Have been asking around recently for books on personal finance. It’s a subject I’m not terrible with, but also a subject I don’t learn more about year over year.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “damn, Josh must be in debt”. Not really the case aside from an auto-loan and some zero interest credit cards. We keep our credit cards current and believe in spending less than we earn.
That said, we’ve never really had a budget. We keep our finances straight but have never had a crystal clear picture of what’s coming and going. This is the year we fix that glitch.
So when asking around for personal finance recommendations, what stuck out to me was my boy Justin’s recommendation of The Total Money Makeover. He said that it’s probably the book that has had the most impact on his life and he and his wife’s personal finances.
Coming from a guy that buys cars cash, has never had a credit card and has a FICO score of zero (while still managing to buy a house), I definitely had to read this book.
What I found really interesting was that after all the time I’ve known him, this is the first time he’s brought up the book to me. Considering how much impact it’s had, I’d have expected him to be shoving the book down my throat until I read it!
The book itself was a quick read and it was jam packed with info. Where it may not hit the mark for you is if you’re not tens of thousands of dollars in debt. The reader testimonials were all folks with a fuck ton of debt and they all ended the same way, they got out of debt. You could glance over the testimonials and still get a lot out of the book.
Since we fall into that category of people that aren’t drastically in debt, we can expedite the makeover process and focus more on retirement and stuff like that. Regardless of where you’re at in the process, you can probably pick up a tip or two.
The tl;dr version of the book would be that you need to spend less than you make, if you don’t make enough, find a way to make more. Basically, claw your way out of debt by way of a budget and good financial decisions. Once you’ve done that, flip a bit and save money, emergency fund, college fund(s) and retirement.
The book does state a lot of common sense stuff, I think that’s a given for all non-fiction / self-helpy type books. For me, I got a ton out of the tips on running a sound budget and we’re already taking strides to do so this year!!
Aside from the personal finance tips and worksheets and stuff for budgeting and all that, the book touched quite frequently on the marital side of things. Gotta work as a team and all of that.
Also touched on God, Christian beliefs and the negative impacts of money and welath. It’s not a religious book and there is even a disclaimer up front about it. I haven’t read the Amazon reviews, but I suspect there are folks totally butt hurt because of it. I honestly felt it was pretty trivial to the rest of the content.
I’ll leave you with the quote that resonated with me more than all the others:
When your money makes more than you do. you are officially wealthy.