I am a firm believer that books can change your life. When I was growing up, my mom would take my sister and me to the library every day after school. It was a fun place to do our homework, discover new books to read, and get lost in stories.
While I’ve read many personal finance books throughout my twenties, there are a few which made a powerful impact on me. I love non-fiction books because it feels like I’m having a one-on-one conversation with a mentor and someone I can look up to.
The right book with the right message can make a positive difference in someone’s life. (Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing so much!)
Here are 5 books that transformed my money mindset and changed my life, plus a few honorable mentions!
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1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
This book isn’t really about money, but it was the first book I read after I quit my corporate job and it inspired me to start this blog. It challenged everything I thought I knew about making money and the concept of retirement.
Before reading The 4-Hour Workweek, the only way I thought I could earn a decent living was by going to University, getting a good job, then working my way up the corporate ladder (getting a promotion or pay raise).
I even took the risk to quit my job and go back to school because I thought having my Master’s degree would lead to higher-paying career opportunities.
The 4-Hour Workweek taught me that it’s possible to escape the 9-5 and design your own “luxury lifestyle”. The author, Tim shows how he went from making $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week.
The timing is never right. Instead of worrying about the pro/con list, whatever it is that you want to do someday, just do it now.
“But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.” – The 4-Hour Workweek
2. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Ramit Sethi’s book was a breath of fresh air compared to similar books I’ve read. While his overall message was not new for those who have read other popular personal finance books, I loved how he presented his practical approach to money in a non-judgmental way.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich shows its readers how to focus on the big wins instead of minutiae. Instead of wasting your willpower trying to cut back on spending $2 a day on something you love (such as a latte), you should focus on bigger wins, such as negotiating a $10,000 salary increase or earning more money on the side.
Focus on the big wins. Even though I believe that a combination of small expenses can add up over time, it’s important to prioritize big wins, instead of trying to focus on every little thing.
“There is a limit to how much you can cut but there is no limit to how much you can earn.” – I Will Teach You How To Be Rich
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3. The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason
Even though this book was originally published in 1926, its message is still relevant today and continues to be a bestseller. This book offers common sense financial advice told through ancient parables, which makes it enjoyable to read.
In this book, you’ll learn how to master the basics, such as paying yourself first and living below your means. It’ll also show you how to make your money work for you (multiple your gold), how to invest in yourself, and how to track your wealth.
Make thy gold multiply. Once you’ve made it a habit to pay yourself first and gain control over your expenses, it’s time to put that money to work. Thanks to compound interest, you have the ability to make your savings grow over time and make it your “slave” (according to the book).
“I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you.” – The Richest Man in Babylon
4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I read this book many years ago but didn’t think much of it initially. Perhaps I was too young to understand how changing your mindset could empower you to create wealth. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I gave this book a second chance and since then, it’s been one of the most important books about money that I’ve read.
Think and Grow Rich shows us the importance of changing our mindset from failure consciousness to success consciousness. When you begin to think and grow rich, you’ll understand that secret to becoming rich begins with the right mindset. According to this book, we are the masters of our destiny and the way to control our lives is to control our thoughts.
Treat your mind as a garden. Tend to the thoughts that are fruitful and remove those thoughts that are not. You’ll want to back your positive thoughts with a burning desire, pursue your desire with persistence, and have faith that your desire will become a reality.
I am a big believer in the importance of having the right mindset. Changing my mindset has allowed me to save enough money for graduate school and turn my blog into a profitable business.
“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” – Think and Grow Rich
5. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman
I’m a big fan of Suze Orman and this is the first book I read from her. Would I say that it’s the best personal finance book I’ve read? No, but it’s the best finance book I’ve read that’s geared toward people in their twenties.
I read this book shortly after I graduated from University and I felt like Suze was speaking to me, especially in the Career Moves chapter.
She says that if you’re not happy at your job, you should find a different one or else subject yourself to a lifetime of misery. I also like her recommendation that if you want a raise at work, you need to make yourself indispensable to your employer, which will allow you to negotiate from a position of strength.
While I don’t agree with all her advice, such as using credit cards to pay for necessities if you’re working at a job that pays very little, I do recommend her book to new graduates who are struggling with their finances. I learned a lot from Suze Orman when I was starting out at my first full-time job.
It’s not a crime to be young and broke. When I got my first full-time job after graduating from University, I developed a huge spending problem. Money burned a hole through my pocket.
Fortunately, Suze taught me how to rectify my past mistakes and showed me that I have the power to take charge of my financial future. And yes, you also have the power to take charge of your own financial future! It’s never too late!
“Saving is for a short-term goal that you hope to reach within five years or so. Investing is for the long term.” – The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke
More books worth reading:
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
The Millionaire Booklet: How To Get Super Rich by Grant Cardone