So with that in mind, I thought I’d offer you some suggestions (along with my thoughts) on items you might want to consider this holiday season.
I’ve broken them into groups by theme just to make reviewing them easier.
For those on your list who know little about personal finance and want a great overview, I’d recommend the following:
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy — Here’s my summary/review. This book is still changing lives all these years later. It’s one of the main reasons my net worth is where it is today.
- The Richest Man in Babylon — Here’s my summary/review. Probably even better than TMND as the steps are more clear and applicable. It’s short, inexpensive, and told in parable form — great for a younger person or someone who doesn’t like “boring money books.” 🙂
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence — Here’s my summary/review. This is a bit more advanced and requires more thinking, plus someone who is willing to be more contrarian with their lifestyle to be really impactful. That said, it is good for all sorts.
- The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich — Here’s my review/summary. Another great books covering the basics.
- The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing — Here’s my review/summary. Best book on investing IMO.
These are especially good gifts for young people — those 15-25. If this stuff makes an impact on them at an early age, they will be set for life.
To be honest, I haven’t read a new money book in quite some time that I think is any better than these. Do you have any you would recommend?
You all know that I am a reader and I’ve read some great books this year. I’d recommend all of these:
- The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) — This book was the basis for my post titled Can Getting Up Early Make You Wealthy? It’s short, easy to read, and very impactful. I recommend it 100%!
- Washington: A Life — AWESOME book! I visited Mt. Vernon when checking out colleges with my daughter and listened to all 33 CDs of this book once I was home. It was amazing and I fell in love with Washington. Anyone interested in American history will like this.
- The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business — This book works for beginners and experienced business people alike. I had 25+ years in business when I read it and I learned (and was reminded) of several things. Enjoyed it!
- Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want — If you need to develop a life plan, this easy-to-read book is a home run for you. Written by Michael Hyatt, it’s awesome as is most of his stuff.
We’ve been playing a lot of board games since I retired and these are the ones I recommend:
- Settlers of Catan 5th Edition — We bought this a year ago and just started playing it. It’s not a cult-like obsession with me like it is with many others, but this is probably the game that we like best as a family.
- Risk — My personal favorite. After I kept getting killed at Settlers of Catan (I can never get enough iron! Or is it sheep?), I went back to my high school days and get this game. The others in the family will play but since I always thrash them their enthusiasm is waning. 🙂
- Aggravation — This is the game that I grew up playing with my mom and dad and now my family plays it. My daughter and my dad even bet on games when they get together (she won $20 during our last visit there).
- Handmade Walnut and Maple Chess Board with Wooden Chess Pieces — My chess set is much more modest than this, but I’d LOVE to have more of a “show piece” set to play on.
Some of you know that I’ve become a coffee lover. I’m ever in search of a better cup of coffee. These items have either helped me so far or are on my list of items to buy myself:
- Proctor Silex E160BY Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder, White — The grinder I use. WAY better than a hand-crank grinder (which is what I started with).
- Triple Filter 8 Cup French Press in Chrome 34 Oz — I want to try French press coffee and this looks like a good place to start. Any thoughts on if this is a good choice or not?
- Bodum 11571-01US Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter, 34 oz, Black — Also want to try pour over. Anyone have thoughts on this item? Good start?
- Airtight Food Container – AirScape Glass 160 fl. oz, Large – Preserves Freshness — I want to begin storing my coffee in a container rather than the bags they come in. This one looks good as it pushes out excess air. Anyone have a coffee storage container they like?
You know I like to workout and I HAVE to have the right gear. Here’s some stuff I recommend:
- Scosche RHYTHM+ Heart Rate Monitor with Armband, Black — The heart rate monitor I use. Super easy to use and charges quickly.
- Wireless Earbuds Photive PH-BTE70 Bluetooth Headphones — I can’t workout without music and the music at the gym is terrible. So I use these. One key for me is I need the over-the-ear holder as the ones that fit in my ears fall out. Also need/want wireless as wires interfere with some movements.
- Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Large Duffle, Black (001), One Size — The gym bag I use. I haven’t found a better one in all my shopping. I like/use both end compartments as well as the side zippered compartment. Love this bag and will get another one if mine ever wears out.
- TOWABO Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate monitor — Don’t have this yet, but I want a heart rate monitor watch. My trainer says they are not as accurate as the Scosche above, so I’ll keep that one. It ties to my fitness app on my phone. But the only way I can see where my heart rate is at the current moment is to pull my phone out of my pocket and check. That’s not convenient. So I want to supplement my equipment with a watch I can look at easily. Don’t know if this one is good or not. Anyone have a watch heart rate monitor you love?
I’m becoming the grill master in my retirement and am loving it. Here are some of the things I use/recommend or want:
- Ultimate Marinade Injector Kit — I have this one and like it, but may be trading it in for a “gun-like” injector with higher capacity.
- iArtker BBQ Meat Claws Pulled Pork Shredder — I got these as a gift and LOVE them! I can’t imagine going back to burned hands while making pulled pork.
- ThermoPro TP07 Remote Wireless Digital Kitchen Cooking Thermometer with Timer — I use a cheap thermometer from Walmart but I WANT this! Looks awesome, is highly rated, and is at a good price. There’s no way I could cook without a thermometer and I want/need a good one.
- Elevate Essentials Pumice Stone Grill Block — Easiest and fastest way to clean the grill that I’ve found. Cheap too.
- Ekogrips BBQ Grilling Gloves — I have these and they are good, but they aren’t flexible enough. I’d love to find something that is flexible (so I can actually move my hands easily) and easy to put on/come off. Anyone have any recommendations?
Ok, that’s enough to get you started if nothing else.
Now it’s your turn. Any products you would recommend or want yourself for Christmas?
photo credit: wuestenigel Frabiges Geschenkpapier ( engl. Colourful Printed Paper) via photopin (license)