporate ladder, without realising how much money they were throwing away by not actively managing their finances. When I looked at the available books on personal finance, I could see a number of books promising to make you rich quickly. There were also a few books, including the Barefoot Investor, which provided great advice, but which seemed to be aimed at people who had no control of their finances at all. I could not find a book with the next level of insight, including advice on how to invest, how to maximise your super, strategies to buy a house, and insight on how the financial system operates. So, I wrote it!
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
Writing a book was an incredible challenge. It’s one thing to have the ideas in your head, but another thing entirely to put them down in a structured, logical and engaging way. At various points, including before the chapter structure was formed, the task seemed overwhelming! How to condense all the financial information available into a readable format with clear advice? I also wanted write an entertaining book, including jokes, light-hearted writing, stories and graphical representations, to make the information stick more strongly. Making sure the jokes were funny was hard! Pitching the book at the right level was also very difficult. Too basic, and it would fall in amongst the existing entry-level books on personal finance. Too complex, and it would veer too far into being an academic book. It was important to hit the sweet spot between information and readability.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
This is my first full book. It is written on a topic I know well, and using information and concepts I use all the time in both my personal finances and in my professional setting. This provided solid ground on which to write a non-fiction book. My next book will likely be on the same topics.
What would you do differently next time?
I would start to workshop a book title from the very beginning. Finding the right title was very difficult and took hours of discussion between my publisher and me. We finally settled on a title which captured the essence of the book, but it took a long time. I would also ground the major concepts at the very beginning of writing, as these overarching themes eventually dictated the direction and flow of the book.
With hindsight, what would you say to yourself as a fledgling writer?
However long you think your book will take, double it… then double it again.
If you worked with a professional editor, what was the experience like?
I worked with AJ Collins to do a professional edit of an earlier draft of the full manuscript. I also engaged the services of two professional editors for earlier pitches of the book when I was looking for a publisher, through Writing NSW and Writers Victoria. These were highly valuable and I would strongly recommend any prospective writer to hire a professional editor. There was a marked difference between the comments I received from friends and family compared to the professional comments. The professional comments were able to pinpoint issues with structure, accuracy, tone, consistency, and style which none of my friends or family picked up on. The edits I made as a result of the professional input improved the manuscript immeasurably. It became a far clearer book to read and is a definite factor in being picked up by a publisher.
What’s next for your writing?
My next book will likely be on the same topics of finance and economics. Despite its reputation, these are incredibly interesting as they make our society turn. It is such a core part of how we live, and yet we spend so little time learning about these topics. Most of what we learn is by watching our friends and family. I am keen to explore further some of the quirks of the economy that influence how we interact, and build businesses, friends and family.
Kim Northwood is a long-term investor and entrepreneur, and currently manages an importation and distribution company for non-alcoholic beer. Kim was formerly an adviser to Australia’s Trade and Investment Minister, and has managed economic development programs in Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.
Kim is deeply concerned about the risk of financial insecurity for the millennial generation, given wild housing costs, the cost of living and the disparity in superannuation between men and women. Kim is also frustrated by the way we endlessly chase more income without understanding personal finance, and demonstrates in this book how very simple steps can make a lifetime of difference.