|You can see how well-worn my original copy on the right is!|
People sometimes ask me what my favorite books are. I know generally they are talking about the greatest novel ever written, but my mind always jumps to my favorite books on money. I re-read these books every so often, and each time I gain some new insight or grasp a new way of thinking about money that I am now prepared to do something about. All information about money does not apply to all of the people all of the time. It depends on where you are in your financial journey through life. Something that you may have discounted as too complicated or not applicable at one point, may be just what you need now.
One of my all-time favorite books on this subject is Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. It was first published in 1992, but a revised edition was printed in 2008, with more updated advice for this millennium. It provides a perspective about money that helps the reader decide what the real value of work is, and what items are worth trading that “life energy “for. In addition, the authors lay out a concrete plan for determining “how much is enough” for each individual, and how to reach the point of financial independence, based on what is important to you. While many financial experts do not agree with the investment advice in this book, the concepts are profound and worth thinking about. If you like this book, check out Getting A Life by Jacqueline Blix and David Heitmiller. Theirs is the story of these principles put into action.
I also like The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. This book debunks the myth that people that spend a great deal of money on expensive status symbols are obviously millionaires. In fact, not keeping up with the Jones’ is a key contributor to many people becoming millionaires, according to the extensive research explained in this book. Not that this should come as a surprise to any of us, but some of the habits of the typcial millionaire might surprise you. A very interesting book that opened my eyes regarding wealth and status. The implication here is that according to Forbes magazine "nearly anybody with a steady job can amass a tidy fortune". There is something very powerful to be said for keeping your expenses reined in.
And for investment advice, I like Charles Schwab’s New Guide to Financial Independence. It’s easy enough for an amateur like me to digest, yet a thorough explanation of investment options and advice to consider in order to have our money working for us, instead of working for a paycheck all of our lives. I like the section that suggests some specific ways to estimate how much money you will need to retire, and how much you will need to save to achieve that goal. Very practical and easy to grasp.
I have purchased Your Money or Your Life several times and given it as gifts. I think I even remember dropping it in the bathtub a few times, as you can see from the state it is in. It has been well-read. Of course, I bought the last two books at the Goodwill. $1.50 vs. $25.00? I love that! It gives me an extra big thrill to buy a book about being wise with your money at a thrift store!
What are your favorite books about money? Have you read these? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!