It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan: My Thoughts5 min read

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It Is Only Money and It Grows On Trees Book Review

One of my seven goals for 2017 is growing intellectually. I set a goal to finish seven books during 2017, roughly one every two months. I will write a post dedicated to my thoughts on each book to see if you should read or not! Today I get the pleasure of telling you about the second book I’ve read this year called “It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees!” by Cara MacMillan.

Sitting down one evening recently, I settled into one of my 30 minute reading sessions for the week. I had just finished my first book, but was excited about getting started on my second book right away. This new book that I had just received was called “It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees!” As I began reading, I quickly became sucked into the story and how the lessons flowed.

It Is Only Money and It Grows On Trees!

How I Got The Book

I was recently contacted by Cara’s publisher and was asked to provide an honest review of her book in exchange for a copy of the book. I took her up on that offer since the book sounded very enticing and different from other personal finance books that I’ve read in the past.

My Thoughts About It Is Only Money and It Grows On Trees!

The book goes over lessons from different students in a fictitious classroom from different religious backgrounds. I found that each religion tied to a different way of thinking about money and how they approached life around money. More than how each religion handles the money, the book also goes over what money really is and how much it actually means to us.

As I read through the book, I found that I wasn’t really learning all that much new stuff like what to do, but rather soaking in rich culture information from many different viewpoints along the way. The way the content was delivered was natural and entertaining, which made the read even easier as I went along. It also showed how strongly our upbringing and our experience with money is strongly tied together. I could easily see how being raised differently could have taught me different money lessons as well.

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I found “It Is Only Money and It Grows On Trees!” to be a very quick read and ended up finishing the whole book in about two and a half hours all in one sitting, which is very rare for me to do. I just couldn’t bring myself to put the book down as I wanted to read about the next student each chapter and how they would bring something different to the table.

Although this was a very quick read being around 95 pages, it packs quite a few lessons. I loved how the students each brought their perspectives to the table in an enlightening way that didn’t seem to fact dump on me and just let it happen as the students brainstormed.

This book broadened my horizons while teaching about how money can be more than just a resource to some religions and become more of a spiritual activity in our lives. Cara does a great job of opening up the reader’s minds to thinking outside the box as well. She goes into ways to try to start a business, ways to invest and others instead of the traditional “get a job to earn a paycheck” mentality.

About Cara MacMillan

Cara MacMillan is a thought leader in sustainability and financial management. She has the privilege of teaching and learning with courageous individuals who’re committed to making a difference for themselves, their world, and future generations. As a thought leader, Cara regularly publishes in the areas of personal finance and investments.

As an adjunct professor in the School of Business at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada, her vision is to empower people to think and act for themselves financially. She also serves as a Climate Reality Leader in The Climate Reality Leadership Corps. This group is a global network of activists committed to taking on the climate crisis by providing training in climate science, communications, and organizing to tell the story of climate change and inspire communities everywhere to take action. The result is a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums from family dinners to international summits and building a 21st-century movement for solutions.

Cara lives in Ottawa with her life partner and best friend, David, and their two children. She is currently working on her next book, Make Big Money and Make a Big Difference, for readers who want to learn how to invest in responsible companies and opportunities. It is due out later this year.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

My Overall Recommendation for It Is Only Money and It Grows On Trees!

I highly recommend this quick read to learn basics about other religions and how they relate to money. It’s a great resource to help you bridge the gap with others.  You will learn something new about others while creating common ground in a financial sense with others of different belief systems.

If you are looking for a different type of financial book that teaches some great principles while giving you and entertaining story, It Is Only Money and It Grows On Trees by Cara MacMillan is a great book to check out.

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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
Posted in Biblical Finances, Book Reviews and tagged .


  1. Great book review and the book sounds like a great way to learn about other people’s perspective on money. I do think how we use money is affected by our culture and upbringing. For example for myself, growing up as an African Canadian and now a financially independent adult, I find that I need to juggle the individualistic perspective in the Canadian culture with the community perspective in the African culture. All of our siblings chip in money to take care of our aging parents and we contribute money towards each other weddings and stuff like that.
    I wish we talked about money more in the family growing up, but my parents did a great job raising us and I always had everything I needed. Great post!

    • Thanks for checking out the review Pamela! It really was a quick, entertaining enlightening read about personal finance and the different ways that we approach money from so many different cultures and religions! Cara did a great job to get you interested in the topic but not talk over the beginners and really cut it down to layman’s terms! Great beginner pf book for sure!

      That’s an interesting concept about the weddings vs here where it’s traditional (doesn’t always happen) for the bride’s parents to pay for most of it. That’s kind of nuts when you think about it. Why should one side of the family bear the financial burden vs the other?

      As far as the aging parents, I think this is something that will be coming up more and more in families especially with people living quite a bit longer these days. You would hope that the parents would have enough saved to take care of themselves, but it’s often not the case. We are in the “sandwich” generation where we are taking care of kids while also working to help chip in for our parents. It’s going to be tough, but I think we’ll pull through as a society!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks even more for leaving a comment, it means a lot to me!

  2. I’ll have to check this out. I love reading about other people’s stories and perspectives. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the hard numbers or our own story that we forget that other people position money differently than we do.
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  3. How interesting. I haven’t heard of this book before but I think I will be looking into it. I am interested to read the different perspectives. I also think I will be sharing this information with some members of my family. Thanks for sharing

    • I hadn’t either until the publisher had reached out to me. It’s a great book with some basics in there that include some great concepts to get started financially. Hope you and your family enjoy the book! Would love to hear your thoughts as well!

  4. This books sounds interesting! I’m deeply aware of how my upbringing effects my relationship with money and would love to learn more about other perspectives on money beyond traditional personal finance books. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Beka, it’s amazing how our upbringing has so much impact on what we’re taught. We have to overcome that and get outside of it from time to time to expand our borders intellectually. I think you will find it a very brief but great read! Thanks for commenting!

  5. First I think I might take up your intellectual challenge. I like the idea of setting goals on number of books to read. Great review too! It is just so true that different cultures have different perception of money and this drives the way they handle money. I have not seen so many books on finances bringing that into picture. I think this book might actually stand out for this. I am tempted to go buy it. Thanks for sharing Steven.

    • Olu, the intellectual challenge is a great part of my overall 2017 goals this year! Challenging myself to read more books versus just blogs and online news is a great way to broaden horizons and expand knowledge!

      Let me know if you read it and your thoughts! I would love to hear them!

  6. It sounds like a great book! I really enjoy learning about new perspectives. It’s even more important to know when we are discussing principles with someone from a different culture. Instead of talking at someone, we get to engage and understand.

    • It really was a great starter finance book that opened you up to so many different cultural views on money that was quite interesting. I would give it a try if you get a chance!

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