It was about a year ago when my interest in personal finance sparked. I had heard so many people speak so highly of Dave Ramsey, that I just had to read his books. I started out with The Total Money Makeover and then went on to read Financial Peace and More Than Enough.
When I read The Total Money Makeover there were some things that I didn’t understand right off the bat. Like Dave suggesting that you shouldn’t care about your credit score and that all debt was bad. After all, I was reading this book right after my house flip that I had used debt and my credit score to acquire.
Even though some of his ideas didn’t feel right to me, I thought “what do I know, he is the expert.” So, I took the money I had in my savings account paid off my car and credit cards and had just over a thousand dollars left in the bank for my beginning emergency fund.
I then began to conform to his way of thinking, or at least I thought I was. I tried taking my frugality to the extreme. I attempted to refinance my house to a 15 year loan with a lower interest rate. BUT the extreme frugality fizzled pretty quickly and my husbands credit score wasn’t good enough for us to refinance.
At this time I had become a regular at the library, devouring every personal finance book I could get my hands on. I wanted to know others views on the subject, instead of just following the first plan I read.
I’ll admit, a lot of the books felt very repetitive. Obviously most everyone agrees that debt is bad, you need to save money, and live below your means. But, isn’t that obvious?
Now I love when I can get my hands on a book with a unique viewpoint. Recently I’ve been reading books by Robert Kiyosaki and it is a breath of fresh air to hear another side of the story.
It’s great if a book like The Total Money Makeover can improve somebodies financial situation. However, following someone else’s plan didn’t satisfy me. I have read from various authors, had my own financial trial and errors, and I continue to learn.
Learning about personal finance from different perspectives and mapping out my own plan, even if it is constantly changing, has kept me interested and motivated financially.
What do you think about personal finance books? Do they make an impact on the decisions you make?