I love to read about personal finance and personal development. While I work from home most days of the week, on the one day I do go into the office, my commute is one hour each way. To pass the time, I listen to audio books.
You may have heard me mention already that buying tons of books can be a real budget-buster for me. Because of this, I frequent my local library. My library has a great online database where I can search books by keyword or author, hop over Amazon to read reviews on the book, and then reserve the book. When the book is ready, I just swing by the library, grab my books from the designated reserved shelves, and I’m on my way. It’s quick, it’s easy and — best of all — it’s free!
The following are books that I have personally read (or listened to) and contain material that I recommend for anyone embarking on a journey to financial fitness and personal success:
Your Money or Your Life: This book is a personal finance classic and one that I highly recommend. It will help you to take an honest look at the hamster wheels our lives become when we are preoccupied with money as a means to buy more crap we don’t need. In addition, Your Money or Your Life contains practical formulas and exercises to help you achieve financial independence. The one thing I disagreed with was the recommendation of the authors to put all of your retirement savings into government bonds. While they are a guaranteed (low) annual return, government bonds are definitely not going to get you the same kind of annual return as other investment vehicles. Personally, I invest with several no-load indexed mutual fund.
The Millionaire Next Door: I enjoyed this book for the inside look it provided into the lives of some of America’s wealthy. Yes, the book mostly focused on the wealthy white males in America, but I liked the way it stripped away misconceptions about what it looks like to be wealthy. This book demonstrates that those who flash around all of their fancy “stuff,” are usually those who are broke and are buying their toys with credit.
The Richest Man in Babylon: This is a great book for anyone beginning on the path to understanding personal finance. The charm of this book is in its history. Using a Babylon-based theme and time period, readers can experience the relevance of the “laws” of personal finance which have held true over time.
The Total Money Makeover: This book by Dave Ramsey is much different than the other personal finance books I’ve read. What I like about it is the simple, straight talk about how to get out of debt. At times Ramsey takes an almost accusatory tone which both put me off, and held my interest. This book does seems to be targeted at those in complete denial about their poor financial situation. At any rate, I wasn’t able to stop listening (I had the audio book version), and I felt more pumped to get out of debt after listening to the book than before I started. One other thing to keep in mind if you’re getting the audio version of this book is that Ramsey’s speaking style is somewhat reminiscent of a Baptist preacher. At times he yells at the listener and becomes quite dramatic.
The Wealthy Barber: This is a great step-by-step book to getting your financial affairs in order. From health and life insurance to wills and retirement, this book covers everything you need to establish a winning financial plan. About a town barber that gives monthly personal finance lessons to three customers (one of which is the author), this book is full of information in a practical, easy to digest format.
I hope this list is helpful to you. What personal finance or personal success books have you read that you would recommend?