Money Lessons from 7 Books

Money lessons from 7 books

Have you thought about joining a book club?

Perhaps you’re already part of one?

I joined a book club earlier this year - and then dropped out shortly after.

It turns out I wasn’t willing to spend my free time reading fiction books when I have a stack of nonfiction books I’m too impatient to get started reading.

Funny thing is my love of reading started with fiction.

In my early teens the Sweet Valley High series was my obsession. Remember those? I’d curl up with those books for hours and hours.

In fact, I never picked up a nonfiction book willingly - and read it from cover to cover (like those fiction books I enjoyed so much) until I was in my late-twenties.

I got one of my very first nonfictions, Getting More, a couple of weeks before my annual performance meeting with my old boss. Based on my performance, I wanted to negotiate better compensation. I read the book in record time because I was hungry to learn about negotiation. After picking up a few pointers, I set what I learned in motion.

Since then, I’ve been hooked on books that explain the nuts and bolts of things… money, for example.

7 Money Books

I’ve compiled a list of 7 personal finance books - 5 from Canadian authors - that I’ve collected along with lessons shared by these money mentors:

#1. Smart Money Smart Kids

Smart Money Smart Kids was co-written by father and daughter combo: Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. This book is meant for parents looking for advice on how to teach smart money habits to their kids starting at a young age.

Ramsey believes that:

“Handing our money and not teaching strong work habits create people who whine, who feel entitled, and who become perpetual victims.”

Ramsey adds:

“...the basic principle of working is one of the best ways to combat the attitude of entitlement. Once your kids understand that money comes from work, they won’t be able to spend money on a toy without considering how much work went into actually making that money.”

#2. Wealthing Like Rabbits

Wealthing Like Rabbits by Canadian personal finance writer Robert Brown is an accessible and practical guide to personal finance that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

When it comes to budgeting, Brown believes that we should:

“Pay yourself first and budget the rest...Whatever budgeting system you decide to use, always remember that the most important part of any budget is to balance the fundamentals. Save for the future. Spend less than you earn. Spend smarter. Live within your means. Stay out of debt. Do that and you’ll be fine.”

#3. Millionaire Teacher

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School was written by Andrew Hallam, the millionaire teacher himself.

When it comes to building wealth, here’s what Hallam says:

“ of the greatest secrets of wealth building: your perception dictates your spending habits. The surest way to grow rich over time is to start spending a lot less than you make. If you can alter your perspective to be satisfied with what you have, then you won’t be as tempted to blow your earnings. You’ll be able to invest money over long periods of time...”

#4. How Not to Move Back in with Your Parents

How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents: The Young Person’s Guide to Financial Empowerment was written by Rob Carrick - a Canadian author and The Globe and Mail’s personal finance columnist.

Here’s what Carrick thinks:

“It’s tough out there, and young people need support to get off to a good financial start in life...Parents have no business running the financial affairs of their grown-up kids, but they can fill the role of trusted counsellors who have been through the exact same set of circumstances and learned a lot.”

Carrick’s take on student loans:

“A key question when borrowing money for any purpose is: What are the rules for paying it back? When you borrow money through a government-run student loan program, the rules are totally slack by real-world standards, in that you’re not charged interest until you graduate, take a break of longer than six months from your studies or drop out. In the real world interest starts building up on a loan instantly.”

Carrick’s tip?

“If you’ve taken advantage of the six-month grace period to repay your loans and then landed a job before the six months are up, start attacking your student loan right away rather than waiting.”

#5. Smart Women Finish Rich

Smart Women Finish Rich is David Bach’s 9-step program to achieve our financial goals.

Bach disproves that making more money will make us rich, instead he says:

“The problem is not our income, it’s what we spend! … It’s not the size of your income that will determine your financial well-being over the next 20 or 30 years, it’s how you handle the money you earn.”

Bach believes in values-based financial planning:

“The process of understanding what’s important about money to you is absolutely essential. Asking yourself what money means to you, after all, quickly forces you to evaluate what it is you are looking for in life. And understanding what you are looking for in life is the foundation on which all smart financial planning is based.”

#6. The Wealthy Barber Returns

The Wealthy Barber Returns is David Chilton’s long-awaited sequel to his 1989 best-seller The Wealthy Barber.

On living within our means, Chilton shares his four liberating words:

“...’I can’t afford it’ is not a limiting statement, but a liberating one. It frees you from the pressures to live beyond your means, and its unassailable truth makes it easier to deal with temptation. The fact is, we all have finite resources. We can’t possibly do and buy everything we want. There’s no shame in that.”

#7. Fight Back: 81 Ways to Help You Save Money and Protect Yourself from Corporate Trickery

Fight Back was written by Ellen Roseman, consumer rights advocate and Toronto Star columnist.

This book is filled with practical information on how consumers like us can save in our day to day spending.

Here’s Roseman’s advice on choosing a financial institution:

“Before depositing money with a financial institution, whether you deal with it on the phone, on the internet or at a bricks-and-mortar branch, you have to ask some questions. Interest rates are not the only factor. You also have to look at transaction costs. You can end up paying more in fees that you earn in interest on your savings.”

Roseman suggests that we: “find out which services are free and which have extra charges”. Because “service charges can wipe out your interest earnings pretty quickly”.

Final Thoughts

We live in an age where the influx of information is both amazing and overwhelming.

It’s amazing because anything we’ve ever wanted to know is literally at the tips of our fingers...

But here’s the challenge now: Where to start?

Sifting through massive information - and deciding what’s relevant and what to ignore - can be an overwhelming undertaking.

Good books offer an alternative allowing us to focus solely on a single-themed topic. Without getting tempted to go down the rabbit hole of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

So tell me…

What book have you read recently - and why (or why not) would you recommend it?

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Editorial Disclaimer: The content here reflects the author's opinion alone, and is not endorsed or sponsored by a bank, credit card issuer, rewards program or other entity.

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Money Beagle's picture

There's a lot of information out there with money advice, some good and some not so much. Good to have a list from a respected source!

August 23, 2016 @ 1:38 pm
Maria Weyman
Maria Weyman's picture

Thanks Money Beagle :)

August 25, 2016 @ 8:26 am
Vivian Cai
Vivian Cai's picture

"Millionaire Next Door" is a great book with many tips for everyday working class to start saving on areas they don't know they're overspending!

August 24, 2016 @ 12:34 pm
Maria Weyman
Maria Weyman's picture

Hi Vivian, I heard good things about Millionaire Next Door for sure. 

August 25, 2016 @ 8:32 am
Lou Martin
Lou Martin's picture

Just finished Gary Chapman's "The 5 Love Languages." Loved the book because it (after 27 years of marriage) opened my eyes to how I've done the marriage thing wrong all along. It's helped me to understand my wife better and has drastically improved our marriage. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to experience more joy and satisfaction in their marriage.

October 07, 2016 @ 12:35 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Read that one around the time I was first married - I found it useful as well. Been married 10 years now, so I probably need a refresher.

October 14, 2016 @ 1:12 pm
Brock Turner
Brock Turner 's picture

I like this new book out called Capital Compounders. Its focus is on the Canadian stock market. Hard to find books like this one in Canada. Some good growth investing strategies,

November 08, 2018 @ 10:12 pm
Amy's picture

I'm currently reading Women's Worth: Finding your financial confidence. It's a great read for women because women view money differently than men. It has exercises to help you understand your relationship with money and what money means to you.

January 08, 2019 @ 2:13 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Amy,

A woman-focused personal finance book sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing with us!

January 10, 2019 @ 10:00 am

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