Skip to main content

5 Best Guides to Beginning a Life Free of Financial Worry

It is beginning "the thing" or "the change" that can be the hardest, isn't it?

When I was at my lowest financial point of worry and anxiety, these five books lifted me up and over debt toward a life of fun frugal living and some financial security.  So I'm sharing the wealth.

Amazon has it on sale from time to time

 

1.  How to Get Out Of Debt, Stay Out Of Debt and Live Prosperously

This was the first book I read that took the shame out of debt and addressed some of the emotional issues.   It inspired me to take a second job as an adjunct professor.  This didn't pay much per hour but the extra $2K in a year helped lift my family out of debt.  I felt like a cork, bobbing above the water and suddenly seeing the shore.  What a relief that was! 



I found a copy of this one for .01 on Amazon!
2.   "The Only Investing Guide You Will Ever Need" 

This was the second financial self-help book I purchased and still have on my bookshelf.  Why?  Because it's so funny, lighthearted and real.  

Tobias is a Harvard graduate who helped me understand that when I avoided buying something, or saved $1.00 on something, I was actually saving $1.50.   A penny saved is a penny and a half earned! And understanding how our taxes affect your personal finance is mission critical. 

If you are being taxed at the 25% marginal tax rate for federal income tax, then add in state income tax, then add in sales tax -- well, you could say that you are being taxed at approximately 50% (for the ease of the example, even though it might be a little high).  

So, as Tobias gives as an example in the book, if you go out to eat on Thursday night and spend $40?  Well, to replace that $40 could mean that you have to earn $50-$60.  

Even though Tobias is a very wealthy guy, he still buys canned tuna "long" (i.e., on sale), and stores the extra cans under his bed.   He goes "short" on tuna when it's very expensive (i.e., he uses up his stores).  


Seriously people, this is how rich people act.  Just be careful you don't overbuy on tuna and never use it.


I Will Teach You To Be Rich
This is about $8 on Amazon
3.  I Will Teach You to Be Rich

So inspirational and easy to read.   

Ramit promised to show me how to make $1K a year in a side gig.  I didn't think I could do it.  But then I did.  And I still make $1k a year doing a side gig.   

I don't know how he does it, just call it "Ramit Magic"



Found this for .01 on Amazon too -- great deal! 
4.  Your Money or Your Life

Ground-breaking,loving and practical approach to understanding how you are trading your "precious" life for that new toaster, or pair of shoes, or kitchen blender, etc., etc.  -- is it really worth it?  Good practical guide to understanding how much your job is really paying you per hour.   

Think you are getting $30 per hour?  Add in all those hours to commute, the wardrobe costs, the unpaid CEU hours, the hours just unwinding from the stress...  hmmm...  maybe it's time to rethink that hourly rate down to about $5!   And the toaster really cost you four hours of your precious life.  Hmmm...

Definitely an eye opener for me and one of the inspirations for Breaking Free From the Corporate Cube.    Inspirational for living well on less.   


Still about $10+ on Amazon
5.  The Millionaire Next Door

Last, but certainly not least, the granddaddy of them all, "The Millionaire Next Door."  Reading about this scene from the book (page 27), with the Decamillionaires (worth $10 million or more) is the best take-away you can have this frugal Christmas.

The professors who wrote the book wanted to study millionaires, so they invited the subjects to a focus group.  Wanting to make the millionaires comfortable, they provided wine and caviar for the group.   Here's what happened next:   When one of the group members (who owned several pieces of downtown New York property) was offered a glass of 1970 Merlot, he said 

"I drink Scotch and two kinds of beer - free and BUDWEISER!"  

It's also where I first heard the phrase, "Big Hat - No Cattle," -- a term the millionaires saved for those who flashed fancy cars and clothes, but had no assets.  

Here are more millionaire tips.

That's my top five that will keep you busy learning through the cold winter nights ahead.  Do you have a favorite I missed?  Share It!


Disclaimer:  If you do decide to click on one of the photos and buy one of the books, I will receive a small commission from Amazon.  It didn't affect my list one whit -- I've had these books on the shelves for years.  And any proceeds will go back to making the blog better!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Juicy Frugal Tips Starting with Coffee

Maybe it's because I live in Louisiana.  This part of the country drips with warm weather, great food and drink, and a constant stream of live music.  And we share some of the same European "squeeze  the juice out of every moment" daily lifestyle habits.    Like the love of coffee.   It's a $4-6 per day habit in my house, even when I make most of it at home.  Some say cut it out of your budget, it's a waste.   I say that's ridiculous.   In fact,  I propose that you cut something else out of the budget just to keep coffee in!  Why?   1) It's good for your health (and this is from the people and research at Harvard , mon ami).  2)  It's one of the best inexpensive ways to add a frugal juiciness to every day of your life.     The Belgians love coffee so much that they serve chocolate with every cup -- free of charge.  It's a visual    If you want to immerse yourself in the Belgian way, check out this blogger's post  about the Belg

Finally Financially Independent: Can You Live a Rich Life on $3,000 a Month?

Yesterday was my last day at Megacorp (gulp) and I'm not 65 years old yet, I'm not even 59 1/2!   Anxious?  Excited?  Terrified?  Yes, yes, yes.    Is it something that you could do too?  Yes, you too. Call it semi-retirement, retirement, a mini-retirement, early retirement, embracing the simple life, the mid-life crazies, taking a break from burn-out...I'm not sure what label fits yet.   The truly kind people at Megacorp gave me a subtle kick-in-the-pants and I am eternally grateful.  The choice was to conform to a job that just wasn't a great fit or get the heck out of the way.   I took it as a sign from the universe to RUN, not walk, from a bad fit to finding th e people who need exactly what I have to offer.   I may never work full-time again and just volunteer, or work by-the-hour, or even find another, better-fitting job -  not sure yet.  But I do know that this will test the financial freedom plan I'd been preparing for years.  Nothing is more satisfying

Tips from the Millionaire Mind - News You Can Use Today

Millionaires use Costco (or Sam's) They often buy pre-built homes, or foreclosures Have shoes resoled or repaired Have furniture re-upholstered Raise the thermostat setting on the air conditioner during the summer Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., author of the Millionaire Next Door, has compiled even more interesting insights into the Millionaire Mind that I believe we can all use to become more financially solvent, even if we never make it to millionare land. In my case, every $250 I add to my net worth is another day that I don't have to work for someone else. (note: Not wanting to be subject to a boss' whims seemed to be a big millionaire motivator, as well). Stanley interviewed 733 millionaires, or those who have a net worth of $1 million or more, and created the Millionaire Mind. The paperback edition is out now, and your local library probably has copies. Amazon's service selling the books used is also good, I've never had a problem getting a good used copy from