I am constantly reading and gathering ideas from some of the best in the personal development and personal finance fields. This year I set out to read twelve books. With the help of audiobooks which played during my long commute to work. I am up to 20 books total and hope to make it 25 before the year is up. For avid readers like me, I would highly recommend you, Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks. Those who prefer ebooks, consider the following offer: Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.

Below I share a review of the books I have read that relate to the categories within this blog: finances, simple living, personal development, and goal setting.

I read these books in hopes of getting closer to some of my life goals and believe that you will also find them beneficial.

Feel free to focus on the titles within the area you are most interested in the moment or pick one from each category. For my super busy girls who don’t have time to read my opinions on each of the books, just scroll to the bottom to see my top five. Simply click on the book titles to order the books from Amazon.

That being said, this post does contain affiliate links which means I get a tiny commission when you purchase at NO additional cost to you.

Living Out Goals Reading List

Financial Focus

The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny

Both of these titles are by the famous, Suze Orman.  I love that woman! She’s just amazing. I love how she speaks so rough when coaching people, she’s just a straight shooter- my kind of girl.

The Money Class took a holistic approach to money addressing the many stages of life from young teens getting their first jobs and working their way up, to those close to retirement. It was cool, but I LOVED Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. I won’t lie at first I wanted to stop listening because the first few chapters were geared towards women who have never managed their own money. I mean Suze walked these women through how to get a checking account! Yup, she’s that thorough. I figured that this must be for women who went from their parent’s house to a home with their husbands and were only given a spending allowance in cash. As someone who has been working since 15 and on their own since 19 I was like “I know she is not gonna waste my time with this nonsense.” But, I’m glad I kept listening because Suze went through every single step you need to take to secure your financial future. I mean she walks you through deciding on retirement accounts and allocations to legal documents you need in case you are incapacitated. Everything is discussed in detail so that you can take action. You know I am all about action steps. I highly recommend this book be read by every woman. Even if it’s the only financial book you ever read, I feel like you will be set for life.

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

Oh, how money plays such a huge role in our lives. I mean just look at this blog. Most of my post are about money. The topic can consume our lives and worries if we do not get a handle on how to make it work for us. In this book, Jen Sincero coaches you through identifying your limiting beliefs around money and convert them to affirmations that will heal the relationship you have with it and help you manifest more money in your life. You know I followed every step right. Totally loved it and began to dissolve many of the ideas that were ingrained in me during my childhood. Money is easily flowing in my direction and I no longer worry. It has been a blessing.

31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life.

I got this book for free when I purchased my Living Well Planner, read a review of the planner here, but you can get a copy here. The book guides you through a No Spend Month. I wrote about my experience after completing the no spend month here. I wouldn’t say you need the book to conduct your own no spend month, but being that I was going at this alone, it was nice to have a guide and suggestions of what to focus on each week. This helped keep me at home and away from the costly streets. Ruth is an amazing homemaker or was since she’s now the owner of a million dollar business, and her guide helps you get every aspect of your home in order. Everything from deep cleaning, to freezer meals, and getting creative with a sewing machine. The book made me feel like I was committing to someone else, not just myself and it was the only time I successfully completed a no spend month. I’m going to reread it when I do my second no spend month.

Think and Grow Rich for Women: Using Your Power to Create Success and Significance

This is a classic and it contains great principles and action steps. Unfortunately, it felt stuffy and like a bit of a chore to read so I never finished it. Which tends to happen with books written so long ago, but I do recommend you read this one. I was able to craft the best affirmation using their language which really resonated with the person I want to become and the work I am willing to do to get the results I desire. I plan on going back and seeing what other extremely valuable concepts it holds.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Oh brother, as much as I had heard about this book I was prepared to have my mind blown. Well, the book was a huge disappointment for me. It basically compares his biological father who follows the conventional wisdom of going to school, getting a high paying job, going into debt, and being a slave to the institution until he can retire, to his friend’s dad who teaches him how to build wealth by being an owner and investing in property. My uncle said I was disappointed in the book because I am already well into my financial education so the concepts seemed remedial, which I guess I can understand; but even the writing style was subpar in my opinion. Honestly, that man is a marketing genius for the level of success he’s had because of that book. I mean he could have included a few clear action steps and it would have made all the difference. But, I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. Even though I am right.

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

I’m currently working my way through this one. It is THICK y’all. Since I manifested money now I need to know how to best manage it. Because I am such a Tony Robbins fan I have watched so many videos of him talking about this book that I can finish the sentences by just reading the first few words- at least this has been the case with the first two chapters. Tony’s great at being consistent in his language whether in the book, video, training program etc. As I work through it I am sure there will be a lot of actionable steps to take which I will be sharing with you. I recommend anything he does so go get it and read along with me. If your are short on time, there are also various summaries of the book available by different companies.

Life Simplified

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I felt like the title was a bit dramatic and didn’t think I needed the book since I had googled and watched videos on YouTube of her methods. I had already participated in a 30-day decluttering challenge and didn’t think there was much more. But boy was I wrong about everything! Listening to the book; several times as I again went through my clothes was absolutely life-changing. I mean I LOVE my closet now. It really is an amazing feeling to walk in and be able to locate exactly what I want in a second. I don’t have that crazy “I need to organize my closet right now” feeling anymore because it really does stay organized. I had no idea I had so much stuff. I continue to follow her methods and have been very pleased with the results. My house is pretty bare right now, but that’s ok because I am now surrounded by the things that I love, bring me joy, or are truly useful.

Simple Steps: 10 Weeks to Getting Control of Your Life: Health, Weight, Home, Spirit

I honestly stumbled upon this book in my app because it was available in audio and recommended since I read the KonMari book I think. The book helps women gain control of key areas within their lives: weight, health, home, and spirit by incorporating simple habits into their daily lives. I actually really enjoyed the book because it just confirmed that I should continue to do many of the tasks on my AM and PM routines and add a few more. Of course, I ignored everything food related because I’m a fat kid on the inside, but you may benefit from that. While none of the information was really new, it was nice to hear it again and have them help me establish these habits, 40 of them to be exact. This book also led me to start hosting meetings for women like me that wanted a process by which to tackle their goals and friends to join them on the journey. It prompted me to host my first Goal Closeout event in 2017.

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.

I honestly didn’t know which category to add this book because it is a bit of everything. Author Tim Ferriss shows you how to escape the 9-5 work day and work only four hours a week! There has been so much hype around this book for years. So of course I googled and watched YouTube videos summarizing the concepts before reading it, but WOW this book is worth owning. It was that good that I will not be passing it along to a friend, it will remain in my home. I thought it wouldn’t be as valuable to me now that I already made the transition out of the 9-5 and am my own boss, but Wow is all I can say. He gives you scripts, shows you how to automate everything, details how to work with a virtual assistant, and helps you make the most of the time you are not working. My favorite takeaway was how he focuses on learning: mentally and physically with his free time. For example, he would travel to a country and would learn the language along with a traditional dance or sport. I loved it and will read it again and again as it helps you build a life you love and is full of concrete action steps.

Goal Setting/Personal Development

The Compound Effect

I absolutely loved this book. I think I might have to listen to it again in January. It basically helps you outline what it is you want to achieve and helps you understand that you have to become the type of person that is worthy of having this by consistently performing new habits or getting rid of some bad ones that are holding you back. Again I loved this book and listened to it about 10 times…I am not exaggerating. I highly recommend listening in December or January to get you pumped up about those resolutions.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

I cannot get enough of this woman. She is hilarious! I listened to this book at least five times. I’m not kidding, it was that good. It’s basically this total “you can do it” pump up speech. The perfect book to get you amped to go after all those things you desire. She is a believer in the Law of Attraction and man did she manifest some awesome things once she got over her limiting beliefs. She helps you do the same in a very fun way. I loved it so much that I jumped to read her follow up, You are a Badass at Making Money, which I suggested above.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

I love the concepts in this book Habit 1: Be Proactive. Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Habit 3: Put First Things First. Habit 4: Think Win/Win. Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Habit 6: Synergize. Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. It is truly a life blueprint that works in your personal and professional life. These seven habits are a game changer and not easy to develop or practice on a daily basis, but necessary.
I had the added advantage of attending two multiple-day training sessions centered on the concepts of this book. The first time I was presented with the concepts as it relates to me as a school leader who would implement them on campus. The second time I sat through it as a participant just like the teachers and got to see these concepts applied to my own life. I downloaded the app and love it! Summaries of this book are also available. The key is in applying the concept everyday so i feel like the summary would work just fine.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Boy did Cal Newport go deep with this one. The main takeaway is that we live in a distracted society, which causes us to be all scatterbrained and unable to focus. Newport gives examples of how strict focus has the power to propel us and our work to greater heights. He states that this level of intense concentration can only be done for a maximum total of four hours and that we must train ourselves to work up to this. I feel like I could have obtained these concepts from Blinkist or a YouTube video recap. I couldn’t bear to keep listening after I felt like I got the gist of it. I am still a fan of Cal Newport’s blog but would recommend you get the summary version of the book which is also available on Amazon.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

I liked this one and feel it has valuable information for those running a business or in charge of assembling a team, as there is this main theme of “the RIGHT people are your biggest asset.” As I am running a business of one I didn’t feel the need to continue once I gained the valuable information needed to apply to my current situation. I was able to extrapolate a few ideas and apply them in my personal life as. My favorite concepts were the need to be a “level five leader” to take a company from good to great because they think more of the company’s success rather than their own opportunities for gain or recognition. It reminded me to stay focused on giving you value and never doing something for the sake of financial gain if it does not help to propel you, my reader, forward. My goal is to be of service to you. Above all, I was reminded of the need to become a disciplined person, who thinks disciplined thoughts and takes disciplined action. As Jim Collins says, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way

The author walks us through how she made the shift in her life from barely getting by to the major success that she is today. I thought it was Ok. It felt a bit long-winded (I listened to the audiobook). If you have to choose I say go with Jen Sincero’s “You are a Bad Ass” to get the same information in a much funnier and engaging style.

You Can Heal Your Life

The Grandmother of all things self-help, Louise Hay. You gotta love her. Especially when she tells you about her upbringing and how she transformed her own life through affirmations and daily wellness practices. If that woman can heal herself from cancer without meds I am sure we can all learn a thing or two from her. She helps you heal your life by getting to the root of the problem, lack of self-love.  I love one of the mantras she teaches, “I love myself, therefore…” it is a reminder to treat myself well.

As a Man Thinketh — 21st Century Edition

I honestly read this book because Tony Robbins mentioned it. It was super dry or the person reading it was terrible because I couldn’t wait for it to finish. Sorry, Mr. Allen, I’m sure there was something that I took from it. Maybe a good quote I wrote somewhere in one of my many notebooks. *shrug*

Top 5 favorite reads

The following books are in no particular order. Scroll up to read my review of each and why I loved it so much to decide which one you should start with or just get all five.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
The Compound Effect
Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I hope these books are as valuable to you as they have been to me during my journey. Please email me your thoughts at [email protected]