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How Not to Be Broke—10 Powerful Books to Learn about Money Management

How Not to Be Broke—10 Powerful Books to Learn about Money Management

Want to stop being broke?

One of the most common habits that all successful people have in common is that they read books.  They’re continually learning, studying and implementing new strategies to better manage their money.  They understand that it isn’t necessarily about how much you make, it’s about what you get to keep.  That’s where proper money management comes in.

Here are 10 powerful books that will help you learn more about money management.  If managing your money is a weak point for you, then you may want to consider picking up one of these books.

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

rich dad, poor dad book

    This is a popular finance book that shares the powerful lessons learned from Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad and Poor Dad.  Growing up, Robert’s “Poor Dad” preached for him to “get a good education, get a good job and save your money”.  While this may appear to be good advice, Robert realized that this advice would never get him rich.  Instead, Robert’s “Rich Dad” would give him much different advice, such as “start a business, make passive income and invest effectively”.  This easy to understand book will give you a new way of thinking about managing your money.

    2. The Richest Man In Babylon by George Clason

     

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    richest man in babylon

      A classic by George Clason, this book shares nuggets of wisdom that has been around for nearly 100 years.  Some of the basic money management rules come from this short book, such as “Pay yourself first” and “Use the power of compound interest.”

      3. The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko

      the millionaire next door

        What do all millionaires have in common?  In this book, the authors interview and survey a variety of millionaires to discover the common traits amongst them.  Living below your means, budgeting your money and managing it effectively are core concepts that you will learn in this book.

        4. Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

        secrets of the millionaire mind

          This book will help reveal your “money blueprint”.  T. Harv Eker shares how your beliefs and associations with money determine your financial destiny.  While your psychology is extremely important when it comes to managing money, it also goes into a practical formula for how to allocate your money earned every month.

          5. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

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          total money makeover

            If you are currently struggling with debt, then this is a fantastic book to start with.  Dave Ramsey not only accumulated over $4 million dollars by his mid twenties, but managed to lose it all through bankruptcy.  He’s now developed his own successful approach to getting out of debt and managing your money, which he shares in this book.

            6. Your Money Of Your Life by Dominguez and Robin

            your money or your life

              This classic money management book preaches the power of simplicity.  Simplifying your lifestyle to lower your expenses is a crucial element of being able to live below your means.  The authors also go into developing passive income streams so that you can have your money working for you, becoming financially free.

              7. The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman

              the money book for the young, fabulous and broke

                One of the most trusted money experts in America, Suze Orman, shares her money principles for getting out of credit card debt, school loans, improving your credit score, buying a home, insurance, and much more.  This book covers all of the important money management strategies that all young people should know.

                8. The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton

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                the wealthy barber

                  This entertaining book provides some useful money management advice in the guise of a novel.  It shares the story of a group of friends that visit a barber shop once a month and receive powerful advice on managing their money from their “Wealthy Barber”.  The book covers the popular advice of “pay yourself first” and “compound interest”.

                  9. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

                  the automatic millionaire

                    David Bach shares his proven, automatic plan for becoming a millionaire in your lifetime.  David’s simple strategies, such as his “latte factor”, will help anyone be able to cut back on expenses, manage their money effectively, and invest for financial freedom.

                    10. Get Rich Carefully by Jim Cramer

                    get rich carefully

                      The host of CNBC’s Mad Money reveals his strategies to high yield, low risk investing in this powerful guide.  Jim understands that in today’s economy, most people can’t take big risks with their money.  That’s why this book is jam-packed full of practical, invaluable wisdom for turning your savings into lasting wealth.

                      By reading a few of these money management books, you will soon realize that managing your money is fairly straightforward and simple.  Many of these books provide the same concepts and strategies.  Why?  Simply because they work.

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                      Managing your money isn’t rocket science.  It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get in the habit of managing your money effectively, it will change your financial future.  You will have a sense of “control” over your money and it will greatly boost your self-esteem.

                      What money management books have you read?

                      Are there any that you’d recommend that are worth reading?  Leave a comment below.

                      Featured photo credit: Money Book via s3.amazonaws.com

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                      Last Updated on September 2, 2020

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                      In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

                      4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

                      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

                      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                      Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

                      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

                      2. Keep Goals Realistic

                      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

                      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                      3. Account for Inflation

                      Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

                      Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

                      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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                      4. Short Term Vs Long Term

                      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

                      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                      By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                      How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

                      • Ensuring healthy savings
                      • Making smart investments

                      You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

                      Ensuring Healthy Savings

                      Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                      1. Track Expenses

                      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

                      Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

                      If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

                      2. Pay Yourself First

                      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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                      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

                      The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

                      Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

                      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

                      Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

                      Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

                      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                      4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                      Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                      • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
                      • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
                      • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                      The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                      5. Talk About It

                      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

                      Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                      6. Maintain a Journal

                      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                      If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

                      Making Smart Investments

                      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

                      1. Consult a Financial Advisor

                      Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

                      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                      2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

                      Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

                      As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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                      3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                      Einstein once remarked about compounding:

                      “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

                      Use compound interest when setting financial goals

                        Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                        Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                        4. Measure, Measure, Measure

                        All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                        If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

                        Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

                        and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

                        More Tips on Financial Goals

                        Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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