Those of you that check in here on a regular basis, know that one of my goals for 2010 is to consistently feed my love of reading. I want to read a minimum of two books per month. I've already met my goal for this month and couldn't have picked a better selection.
The first book I read was Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. My husband and I were first inspired by this guy in November, 2008. Since then, his principles have completely changed our financial situation and outlook. We are debt free (except for our mortgage), have an emergency savings established, have investigated and gotten the appropriate insurance coverages, and are now saving for our next car so we can pay outright for it (no more payments & interest for us!).
We've done all this by establishing a bi-monthly budget (something we never did before and is actually VERY easy!) and now tell our money where it's going. We've learned to live within our means and have discovered that when doing so, you really don't have to do without because your priorities will have changed. I can't tell you what a blessing this has been!
I already knew most of the ideas/concepts in this book and have put them into practice, but it was great reinforcement and encouragement to continue down this path. There are tons of actual, real-life stories from everyday people like you and me that help put everything into perspective. Plus, I got some more great ideas regarding retirement planning. A definite must-read!
The other book I read was Kirk Cameron's Still Growing autobiography. I loved "Growing Pain's" when I was a kid so I couldn't wait to read this book. I have to admit I was even more interested in his family and spiritual life though. Him and his wife have six children (yikes!) and live such a devoted Christ-following lifestyle. For anyone that is currently going through a spiritual search or wants to be uplifted, this book is for you.
The first half talks about his childhood and life on the show. It seems to jump around a lot by subject which I found a pain to follow. I would have preferred chronological age order, but no biggee. His faith story is in the second half of the book along with insight into his marriage and daily life.
Kirk is a very bold person and stands strong for his beliefs. This is something I really admire and made the book so enjoyable for me. In our society, celebrities are put on pedestals and money/possessions define their status. If we were all honest, we would admit most of us follow in this suit as well (to different degrees). It's great to see a person that has broken out of that mold, holds true to his convictions and lives them out on a daily basis. Very inspiring!