When you decide that you are ready to make a change in your finances, you can quickly realize that you know that you have an issue but you might not know how to fix it or where to turn for the information that you need. But making the decision to do something is the hardest part.
Now you just need to learn some money management skills, set your goals and begin to work towards them. Getting the information and the tools that you will need for this epic journey is simple if you are willing to read a few of the best books personal finance writers have to offer.
Paying Down Your Debt
If you have realized that you need to get your debt under control and eliminated as quickly as you can then you will want to read “The Total Money Makeoever”. This is the bible for debt free living. Once you have decided that you are not willing to throw away money on interest rates and fees then read this book to learn tips and strategies. Your first goal will be to start an emergency fund of $1,000 and there are tips to get you started. The next strategy is about paying down your debt. The concept is that you need to set a goal and reach it to gain momentum and motivation so the author recommends paying off your smallest balance credit card. Then keep paying down other cards until you have reached a debt free existence.
Finding More Cash
If you are trying to figure out where all of your paychecks is going and how you can make better use of your money then you need to read “The Automatic Millionaire”. One of the key points of this book is looking at your daily spending to see how it impacts your long term goals. The story is about a daily cup of coffee and the concept is called the Latte Factor. The point is that the $2.50 a day spent on that coffee could be saved and invested over the course of 5,10 or 20 years. First think of the money on a monthly basis, it’s about $75. And over the course of the year that is $900. But what could that become if it were invested for a few years? That is the point of this book and it is a great motivation to stop wasting and start saving and investing. An underlying storyline is also the importance of paying yourself first, so invest in your future for retirement and savings.
Are You Done Owning Things?
If you are among the millions who are interested in downsizing and simplifying their lives then “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is the book that you need. This is a journey to understand money in its simplest form. Assets are things that make you money and liabilities are what takes money from you. It sounds simple but it takes some time to think it all through. Real Estate has always been said to be a good investment but not if it is costing you money. Reading this book will help you to decide what you really need and what you might really need to get away from.
Do You Want Your Life Back?
If you are ready to have your time back to enjoy life but you don’t know how to make that journey then read “Your Money or Your Life”. This is a book that will help you to redefine what is important in your life and what your career could be costing you. Having money is great but there can be a cost associated with getting that money. You need to be able to find the balance between having what you need and having the lifestyle that you want. You might find that your debt got you backed into a corner and now you have a job that paid the bills of but do you still need the job? What is more valuable to you, your income and the status that it brings or the lifestyle that fulfills you mentally and emotionally?
How to Benefit From These Books
Reading the best books personal finance selections is only the first step. It is easy to sit there with the book in your hand and nod your head. All of the motivational stories and tips are making perfect sense and you can see how they all apply to you. You can plan how you will create a budget, pay down your debt and breathe a huge sigh of relief when you are debt free. But then the next day you are back out in the real world and it’s time to go to lunch with your coworkers. But you were going to eat the leftovers that you brought in for lunch and not spend any money. It’s hard to make that choice in the moment and say that you are going to stick to your new budget. Now you need to find a way to motivate yourself to follow through on your plans. It could be as simple as leaving for lunch five minutes early so you are not there when everyone else leaves to go out to eat, or maybe you leave your cash and debit card at home until you build up your will power. But now you need to live the wisdom of the books that you have read.
Find a Reward
Every person is different and has different motivations. You need to find what works for you. Some people like to set small goals and mark of each amount that they pay off or save. Others like to set a specific reward like a movie night or dinner out after reaching a significant goal. It’s up to you but be sure that you are doing a few fun things to keep you motivated to work towards your goals. Again, it is all about a balance between paying off debt and not feeling deprived and miserable.