December Reading

One of the things I just don’t have time to do when school is in session is pleasure reading. This December my book choices have been mainly non-fiction. Mostly about money (and a little on weddings). Here’s what I’ve been reading so far this winter break:

1. A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene

I knew that planning for a wedding could lead to me being insane. Paralyzed by choices. Bridezilla-type attitude. So I checked this book out from the library to get some practical advice about not going crazy with wedding stuff. After I finished the book (on the plane ride back from Vegas), I decided that there are only a few things that are important to me for the wedding:

  • A party with all of my family and Mr Woodpecker’s family.
  • Amazing photography.
  • Financially responsible.

That’s it. So for now Mr Woodpecker and I have decided to follow the advice of the many readers who are able to look at this objectively, and we’ve decided to postpone ANY wedding planning until after the credit card debt is paid off. We still have a general date in mind, and it may be that the wedding is more “thrown” together than detailed plans, but both of us just want to focus on one thing at a time. Debt first, then wedding.

2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book really kind of blew my mind, but in a way that it made me think about earning money very differently than I had before. It made me actually understand the difference between an asset and a liability and understand how rich people think differently than poor/middle class.

And I know this is probably not the conclusion that most people come to, but it also made me realize that I’m okay being middle class. I’m okay not being rich. I’m okay with not thinking out of the box. And I know that isn’t what the book was supposed to do and I’m definitely okay with applying some of the techniques to build assets, but it also made me realize that I just don’t care enough about money to be rich. And I’m just fine with that.

3. Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach

I read Bach’s book in about 4 hours. I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. I even took breaks after each chapter to talk with Mr Woodpecker about what I was reading and learning. The basics? Figure out what your values are and make sure that your spending aligns with your values. Mr Woodpecker and I sat down and made our list of personal values. I was actually really surprised by some of the things that were most important to him and it was great for me to communicate to him what I thought was important.

What really sold me on Bach’s book was his chapters on goals and on baskets. His three main “baskets” (or areas we should be saving money) are for retirement, security, and dreams.  The retirement makes sense, obviously. Security included things like health insurance, life insurance, wills, disability insurance, etc. Again, things that made sense but I definitely needed a reminder of how all of this fit in with the marriage I’m about to enter in to.

The dream basket really sent me through the roof. He instructed the reader to sit and dream and imagine about what they *really* want in life. To be outlandish and dream big. Then to share these dreams with your partner and figure out what the couples shared dreams would be. When I shared my two big dreams with Mr Woodpecker he loved them and even had similar ones of his own. So what are my 2 big dreams I’d like to work for?

a. I want to work and save enough so that some year Mr Woodpecker and I can travel for an entire year together around the world. Perhaps working online in the process or maybe we just quit our jobs for a year and just travel. Those details aren’t worked out, just the dream of being able to travel at our own pace around the world. Expensive? Yes. Doable? Absolutely.

b. I want to own a home on a decent size piece of land. One of my main values is “Peace of Mind”. And part of this peace of mind is knowing that if “anything” should happen I have the ability on what I own to sustain myself and my family for a moderate amount of time. This means I’d like to have an orchard, my own family garden with vegetables, and some chickens for eggs. I’d love to have some acres for kids to play on and build tire swings and tree forts. And perhaps a lake for the dogs to swim in. Oh yeah, and also, I’d like this piece of land to not be too far away from town. Good thing I live in Kansas where something like this is actually possible and not to unreasonably expensive.


So what’s next? What book recommendations do you have for me? I’m due to go to the library tomorrow and would love some great recommendations!

3 Responses to December Reading

  1. Pauline says:

    Offbeat Bride by Ariel Meadow-Stallings.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

    (All non-fiction.)

    The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy.

    The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffery Archer.

    Broken Elements by Mia Marshall.

  2. Leigh says:

    Try reading the APW blog! It’s pretty awesome too and not just for weddings..

  3. alana says:

    You may have already gotten to this one, but “The millionaire next door” totally changed my view on high income earners vs the truely rich. Also, “The 4 hour work week” is really good for the industrious at heart, good reading for the independent lifestyle you might want to lead for that year so.

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