Our Financial Independence Journey: The First Book of January

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From Babylon to Buffett and beyond: The five best financial independence books we read every January to kick off the year on the right foot. See all the posts in Jonathan Cope’s series about Our Financial Independence Journey.

Financial Independence Books | Umami Girl 780

In the early days of the year I like to read. 

We’re a fairly introverted family. We need quiet time to recharge from December hosting.

It is great to be the family’s holiday destination but, nonetheless, we need our time to reflect and to prepare.

To ensure the recharge is uninterrupted I read the same five books each January. 

Financial independence books

Curled on the couch, often with a cat or two, I first make my way through The Richest Man in Babylon. 

I read it first in 1999. I don’t recall how it came to me. Likely from my father. He was always dropping light hints with books.

Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life. Balzac’s Pere Goriot. Stendhal’s The Red and The Black.  

Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon is a start. A simple path to wealth. A straight and narrow path. No math. Just habits. 

George Clason, in a voice borrowed from the Old Testament, nudges the reader to emulate the wealthy. To emulate the richest man in Babylon. 

Arkhad started from nothing, was enslaved by spending, freed by vocation, empowered by saving, and enriched by investing. 

The text gives me hope. Purpose. A way forward. It reminds me that few have found the path. And also that it is only fair to point the way.

Reading of Babylon leads me to talk to our girls. Each year the details become more refined. Our oldest has read the text, too. Our youngest knows its lessons. 

Earn. Save. Invest. Spend. In that order. 

Our youngest often asks if everyone is allowed to do this. It is difficult. But yes, everyone is allowed. 

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