August Reading Report

Here is my latest reading report.  This month I read two books.  I’ve also included an interesting article and a couple noteworthy blog posts for you to check out.

The books, interesting articles, and noteworthy blog posts I read in August 2017.

Books

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders

A frustrating year of gastrointestinal issues and many trips to the doctor led me to this book.  Giulia Enders is a German scientist who took gastrointestinal research and turned it into an entertaining book.  Her sister illustrated the scientific ideas that Enders presents, and the result is a humorous and informative look at how the digestive tract works and current research on how probiotics and supplements can impact the gut.

The first part of this book describes how the digestive system works, and would be a great addition to any high school biology class’ syllabus.  Enders then goes on to present a number of different theories and current research that is going on related to gastrointestinal issues, and discusses how gut health can impact so many different parts of your life.  This was an entertaining and informative book that I would recommend to anyone having digestive issues, or who is just interested in how the body works.

Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry


Broke Millennial is probably the most entertaining personal finance book I’ve ever read.  Erin Lowry managed to write a book that was very informative, easy to navigate, and laugh out loud funny.

After reading the first three chapters, you can skip around to the chapters that are most relevant to your financial situation.  To better inform my reading report, I read the whole book from cover to cover, but if I buy this one (I took it out from the library), I would revisit the chapters that pertain to my situation.

Are you a recent college grad trying to negotiate your salary for your first job?  There’s a chapter on that.  Are you getting ready to buy your first house?  There’s a chapter on that.  Lowry makes these financial topics accessible, and scaffolds the information for personal finance newbies and seasoned pros, alike.

This is a book that I would love to sneak into my friends’ houses and leave for them.  It’s hard to give personal finance advice without coming off sounding like someone’s mom, but Lowry manages to do just that.  Go ahead and give this one a read, and then buy a few copies and figure out a way to get them into your friends’ hands without seeming too pushy.

Interesting Articles

Multilevel-marketing companies like LuLaRoe are forcing people into debt and psychological crisis by Alden Wicker

Alden Wicker wrote this piece for Quartz that looks at how multilevel-marketing companies such as LuLaRoe, Avon, and Advocare are pushing people into debt.

Tupperware parties, Avon, and Mary Kay cosmetics have been around for a while, but it seems like each year there is a whole new crop of pyramid schemes popping up.  Every time I get invited to one of these “parties”, I have to hold my tongue and politely decline.  I may have to start directing my friends and coworkers to this article.

Noteworthy Blog Posts

“How to Retire When You Only Make $30,000 Per Year” – Zero Day Finance

David from Zero Day Finance put together this post to show that it’s possible to save for retirement even when your household income is only $30,000 per year.  David breaks down how you could live on $2,000 per month by building a budget that includes rent, groceries, health insurance, and transportation (car payment, insurance, gas).  He recommends investing what’s left (after padding the budget a little) in a Roth IRA.

Everyone’s situation is different, and some people will find it difficult to have an extra $300 in their monthly budget, but the important message is to try to save something towards retirement, no matter what you make.

“Getting Down with Down Payment! And Other House Buying Wisdom.” – Dirt Cheap Wealth

Shivika from Dirt Cheap Wealth offered up some advice for how much money to put down on a home purchase and what length of mortgage you should aim to take out.  She argues that in this low interest rate environment, it doesn’t make sense to put more than 20% down on a house, and if you’re planning on flipping a house, don’t put any money down.

We are aiming to put 20% down (plus have enough cash to cover closing costs) on our house.  As Shivika illustrates, the interest savings between a 15 and a 30 year mortgage is pretty dramatic, so if we can afford the monthly payments, we are hoping to take out a 15 year mortgage, as well.

 

What have you read this month?

Interested in what I read last month?  Check out the July Reading Report.

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The books, interesting articles, and noteworthy blog posts I read in August 2017.

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