I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best when it comes to taking care of my finances. Yes, I have made some good decisions over the years such as earning a master’s degree and buying my house at the age of 30 as a single mom.
I’ve also made some foolish ones as well, such as buying a Volvo that had a bad transmission (and tires that made a scraping sound when I turned the wheel) or emptying my 401K to pay bills because I left my job without a plan.
Like many of you, no one taught me about credit and investing. Much of what I learned was discovered through trial and error. Good thing, I found a few books that I have read that show me how to be smarter about money.
Here’s a list of the personal finance books that have changed my life.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
I first read Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was a freshman in college. I can’t remember if it was one of the books assigned to us by one of my professors or something I picked up on my own.
Most likely it was a book I picked up when I should’ve been reading a textbook, but that’s not the point. After reading this book, my view on money and entrepreneurship changed forever. I still have the same copy I purchased 20 years ago and I’ve read it several times since.
Kiyosaki writes about how he had two dads, his biological dad and a man he looked up to as a mentor. His father, a professor at a local college, was educated but broke. On the other hand, his other dad didn’t have a college degree or any formal education, but was a business man and was rich.
He goes on to say that he learned a lot about both men, but his rich dad taught him a lot about money and building wealth. This book showed me that being rich is a mindset.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
One of the best guru to follow to get your personal finances in order, Dave Ramsey wrote The Total Money Makeover. I read The Total Money Makeover after I purchased Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
Even though I read every chapter and watched every DVD, I can shamefully say that I didn’t follow through with the steps. Saving the $1000 worked for me for ten seconds and I fell off the horse. It’s a system that works, only if you do.
If you’re looking for sound money advice from someone who is not only rich but who was broke, became rich, lost his money and regained his wealth again, then Dave Ramsey is your man.
For me, I have a hard time taking diet advice from someone who has never been fat. I feel the same way when it comes to money, it’s easy to talk about how easy it is to be rich if you’ve always been rich.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas Stanley
Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want
One of the ways we get ourselves in financial trouble is by trying to keep up with the Jones’. Rachel Cruz agrees and in her book Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want is a manual on how to stop wanting what others have (but we can’t afford).
Sound advice from someone who grew up in a household where being financially responsible was taught (she’s Dave Ramsey’s daughter), Rachel breaks it down on how we can have great lives, without going into debt and without feeling like we’re missing out.
Love Your Life is one of the few personal finance books I ever pre-ordered simply because I was excited to read.
Money Is Everything: Personal Finance for the Brave New Economy by Amanda Reaume
Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
Some people have discounted Tim Ferris’ mantra that you can work as little as four hours a week and live a rich and successful life. I disagree, to a point. I believe it’s possible to work 4 hours a week, but you have to put the time in first.
It is possible to lay out on a beach somewhere and live off of passive income. However, most of us know that passive income isn’t quite passive, especially not in the beginning.
I like the 4-Hour Work Week because Ferris tells us that as long as we have an infrastructure and system in place, then it is possible to have a four hour work week.
These systems including starting businesses in profitable niches with little overhead and automatic processes. He shows how he started working from home by asking his boss for the opportunity.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads
I admit it, I was interested in Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads because of the title. Good thing the book met my expectation and I have kept this book in my bag to refer to when I need a reality check.
The author talks about how she and others were financially devastated by trusting those she loved with their money.
As a woman who has done financially better than most of those around me, I am always being hit up for a loan to get someone out of their own mess. When I should have been paying my bills, I was paying others.
Though I have never cosigned for a car or an apartment for a boyfriend or family member, I have given money when I shouldn’t have.
This book will show you the power of no and how it’s okay to help others on occasion, but not to risk your own financial health to save someone who doesn’t care about theirs.
You will either resonate with the stories in this book or get scared to death by them. Either way, this is a must-read by all women and one of my favorite life-changing personal finance books.
Have you read any of these books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Do you have any to add?