The 100 steps mission to financial independence has hopefully propelled you into the world of money savviness and wisdom. Every step has taught you a new skill or raised your awareness on a specific personal finance concept and has thereby expanded your knowledge on money-related issues. I sincerely hope that you have been completing every single step along the way and that your efforts are paying off and that you see your debt decreasing, your income increasing, your net worth improving or your financial security in the form of insurance or pensions getting better. The plethora of topics that have been covered in the many steps has made you an insider on saving, investing, pensions, income and much more!
Although we’re getting to the end of this mission, it is certainly not the end of your own financial journey. In order to now stay on top of your finances and to keep putting your financial situation as one of the main focus areas of your life, it is of major importance to keep expanding your knowledge about money and personal finance. Reading books is a great way to do this and offers you all of the following:
- Provides more (specific) information and teaches you new or more specific skills or habits to implement.
- Allows you to keep up with the latest developments as new knowledge, information or practices emerge.
- Keeps your motivation up – the more you know about a topic, the more enjoyable it becomes to put it into practice, the more likely you are to keep budgeting, saving and investing.
With this in mind, I believe reading personal finance books is a key part of achieving financial independence. To start you off, below is my own personal top-5 books on money:
The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason
Set in Babylon and written at the start of the 20th century, this collection of parables offers some great insight into ways to accumulate wealth, even if you start off with nothing in your pockets. One of the leading personal finance maxims originates from this book:”Pay yourself first” and also the power of compounding is a leading concept in the book that is well explained and easily understood in the context of time. A truly inspirational read to make you want to take full control of your finances.
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Another classic by an author who interviewed, followed and / or studied some of the richest and most successful men of his time, including Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and J.D. Rockefeller. These years of study resulted in Napoleon Hill identifying 13 steps or principles on how to develop the skills and mindset to become rich. It’s a detailed book that requires some time to read and study the contents, but it offers an invaluable understanding of the ingredients needed in order to achieve success.
The Wealthy Woman: A Man is not a Financial Plan – Mary Waring
Written by a British financial planner, this book gives an easy to follow broken down overview of how to take control of your financial situation. It is the book that ultimately got me to write the 100 steps as although it is very clear and easy to follow, it is less detailed than the 100 steps of this mission, which is what I was by then looking for. So if you found the 100 steps a little too much to implement and study, have a go at this book, since it gives you some of the basics but in fewer areas. Then once you feel comfortable with that, come back to the 100 steps to take your finances to the next level!
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
The author of this books tells us how as a child he had two “dads”: his own father who despite having a secure job and pension always worried about money, and his best friend’s father who owned several businesses and who had plenty of money to spare. The book shows you how from a very early age on he learned things about money and finances from his rich dad that shaped his life and that allowed him to use the rules of the money game to his advantage.
Millionaire Teacher – Andrew Hallam
A great book by a teacher-turned-millionaire on investing and in particular on index investing. If you want to learn more about the hows and whys of index investing, I strongly recommend you check out this book. The book teaches you “The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School”, focussed around investing in the market. Apart from the easy to digest rules laid out in the book, the fact that the author was able to build up a portfolio of over a million dollars on a teacher salary of course adds to the power of his message! If you are on the fence about (index) investing then definitely give this book a go!
The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley
I’ll be honest here and tell you that I found this a rather dry book, and that is coming from somebody who loves numbers. Yet having said that, I see the value of the book and the underlying message, which is that the majority of the millionaires don’t look like millionaires: they don’t have expensive watches, designer clothes, the newest of the newest car or the biggest house in town. There is a tremendously big group of millionaires who live an “average” life and who you might not think of as being millionaires at all. It’s a great read on how making sensible and careful decisions about your lifestyle can have a huge impact on your financial situation. I definitely recommend this book, but if you turn your hand to it, be warned that it is a dry and a very scientifically written book that requires a bit of willpower to finish to the end.
The millionaire Fastlane – M.J. DeMarco
I found this a hugely inspiring book, and despite what the title might suggest, the book is not about finding shortcuts to becoming rich quickly. Instead it focusses on three different mindsets people have about money and work, how these different mindsets translate into day-to-day living and how each lifestyle leads to very different financial futures. It makes you think a lot about how to leverage your efforts and income and how to take control of your financial situation. Though I didn’t always enjoy the writing style, the message of this book was incredibly inspiring to me and it has made me think more about the value of time and how I use my time to generate an income.
There you have it! My top-5 of personal finance books turned into a top-7, even though my plan was to write about just 5 books, but there are just so many great books out there I guess, each with their own unique message that can inspire you or teach you something new.
Step 98 – Read Personal Finance Books – in detail:
- Set yourself a target for how often you’d want to read a new personal finance book. Maybe one a year? Could you read a book every 3 months? Set a target based on what is feasible for you.
- Depending on your reading habits, you might need more or less of an official reading time allocated to reading finance books. Are you happy to read self-improvement books as bedtime reading or should you set aside half an hour each day or two hours at the weekend to make sure you actually read? Schedule in time and put it in your calendar.
- Use the list above, turn to some of your favourite blogs on money, log straight into your amazon account or head down to the library to check out which book will be your next one on your personal finance list.
- Get started with your first book: order the book, get the book from the library or find somebody who can lend it to you and get reading!
The 100 steps mission to financial independence have hopefully ignited a desire to expand your knowledge about money even more. Once you get a grip on your finances, it will become more and more enjoyable to keep on learning more about the world of personal finance.
Read more about my 100 steps mission to financial independence or simply decide to take control today and join us on our step-by-step quest on how to make your finances work for you, starting with step 1.