Finance, Budgeting, and Investing: Books that helped in our journey

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Our financial awareness started out of a need to stop living paycheck to paycheck–every month, not knowing where the money had gone. We had received several Dave Ramsey books as wedding presents from family friends. A gift we really appreciated along with a note that said these are books they hoped would help us in life and marriage.Finances are a cause of many disagreements in marriages, so I love this idea of such a practical gift for a young couple. Someone had also passed on a set of CDs of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. Joseph was able to listen to the CDs on commutes.

  • We both began taking our financial goals (savings!) more seriously and putting direct deposits into our oos/oom account.
  • We began keeping a budget, which was itself a journey, and holding ourselves accountable. Just because something is a good deal doesn’t mean we should buy it!
  • We did not use cash envelopes and we did get and use a credit card. But we treated our credit card like cash and the best part was that whether Joseph or Danielle was the one spending money, it would appear immediately online in our credit card app and we could track our purchases and add/subtract it to/from our budget.

Reading has helped us develop our financial independence philosophies and helped us on our journey.

Landlording on Autopilot: A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches we read this book after buying our first rental property while the listing was up and we were showing it almost daily. I found this book on our library’s ebook system and checked it out and read virtually on my phone. I screen shot lists and made notes while caring for our 3-month old and two older kids. It was also Christmas time! The version that I read was somewhat dated (the newer version is available here, and I should read it!), but the philosophies and mindset towards how to be a landlord and have tenants who wanted to stay, was very influential. Thankfully, I had time to finish it before finally receiving applications and even having to reject a few before approving some excellent tenants. Most importantly, I developed my screening questions and criteria. It can’t be said often enough, that our philosophy as landlords is to provide homes we would be happy to live in and treat our tenants with the respect we would hope to receive if we were in their position.

Landlording on Autopilot talked about longterm tenants. People who would rent from him for years and then, having outgrown a house, ask if he had something bigger they could rent from him next. We also related to the author, Mike Butler, because he built up and managed his rentals while continuing to work his job full-time (or more!).

A book that we can’t neglect to mention was the Handbook for Landlords that a local lawyer provides for a small fee in our county. He has examples of leases, eviction notices, addendums (some required by law in our county/state), and more. It has been one of the most valuable resources we have–and we found it thanks to a friend’s recommendation that came up in conversation. Having this resource available to us strengthened our lease and continues to be something we frequently turn to when unexpected situations arise. We also have the peace of mind knowing that we are gearing our lease agreement specifically to the laws in our county. For anyone who is branching into the landlord and property management field, we urge you to seek out a lawyer in your county who can provide you with specific requirements and regulations in your region!

For anyone who is branching into the landlord and property management field, we urge you to seek out a lawyer in your county who can provide you with specific requirements and regulations in your region!

A few months after we purchased our first rental property, we read based on a recommendation from a friend who is also on the financial independence journey. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! is a well-known book in the financial independence community. Much of what Robert Kiyosaki lays out is inspiring or, at the very least, thought-provoking. Ultimately, we don’t agree with some of his philosophies that imply that if the poor aren’t savvy enough to break out of the rat race or demand higher pay, then it’s their own fault. We want to treat our tenants (or our employees if we ever have them) with respect and even give them the tools to break out of the rat race and pursue financial independence themselves some day. While Kiyosaki publishes many books and courses to educate people, I still think there’s something lacking in terms of a respect for everyone’s human dignity.

The best take away from Kiyosaki was that our dollars can work for us. We don’t have to work for money, it can work for us. That influences everything about how we spend (or rather, don’t spend) our money and the goals we have to rapidly invest and quit the corporate rat race.

Again, Rich Dad Poor Dad gave us great food for thought, but our own philosophies continue to develop independently which is probably the best thing whenever someone is reading material on a topic: learn and think on your own!

From Dave Ramsey to Robert Kiyosaki, Mike Butler to our local lawyer, we’ve done a lot of learning and growing. We love the responsibility and zero-dollar budget that we learned from Dave Ramsey, the drive to get out of the rat race thanks to Robert Kiyosake, and the philosophies and standards we developed thanks to landlord resources.

We want to tithe and donate generously all along our journey. We want to serve our tenants the best homes they can hope to find.

We have more to learn! Some books on our to-read list thanks to the Financial twitter community:

  • Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape
  • Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko
  • Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
  • and other books and ebooks published among the financial independence community including Fast FIRE by Dr. Jim Kay and many others

Have a favorite financial independence or money mindset book that we didn’t mention? Please share it with us and comment! It’s an exciting journey of discovery and we’re always learning.

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