As mentioned before, I spend 2 hours a day commuting, driving a stick-shift in traffic back and forth to work (ugggghhh… I know). To make the drive tolerable and not feel like I am wasting life, I listen to audiobooks. I prefer nonfiction because it really makes the drive feel like I’m multitasking in a positive way. While I do love a good morning talk show with a juicy gossip roundup, 10+ hours of that a week and I can feel my brain turning to mush.
I’ve never been great, or even good really, with money; so over the last month I scanned iBooks and Amazon for audiobooks related to money and investing. Out of the ones I have read and/or listened to, these stood out.
The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder. I recently opened an individual investment account and funded it with $4k to try and figure out how it works. I knew vaguely that Warren Buffett was a pretty good investor, so for inspiration I downloaded The Snowball and it did not disappoint.
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey. I read this book almost 5 years ago, but felt it important to include here since it helped get me out of debt for good. By my early 30s I had thrice gotten myself into significant credit card debt (well into 5 figures… oops ). I managed to get myself out each time, but money stress sucks big. The third time I found myself in debt I committed to making it my last. On the recommendation of a close friend I read The Total Money Makeover and gave my money sitch a reboot. While Dave gets a bit preachy, literally, in some of the pages, the book did what it promised. I managed to pull myself out of debt within a year and I have been debt free ever since. WOOT!
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not by Robert T. Kiyosaki. In the book the author describes growing up with two dads with disparate views on wealth, his real dad and his best friend’s dad. The book completely changed what I consider to be an “asset”. For example, you may be able to claim your home and car as assets on a mortgage loan application, but they are not!
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Not what I’d call a page-turner, this book is filled with statistics and acronyms and I probably would have put down if reading in hardcover. If you can get through it though, it’s got some good insight on how to go from being a UAW (Under Accumulator of Wealth) to a PAW (Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth) and the benefits of getting there. The book makes clear that when it comes to spending money the majority of millionaires are not keeping up with the Kardashians, or even the Joneses for that matter. PAWs live below their means, no matter their incomes.
Get your financial $h!t together! It’s worth it. For realz.