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
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.
Think and Grow Rich
: This audio book blew my socks off. Originally written by Napoleon hill in the 1930′s, this book took me to a different realm when thinking about money. Hill spent 25 years following and studying the most successful men of his time and them complied this book about what they all had in common. He combines the law of attraction with the action steps needed to achieve personal success. There were so many new concepts introduced to me through this book (transmuting sexual energy?!), that I was fascinated throughout the entire audio book. I’m absolutely planning on listening to this one again.
The Science of Getting Rich
: This book had a similar theme as Think and Grow Rich, but it is much shorter (three disks compared to eight for Think and Grow Rich). It’s focused primarily on the power of positive thinking. I enjoyed it, but my husband preferred Think and Grow Rich. For me, The Science of Getting Rich reaffirmed what I had learned from Think and Grow Rich, and therefore, was well worth my time.
Debt Free For Life
: This book really didn’t resonate with me, but the last chapter was so helpful and full of tricks I didn’t know that I felt it was worth including. David Bach seemed to spend most of this book plugging his other products and books and overly trying to build credibility. BUT, the last chapter included resources for finding missing money, and some of them I had never heard of before this book. Many people have heard of the Missing Money database
(I personally found $80 from a security deposit on a security system from a small business I owned), but Bach wrote about several other ways to find missing money, including an unclaimed treasury and bond database called Treasury Hunt ®
that I had never heard of.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
: I loved this book. The author, Ramit Sethi, also writes the blog iwillteachyoutoberich.com
. He’s young (20-something), and his money management style closely matches mine (automate everything!). Although this book is mainly targeting young singles, I still got a lot out of it. Ramit will teach you how to get your credit card rates lowered, get a bank fee waived, and how to automate your financial life. All this while getting you to chuckle along the way. I’m a personal finance geek to begin with, but I couldn’t put this book down.
The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy
: This book is written by one of my favorite personal finance columnists, Liz Weston
. While I’ve been following Weston’s personal finance columns on MSN Money
for years, this was the first of her books I’ve read. It did not disappoint. With her usual matter-of-fact style, she put together an amazing financial resource that perfectly fits the economic state today.
Your Money: The Missing Manual
: This book is written by J.D. Roth, the owner of one of my favorite daily reads, GetRichSlowly.com
. I really enjoyed this book and think it is a practical guide for those setting out to change their financial ways. There was information about garage sales and listing products on eBay that I found to be exceptionally helpful and unique to Roth’s book.
Maximizing Your Money: Personal Finance Made Easy!
: This is a nice short, audio book with tons of great information. If you want a quick overview of personal finance to help you get started on the road to money management right away, this audio book would be a great starting point.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
: Really Jenny? A Dr. Seuss book? You betcha! That Dr. Seuss was one brilliant philosopher. I read this book to my six year old son at least once each week, although I’m quite certain I get more out of it than he does. To me, this book encapsulates the journey of life from a meaningful, big-picture perspective. Although my son doesn’t understand many of the underlying messages in this book now, I know in time he will. I’m especially enamored with the pages about people stuck in the “waiting” place.
I hope this list is helpful to you. What personal finance or personal success books have you read that you would recommend?
*disclaimer* The above links to Amazon.com are affiliate links, meaning I would receive a small commission if you were to click on, and then purchase any of these books. I would recommend you check with your local library first before purchasing any of these books. As always, I would never direct readers to a book I didn’t feel to be of high quality, money saving, and that I myself didn’t love!
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