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I used to have a very interesting concept of money. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a father who worked hard to provide for my family. If I needed money for school trips, summer camps, or wanted to go shopping after doing well on my report card, I would have what I needed. My mother was well-versed in saving money, but because she was a stay-at-home mom and my dad "brought home the bacon," she wasn't privy to things like filing taxes, finding the best interest rates, or raising a daughter in an age where she could take control of her finances.
The extent of my money mindset was that I knew if I saved my money then I could buy the more expensive things I wanted, instead of wasting it on toys, candy, or movie tickets. It wasn't until I reached age 15 that making my own financial decisions peaked my interest. So I got a job. The tips and tricks that my mother did know were able to carry me throughout high school and most of college.
I was a great saver and could support myself for what I needed throughout college (i.e. my school books and paying for my study abroad trip by myself). But after graduating, I began to realize that my money mindset was missing some major gaps. It wasn't until I had to start paying back my student loans and one of my best friends began to share the importance of having a strong credit history that I began to look at my finances. Through her advice, I was able to get my first credit card, started paying attention to interest rates, filed my first year of taxes without being a dependent of my father, and learned the importance of my credit score.
I was hooked, but I soon realized if I wanted to make better financial decisions, then I was going to have to start educating myself far beyond what my mother taught me growing up. Coming from someone that is horrible at math, uses a calculator for everything, and is still trying to navigate the world of money, these books are the best if you're starting to organize your finances. Just take a deep breath, write down lots of notes, and don't compare yourself to where others are at in their financial journey.
'On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide To Personal Finance' by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
A lot of women come from a similar background where their fathers took care of the financial burdens of the household, but now want to take charge of their finances in their 20s and 30s. Harvard graduates Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar decided to write a book for the "modern-day girl" and teach her of the importance of money management skills. Whether you just graduated college or are looking to educate yourself about how to balance your finances, this book has concrete tips and tricks. It covers topics like credit card debt, how to create budgets, and how to ease financial stresses.
'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' by Robert T. Kiyosaki
This book is a staple amongst the getting-your-finances-together community. Robert T. Kiyosaki uses the concept of what wealthy fathers teach their children versus what poor fathers teach their children and shares his financial learnings. Though the title may sound super harsh, Kiyosaki is showing the world that if you want to be successful in this world, then you have to understand the teachings and habits of those that have an abundance of wealth. This book is not only inspiring and entertaining, but it uses real-life anecdotes on having positive money mindsets, assets, and liabilities when it comes to your finances.
'You Are A Badass At Making Money: Master The Mindset Of Wealth' by Jen Sincero
You may know Jen Sincero from her previous (and first) book "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life." I loved her first novel because it wasn't your typical self-help book. Most people stray away from self-help style books because they may seem stuffy, aren't personal, or the novelist is just regurgitating facts you can find online. Sincero has a knack for giving advice based off of her mishaps and shortcomings. That's why her sequel novel is perfect. She provides financial wisdom while being relatable. If you aren't keen on reading a book from a money person, then she gives light-hearted, concrete ways on how to tackle your finances.
'Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together' by Erin Lowry
According to a survey done by Career Builder in 2017, 78 percent of U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, more than one in four workers do not set aside savings at the end of the month, and nearly three in four workers say they are in debt today. That's where Erin Lowry comes in. Most people in their 20s and 30s have a negative relationship with money. Using real-life situations like figuring out your student loans, and splitting bills at dinner, Lowry can connect with modern day readers. Through this book, you'll learn how to become apart of the 24 percent of Americans that aren't living paycheck to paycheck.
'Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend' by Jonathan K. DeYoe
If you're into more spiritual practices, this is the book for you. Using Buddhist teachings, DeYoe discusses how to navigate money and personal finance. If you come from a background where money and how to navigate the financial world wasn't discussed growing up, you'll learn simple strategies on improving your financial priorities. You'll also learn about meaning through relationships, working toward goals, and being generous.
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Allanah Dykes has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Politics from Fairfield University. She started her freelance career in 2016 and has written about how to land a job post-college, internships, and the interviewing process. She has pieces featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, and Popsugar.