Books To Read When Getting Serious About Personal Finance
When I first started getting serious about my own personal finances I started searching things online such as, "how to save money", "how to get out of debt", "how to make more money", and "how to start a online business". Now first thing that should be said is that most of the things that come up when you search these terms are not helpful, they are just trying to get you to spend more money on their products, or starting pyramid schemes or whatever the case may be. That being said that is also how I came across my first financial blogs, the simple dollar, and get rich slowly. Though these, and the additional blogs I found, were very helpful they were all already well into getting out of debt and having their finances in order. Now that's great if that's where I currently am but it wasn't what I needed was something that takes me from start to finish on what I should do, or rather what others have done. Now i'm not lazy and was more than willing to do work, but a guide would help so I started looking to see if the blogs I was reading had written books, some had, but for the most part they all have books they suggest for reading, so I looked a few of them up. Now if there was a list out there for me to have read that just said "read these for personal finance" I would have started there, so it is my hope that someone finds this list and it is exactly what I wish I had when I started. Keep in mind that these books are my opinion of what is useful and what can help I'm sure that there are many other books that can help as much if not more. But these are a great start.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
This is a book that I was first told about several years ago, a coworker had heard me complaining about how I never have enough money to do anything and her suggestion was to read this book. I wish I had listened because I would be about 4 years ahead of what I am right now. This book shows how Robert from a very young age is concerned about having money even to the point where him and his best friend unknowingly commit a federal crime in an attempt to literally make money. When this ultimately doesn't work they try to find alternatives and this is where they start spending time with his "rich dad" who takes him under his wing and teaches him not how to make money, but how to think like someone who makes money. This book gives great motivation to get your financial education and start living a rich life. Though I do feel this book fails in the fact that it gives very general thoughts about things and definitely encourages you to start getting your finances together it does not get into specifics in what you can do. The chapter that touches me the most is "Work To Learn" where it speaks about not working for money, instead work to learn a new skill that will help you on your road to financial independence and being your own boss and truly living a rich life.
Total Money Makeover
Any list on personal finance would not be complete if Dave Ramsey wasn't on it, not only would no one else listen to me but I wouldn't listen to me either. Dave Ramsey is everywhere when it comes to personal finance and getting out of debt. In this book he gives several examples of people who are in debt more than some people make in 10 or more years that not only get out of debt in much less time than you would imagine but they now have emergency funds that equal a 6 month pay. He gives the method of paying off debt of the snowball where you save up an emergency fund of $1000 then start putting everything you can towards the debt. Now instead of paying off the debt with the highest interest first (which is the "avalanche" method) you pay whatever has the smallest balance. Why? Because this gives you the motivation to continue on, it truly is a internal battle to get out of debt and start living a life now that will let you later live the life you want. All and all this book is encouraging and gives you very specific things that will help you get out of debt, and save money much much sooner then you think is possible.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich
If you have ever wanted a personal finance blog, or book that has someone that will tell you exactly how it is, and make it hilarious at the same time but teach you exactly what your looking for. Then you are looking for Ramit. I found his blog a year or so ago, and love it completely I joined his email list that offers programs that though can be expensive (and being in credit card debt I don't qualify to join) are completely worth the price. Now after reading his blog for a long time I felt it was time to get his book, which didn't fail to deliver. In his book he gives many of the things that are also on the website but it breaks it down in a start to finish way, even giving you a time frame on everything to do. What I like about this book is that he is all about automation, set everything up to automatically save money, and pay bills and then spend everything else on whatever you want. For my wife this meant the most, she doesn't like looking at how much she is spending, however she understands that if there is no money left in the account then she can't spend anything. That is exactly what Ramit talks about in this book. We have followed much of this book when it comes to automation making it possible for us to save a lot of money, mostly get out of debt, and still spend like we have money to burn but now guilt free.
The Millionaire Next Door
This is not a personal finance book, instead it delves deep into the minds of those around us who have money aka the millionaire next door. The authors of this book spend years doing research on the affluent in the united states and found that what many if not all of us think about those who have money is completely or at least mostly wrong. The real millionaires in this country do not drive expensive cars., they also don't spend over $400 on a watch or even a suit, and most important they do not live in neighborhoods that are filled with other millionaires. Instead they find the best deals on cars most of the time spending less money on them than those of us who don't have a million dollars in the bank, they spend a reasonable amount of money on clothes and accessories, and they live in modest homes in modest neighborhoods. The book also refers to the things we buy as "artifacts" which if you think about everything we own will eventually be a artifact, which if you really meditate on that small part of the book you'll realize how little you really need and how you don't need to spend unnecessary money on things.
The Dividend Mantra Way
Jason Fieber is by far my favorite financial blogger. What I really like about him is the fact that he now has what many would consider a lot of money in the bank (as I write this his portfolio is almost 200k). However, he didn't make a lot of money at any point in his life in fact he has most of the time made less than the national average and has still grown his portfolio to the above mentioned amount. Not only has he done this but this is after years of making some of the worst financial decisions that someone can make and getting heavy into debt. His life story is one that can and will encourage you to not only start down the road to financial independence but with the help of this book it will give you the road map. He starts off this book by telling you all of the mistakes that he has made as well as the childhood he had that led to the mistakes. Then, he goes into his realization of what needed to be done to get out of the rat race, and then explains what he did and what he is now doing. This is such an inspirational book that you may,like me, read it over and over again.
Reading is a wonderful tool that everyone should take full advantage of. This books on this list can help anyone either starting down their financial path or have been on it for some time. Even if you don't agree with what they say in their books, which I disagree on some things with each of these books, you can still benefit. The truth about personal finance is that it is truly "personal" and by getting as much information about the subject as possible is the best way to find out what you like and do it to the best of your ability. Truth is there is no one path that you can be sent, you do have to do it yourself it's your path all these books are are a sign along the way helping you get to wherever you want to go.