I wanted to check-in with those of you who are participating in our year-long personal finance challenge we have going on here at TTG. First off, I want to welcome all of you who are partaking – and I hope it helps you get motivated to change your finances for the better in 2012. Please feel free to drop me a line anytime – or comment below with how you're doing.
For those who haven't signed up yet – you may do so at any time on the initial post. And, don't forget – there will be a drawing for $100 cash payable to your PayPal account (or check if you prefer). Be happy to have you along with us.
One of the 10 challenges we list is to read a book on finance. We've written about some books that will help motivate you to get out of debt and resources for retiring early – but – for now, I'm going to list books that have helped shape my current view of personal finances and then I'll tell you about some that I want to read this year for the challenge. My hope is that you might share some that have influenced you as well.
What I've read (or sifted through) and commend to you:
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I know that a lot of personal finance bloggers like us have been heavily influenced by Ramsey's teachings. Guy doesn't mince words – gets straight to the heart of the matter – and is easy to read/follow. I'd put his book right up there as a must-read. He'll teach you the steps you need to follow to get debt-free.
The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. A book based on joyful giving (I know many don't associate giving money away as a joyful thing) – but his idea of capping your lifestyle at a certain point early on and then giving away a lot of the rest is quite revolutionary. I'm certainly not there – but I've been fortunate enough to have seen this demonstrated by a few godly men on my journey.
Life or Debt by Stacy Johnson. I read his updated version of this book in 2010 and it's a good one. He offers steps you need to take to get out of debt, shares 205 things you can save money on and gives his own testimony of debt and money woes.
The Wealth Cure by Hill Harper. This is a newer book and is another impactful reminder to me of putting money in its proper place (you can tell by now that I struggle with this one by the books I've selected). Harper shares a lot of personal anecdotes and stories which keep the book interesting.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Another pretty important book for learning the dynamics behind the “why” in our money issues.
The Billionaire Who Wasn't by Conor O'Clery. This book didn't get as much attention as I thought it would a few years back. It's the story of billionaire Chuck Feeney – in how one year he was on the Forbes list of billionaires and the next – completely off it. Why? Because he gave it all away. I think Feeney's action did more to influence other wealthy guys/gals out there than any others have in this present age (ie, Gates, Buffett)
Generation Earn by Kimberly Palmer. This is a book targeted toward the young professionals now entering the workforce to help them get off on the right-footing. The book is a practical guide on topics ranging from “what should I be doing with my savings” to “should I buy a house or keep renting”.
Bible by God. Obviously this is a no-brainer for me. The Bible offers the foundation for what I hope to put into practice for how I view/handle money. Jesus talked a lot about how money can entangle us – how it can become a god. I personally know the temptation that money can bring in my daily life. With the Word of God as a backdrop or the lens for which I view money, I can only pray that God helps me stay submitted to Him and not to the almighty dolla!
Okay – on to books that are currently in my queue to read:
Living Large in Lean Times by Howard Clark
The Simple Dollar by Trent Hamm
You'll notice that a lot of these are more psychologically or “story-based” than process- or how-to -based. And, there is a reason for that. I do think that personal finance can be more of a mental thing than a do this and don't do that thing. It seems to me that what often keeps us from getting our financial house in order isn't a faulty process but an emotional one. Get that straightened 0ut and you'll be on your way.
Answer the following question in the comment section and you will be entered to win a copy of Generation Earn! Congrats to Cassie who won a copy of Generation Earn!
Okay – would love to hear some of your reads – or books you're getting ready to read.