The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I started my first job out of grad school, feeling reluctant to subscribe to a Financial Advisor (anyone can claim to be one it turns out), I went through a rigorous phrase of learning about anything I can about managing money. After all, knowledge is power. Coming up with creative ways to make and manage money will invite more options. More options eventually lead to freedom.
I don’t claim to be a guru and haven’t “made” it there. Here are my two main findings on the topic of Personal Finance (PF):
- You already know more than you think you do, embrace the discomfort of exploring
- Finding creative ways to make more money should always trump saving more money. The latter is easy to master, but is absolutely not worthy sacrificing your happiness for.
Here are some useful resources that I’d like to share:
Read These Books & Blogs:
I Will Teach You How To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
The biggest take-away is that I learned about how to get car dealers to bid on my purchase.
“Learning how to give advice that people actually take is all about empathy. Here’s exactly how you can leverage empathy to give advice today.”
Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money by Alexa von Tobel
The minimalist 50-20-30 philosophy really resonated with me
“The 50-20-30 budget is going to prevent you from throwing away hundreds of dollar every year thanks to thoughtless spending, forgotten bills, and missed deductions.”
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas Stanley
A must-read, simply classic
“It is seldom luck or inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that enables people to amass fortunes. Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self-discipline.”
“Those people whom we define as being wealthy get much more pleasure from owning substantial amounts of appreciable assets than from displaying a high-consumption lifestyle.”
“Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by ten. This, less any inherited wealth, is what your net worth should be.”
The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance by James M Dahle MD
The only PF book that I got my husband (a Medical Resident) to read. The author cited a few classics, YAY for sneaking in some bonus reading for Dr. husband.
“Combine that signal with heavy marketing from the realty and mortgage industries, and we see far too many doctors purchasing the wrong house at the wrong time and at the wrong price.”
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
A “fable” that I would read to our future children for bedtime.
“A man’s wealth is not in the purse he carries. A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it.”
“If you would become wealthy, then what you save must earn, and its children must earn, that all may help to give you the abundance you crave.”
“A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should not be less than a tenth no matter how little you earn or as much as you can afford. Pay yourself first.”
“Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more you nourish it with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.”
The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore
A handy guide to create your own investing philosophy and porfolio
“You have a choice about what to do with every dollar that comes into your life. You can spend it today or save and invest it to make more dollars tomorrow. The key to successful money management lies in striking a healthy balance between the two.”
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
This book helps me to get rid of the fear to put most if not all payment/investment on autopilot (and set time aside each month to cross check).
“How much you earn has almost no bearing on whether or not you can and will build wealth.”
http://rockstarfinance.com/— THE go-to-site for inspirations and further learning. Thumbs for the daily newsletter with suggestions for readings.
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/ — Everything you need to know about early retirement
http://www.frugalwoods.com/ – A ridiculously frugal but authentic family living their homestead dream. Digging the full-disclosure monthly expenditure posts. I learned to appreciate boxed wine from Costco from them, which is arguably life-changing.
Listen to These Podcasts:
Financially Blonde – WFU Alumna discussing everything about $ over martinis
So Money – PF Fairy Godmother, my personal favorite author/Podcast host
Dave Ramsey – Enter with caution… I mainly look forward to the segment where people scream at the top of their lungs with happiness after they pay off their debt, for the goosebumps…
Download & Use This App:
Everydollar – I prefer manually inputting our spending into this app to keep up with our budgets for accuracy in categorization
More importantly, keep your day job, brainstorm and start your side hustles! I’d love to hear about what you are reading too!