If you’re looking for a list of the best books to read while getting out of debt, you have come to the right place.
You see, getting out of debt is a war of attrition. I know, because my wife and I did it. And, I’ll be the first to admit how difficult it was at times.
Whether we were driving by a retail store we used to frequent, or a restaurant that wasn’t in the budget, passing things up for the sake of paying off debt was always the more difficult choice.
So, how did we do it? How did we muster up the drive and motivation to make good financial decisions in difficult times? The answer is simple. We read books to fuel our debt free journey.
And now that we have successfully paid off our debt, we want to share our reading list with you. So without further ado, here is our list of 10 inspiring books to read while getting out of debt. We hope these books will be as influential and beneficial for your debt free journey, as they were for ours.
Book #1 – The Total Money Makeover
I read The Total Money Makeover to my wife on our honeymoon while we were sitting by the pool; and what a blessing it was to start our marriage like that. We have since, paid off all our debt, purchased a car with cash, started this blog, and for the first time in our adult lives, we have a positive net worth. I can’t imagine where we would be without it.
To be honest, if I could only recommend one book for the rest of my life, this would be it.
The Total Money Makeover provides a crystal clear roadmap to financial success in what the author, Dave Ramsey, calls the 7 Baby Steps. From getting out of debt, to building generational wealth, this book doesn’t leave a stone unturned.
I truly believe the principles in this book will stand the test of time–much like your finances after you read it.
I cannot give this book enough praise after the way it has changed our financial life. I actually recommend you read this book multiple times throughout your debt free journey. It will keep you inspired and drive you forward to do bigger and better things with your money.
Book #2 – Your Best Year Ever
If you are unfamiliar with Michael Hyatt, I highly recommend you look him up. Not only is he a phenomenal writer, he is an absolute inspiration. His book, Your Best Year Ever is the second book I recommend on your debt free reading list, because it will help you to stay on track, and dominate the goals you set for your finances.
Similar to The Total Money Makeover, Hyatt lays out a 5-step process to achieve your most important goals. This isn’t your average motivational book, either. It is genuine, unique, and very applicable.
This book won’t just help you achieve your financial goals, but rather, any goal you set in every area of life.
Pretty much every sentence has value, and if you apply what he teaches to your debt free journey, and future finances, you will achieve amazing things with your money.
Book #3 – Finish
I have never had a problem starting a goal, but as embarrassing as it is, I can rattle off a bunch of goals or dreams I started to pursue, and never finished. That is probably why this book has become one of my all-time favorites.
Finish, by Jon Acuff addresses the surprising reason why so many goals and dreams are left unfinished; perfectionism.
You have probably heard the phrase “perfect is the enemy of good,” but what I gleaned from Finish, is that, perfectionism is the enemy of achieving our greatest accomplishments and reaching our full potential.
This book reveals the many, unnecessary mental obstacles we put in our own way. Then, Acuff lays out a framework to achieve your goals by, giving yourself room to make mistakes, stepping outside your comfort zone, adding some fun to the process, and fighting your inner perfectionist.
Reading this book will most definitely help you “Finish” your debt free journey. It definitely helped us!
Book #4 – Start
Similar to Finish, which claims perfectionism is the enemy of accomplishing your goals, Start makes a compelling case that fear is the enemy of pursuing your goals in the first place.
In his wonderful, ‘not going to sugarcoat it’ style, Acuff prepares you for the 5 stages every person must go through in pursuit of ‘awesomeness’ in any area of life.
Without revealing too much, the stages are, Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, and Guiding. And much to my surprise, understanding these stages has made the pursuit of many goals in my life much less overwhelming; which is the exact reason it should be on your debt free journey reading list.
If you are ready to “punch fear– and your debt–in the face,” then Start is for you!
Book #5 – The Heart To Start
This is a very short read, but it is packed with inspiration. The Heart To Start, by David Kadavy is a gem! Coming in at just under 120 pages, this little book will get you off your seat, and chasing your dreams at full speed.
Much like Start, this book addresses the fears and inner war that come along with the pursuit of your dreams and passions, which Kadavy refers to as ‘your art.’
He also claims that your ego will try to stand in your way at every turn, because it wants to avoid criticism and vulnerability, but this is should be viewed as a sign that you are on the right track.
If you are like us, your debt free journey is just the launch pad for your bigger, longer-term dreams. And if you really want some actionable inspiration, The Heart To Start is a book you should read.
Book #6 – EntreLeadership
One of the things I found most difficult while paying off debt was the feeling that we were always playing financial defense. Our entire debt free strategy, was to “cut back” on expenses in every area of our life. EntreLeadership shifted our mindset to attack mode, which made paying off debt a lot more exciting and rewarding.
EntreLeadership is centered around the development of good leaders and strong businesses, yet I found that almost every concept translated well into personal finance.
If you want to get out of debt, you need to be a strong leader, because you are the CEO of your money; the founder of your financial future, and this book will be your guide.
Additionally, if you run your own business, or you have designs on being your own boss someday, this book is a must read! Let me repeat… must read!
Book #7 – Profit First
If you are ready for a simplified approach to finance, Profit First needs to be on your reading list. In this short read, Mike Michalowicz turns traditional business accounting on its head with his profit first system, by proposing that every business should set aside profit from day one. His ability to translate complex topics into easy to understand explanations is second to none, and he does it with a lot of humor.
His thoughts on “killing your debt monster” will align perfectly with your debt free journey. Plus, if you just replace the word “profit” with “save,” this book translates really well from business finance to personal finance.
Profit First is not only engaging and entertaining, it is packed full of hard-earned wisdom that Michalowicz was generous–and gutsy–enough to share with us. This incredible book will keep you driving forward on your debt free journey, which is exactly why it made our debt free reading list.
Book #8 – Do Over
If debt has been holding you back from pursuing your passions and dreams in your career, you should buy this book today.
Have you been dreaming of a new career, or possibly a promotion within the company you already work for? Do you want to start your own business, or finally start your own blog? Have you been presented with an unexpected career opportunity that you are dying to pursue? Are you looking for a do over in your personal finances, but you need a little extra shot of motivation from an unexpected source? Do Over will be your guide.
Every day, and more importantly, every situation is a chance at a do over, and after reading this book, you will be ready for it.
Book #9 – Free To Focus
With so many distractions in this world, constantly vying for your attention, it is easy to get off track when you are chasing a goal. However, if you take the thoughts and principles that Hyatt lays out in this book, you will be surprised how much more you can accomplish in a significantly shorter amount of time.
Don’t allow yourself to lose focus when paying off your debt. Instead, pick up this book, and provide yourself the freedom to accomplish more with your money and time than you ever imagined.
Book #10- Atomic Habits
Your success in your financial situation, or any other area of life for that matter, is the result of your habits. And if you are getting out of debt, it means you are fighting to break some bad ones. I can relate, because I used to have some terrible habits with money. But don’t fear, your habits are about to get a serious makeover.
Atomic Habits by James Clear digs deep into the 4 Laws of Behavior Change, and how to structure your life to build positive habits and break the bad ones. This book blew my mind.
From concepts like habit stacking, to the aggregation of marginal gains, to the Goldilocks Rule, this book contains some of the best, and most actionable information I have ever read. And I am confident that it will play an influential role in the success of your debt free journey and beyond.
So, there you have it, 10 inspiring books to read while getting out of debt. I know I said it earlier, but it is worth repeating; becoming debt free can be a long and difficult road. So, if you want to maintain the motivation and drive that is required to keep pressing on, I highly recommend you make reading a priority.
These books were critical to our financial success, and I’m not sure where we would be without them. They supplied the encouragement, knowledge, and inspiration we needed while getting out of debt, and I am sure they will provide the same for you.
Have you read any other books that have helped you on your road to getting out of debt? We would love to hear about them in the comments! In fact, we would love to know your entire debt free reading list if you are willing to share it.
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