4 Must Read Financial Books

books-441866_640 (1)Reading is one of my all time favorite hobbies. I love hitting up the bookstore and browsing around at all of the new books out and also seeing the top financial books out.

Reading about a certain topic can not only educate you deeply, but it can also save you a ton of money.

Here are my four favorite financial books that I urge all of my friends and family to read. Being in charge of your finances is very important!

#1: Debt-Free By 30 by Jason Anthony

I really like this book because it’s perfect for someone my age, just starting out in their twenties. This book educates on the very beginning rules of organizing and figuring out debt. Everything you need to know about debt is in this book and it will lead you on the right track of being debt free by 30, or even another age.

This book isn’t a downer, but will actually inspire and motivate you to get on the right track with your debt. The earlier you educate yourself about debt, the better it will be for your future. This book will also teach you the basic must knows for credit, different types of insurance, and more.

#2: 7 Money Rules For Life by Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt has been in the finance field for many years and has plenty of experience under her belt. She releases all of her must know facts about getting ready for your future.

She goes over topics such as investing, retiring, financing, and getting prepared for what’s to come in your future. Mary goes over many topics that we all hear so much about, but don’t know thoroughly.

#3: I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

This book is a great read for anyone at any age, but also for people in their twenties and thirties.

Reading this book will keep you entertained and excited to read throughout, which is perfect for 20 something year olds that can’t keep attention well on financial books. If you want to master your financial life and make smart decisions the rest of your life, this is the book for you.

#4: Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals by Thomas Corley

The author of this book spent 5 years studying the lives of poor and rich people. He studied both groups and figured out how they were different when it comes to finances. This book is also great for young people because the younger your habits start, the better. He teaches you exercises to make you wealthier throughout your life, and will also help you create habits that will last a lifetime.

Buying a book that is about $10 can end up saving you a large amount in the long run. You can also pass around the book to your fellow friends and family, and even borrow finance books from others to save money.

Have you read any of the above books? What other books would you recommend reading?

 

How to Save on the Small Things So You Can Afford the Vacation of Your Dreams

balance-865819_640We all have a dream/bucket-list vacation. Maybe that dream is to drive all over the continental United States in an RV for a year. Maybe that dream is a first-class/five star trip through every country in the European Union. Maybe it’s a cruise or even a series of cruises. Whatever the trip, one thing is universal: it is likely going to be very expensive.

It’s easy to look at something expensive and decide that it is unattainable. After all, you have bills to pay! You have debt to manage! You have day to day expenses! You’re barely able to save up an emergency fund, let alone a retirement or bucket-list travel fund. But what if you could? What if you could save up that money? It isn’t impossible, after all.

The best way to save up for something big is to look for ways to scrimp on things that are or seem small and to create a budget that has room for your vacation fund within it. Here are some tips to help you do that.

Your Utilities

Everybody knows that there are hundreds of different techniques that you can use to reduce the amount of power and water you use and, as a consequence, the amount of money you spend on your utility bills. Turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, only running full loads in your washer, dryer, and dishwasher, etc. Every small step you take to reducing your power and water consumption is one small step you take toward your travel adventure.

Shop Around

Most people have mastered the art of comparison shopping for goods and services. You go to a few stores and make note of prices, you call around, etc. But are you shopping around for everything? If you aren’t yet, now is a good time to start. In addition to groceries, stylists, and ordinary services, you can also shop around for larger needs. For example, if you live in a deregulated energy market, you can shop around for the best electricity rates. You can shop around for the best bank fees and interest rates for your savings accounts. You can even shop around your debt and take advantage of balance transfers or debt consolidation programs.

Even if you live rurally, you can shop for many of the items you need online. Dried goods, personal hygiene supplies, etc–you can often find these items online for a great deal less than you would find them at a local grocer or pharmacy.

Make and Grow Your Own

If you’ve never learned to sew or garden now is the time to do so. Growing your own produce is phenomenally cheaper than buying it in a store. Eating produce you’ve grown yourself is also healthier for your body. Even if you live in a small space, you can grow herbs, spices, small fruits and berries in containers you keep on your window sills.

Sewing is a fantastic skill that will help you extend the length of your clothing. Knowing how to replace buttons, hem your own pants, patch holes, make small repairs–each of these tasks can extend the life of a garment by months or even years. It’s also a handy skill for taking clothing that is past its prime and turning it into something new. You might not be able to make a brand new shirt but you can make quilts, handkerchiefs, etc.

Managing Debt

The most savings, of course, come from properly managing your debt. Are the interest rates on your loans and credit cards as low as they could be? Are you making more than the minimum monthly payments to ensure that you’re paying down your debt as quickly as possible?

One of the best ways to save up money for a larger trip is to siphon off a bit of a debt payment after the account is paid off (but not before). Traditionally, as you pay off one debt, you would then take whatever your monthly payment toward that debt might be and distribute it equally across your other debts to increase the amounts you’re paying there. Instead, take 15% of that monthly payment and save it. 10% should go into a long term savings account for your retirement. 5% can go into your travel fund. If you haven’t yet built up an emergency fund, split it up equally with 5% going to long term savings, 5% to emergency savings, and 5% to traveling.

There are lots of ways to save on the little things you buy and within the details of your spending and budgeting systems. These are just a few suggestions. What are some of the techniques you’ve used to “beef up” your travel fund?

5 Free Apps For Your Next Road Trip

rural-690549_640The summer solstice just passed for the north hemisphere which means road trips are abundant and venturing around in cars is very common.

I recently took an 18 hour road trip from Chicago to my new home in Colorado.

Being a person who is not a huge fan of driving, I had to find a way to make the trip doable and entertaining as well to keep me awake during the 9 hour days of driving.

1. Podcasts.

I always recommend podcasts for absolutely any time you are in a vehicle. Music can be stress relieving and a lot of fun, but podcasts can be quite informative and educative.

It’s also a better use of your time to learn, and get better at certain things. Working on personal development is very important to me, so I would listen to apps that focused on that. Practicing my Spanish is also very important to me, so I listened to a learning Spanish podcast for half a day.

2. Along The Way.

I wished I would’ve heard of this app before my long road trip, but glad that I can at least share it with someone who hasn’t heard of it yet. This app is absolutely amazing because it tells you what places to stop at along the way on your road trip.

Visiting important landmarks has never been made so easy. Now you’ll never miss that oversized furniture item in that small town you don’t remember the name of.

3. Couchsurfing.

This app can be quite convenient on the wallet or if you have trouble booking a hotel for some crazy reason. I’ve heard of some Couchsurfing hosts giving people places to stay last minute.

Keep in mind, these people are offering you their home and remember, they aren’t a hotel. Leave a small gift behind, or offer to clean or do some kind of chore in return for them letting you stay there. Your host can also tell you all the neat places to visit that you otherwise wouldn’t know of, since they are a local native (most likely).

4. Songza.

This app is sort of like Pandora, but you also can choose stations based on your mood or the activity you are partaking in.

When it’s getting late at night, I make sure to put more upbeat music on to keep me awake and alert. I’ve found listening to more mellow and slow music makes me tired quicker. You might be the exact opposite, so do what works best for you.

Have you used any of these free apps for your phone? What other apps would you recommend using for a road trip?