With endless amounts of internet content available at our fingertips, it’s easy to forget about the value of a good old fashioned book. Sometimes, though, the best tips for financial — and, frankly, general — independence live between the physical pages of timeless books like these.
Now, many of these books may not be fresh off the presses, but the advice you'll find in them stands the test of time. Give them a read (or a re-read if you're ahead of the game) to continue your journey toward a successful adulthood.
1. Your Money or Your Life
The premise of the book is to change the way you think about money and how it relates to the way you live your life. Authors Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford provide actionable tips on how to gain full control of your financial situation, rather than just making little changes here and there that might not last.
2. The 4-Hour Workweek
This book by entrepreneur Tim Ferriss is an instant modern classic. It could be said that Ferriss is the ultimate life-hacker, and this is where he shares his secrets. In fact, he tells how he went from making $40,000 per year working 80+ hours per week to boosting his salary to making $40,000 per month but only working four hours per week. Now, I wouldn’t expect this to be everyone's exact outcome, but there are takeaways from his book that can be applied to everyday life, like ways to save time by automating small tasks, optimizing your living situation, reframing your career path and doing more of what you want to do.
3. The Four Agreements
This New York Times best-seller is written by Don Miguel Ruiz and is published in more than 40 languages - if that doesn’t tell you how worthy of a read it is, then I’m not sure what does. You might find yourself questioning it toward the beginning; I personally had to open my mind a bit when I first picked it up — and it was certainly worth the effort.
The main premise of this book is to examine the self-limiting beliefs that tend to exist in all of us, and then focus on ways to reframe these beliefs to create a simple code of conduct to follow on a daily basis. And the greatest part about The Four Agreements is that it provides you four simple sentences you can repeat to yourself if you’ve forgotten what you learned or fallen off track.
4. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell is said to have redefined how we understand the world around us in his most popular book, "The Tipping Point," which I highly recommend for anyone interested in business or the way things work in general.
In "Blink," though, he takes a look at the way the world inside of us works - the way we think, why some people think in certain ways while others think differently, the various ways our brains work in different situations and so much more. This book can teach you how to make better decisions, perform better in your job and, most importantly, have a better understanding of yourself.
5. Who Moved My Cheese?
Another one that requires a bit of an open mind, "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson is one of my personal favorites. It’s based on the story of two mice and two people. They live in a maze and every day their cheese is in the same place. They find it, eat it, enjoy it and go back the following day and do it again. One day, though, someone moves the cheese and everyone has to figure out how to adjust.
Johnson shares many useful insights about how to deal with change, and the different paths people take to do so. Life comes at you fast, change happens all the time and the only choice you really have is how you deal with it.
6. Modern Romance
It can’t hurt to throw in something written by one of the funniest comics of our generation — Aziz Ansari — that also covers one of the most prominent focal points in the lives of many young adults: dating and romance. The book includes fascinating data and insights from leading experts in the relationship field, as well as the classic wit and humor of Ansari we all know and love. If anything, it’s a feel good read that reminds you that everyone else is going through the same things you are.
Bonus: How to Win Friends & Influence People
This one almost goes without saying, but if I didn’t include it on this list it simply wouldn’t be complete. This book by Dale Carnegie (first published in 1937!) has sold over 15 million copies and is often referred to as “the most successful self-help book of all time.” It outlines all you need to know in order to build successful relationships with the people in your life - from friends, roommates and family to colleagues, clients and bosses. You’ll learn how to get people to like you, convince them to see (and potentially adapt) your way of thinking and how to inspire change in people without harming relationships. It might sound extreme, but give it a chance - you won’t regret it.
Ally Greer is an expert in — and perpetual student of — renter’s rights, city living and other things young professionals should know. Outside of that, she's trying to figure out adulthood in the tech capital of the world while still finding time for comedy, baseball and calling her mom.