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?