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Books I Didn't Expect to Help with Financial Goals

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You are already accomplishing some  goals but you’re not gaining the momentum that you want.

You may think you need something new to help you, but don’t give up yet.

Always thinking you need something new may be working AGAINST you.

Remember the character in the movie Up?
He hung on so desperately to the past that it actually helped propel him into fulfilling his life-long dreams of seeing South America thereby completing a promise to his deceased wife. In the movie, it’s something they both always wanted to do together. Sometimes I think it’s good to hold on to ideas that you know are worthwhile even if marketing, advertising and the Joneses tell you that you need something new.

I laughed when Yoga became the new craze. That’s not new. I also laughed when couponing became the “new” in thing too. Some people call it extreme like it’s a sporting event. Both of these ideas are over 100 years old. Maybe that’s why they seem new because we weren’t around when they were invented.

Here are three books I have chosen that will get you on-track with financial goals or just goals in general.

I am someone who clings to good books. I do not care how old they are, if the information is still good, I recommend them to people. Sometimes people will say, “didn’t that come out two years ago?” I say the information is still valuable. It won’t bite you. Who cares if it’s a couple of years old. It’s not an iphone! Here are some books I recommend that indirectly help you financially by straightening out your priorities.

1. It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh [2007]

I know what you’re thinking. How can clutter help my wallet? I was fortunate enough to interview Peter Walsh, known for teaching people how to organize on Oprah for an article on cleaning clutter and cutting  stress. I made sure to read a few of his books prior to the interview. If you are overwhelmed with trying to fix many aspects of your life and you don’t know where to begin, start here. After trying out his organizational techniques, I couldn’t believe how so many other areas of my life were magically in order after doing the dirty work of decluttering. People really don’t how disorganization wreaks havoc on many areas of our lives including your finances. What I found most valuable about this book was identifying the “why” behind accumulation and cluttered homes. They say you can’t solve a problem unless you identify it first. Figuring out why you accumulate is half the battle. Peter, to me, is like a “clutter psychologist”.  I would even go so far as to tell someone to read this book before seeing a psychologist. I never realized how much of your happiness stems from the order in your home.

Enthusiastic Financial Take Away:

Getting paper work in order period helps your finances by default. There are so many financial papers that needed a home in my house. I know come tax time, I will already be organized this year. I have a place for everything I need to give to my accountant, stored in a place that I can find it. Other people in the house are actually aware of the location and would be able to locate it all there without me. That alone is a huge accomplishment.

I also purchase fewer material items in an effort to keep clutter at bay. I don’t want to waste any time maintaining items that we don’t have room for. I purchase more experiences for my family because once I realized they have too much stuff, it helped me make more purposeful choices of what to spend on and made me more mindful of money in general.

2. The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss [2009]

I had been meaning to read this book after giving up on it a few years ago. Pat Flynn recommended this book in his email newsletter.
He called it the “entrepreneur’s bible”. He even mentioned how he would actually reread the book.  I  thought it had to be worthwhile if he does that. I believe anyone can benefit from the ideas in this book. It re-framed the notion that  job description equals self-description. This book truly changed my ideas about work, lifestyle, and retirement. Like many motivational books, it asks you to define what you want, eliminate time wasters like watching T.V. and overly checking email. He also recommends outsourcing every day tasks. The key point I found most valuable was being mindful of your time.

Enthusiastic Financial Take Away:

This completely changed how I perceived work. It also served as a reminder to take mini-retirements and enjoy yourself now with the money you earn. Also, if being more efficient with your time is your goal in an effort to make more money, this book will give you ideas for that as well.

3. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk [2009]
I found Vaynerchuk’s enthusiasm and passion so contagious. This book is a double espresso of motivation combined with wisdom and insight from his experience as an immigrant child working at his family’s package store turned wine podcast expert.
I like how Gary believes in being yourself, pursuing what you want to do with a vengeance, being authentic, and putting your family first. This book helped me validate my decision to no longer be a classroom teacher. Coming home with hours of work and putting my children on the back burner for other people’s children didn’t make sense to me.

Enthusiastic Financial Take Away:

For those seeking guidance and motivation for cashing in on your passion, this is the book for you. It’s been called the “ultimate driver’s manual for modern business” for a reason.

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One response to “Books I Didn't Expect to Help with Financial Goals

  1. I loved 4 Hour Workweek, although it’s, to me, meant to be more metaphorical for finding meaning in your life than for being able to truly whittle down your life to working for four hours a week. While it would be nice, and it spawned a ton of “lifestyle design” blogs, the reality is that very few people could make it to that point successfully. What it did teach me, though, was how to prioritize what I wanted in life and how to think about and test my assumptions about what made me tick. The Four Hour Body is also awesome. I spend 20 minutes a visit at the gym 3 times a week and lost about 3% body fat since reading that book.

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