In doing research for my book, I read so many personal finance, self-improvement and women empowerment books. Most of them were good and concise, with no-nonsense approaches to money and empowerment. As the year comes to an end, I would like to share four of my favorites, for your reading pleasure or to gift to that woman in your life who could use more money guidance and upliftment:
Suze saved me, in a way. I was reading this book when I was still married and there was a seection in it about opening setting aside your own money and establishing your own credit history, separate from your husband’s. She said that even if it’s just $10 or $20 a week, women need their own stash. Some friends call it a “slush fund” or “escape money.” Go figure. For me, it was “peace of mind money.” I’m thankful I came across her book. I also applied for my first credit card shortly after – a GAP card, and got declined because I didn’t have a credit history yet. I wrote GAP a letter explaining why and weeks later, I got an approval letter for a $300 credit line. Persistence pays off!
I first saw David Bach on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was impressed by the clarity and simplicity of his message. I got his book and finished it in a few days while on vacation. It was well-written and easy-to-digest, just like the way he speaks on TV. I found myself highlighting several sections akin to a college textbook which I have referrred to from time to time including sections on organizing your finances, certain money myths and his famous “latte factor” (unknowingly spending too much on seemingly small, everyday things that add up). He also delves into inspiring, success stories of women like you and me. If this book doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
I am not quite done with this book but I like the author’s funny and straightforward approach. The book also has a generous sprinkling of anecdotes and true stories which keep you engaged and constantly asking yourself – “If she can do it, why can’t I?” I love the chapter on low-earners. You might recognize a friend or two in there, or even yourself, from a decade or so ago. I also found the sections on speaking up and declaring your intention very helpful. When I was younger, I had a problem with speaking up but not anymore.
This was a good starting point for people like me who didn’t know much about managing and diversifying a portfolio (even when you don’t have a million dollars), compound interest, the different types of retirement accounts and stocks. The authors’ approach is very basic, concise and easy to understand, but they get you excited about investing. If you have been investing for a while and consider yourself more experienced than the rest of us, find something more technical and advanced.
And here’s what’s on my 2017 reading list, in no specific order:
The Millionaire Next Door
by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
The Automatic Millionaire: Expanded and Updated
by David Bach
Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security
by Jean Chatzky
Comment below or on Facebook and I’ll send you a signed copy of my book (maximum of five; US addresses only please).
Happy reading in the New Year!