I’ve been hiding something from you all ever since I’ve started this blog.
It’s a fact I’m a bit nervous about sharing as it could prove devastating to my credibility.
You fabulous readers or anyone from the outside looking in could easily think I have no idea what I’m actually talking about based on what I’m about to share.
As you’ve probably deduced from the title:
I’ve never read a personal finance book before.
I can see the comments now… “LIAR!” … “FRAUD!” … “WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK!” (<– ha if only I had blog money back to give!)
While the reactions may not be this strong, the point remains: should I be blogging about personal financial and financial independence if I’ve never actually even read a book about it?
Let me get into the reasons behind this fact before everyone goes berserk on me!
There Are Many Forms of Learning
Reading a book is not the only way to learn something.
There are so many other different ways for people to learn about personal finance other than through a book.
Some people are visual learners, as in they need to watch someone do something. Others learn better through audio, where someone is teaching and talking to them. Still others prefer social learning, where they are interacting with actual people and learning directly from them.
All of these are ways you can learn about personal finance and financial independence without reading a book.
For the visual learners, there are many YouTube channels dedicated to personal finance. Instagram with its eye catching pictures and graphs and even Pinterest with the info graphics can be great places to learn as well.
For audio learners, the most obvious example is through podcasts. Searching the terms personal finance or financial independence on your podcast platform of choice will give you loads of great shows to listen to and learn from.
For social learners, speaking with and learning from professionals, friends or family (granted if your friends/family are financially literate that is) is probably the best route. Depending on where you live you may even be able to attend local meetups with financially savvy individuals to learn as well.
There’s another way to learn that I’m missing…
Oh wait, DUH!
Reading personal finance or financial independence blogs!
Just because you don’t read a book does not mean you don’t read quality content in other ways…
There are so many great blogs out there that Rockstar Finance has their own directory, as well as a women specific one over at Tread Lightly Retire Early if you ever wanted new content to read through.
Safe to say, with all these other ways of getting content, reading books isn’t exactly required.
Reading Books Isn’t For Everyone
A second point I’d like to make is that reading books isn’t necessarily for everyone.
Some people (like myself) are slow readers and it can sometimes seem like a mountain needs to be climbed in order to read and finish a decent length book.
Especially so if that book is about a less than interesting topic.
I hate to break it to all you money nerds out there, but personal finance is not very interesting to most people. This is why they would rather ignore it or pay someone else to do it for them.
If you tell someone to read a book about a topic they don’t enjoy, it’s not likely to turn out too well. I know if you told me to read a personal finance book 5 years ago it probably would have sat and collected dust for a long time.
This is why its great that there are other avenues to learn!
Blog posts were how I got exposed to and hooked on financial independence.
Posts are much shorter and easier to read. After reading informative posts, I feel like I learn something and feel accomplished. And it only takes a few minutes to get through! (Unlike days of weeks for a book.) Nice and easy.
Many books also contain information that people may already know. In this case, reading the blog posts are better as you can skip over the posts you already know and not feel obligated to read it all as you may with a book.
Giving It A Shot
While I maintain my stance that reading personal finance books aren’t required in order to be financially literate, I am willing to give them a shot.
After all, it is one of my goals to read a book a month this year (which I am drastically behind on… did I mention I’m a slow reader?)
Now that in the past year plus I’ve become a lot more interested in personal finance, it’ll be interesting to actually read some of these books and see if the hype around them is real.
The worst case is that I’m rereading things I’ve already read on blogs which isn’t necessarily a bad thing to touch up on!
I just checked out at the library The Millionaire Next Door, which many rave about.
What also helped out is that during Camp FI I personally met a couple bloggers/authors!
As I’ve loved reading their blogs, I figure it’s the very least I could do to support and also read their books.
Thanks to Erin at Reaching For FI for loaning me her copies of Cait Flanders’ The Year of Less and JL Collins’ The Simple Path to Wealth (both of whom I met at camp!). These two will be next, along with the classic Your Money or Your Life, by Vicky Robin.
After that… who knows! I’ll continue to read lots of blogs (which is my preference) in the meantime, but it will be good to finally have some insight when people talk about their favorite personal finance books!
Is there anyone else out there who has yet to read a personal finance book? If so, why not? What personal finance books are your favorites that I should add to my list after the ones I mentioned?
17 thoughts to “I’ve Never Read A Personal Finance Book”
Erm…. okay. I’ve never read one either. Except I LOVE reading and have yet to find someone who reads faster than I do. So no good reason there, except that blogs and podcasts (and chats with my dad) have been my finance education and books have been my fantasy and general nonfiction (usually gardening or nature related). So what I’m saying is I have no real reason for not reading a personal finance book yet except I just haven’t gotten around to it.
Whew at least I’m not the only one! 😂 As I mentioned I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, more so just that it’s a rarity in the personal finance space. I’ve sometimes felt embarrassed to say I haven’t read any books about a subject I’ve written a lot about!
I keep MEANING to… I just haven’t yet. Lol
I didn’t read my first personal finance book until we had net worth over 20x our expenses. Like any motivational book most of them focus on motivating you to change your ways rather then mechanics. I obtained mechanics from countless hours of financial study via a degree, reading, and experience in finance. Note the absence of the word personal. My motivation didn’t come from a book. Therefore I didn’t need to read personal finance books.
If you need a push I can’t recommend them enough. If you need real mechanics there are better sources.
I definitely agree. So far my motivation on this journey has mostly come from within! I could see myself eventually needing some extra motivation if ever dealing with burnout at all
I would say you should delete your blog, you fraud!!!, buuuut using the ultimate frugal hack of the library to check out your first PF book redeems you, at least in my book (heh). Just remember that those books are ON LOAN and that Cait’s gonna sign that copy to me and not anyone else 😂
As a fast reader, reading has always been my go-to; I didn’t start listening to podcasts until a bit over a year ago. But we’re so lucky to live in a world where there are so many wonderful methods for consuming information so everyone can pick what works best for them!
Nice pun! 😂 but yep it really is nice to be able to get knowledge and motivation in so many different areas
I haven’t read one either! I’m also a very slow reader and I have a hard time finishing books…even those I’m interested in! I picked up a great book on a history topic last summer and I’ve been reading it on and off (mostly off 🙂 ) for over an entire year now. Still not done.
I feel that the best way to learn is to observe others and actually try things. Some techniques may work for some people but not others. You have to find the best fit for your own situation and the best way to do that is to experiment with different strategies in my opinion.
Haha yep.. I’ve done that quite a few times with some books. I agree, I’m a big social learner and want to do/try things that I know other people have done. The trust factor is big for me!
Literally the exact same – give me something fantasy-based or autobiographical and I’ll go through it in no time! But the finance books are still sitting on my shelf, untouched. Glad we’re not alone!
Haha yep so true. Need to get back into the fictional fantasy realm.. I love those kind of books where you can’t stop reading since you want to find out what happens next!
I’m a slow reader too but I love reading. And you have been placed on probation 😉
Ah hopefully not for long! Already half way through The Millionaire Next Door 🙂
Reading dry material is difficult. I’ve been working on General/President Grant’s autobiography in fits and starts for months, but give me a good scifi story, and I’ll have it read in a day. I think it’s normal, but we all need to eat our vegetables so to speak.
Haha that’s a great way to put it. Those kind of books may not be the most fun to read but you can definitely learn from them!
Fraud! Haha. I am someone that can be all over the place in terms of reading. I struggle daily with the idea that I “need” to be reading personal finance, self-improvement, or business/leadership books to continue to grow and improve. But you know what…I ultimately end up only getting through 1/2 or 3/4 of the book (after 2-3 months) and just return it to the library.
Now you give me a fiction book (fantasy specifically…my secret guilty pleasure) and I can devour it in no time at all. So therein lies my personal struggle, expectations (self imposed) vs. enjoyment!
Right?? I feel guilty that I haven’t been reading them, but as long as we’re getting our financial literacy from some form is all that really matters.