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Personal Finance Books That Inspire Personal Finance Bloggers

What personal finance books most inspire our favorite personal finance bloggers? I set out to answer that question in today’s post. I wrote several of the biggest personal finance bloggers in the blogosphere and asked them which personal finance books inspired them the most to turn their life around financially and why that book inspired them the most. Here are their responses.

Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
“The book came at a time when I was re-examining the values in my life, and helped me realize that to be “successful” doesn’t necessarily mean having a lot of money and a lot of stuff, as I am trading away my life
(the time I spend working for that money) in return. It helped me realize that my happiness and how I use the few years I am given here on earth are more important than the stuff I can buy with money. And
so it taught me the true value of money, and the time I spend to earn it. That alone has taught me that frugality is more than just sticking to a budget. ”

AgentSully, Life Learning Today

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (Little Book Big Profits)
This book gives you all the proof in the world that simple investing is best. What a relief to know that you’re not missing out on great returns because you’re using mutual funds.
For busy people this is great. I used to be a stock broker for over 10 years and so I know that it is difficult and time consuming to invest in individual stocks. I recommend using mutual funds and this books backs that up.

Trent Hamm, The Simple Dollar

Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
I used to lay awake at night worrying about money. Reading this book didn’t automatically end that, but it showed me that my idea of the money I had available and the money I was making was completely wrong. Once I made that adjustment, suddenly it was as if a cold grip released itself from me.

Even more, I started believing that my life controlled my money. I began to see my life without the weight of debt and the need to chase a paycheck because I actually understood the path to get there. Without this revelation, I would never have started The Simple Dollar and I would have never had the courage to start really chasing my dream of becoming a writer. If that’s not a life changer, I don’t know what is.

Silicon Valley Blogger, The Digerati Life

Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
This book is one of those classics that didn’t become a classic till after I’ve owned it a while… I purchased a first edition copy of this book and was an “early adapter” of the principles shared in it. I loved how it explained the tradeoffs between time, energy and money and how it appealed to both my right and left brains. It is primarily a behavioral finance book but also one that gives you a thorough analysis (based on some simple calculations) of how much spending and consuming can really cost you. It changed how I viewed spending and it really caused me to change my shopping habits. I owe my first decade’s worth of savings to this book.

Julie Rains, Wise Bread

Gone with the Wind
“Gone with the Wind,” especially when Scarlett says “As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” Scarlett O’Hara is not necessarily my hero but survives hardship and is driven to become an astute businesswoman by her difficulties. I was a business/finance major in college and moved away from home a few months after graduation so between the academic training and very practical experiences of being broke and then finally having some money several years later, I learned about PF.

Linsey Knerl, Wise Bread

Pushing the Envelope All the Way to the Top
It’s probably cliché, but I got alot from “Pushing The Envelope” by Harvey Mackay. It got me through a lot of the boredom that business can bring, and is still a good read if I find myself needing a little motivation. It also gives those of us who aren’t on the “get rich quick” boat some sense of worth.

Paul Michael, Wise Bread

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
Written in a way that is easy to understand, it has humor and gives out some great advice. Not all of it is completely accurate, I’ve talked to a few PF gurus that say he over-simplifies things. But generally, it made me think hard about my future and my finances. A great read.

Ben, Money Smart Life

The Millionaire Next Door
I think the first personal finance book I read that really got me excited about the power of frugal habits combined with long term savings was the Millionaire Next Door. I like to think our family follows the basics of living frugally and saving/investing money as described in the book.

Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner
I also enjoyed Smart Couples Finish Rich. Not so much because of its unique content but because it’s a personal finance book I could get my wife to read. Obviously having both partners in a marriage on the same page is necessary for successful financial planning and execution.

One last comment on personal finance books; it’s not enough to just read them, you have to put the practices you learn about into place to make a difference. It’s easy to get pumped up about saving or making money after reading one of these books, it’s another to get out there and make it happen. I’d say you’re much better off just reading one or two books about money then taking the time to make changes in your life than it is to stay up on the latest personal finance best seller. If you’re interested in reading about how we spend our time practicing smart personal finance you can subscribe for daily money updates in your feed reader or by email.

Thanks to all the participants for your awesome responses! Make sure to go buy these bloggers sites to poke around and subsribe to their feed so you can get even more amazing personal finance info. If you’re a personal finance blogger and would like to contribute your most inspiring personal finance book, drop me a line in my contact form. If I get enough, I can create another post.