Saturday, September 27, 2014

7 Books to Read on Your Way to Freedom!

Hey White Collar Rats, here are some books that you may want to check out. These are books that have provided me with some comfort during hard times and they reassured me that it is not strange to crave freedom.

And of course, if you wish to purchase any of the titles, just click on the headers and it will lead you to Amazon's page where you can read more reviews on the books...


1) Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom

An engaging book that is hard to put down - it is a true account about Ken Ilgunas who took extreme measures (living in a van) to fund his way through Duke University, debt free.

Throughout the book, he details his extreme journey out of debt and the irony of the corporate world. Here are some memorable quotes from the book :-

"I thought of my dollars like Spartan soldiers trained from birth to die in battle with debt, unconcerned with the likelihood of defeat".

"It's true that people often complain about working twelve-hour days, balancing two jobs, or suffering through double shifts, but it seems our complaints are often just thinly veiled boasts about how busy our lives are, as if having no time for leisure, for a good night's sleep, or to do the things we actually want to do is some virtuous sacrifice we should all strive to make.

An extremely thought-provoking book with a good dose of humour, wit and intelligence.

2) Early Retirement Extreme

E.R.E is another interesting book on extreme measures of frugality and self-sustenance. The author illustrates how it is possible to retire early without having a million dollars in your bank. The best part of it all is that he has been living this way for many years and has a cult following on the web.

This book is for the more advance reader who enjoys a serious read on financial freedom and sustainability.

3) Everything That Remains

This is one of my favourite books on minimalism.

Everything that remains is a heartfelt memoir about how Joshua Fields Millburn discovered minimalism - from the death of his mother, leaving a six-figure job and how we are constantly chasing material "badges" that do not bring happiness to our lives.

A rhetorical piece of writing that WILL change the way you see things.

4) The Richest Man in Babylon

One of the earlier books that got me interested in personal finance, this brilliantly-written parable revolves around the richest man in Babylon who was summoned by the king to share his secrets to riches.

Topics discussed include debt-slavery, savings and investing. Here are some memorable quotes from the book:-

"A man's wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually floweth into his purse and keepeth it always bulging".

"Him whose purse is empty does gold avoid". 

5) The Millionaire Fastlane

If you do not believe in frugality and savings, if you lean more towards building income more than reducing expenses, then you will nod to everything that's written in this book.

The author describes how we should get onto the fastlane to wealth - and that is to build a business that will generate a stream of active income. Contrary to many frugality gurus, MJ DeMarco points out the irony in saving and investing 10% of your income, only to end up being the richest person in the retirement home.

We want wealth now and not when we're 65 - when we're too old to do the things we've always wanted to.

I have to admit that this book did challenge my journey towards freedom. If you need an alternate perspective, be prepared to read this book.

6) Start Something That Matters

This is the story behind TOMS - the hip shoes that you see grazing the covers of fashion magazines.

Blake Mycoskie pens his journey of living a meaningful life by building a business that is unconventional - the 1 for 1 model. If you're unfamiliar with the business model of TOMS, for every pair of shoes sold, the company will donate a pair to kids in developing countries.

A good read that is proof that the corporate treadmill is not all there is to life.

7) Your Money or Your Life

I believe that this book lays out the fundamentals of personal finance.

It challenges you to look as money as hours of life that you sacrifice. Based on this viewpoint, would you trade 48 hours of your life for gadget that you don't need?

The solution is simple: constantly reduce expenses as much as you're comfortable with, increase income and invest the difference. When the passive income line intersects your expense line, you're financially independent!

This is what I have been trying to do (read: freedom fund)


I will constantly update this list whenever I come across more good reads. Meanwhile, keep running on the corporate treadmill.

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