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Live Smart. Eliminate Debt. Build Wealth. by Laura M. Dobbins
I can’t have a list of recommended books and not shamelessly plug my own, right? All joking aside, I am pretty passionate about this stuff, and the truth is that my blog only gets the message so far. Many people who read personal finance blogs are already at least knee-deep into their financial education, either refining what they already know, or are “experts” themselves.
And while my blog certainly tells some highlights of our financial journey, and a few frugal guidelines we live by, it doesn’t even come close to revealing everything. There were plenty of emotional and financial stages we moved through on our way from $40,000 in debt to that first $100,000 in savings. So I wrote about our entire journey, and then pulled together a step-by-step guide outlining exactly what we did to start living an optimized life, get out of debt and on to building wealth.
Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
This book was life-changing. Completely turned the tables for me on how I view the worth of my (limited) time on the planet, and how to focus on the use of my money for maximum happiness. Eye-opening perspective on the difference between “making a living” and making a life, with help on resolving the inner conflicts over lifestyle and the value of material things. You’ll WANT to live on less after reading this.
Saving for Retirement: Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery by Gail MarksJarvis
Written by an award-winning personal finance columnist with the Chicago Tribune, this is a solid introduction to saving and investing for retirement. Walks you through investing basics, and the best strategies based on your retirement goals. I felt empowered after reading this…I can save for retirement AND live a fantastic life? Sign me up.
The Bogleheads Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore
Another solid investing guide that keeps things straightforward and easy to understand. Sticks to the fundamentals of the stock market, with a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) take on investing, without the fuss of stock-picking or day-trading. Lots of great information that won’t make your head spin.
The Coffee House Investor by Bill Schultheis
After thirteen years of providing investment advice for Smith Barney, Bill Schultheis wrote a simple book for people who felt overwhelmed by the stock market. He had discovered that when you simplify your investment decisions, you end up getting better returns. As a bonus, you gain more time for family, friends, and other pursuits.
Fascinating read on the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, and legendary investor, Warren Buffett. He allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. It provides a lot of insight into the inner mind of Buffett and how he analyzed various investments over the years. We could ALL learn something from him.
How to Retire Early by Robert and Robin Charlton
Written by real-life early retirees Robert and Robin Charlton, this was the book that convinced me it was possible for average Joes to retire early and travel the world. They lived smart, saved their money and retired early. Hey, that’s my blog motto…how convenient. The book shows their progress from meager beginnings to financial independence, written in an easy-to-read style. Excellent early-retirement inspiration.
Organizing Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin
This isn’t an investing or retirement book, but it helped me get a grip on organizing my life. And when your life is organized, you can focus on the things that matter…family, finances and living a full and happy life. Highly recommended!