006, Always “Bee” Learning

In the first five blog posts we’ve covered the basics. As was mentioned you can literally get advanced degrees on this stuff. The degrees don’t guarantee that you’ll be successful. Nothing really does. However, once you have a solid understanding of the basics, continue to learn. Strive to learn new things throughout your life. The more you know, the more likely you’ll make a well informed decision. The more you make well informed decisions, the higher your chances of success will be.

In today’s fast paced environment continuously learning is more accessible than ever before. Frequently, that learning doesn’t even have the high cost of a college education. There are websites for almost any topic you can think of to learn about. Granted, not all are great. But a website that doesn’t deliver will quickly be left in the dust by good ones. With the advancements in equipment and the ease of publishing something on the internet, a crowd of followers will point out any mistakes or poorly supported ideas presented as facts quickly. So, if you search for educational based websites that have a large following you’ll generally wind up with sound advice. When something is presented, you can cross check facts with another website quickly as well. Sitting in uncomfortable chairs listening to an instructor is not the only way to get educated today.

Podcasts are another development in recent years. Yes, I’ve been learning before podcasts were available. But you don’t have to even read websites if reading isn’t your thing. Some people learn from reading and some from listening. Many of the websites out there on financial independence and personal finance have both websites and podcasts. The podcasts range from just the host’s opinion, experiences, or advice to discussions among a group of people. Often times the guest hosts will either be someone who has achieved success or are well on their way. The guest could also be the authors of books, other podcasts, or other experts in the topic of the day.

Audio Books are another option to learn. While websites and podcasts can be very educational, the author needs a little more room to explore or explain the topics. Podcasts and websites tend to be more focused on a particular topic in a format that’s a quick read or listen. But a book isn’t limited to those formats. They can be as detailed as necessary to fully explain complex topics, stories, or ideas.

By now, you may be questioning the amount of time required to actually learn personal finance and financial independence. Everyone is working these days. Generally married couples both work too. So, how can you get to advance your education? When will you find the time?

My morning commute is about 45 minutes. During that time, I’m usually listening to a podcast of some kind to learn something new. Over the years there have been many topics I’ve leaned about on this commute. Dave Ramsey Podcasts about how to get out of debt when in debt. Choose FI and the Mad FIentist are podcasts about personal finance. Bigger Pockets is about real estate investing. I’ve also listened to many podcasts about deer hunting, turkey hunting, and even cooking. So, rather than just listen to the latest song by a random artist, I’m learning new stuff on the podcasts. If you can think of a topic, chances are there is a podcast about it.

Podcasts can also be listened to during other times. Anytime you can wear headphones, you can learn. Instead of being that person bobbing his head up and down in ignorance, learn something. You can learn while exercising, while your partner is watching TV, or even sneak in a quick topic in a waiting room. You may even be able to listen to a podcast in a deer stand! Just make sure you download it first if there’s no cell coverage in the woods.

I’m also an early riser. Maybe you’re a night owl. Whatever your schedule is, carve some time out to better yourself either before the kids or wife get up or after he or she goes to bed. If you are going to get ahead in life, you need to spend some time educating yourself. Early or late in the day is generally a good time to sit alone and learn.

Almost all of this information is available for free, in many formats, and pretty much hassle free. Just as you want your finances to be efficient, so should your learning. It isn’t necessary to lock yourself in a classroom, office, or basement to learn. Don’t be stung by wasting your time being idle, learn something. Look for opportunities to be efficient with your time and always be learning.

Resources, Stepping Stones for Success

If you just skim things, click on the books to be taken to Amazon and you can buy the book directly from the link and have it delivered straight to you door.

Here are a few of the many books I’ve read over the years. They are very good books that have had an impact on me and my personal finances. I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t read them and they were worth every penny. I assure you that if you buy, read and apply the books, they are worth more than the cover price. You won’t get a check, you can’t sell them, and they aren’t going to magically turn into money. But when you understand the ideas in them, you’ll make more on interest, dividends, or growth of your investments. You will also save many more times their value by reducing how much you pay in interest over your life. Remember, you don’t have to do everything exactly correct in every detail. You only have to get the Big Rocks right to reap significant financial benefits from them.

I also explain a little bit of each book to help guide your through them. Depending on what you are seeking, one may be more right for wherever you are in your financial standing.

I’ll update these books periodically when a book or something catches my attention.

Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey

This is a tried and true guide to getting out of debt. Dave explains in simple terms the quickest way to pay down, and eventually pay off your lenders. It’s a 7 step program. I highly recommend tackling the first three as fast as possible.

The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton

The core of this book is getting the Big Rocks right. It shows shows that you don’t have to have a big income to become wealthy. It covers debt, investing, and even keeping living costs efficient. This is a quick and easy read.

The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and William Danko

The authors studied self made millionaires for over 20 years. They explain several common characteristics of what made the millionaires, well millionaires. You may be shocked that many self made millionaires may look like every other person in your neighborhood. He or she was just better and more efficient with their personal finances. It’s a really good read too.

Your Money or Your Life, Vicky Robin

Vicky takes a very unique look at the value placed on time and money. The first several chapters are a bit loose for me. But then it gets into some really interesting topics explaining how money and time are intertwined. It goes into quite some detail to guide you the true payment for your time from your employer or business. There are examples that lay out the details to get the true monetary benefit of working. It’s worth a read or two.

Full disclosure notice: The above books are links from the Amazon Affiliate advertiser program. I do get a small percentage if of the sale if you use the links above to purchase the book or books.