Financially Fearless

I recommend only two personal finances books from the glut of books that so-called financial experts churn out:

Jean Chatzky’s The Difference details what people who are well-off or wealthy financially have in common. One trait: optimism.

The absolute best book I also recommend is Alexa von Tobel’s Financially Fearless. Forget all the rest–try this book because it’s the best.

Tobel is a CFP who gives the viable formula for personal financial success: allocate your funds this way:

50 percent: on essentials like rent or mortgage plus utilities.

20 percent: on savings and retirement.

30 percent: on your own spending on whatever you’d like.

Total: 100 percent of your budget pie.

Trust me: I’ve read nearly all the personal finance books that so-called experts have published  Only Financially Fearless has the only budgeting plan that ever made sense to me: the 50/20/30 allocation of the pie.

Your percentage for each slice of the pie might turn out a little higher or lower and that’s OK. Yet this formula is the most practical and achievable if you ask me.

Start saving early for retirement because the compounding value of the dollars you save will grow like magic over the years. Waiting until later to save for retirement is not the way to go.

Saving whatever you can as consistently as you can as soon in life as you can is the way to go.

You can check both of these books out of the library if you don’t want to buy them.

Living in a high-cost city your essential spending category is most likely going to be higher. That’s OK. Keeping within a modest sliver of these percentages I doubt will make or break a person.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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