The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson: The extreme art of self-care means doing things that make you happy. Period. In this book, Richardson offers up twelve ways to practice self-care, one for each month. I didn’t follow this as a monthly program. Instead I read it straight through (a practice Richardson encourages). If I were doing it right, I would then pick one way each month to improve my self-care. The good thing is that you don’t have to do the steps/ways in order; you do them in the way that you need to. The biggest take away from this book is that, yes, I do have permission to take time for myself and to place my own well-being above other people’s. I really need to buy this book.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: Money stresses me out. Well, it used to. Since money was a huge source of stress for me, it became an issue of self-care, so I decided I needed to figure out how to make it less of an issue. I don’t remember where I read/heard about Ramsey’s book, but whatever I read/heard compelled me to check it out.
I have to say, I like it a lot, and it has already changed my life. Even though I have read other money management books, I think the biggest difference with this book is that it told me what to do right now and what order to go in to get my money right. Most other books say what you should do with your money and how you should manage it and invest in this and that, etc. But I never had enough to get to those later steps, so never really knew where/how to start. With Ramsey’s plan, he’s pretty straightforward with his seven baby steps: save up a (small) emergency fund, then pay down your debt, then do the big emergency fund, then invest. I find that approach very helpful because I was trying to do everything at once, and it just wasn’t working.
The biggest, biggest help for me is the zero-balance budget. Changed my life.
So, basically, I love anything with a to-do list. Oh, and my parents are reading it now.