How does one achieve financial freedom?
Money is important, there is no going around that. Money gives us the exchange power with which we get access to various things including food, housing, medical care and even the ability to reach out and impact another person’s life (through donations for example).
These days it’s becoming harder and harder to thrive in this world when there is nothing in our pockets. So today more than ever, we need to be money literate.
Financial knowledge is very important in every person’s daily life, but unfortunately, an average school curriculum does not include finances.
So unless one takes up the initiative, it is very possible to be all grown up but exhibiting a spending personality of a toddler, not knowing how to manage one’s money.
That is why most people do not achieve financial freedom– wealth.
I have discovered that wealth is not a function of how much money one makes, but how wise one is with the money they make.
I used to be very money illiterate and I was making one money mistake after the other.
Fortunate for me, a friend recommended a certain finances book and that was a start of my journey to being wise with my money. I am not there yet, I still make a few money mistakes but I have made progress.
And my wish is for you to start making your own progress. To start your own journey towards achieving financial freedom as well.
Having read a good number of books on personal finances, I have curated and here I present three books I have found to be beginner friendly. Books I believe will be a good start for anyone who wants to start being serious about their money, about attaining financial freedom.
1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
This was one of the books I read in my early days of personal development. I chose to read this book for nothing else but the hype that surrounded it. Before I read it, I thought it was perhaps just an average book that had been fortunate enough to end up in the hands of some extremely good marketing gurus. But it wasn’t the case. This book deserves all the hype surrounding it.
The book starts with the story of a craftsman called Bansir who was depressed by the fact that he was a hard-worker in the richest city of that time but still had no wealth to show for.
Told narratively, the book follows the lives of a couple of individuals who are learning how to manage their money in order to claim their share of a thriving economy of the city of Babylon. Because the characters are also money novice, the book actually starts with the ABC of money management which are delivered in a very thought provoking and fun manner.
Money management principles presented as conservations between characters which makes it way easy to grasp.
That is why I am including this book on this beginner’s list.
2. The Smart Money Woman byArese Ugwu
I have read this book two times actually. It’s that good!
Just like ‘The richest man in Babylon’, this book is told narratively.
We follow a character called Zuri -who is a typical modern African millennial- as she avoids bankruptcy and gets her money situation in order.
I love the fresh perspective of the book and that it is set in modern times in an African city, with African characters that were facing challenges similar to the ones I face. An endless stream of weddings, birthday parties, imported designer clothes and all these other things that are depleting women’s money in African cities. I love the book because it is very relatable for me.
Even though the book follows the life of a group of female friends, I do believe the principles can help both men and women alike.
Additionally, at the end of each topic, Arese has a money exercise for the reader which will help you realize you acknowledge just how you are managing/mismanaging your income. And the steps you need to take to breathe life back into your finances.
Fun, relatable, up to date information, African… is there a better way to learn money principles?
3. Straight Forward Financial Growth by Moses Mukisa
This book is a bit different from the last two because the principles aren’t told in a creative nonfiction style of writing. Moses goes straight to the point.
What is unique about this book is that it’s written by a Christian who infuses Christian principles throughout the book– for example he talks about the tithing.
I find it to be a fresh perspective on finances because it talks about handling your finances as someone who is both Christian and Africa.
One lesson I got from this book which I found to be fresh (I haven’t come across it anywhere else before) was this:
Understanding that in African communities we have extended families and we are connected, it’s so easy to lose track of your financial goals as ‘emergencies’ keep popping up. For example, this one needs help with school fees, the other with house rent, the other’s car broke down… you get the gist. So instead of using your savings each time these emergencies come up, Moses suggested that you have a percentage of your money set aside (could be 10% for instance) and use it to be there for friends and families.
So for instance your Aunt comes up and says she needs a loan so that she can pay her rent that’s MK100, 000.00, you would be like ‘I don’t have MK100, 000.00 at the moment to borrow you. However, I have MK25, 000 that I don’t need you to pay me back. So now you only have to get MK75, 000.00’
This way you will be there for the people you care about, without having to sacrifice your financial goals.
I personally find this to be brilliant.
And this is just a sneak peak of what’s in the book.
So I truly believe this book would be a nice start as you embark on your own journey towards financial freedom.
So these are the three books that I would recommend to someone who is keen on starting their own journey towards financial freedom. I know there are a lot of great finance book out there but these three are the ones that I have found to be very beginner friendly, books anyone can understand.
Arese of The Smart Money Woman actually promised to remove all the financial jargon from her book so that an average African millennial can understand it. Even though the other two books don’t make such promises, they deliver just the same. So I encourage you to check out one or two or all three of these books if you want to start treating your finances with the seriousness that it deserves.