There are four books in my life that have influenced and shaped the way I think about and act when it comes to money, and I would like to share them with you. After reading these four books, you will have a much better understanding of how money works and how to get money to work for you. These books will explain to you what society at large doesn't seem to want you to know. These books are not glamour books, they won't tell you to be Donald Trump, but they will explain how Donald Trump makes his money. These books won't suggest you purchase a vineyard, or be a day trader, or any of the other things television commercials suggest you do to be wealthy. These books will simply teach you how to smartly manage your money to work for you so that you can live the life you always wanted to live, to follow your passions, and be financially independent.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Ever wonder why the rich seem to get richer while the poor just seem to get poorer? In this book it is all explained. You will learn how people use business to create cash flow, reduce their tax burden, and reduce their risk. After reading this book you will begin to question why you spend so much time working for a paycheck that will be taxed at a rate twice as high as the guy who owns the business! This book is an eye opener to the way real money works.
2. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
In some ways similar to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, this classic study turned book reveals what rich people are really like. The book goes into detail about the habits and mindsets of rich people. You might be surprised to learn that the rich are often business owners, drive late-model vehicles, and are super frugal. This book is important, not because it tells you how to be rich, but rather because it gives you an understanding of what rich people tend to be like. This book shatters the idea of what most people think the rich are like, and you soon begin to wonder if your neighbor might be worth a lot more than he looks.
3. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
If you only read one book of these four suggested, The Total Money Makeover is the one that I would suggest. Dave Ramsey's plan for your money is simple, but it works. He advises to stay out of debt, reduce risk, and save save save. It's pretty simple advice, but for some reason a lot of people can't seem to get it right. I recommend this book not because it's all that eye-opening, but because of the energy it seems to give off. Dave Ramsey has a passion for getting people on the right track, and has a ton of followers. Being in Dave's plan will give you energy and passion to change your financial situation along with thousands of over people who are doing the same. That enthusiasm for positive change is the reason you should read this book.
4. Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
The other three books listed above have been about how money works and what to do to have more of it. This book, however, is about what money means to you, and how you want to live your life. The central topic of this book is about using money as a tool to live your life the way you want, to follow your interests and passions, and not getting pulled into a life of consumption and superficiality. It is eye-opening because it touches on a topic we all think about, how much is our time worth. According to this book, a lot more than we are selling it for.