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A Personal Finance Reading List

One of the questions I get asked often is “What do you read?” It’s a tough one, because I consume almost one book a week, about 200+ RSS feeds, a constant Twitter stream, and more. Amazingly, I seem to keep up with all of it for now, and I think it’s important for someone in my position to do so and stay updated.

The “regular” consumer of personal finance, on the other hand, should be more of a cherry-picker. Aiming to find the best of the best, while maintaining a variety of perspectives.

5 Personal Finance Blogs I Can’t Live Without

If I was stranded on a remote island with an RSS reader that could only pull off five personal finance blogs (you know, satellite reception is not that great out there), these would be the 5 I’m taking with me:

1. Get Rich Slowly: GRS was started by J.D. Roth, and now features a multitude of voices writing about everyday topics related to personal finance. The content stays away from the latest PF “fads” and focuses on a principled approach to money. Exactly my cup of tea. Latest post from GRS: Give Your Wealth Away: An Argument For a Secular Tithe.

2. Man vs. Debt: Adam Baker is just a regular guy with extraordinary dreams. I fell in love with this blog from the get-go because of Baker’s unique and compelling writing style, and he’s delivered ever since. Along with his wife and daughter, they’re traveling and blogging about money and other related and unrelated topics. Latest from MvD: New Site Design & MvD Featured in a Comic!

3. Bible Money Matters: You don’t have to have a Christian-leaning perspective to appreciate Pete’s fantastic content. He writes about every imaginable personal finance topic, creating a comprehensive body of work that always manages to stay fresh. Latest from BMM: A Scam Or Not A Scam, That Is The Question: How To Make Sure You’re Really Getting A Deal.

4. Wise Bread: This group blog was off my RSS reader for a long time, because of the sheer volume of content they put out. It was just too much for me. But it’s back on. As far as group blogs go, this one is my choice. Wise Bread’s diverse staff of writers always manage to cast a different perspective on money, the posts are enjoyable, and the community is vibrant. Latest from WB: Non-Traditional Jobs: How Bibliophiles and Film Fanatics Can Find Success.

5. The Simple Dollar: Trent Hamm is a personal finance blogging staple, and with good reason–his content is as regularly delivered as it is fun to read. Started in 2006, The Simple Dollar is Trent’s manifesto on living a more successful financial life. Latest from TSD: Interest Rates Don’t Matter If You Don’t Carry a Balance: Some Thought on the Cash-Only Debate.

5 Non-Finance Blogs I Can’t Live Without

Life is not all about managing your own money. For me, it’s also about blogging. :) And business…and simplicity. My top five choices for non-finance blogs I read religiously:

1. Leo Babauta: I list Leo’s name only because I follow all of his major blogs regularly: Zen HabitsZen Family HabitsMnmlist, and Write to Done. Leo was one of my first introductions to how powerful the blog format could be in my own life, and the lessons of each of his posts resonate with me on a very personal level. Leo’s latest from Zen Habits: 48 Fun Ways to Exercise.

2. ProBlogger: Darren Rowse is a blogging rock star when it comes to optimizing every aspect of your blog imaginable. His insight and analysis of the latest trends and what works in the world of blogging are priceless. Latest from ProBlogger: The Parable of the Lemonade Stand: Is AdSense Costing you Money?

3. GaryVeynerchuck: Less than two months ago, I had no idea who Gary was. Since then, his energy and business sense have completely flipped my world. GaryVeynerchuk.com features almost exclusively video content. Gary’s always entertaining to listen to, and his instincts about what’s coming next in the online world are spot on. You’ll also see Gary’s new book listed below. Latest from @garyvee: My Le Web Keynote.

4. Dumb Little Man: Productivity, automation, and simplicity–the self-described traits of DLM, but the blog is so much more–a resource for tips on all aspects of life. The posts are usually well-organized and easy to digest. Six fantastic writers currently contribute to the site. Latest from DLM: You Can Write Like a Professional: Here’s How.

5. Chris Brogan: Chris is the co-author of Trust Agents (affiliate), and offers expert commentary on social media and the new direction of business. Both his blog posts and talks are enjoyable to digest and always make you think. Latest from Chris: Put Your Skills to Use.

My Hard Copy Reading List

Yes, I actually read things in print! It’s not as painful as it sounds–we were all doing it a few short years ago. Here are five books that recently taught me some great lessons on personal finance (all are affiliate links to Amazon):

1. Crush It! by Gary Veynerchuk. A lot of people are completely put off by Gary’s style. I am not one of them. I find it 100% infectious and incredibly motivating. Just watch any of his keynotes and you’ll get a taste for just how passionate and insightful this guy is about business and blogging. As it relates to finance? Absolutely. After all, half the equation is income, and crushing it is certainly one option.

2. Quarterlife Crisis by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner. If you’re in your 20’s, I can almost guarantee you’ll relate to this book. We graduate college, head out on our merry way, and sooner or later hit an absolute wall of despair. “What the hell am I doing?” Trust me, it’s a good read, at the very least for self-awareness so you can do something about it.

3. Life Matters by A. Roger and Rebecca R. Merrill. I think I’ve mentioned this book about 1,000 times and reviewed it a while ago. It’s a “whole-life” kind of book, talking about family, work, time, and wisdom in addition to money. But it’s really necessary to understand all the components to see how money fits in. And it’s a very principled approach to the whole thing, which I loved.

4. What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. An absolute classic for all job-seekers, but it’s so much more than a how-to-get-a-job book. WCIYP teaches you how to figure out your passion in life and capitalize on that. And it also does a great job of steering you away from useless job-seeking methods.

5. Personal Finance For Dummies by Eric Tyson. This might be a surprising addition for many of you, but let me defend it–I love the Dummies series. The books are not particularly insightful or detailed, but I think that is their power–they are a taste of almost everything to do with any particular topic. They are comprehensive. Once you understand the scope, you can set out to find more information on your own.

I hope that answers your questions as to what I read on a regular basis! I encourage all of you to check out these blogs and books, and let me know what you thought.

What Are YOUR Favorites?

Do you have a favorite personal finance blog? (Pick me! Pick me! :) Just kidding…). How about a book that has really inspired you recently? Please share and discuss!

Photo by pedrosimoes7

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35 thoughts on “A Personal Finance Reading List

  1. I am currently reading All Your Worth, by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. I’m finding the simplicity of their ideas refreshing and I would recommend it to anyone having a hard time making ends meet. This book can help you understand why that’s happening and how to make it better. It’s written to appeal to the layperson.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      I thumbed through the table of contents, and it looks like a great read. One chapter title that caught my eye was “If You Can’t Afford Fun, You Can’t Afford Your Life.”

      Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. PF books I adore: “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin (think it should be required reading for all Americans); “The Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacycyzn (yes, content is a bit dated, but I love her rural ways!); and oddly enough, “Amazing Grace” by Jonathan Kozol and “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. They aren’t about PF but about the lives of poor children (South Bronx and Afghanistan) and those who dedicate their lives to helping them. It reminds me that money has a purpose and I can use it to buy useless crap or change people’s lives. I do my best to go for the latter.

    My blog love is a little inconsistent, as is evident by the ever-changing side bar on my blog. I tend to prefer blogs that don’t have massive readerships (they tend to get stale and detached when folks are writing for thousands of people), have a distinctive “voice” that isn’t patronizing (it’s reeeeaaallllly difficult to find PF blogs that don’t treat their readers like clueless children), are genuine and humorous. Right now, one of my favorites is Frugally Green (FrugallyGreen.org).

    I saw your video promo for “Life Matters” and disregarded it, because I thought it was written by Dr. Phil! HA! Totally going to check it out now. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Some great suggestions. I particularly love books that are not finance-related, but that teach us such great life lessons that can easily be applied to money, and you’ve shared a few here I’ll have to check out.

      I’m a fan of Tyler as well, and have been reading his thoughts for a few months. I wish him the best.

      And finally–I can see why you’d think that! It’s really a great book if you have a chance to pick it up. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thank, man! I’m stoked to be included on such a great and short list.

    I love reading these sorts of things from time to time. I working on my own list of ‘random niche blogs I follow’ for around Christmas time.

    Help new readers explore people they might have not otherwise found. Thanks again!
    .-= Baker´s last post: Is Travel Worth It? =-.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Agreed. So much to consume out there and rarely enough time to actually “find” new blogs. Looking forward to your list.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Thanks, George. That’s a great suggestions and he’s got a few videos worth watching as well from keynotes over the past years.

  4. Hmmm…

    I love
    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Out of Debt Again
    Modern Tightwad
    Budgets Are Sexy.

    As for books, not reading anything finance related — I’m reading up on ADD to help my husband find coping techniques for his. (Though one book I do want to read is called ADD and Your Money.)

    But I am reading a couple of great books by Thom Hartmann about ADD that I really like. The gist being: Maybe ADDers just have brains that are different from other people’s. And maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t call it an illness because, well, if you tell someone his brain is fundamentally wrong… Well it’s not good. There are also some interesting parallels to be drawn between ADDers in this society and left-handed people as recently as the ’50s/’60s.
    .-= Abigail´s last post: Blame Monopoly! =-.

  5. (Yes, it’s me again!) This is the 3rd or 4th shout out I’ve seen for Man vs. Debt (yo Baker!), so I finally decided to check it out. Wow. What a great blog! I also found one writer in particular I really liked on Wise Bread. Yes, I should have been working. ;)

    I’m going to carve out time to check out all your suggestions. These are fabulous finds! Thanks so much.

  6. A book I picked up recently that is really intriguing is called “The Naked Portfolio Manager” by Robert Fischer.

    It is more of a unique investing perspective rather than anything about personal finance, but for those of us who invest on our own, and aren’t in it full time, it is a fascinating read.

    I’d reccomend it to anyone who dabbles in investing. And I am not affiliated with the author in any way, or plugging his book for any particular reason. Its really just a good read.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Thanks for that great suggestion. I’m very much a “dabbler” so I would probably enjoy this.

  7. Dude, ConsciouslyFrugal is the greatest e-friend a guy could ever have.

    She writes a great blog as well. It’s the place to be if you want your PF lessons straight up and no punches pulled.

    Wojciech, I’m glad I finally got over here to check out your stuff. Going to have to find a little time to dig into the archives. That’s always my favorite part of finding a new blog.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Hey Tyler, welcome to the party! And thanks for standing behind CF, I’m enjoying her blog as well.

  8. I definitely have to check out Quarterlife Crisis, I just looked it up and my library has it, I’m pumped to go get it tomorrow.

    I’m surprised that Five Cent Nickel isn’t up there, I think they have some great real-life applications of personal finance.

    Great post, you just got added my list of must-reads!
    .-= Daniel´s last post: Credit Series: Why Credit Matters =-.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Thanks Daniel! I have to admit–pruning the list to 5 was a tough challenge, but FCN was definitely in the running.

      Have fun with the book–let me know what you thought!

    • That’s a great book that I really enjoyed reading.

      I can’t believe I forgot this one: Herb Cohen’s “You Can Negotiate Anything” It’s amazing and I wish I could find more stories about people successfully negotiating. I’ve actually been planning on running a whole series of successful negotiaton stories if I can find enough people willing to share.
      .-= Daniel´s last post: Credit Series: Why Credit Matters =-.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Awesome, Paul. I think we all have go-to books like that one, whether it be for inspiration, or in this case–prevention. :)

  9. I’m with you on the five PF sites listed, but I’ll add FiveCentNickle for the range of topics, and Financial Samurai because it takes a fresh look at the usual topics but comes up with some unusual conclusions. Matt Jabs at DebtFreeAdventure takes no prisoners; he writes about some things that are out there on the edge and covers them from outside the box. I never get tired of that and I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about him in the future.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last post: Face the Future Informed and Without Fear =-.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      I agree with all of your suggestions! Given a list of 10, all of those would have probably made it. :) I guess it depends on what mood I’m in on any particular day, too.

      Just goes to show you that reading many, many PF blogs is a good thing and keeps you engaged with a variety of different viewpoints.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      I love the “Dummies” series for almost all topics, because it’s such a great sourcebook for ideas that you can get more in depth on your own time. Great suggestion.

  10. Todd says:

    I just discovered your blog today and look forward to reading more. (I live in Ft Myers, FL, btw.)
    I really enjoyed (as Hank suggested above) “Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach. I also really enjoyed “Financial Peace” by Dave Ramsey. I took tools from both books and really enjoy my financial structure now and it needs very minimal maintenance.
    I’m also one of those that my friends get tired of rambling about personal finances…such a interesting topic.

    • Wojciech Kulicki says:

      Welcome! Glad to hear that someone local is reading my blog. :) I’m in North Naples.

      Thanks for weighing in on the books!

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