I love reading books..no matter the topic. But considering this website and its focus on financial matters, assistance programs, overcoming low income backgrounds/poverty and similar topics I think a few financial focused books may be most relevant. So I have noted a few books and even a couple songs that I have enjoyed and/or found valuable over the years and that are more relatable to this website.
Anyone can get access to a book, whether you are struggling to pay the bills, living on a fixed income, or a middle income household saving for the future. If you can’t afford to get a book at the store, or download one, it is free to join a local library to sign out books, or even download them from a library.
Libraries are free
In addition to books (both hard copies and e-books), libraries often offer many offer other resources too, such as the free use of computers (for job searching, career testing, applying for financial aid, etc.), signing out music, access to newspapers to stay informed (like the NY Times) and more. Or a library can be a place to go to learn about free workshops that are offered in your community on budgeting, paying down debt, job fairs and much more. They can often be a place to go for peace and quiet, simplicity, and an “escape”. Personally I have always loved libraries, the peace/escape and the calmness that books bring.But I like libraries for many reasons, and those are just a few of them.
Your local library is usually a great resource for communities. They cater to people of all income levels, from the poor to the rich. Almost everyone can benefit from the services offered, and they too always need volunteers and/or financial donations to keep their doors open.
I love old fashion “paper” books, but unfortunately over the last few years I have turned to the “dark side” of using a kindle, which I rely heavily on now. While there are many free books you can get on a kindle or e-reader, the device can be pricey from many when purchasing it up front. So readers of this website who live on a budget may want to use a library instead of an e-reader. Some books I found interesting and/or valuable include the following.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance is a true story based on the author growing up in an old rust belt, manufacturing type town in the Midwest. He had drug use in his family, violence, and more. He came from a very low income family and made it out, broke the cycle of poverty, and became an attorney. Though he did have some advantages in some “stable” family members who supported him and encouraged him to succeed, it is an interesting read and has been a NY Times bestseller for many months.
Good to Great by Jim Collins talks about large companies, and how they grow and stay successful over time. How the people with hunger, drive, and companies do not put the “focus” on the CEO or leader have a better change to be more successful over time.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss was created based on interviews of hundreds of successful people from all backgrounds…everyone from billionaires to successful business people, executives, and other relatable people. Some came from lower income backgrounds or poverty. The book tries to indicate what it takes to succeed, based on the interviewees experiences.
Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec has a book called Driven – How to Succeed in Business and in Life. It discusses the importance of hard work, discipline, commitment, focus and overcoming the odds. The author came from a poor immigrant family and rose to be very successful.
Due to its financial nature and the emphasis of needhelppayingbills around budgeting, living within means, etc., the novel Money Secrets of the Amish may be applicable. It talks about living simply (very in the case of the Amish!), saving and investing, giving back/sharing and more. Now they obviously live a very different life, but some lessons may be relevant.
But really there are thousands of books out there on saving money, starting a business, increasing income, and more. Those are just a couple that come to mind that may be relevant. What are some others that people may find useful on this topic?
I also touch upon some music. Studies show that music can be motivational and often therapeutic. Among other things, there are times I use music to motivate me, whether at the gym or working on a business. It can also help calm my mind too, and I agree with the psychologists that it can be therapeutic. It also helped me when I was younger to overcome financial challenges, brought peace, and it helped give me daily motivation as I worked to launch a business and more. There are stories of how music can help low income families or children in poverty by motivating them as well.
One song I enjoy right now is You and I from Ingrid Michaelson. I keep playing it, I am obsessed with it and can’t stop! It may be “corny”, but I think it is fun and somewhat motivational. And these days I really need a song that is light, funny, and silly, as it can bring me a little bit of happiness. Some other more serious motivational type songs that I may listen too at the gym, or as I try to work up energy for the day to tackle projects, or work include Kevin Rudolf I Made It or Sia the Greatest. But I prefer acoustic music and those types of motivational songs are not usually my thing unless exercising.
There is no question that music as well as books can be important. A song can motivate, improve moods, and give people the spark they need to be successful, whether at work, sports, gym, or “life”. As I noted, studies from Psychologists show how it can improve moods and how music has other health benefits too. There can be financial aspects to it too and monetary “rewards”, as if music inspires someone to work hard for a promotion that may result in a higher income.