10 Best Finance Books

by Fig on April 17, 2014

Badcredit.org recently listed their picks for 10 Best Finance Books. Their list of finance book picks are below:

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 If you prefer a more modern and current account of our financial system, this is the gripping behind-the-scenes story of how our banking system almost collapsed in 2007 and how close we came to a second Great Depression. Using a gripping style of writing and acute insights, the author paints a terrifying scene, while teaching us lessons about greed.

Social Clout: 463,000+ followers, 6,507+ likes

URLhttp://www.andrewrosssorkin.com/

THE INTELLIGENT INVESTOR by Benjamin Graham

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First written in 1949 and updated many times since then, this is the book Warren Buffet points to most often when talking about his success. By the way, Benjamin Graham was a mentor to Buffet – widely considered the best investor of all time.

Social Clout: 4.5 Amazon star rating

URLhttp://www.amazon.com/

THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley & William Danko

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If you think you know what a millionaire looks and acts like, you need to read this book. In it, the authors describe how the wealthy really become wealthy (hint: it’s not by inheriting it.) This is a finance book for anyone who wants to discover the secrets to building wealth.

Social Clout: 12,200+ followers

URLhttp://www.thomasjstanley.com/

THE ALCHEMY OF FINANCE by George Soros

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George Soros is considered to be one of the most successful investors in history, and this is his best-selling book on financial systems. It describes investing principles as well as world financial systems. It may be considered an advanced book for some, but it is one of the best books ever written on finance.

Social Clout: 4 Amazon star rating

URLhttp://www.amazon.com/

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Following the Great Depression, Napoleon Hill interviewed hundreds of successful people, including John D. Rockefeller, in an effort to discover their secrets. He spent decades in writing this book and considers it one of his most important contributions.

Social Clout: 4.4 Amazon star rating

URLhttp://www.amazon.com/

SECRETS OF THE MILLIONAIRE MIND by T. Harv Eker

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Using simple strategies, Eker shows how a change in attitude can make a big difference in your level of financial success. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about your personal “money blueprint” and how to change it, this is the finance book for you. This book also will teach you to identify limiting financial beliefs and how successful people approach the same problems very differently from others.

Social Clout: 267,000+ likes, 70,700+ followers

URLhttp://www.harveker.com/

YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez

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The subtitle for this book is “9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence.” It is truly a step-by-step guide designed to teach people how to reorder their financial priorities and live a more fulfilling life.

Social Clout: 4.2 Amazon star rating

URLhttp://www.amazon.com/

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This is another classic, often referred to as the inspiration behind other successful books on finance. The author uses parables and stories set in ancient Babylon to impart the principles of good financial habits.

Social Clout: 4.6 Amazon star rating

URLhttp://www.amazon.com/

THE LITTLE BOOK OF COMMON SENSE INVESTING by John Bogle

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 John Bogle is the extremely successful founder of Vanguard Mutual Funds and a champion for small investors everywhere. His book describes how to maximize investment returns and how anyone can beat Wall Street. His low maintenance investing style and advice for average people have made this a long-time favorite among long-term investors.

Social Clout: 4.5 Amazon star rating

URLhttp://www.amazon.com/

THE WEALTHY BARBER by David Chilton

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This is a book on finances and money management for those who prefer more of a story-telling style. Very funny and entertaining while providing plenty of good lessons, Chilton explains how anyone can achieve financial independence if they stick to the right plan.

Social Clout: 28,000+ followers

URLhttp://www.wealthybarber.com/

My thoughts on 10 Best Finance Books?

Great list!

I actually recommend a few of these regularly. Millionaire Next Door is probably the book I share the most along with Dave Ramsey materials.

There are a few books on the list I haven’t read however. I think I need to pick up a copy of Too Big To Fail soon.

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Save Money On Utilities During Spring

by Fig on April 2, 2014

Trent wrote about this first and it’s something we’ve been considering at work where we have a huge utility bill and need to save as a new startup.

Here are the 4 ways Trent recommended for energy savings in spring:

Turn off climate control and open the windows. If the outdoor temperature is anywhere between 50 F and 90 F, turn off the furnace and air conditioning and open the windows in your home. It will take a while for that outdoor air to really alter the temperature of your home, so your home temperature will stay fairly stable. You’ll just save because you won’t be running climate control.

Naturally, you should stop doing this if the climate in your home reaches an uncomfortable level, but as long as the temperature outside is pleasant, the temperature inside will be pleasant as well.

Set the ceiling fan to run in a counterclockwise direction. During warmer weather, you want your ceiling fans to blow air straight down, so you’ll want the blades to rotate in a counterclockwise direction when you’re looking up at the blades. Most ceiling fans have a switch on them that changes the direction. (Similarly, when the weather is cool, you want the blades turning clockwise.)

Doing this can keep you from turning on the air conditioning (or the furnace) when the weather is particularly warm (or cool). Just turn on your ceiling fans – which use relatively little energy – in the appropriate direction. If this little tip keeps you from closing the windows and turning on the climate control on an unusual spring day, then it saves you money.

Open the curtains and take advantage of both direct and indirect natural lighting. The light streaming in through your windows allows you to get away with turning on fewer lights in your house, saving a surprising amount of energy.

Of course, direct sunlight has a heating effect as well. Try to avoid direct sunlight when the weather is really warm and the house is getting warm, but when it’s still cool, you should welcome that direct sunlight. It’s not only great for lighting up the room, it can also reduce the costs of heating.

Do laundry and dishes late in the evening. Household tasks that produce heat make sense during the day in the winter where the extra heat will help warm up your house and make your furnace work a little bit less. In the spring, that situation changes – it’s cold in the evening but warm during the day.

We’ve currently turned off climate control both at home and at work since the weather is in the 70s and beautiful right now. Eventually it will shoot up and the air conditioning will have to come on, but for now we are taking advantage of spring to save a bit on utilities.

I’d never thought about doing laundry and dishes later because they produce more heat than other household tasks. That makes sense though and I really think I will start implementing this one at home.

Other thoughts I had about saving on utilities during this season:

  • Utilize longer days for light. Since the light lasts longer these days it’s easier to avoid turning on lights until a few hours later than normal. Simply open the blinds or curtains until the sun goes down and utilize that light rather than turning on all the lights in the house.
  • Invest in energy-efficient light bulbs. Once the sun goes down and you need light you can make sure to save by using more efficient lightbulbs. LED lights, for example, cost more upfront but are more efficient and last longer.
  • Spring clean your lights! Wiping light bulbs and fixtures clean helps save energy. Since dust and grease can build up and reduce the brightness, you have to turn on more to get the amount of light necessary. Clean them all off and you may find you need less lights on.
  • Shut the drapes when you’re gone. Shut all the drapes or blinds on your windows during the hottest time of the day while you are gone.  This will stop your house from getting too warm while you are away at work.
  • Eliminate energy phantoms. Some appliances continue to pull a small bit of power even when switched off. Turn off and unplug all appliances that use electricity when they are not in use like computer, televisions, and kitchen appliances.

Those are a few of the ways we plan to save money on our energy bill this spring. We are looking forward to a smaller bill at home for sure and I think it will help at work as well even though it is a different circumstances.

This is an issue I continue to think about and care about. I’ve written about it a few times before as well:

Overall using less energy saves you money and is better for the planet. Why would anyone not want to do it?!

How will you save energy this spring? Have any more tips?

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I Bought A CAR! New Used Car Purchase!

by Fig on March 31, 2014

Back in October of 2012 I decided I wanted to buy a new-to-me used car. That thought hung around in my mind for the longest time but I never pulled the trigger because I had forms of transportation available.

I drove a beater car for over a year before deciding to look for a new used car again. I gathered up the things I wanted from a new car for myself:

  • Under $10k
  • Honda or Toyota
  • Around 100,000 miles
  • Good gas mileage
  • Reliable, good previous ownership
  • Not white, preferably silver, blue, or black

That was my list last month in February. I’m happy to announce I went ahead and pulled the trigger and got a new car!

new used car honda civic hybrid

I ended up purchasing a used Honda Civic Hybrid.

The Details:

  • Under $10k – It was slightly over this by just a couple hundred dollars.
  • Honda or Toyota – Honda! Civic!
  • Around 100,000 miles – Again, slightly over. I believe it was 118,000.
  • Good gas mileage – As a hybrid it gets great mileage.
  • Reliable, good previous ownership – 1 owner who was a nut about keeping the car well. I have pages of every oil change and maintenance he ever did since it was all done at the same place.
  • Not white, preferably silver, blue, or black – Check! Mine is a dark silver.

My Thoughts:

I love, love, love my new car. It’s such a huge upgrade from what I was driving that I can’t even express the pure joy of driving this car. The joy of having music playing in my car again is amazing. I’ve missed it.

It’s not even a new one – it’s five years old and I’m still thrilled. My roommates came out to look at the car when I brought it home and they all thought it was new because it looks so nice and well taken care of. They were shocked by the later model and higher mileage. Since the car was so well taken care of and just had a new electric battery put in I wasn’t too worried about needing much maintenance for a few years other than oil changes.

I’ve been driving a lot the last few days just because I’m so excited about my new car and the gas mileage is great. Whereas I would have already had to fill up my gas tank before I’m still sitting pretty with 3/4 a tank left. I’m going to love the better gas mileage because getting gas is one of my least favorite activities in the world.

I did finance the car so I have a monthly car payment now. While I wasn’t thrilled with having to do that, it’s done. I wanted something nice and reliable and didn’t have the option to wait (my beater was dying finally). I put down a good down payment and the interest rate is 5.5%. I plan to pay it off early, of course, and hope that I can keep up the extra blogging income to accomplish this. Dear blog, please help pay for my car, okay?

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