Total Money Makeover
I have personally recommended this book to several of my friends and family who want a no nonsense, no jargon, start-from-scratch money course. His Southern, Christian preacher, in-your-face style may not be for everyone, but it’s effective. Credit to him for making personal finance accessible to the masses and really taking head on the single thing that prevents people from reaching their financial goals: Debt.
The Millionaire Next Door
This is a classic book that really demystifies the difference between being rich and being wealthy (net worth > $1 million). This book is part social science research and part how-to on suggestions on achieving real wealth. The best thing about the book is highlighting how much we get wrong about people with real wealth. They’re not flashy with expensive cars and oversized homes, the vast majority of millionaires are regular frugal people that buy used cars and keep them until the wheels fall off!
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
This is another classic and while I am not personally a fan of the author or his views on real estate investing, this book was foundational in understanding the difference in mentality between the middle class and wealthy. It’s written in an engaging story format to illustrate the difference the advice between his highly educated, but fiscally irresponsible father and his high school dropout, millionaire mentor.
Think and Grow Rich
While I am not a fan of the title and generally skeptical of anything that sounds like a ‘get rich quick scheme’ I think the author makes a strong case in this book about three extremely important principles in achieving wealth: Pay yourself first, automate your savings and the power of compound interest.
Baby On The Way! Maternity Financial Checklist
Thinking about having a child? Expecting? This FREE checklist is full of to-do’s and resources to help you plan and prepare financially for your new arrival.
Give Yourself A Raise: Maximizing Your Employee Benefits
Employees are leaving thousands of dollars each year in unused benefits. This FREE guide is designed to help you maximize the employee benefits you’ve earned.
The go-to free tool to have all accounts in one place, automatically calculate your net worth and help you with your budgeting. The mobile app and website are user-friendly and fairly decent at categorizing your transactions automatically.
Personal Capital (if you have brokerage accounts)
Much like mint.com, but can also manage your brokerage accounts also. Mint.com biggest weakness is how it handles investment accounts and that’s Personal Capital’s strength.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing
A lender with a heart and a soul, SoFi’s model is different from traditional banks and the evil that is SallieMae. They offer great rates to refinance student loans and will even pause your loan payment and assist with job searches if you lose your job. They also offer personal loans and mortgages.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America was on the front lines helping people deal with mortgages during the Great Recession of 2008. They’re an advocacy group primarily, but used the large settlements from suing subprime mortgage lenders to offer one of the best mortgage products in the industry. It’s a very involved underwriting process, but their success rate getting and keeping people in their homes is impressive.
We’re entitled to one free annual credit report from each of the three major bureaus. Set your calendar so that you review one report every 4 months (i.e. Jan – Transunion, May – Equifax, Sep – Experian).
Amortization is a fancy word for a loan payment schedule. Use prior to taking out a mortgage to understand the monthly payment broken down by principal and interest for each payment and overall.