Updated: September 13, 2020
Personal finance books can teach us a lot about how to be smarter with our money. They can be essential whether you’re trying to get out of debt, save money for retirement, or just become more financially stable overall.
Start on your journey to financial health today with these 5 essential money quotes that I’ve found in recent personal finance books that I’ve read.
How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any by Erik Wells
“Financial stability is much more about doing the best with what you have and not about achieving a certain level of income.”
This quote highlights an important misunderstanding a lot of people make in their financial life. If they find that they can’t afford everything they think they are supposed to have, they go into debt to cover the rest.
In other words, many of us are living a lifestyle more expensive than what we can afford. Instead of buying a used car, we take out a loan to get a new one. Instead of getting a smaller house that we can comfortably afford, we get the big one we’ve been dreaming of right away.
This doesn’t mean you can never have nice things. It just means that you should live the lifestyle you can actually afford now while you work toward increasing your income to be able to afford the lifestyle you want.
Do the best with what you have right now. If you consistently do that, you will avoid going into crippling debt that will keep you forever trapped in a cycle of stress and instability.
Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness by Leslie Tayne
“Budgeting has only one rule: do not go over budget.”
This relates to the quote above. If you find that everything you want to spend that month is more than what you are earning in that same time period, you are doing it wrong.
If you’re reading that and thinking that it’s impossible to stay under budget, that’s because you have filled your life with things you can’t afford.
That might mean it’s time to make some hard choices like giving up the house and renting a home or apartment that you can actually afford. Even if it’s not that dramatic, it might require giving up some things that you might feel like you couldn’t live without.
You need to be inflexible about this rule. Only spend the money you earn.
If you need to go into debt to make ends meet, it’s time to start cutting those ends down to fit in your budget. Money books with advice like this are ideal for people who have limited financial resources to work with.
Personal Finance for Beginners in 30 Minutes by Ian Lamont
“A new car can be driven for 10 years or more if it’s properly maintained. Heck, drive that sucker into the ground before you replace it.”
This quote highlights one of the best ways to hold firmly to that rule about not going over budget.
Many of us mistakenly believe we need to buy a brand new car and that we need to go into debt to get it. To make it even worse, the average American replaces their car every 2 years.
With each replacement, you are starting over on those monthly loan repayments. This traps you in an endless cycle of forking over as much as $500 every single month without ever truly owning your car. That $500 is on top of the already high costs of owning and maintaining a car.
If you bought a car you could afford to pay with in cash and then drove it “into the ground,” you could save tens of thousands of dollars
Think of how much closer you would be to your financial goals if those tens of thousands of dollars were sitting in your savings account or being invested into high-interest assets instead of draining into endless car debt?
Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Deal with Your Debt by Laura Adams
“If money management isn’t something you enjoy, consider my perspective. I look at managing my money like a part-time job. The time you spend monitoring your finances will pay off.
You can make real money by cutting expenses and earning more interest on savings and investments. I’d challenge you to find a part-time job where you could potentially earn as much money for just an hour or two of your time.”
This is a great attitude to have. If you spend just a couple hours each week going over your finances and planning out your budget, you could end up saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars each and every month.
To take this a step further, you could actually keep a record of how much money you saved each month and how many hours you spent managing your money.
Then, calculate how much money you saved per hour invested in managing your money. Chances are, you’ve earned yourself a pretty nice “income” with this part-time job!
How to Make Extra Money at Home Right Now by Franklin Gillette
“Success is fueled by being persistent and consistent.”
For all the value of setting goals and creating a fail-proof plan, none of it will mean anything if you aren’t persistent and consistent. In other words, the plan may look great on paper but it’s worthless if you don’t actually put it into practice.
More importantly, it’s not going to work if you give up on it after the first month. Be consistent. Stick with your plan for the long haul. Give it time to take effect.
It might feel slow and tedious at the beginning, but with enough persistence, it will start to pick up momentum and produce great results.
These quotes are just a small sample of the kind of advice and inspiration you can find in personal finance books.
Books are a great way to learn the skills you need to achieve the financial goals that are most important in your life. Start with these 5 quotes above and go further by finding the personal finance books that teach you the skills you need!
This article was written by Kostas Chiotis. He loves writing about personal finances on his blog, Finance Blog Zone.