What Personal Finance Books Will NOT Do for Your Money
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I’m a big advocate of reading and educating one’s self in the area of personal finance. I especially enjoy reading the many great personal finance books out there. I’ve learned a lot from them and they’ve helped me on my journey to becoming debt free. However, sometimes I think people overestimate what personal finance books can do for them and for their finances.
Having read dozens of personal finance books myself, I’ve gleaned lots of wisdom from them. And I’m not done learning yet. There is still much for me to learn in the area of money management. However, I’ve learned that there are a few things that even the best personal finance books in the world will not do for you and your money.
Personal Finance Books Can’t Force You to Be Responsible
Personal finance books can’t force you to take responsibility for your money mistakes. You can read all of the books in the world, but if, as Dave Ramsey says, you’re not willing to face the person in the mirror and own up to your past and present money mistakes, those PF books aren’t going to amount to a hill of beans when it comes to changing your financial situation and getting you on the road to financial fitness. It’s vitally important that you recognize and take responsibility for the money mistakes you’ve made that have caused the financial mess that you might be in today.
Personal Finance Books Won’t Make You Change
Personal finance books can’t force you to change your financial habits. I can’t tell you how many times, when discussing a great personal finance book with someone, I’ve heard them say, “I just can’t do the budget thing.” or “There’s no money available for me to save.” or “Really – I don’t spend that much on entertainment / groceries / shopping so I don’t need to track my spending.”
My husband and I fell prey to those lies too before we started on our road to financial freedom. We thought we were only spending A, B or C on certain categories, however, when we went back and tracked the previous years’ spending and categorized it all, we woke up to quite a surprise. It turned out that we were spending a lot more than we thought we were in many of the categories that we thought we had under control.
When you’re not tracking your spending, it’s very easy to forget those little trips to the grocery store and through the restaurant drive-thru. Financial experts are called experts for the very reason that they’ve tried and lived by the advice given in their books. However, if you’re insisting that you don’t need to take the advice that they give, you can’t expect to get the results that the financial experts get.
Personal Finance Books Can’t Make You Stick To Your Budget for the Long Haul
PF books won’t do the hard work for you of putting in the time/effort to complete the steps. The journey to debt freedom or financial independence is, for many people, a long one. For most, a six-month program of simply socking 10% of income into savings just isn’t going to get the job done.
Instead, for many people, the journey out of debt and into wealth-building is going to require some long-term time and effort. However, if you’re not willing to put in that time and effort, you can’t expect to reach your dreams of financial freedom.
Living a life of financial freedom is a dream that many aspire to, but few reach, many times for the reasons listed above. What about you? What’s stopping you from reaching your dream of being financially independent?
What’s your favorite personal finance book? What’s the most recent PF book you’ve read lately? Where do you think personal finance books fall short? Which one stands out to you as worth reading?
Photo courtesy of: John Liu