Being smart with your finances is a difficult endeavor, especially if you are already in over your head. Saving money can be incredibly difficult if you don't make enough to meet your needs to begin with. However, changing your financial situation is possible. Although it may feel like an uphill battle, there are steps you can take to change your circumstances. We've compiled a list of financial books you can read to help you become better with money management. As you begin the process of changing your financial situation, it's wise to obtain your credit reports to make sure you've accounted for everything and to check that all the information in those reports is correct.
"The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness" by Dave Ramsey
This book discusses myths about money and debt. It also discusses emergency funds, retirement investing, paying off your mortgage, a strategy for paying off debt and planning for your children's college funds. In addition to paradigm-shifting information, Dave Ramsey includes more than one budget worksheet to help you start making better financial decisions. He includes worksheets such as Major Components of a Healthy Financial Plan, Consumer Equity Sheet, Monthly Cash-Flow Plan, Allocated-Spending Plan, Irregular-Income Planning and Pro Rata Debts.
"The Millionaire Next Door" by J.D. Roth
While many people think of millionaires as the people who have large houses and fancy cars, this book says that many millionaires live in normal houses and drive average cars. The author studied millionaires and learned from their habits. Some of these include spending far less than they make, taking time to plan for financial success, focusing on financial independence and not supporting your adult children financially.
"Ernst & Young's Financial Planning for Women"
Whether you're single, married, widowed, divorced, assisting your elderly parents or starting a business, this book has good advice from a well-known professional service firm in the United Kingdom. Ernst & Young wrote the book specifically for women because some issues that affect both men and women affect women in a different way. Although this book is a little older and may be more difficult to find new, it still has relevant and useful information.
"The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke" by Suze Orman
Suze targets younger audiences who are starting to handle finances. This book deals with everything from choosing a career and buying cars to dealing with retirement issues and finding a spouse who thinks similarly about money. If you're not sure how to plan for your future, this book can give you some sound advice.
"Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence" by Vicki Robin
While some of the advice in this book may be outdated, there is some good information too. Vicki Robin talks about finding satisfaction in your life with your job and in your pursuit of money. One of the main points of discussion in this book is what you get in return for all your hard work.
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey
While this book doesn't focus on money, it can help you change how you think about your financial situation. Stephen R. Covey identifies seven habits, as you've probably guessed, that can help you make better choices. He explains the importance of being proactive, having a mission for your life, prioritizing and more. There are several versions of this book, including one for teenagers and a miniature edition.
Stop wondering what to read and begin doing something about your finances. It's unlikely that your financial situation will change instantly; however, you'll find that you too can have financial success if you incorporate the sound financial principles in these books. Although it's cliché, the phrase "by the yard it's hard, by the inch it's a synch" really applies. After all, it's never too late to start being wise with your money.
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