Originally posted by tlrbud
The "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series is good. The first one is an excellent book to hammer home the concept of assets and liabilities. Go browse the personal finance shelf at the library and you will find a lot of good stuff.
Read this before you read any Kiyosaki:
The Richest Man in Babylon, The Millionaire Next Door and Personal Finance For Dummies all get my vote as well. Even "Complete Idiots Guide for Getting Rich". Again, the title sounds goofy, but good, basic advise is to be had.
Wife and I also have "Smart Couples Finish Rich". While I think it's a decent book, much of it seems aimed at higher-income yuppies who need to simply re-think their disposible income allocation. Much of the "Save this %, invest that %, put this % in your dream basket, that % in your retirement, another % in your emergency fund, and don't forget the % into your future kid's children's grandchildren's pet's litter's college fund" is a hard pill to swallow when you have only so much to work with.
My household isn't wealthy, maybe somewhat on the higher end of a middle-class income, but as someone who's made terrific inroads in getting their financial house in order, I offer this:
1. Commit to your company's 401k if they match - this is free money not being matched in any other investments.
2. Use software such as MS Money or Quicken and be relentless in tracking ALL your spending, including credit card purchases and loose change expenditures. This one item has done more for me than anything else (the cashflow forcasts these programs generate are sombering if you carry to much consumer debt).
3. BUDGET - it's trite sounding, but essential
4. Treat your household finances like a business - be profitable and change NOW if you're not.
5. Fix your own damn lunch and bring it to work ;f We had an "eating out" expenditure of nearly $1200 one month - this NEVER happened again after I saw that (and granted, that was an anomaly).
6. Subscribe - either by mail or online - to a publication such as Kiplinger or Money. Find a peridodical you can relate to and stay up to date.
7. Always ask yourself - "do I NEED this right now?" Go cheap where you can, but avoid false economies (e.g. low initial cash outlay and high cost of ownership sucks).
All the best, cashisking - getting this squared away is extremely rewarding.