Students in undergraduate and professional school usually have one thing on their minds: sleep! The next thing is usually studying to do your best (or to just stay afloat) in your respective program. Many times this requires a laser like focus where nothing else matters except the next test or practical.
But on the other side of that diploma or degree, real life is going to be waiting. Which means you are going to have to make a lot of financial decisions which could potentially affect the rest of your life. I would advise students to take a few minutes a week (that’s really all it takes) to read some good books and form some type of financial plan.
I’ve recommended four books for students to read while they’re in school. Like I said, it just takes a few minutes a week and I know every student can find a few minutes between ping pong tournaments (and studying of course!)
These are light reads that are packed with great information to get you started on the right financial footing.
Good grades are important, but you’re only in school for a small part of your life. Taking some time to plan the rest of your life is essential.
Here are the recommended books:
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
This is the first book i read after graduating optometry school. And I’m glad I did. It touches on some theory when it comes to investing, but it is ultimately a very practical book and this is what I appreciated about it. Ramit talks about what specific bank accounts he recommends, how to invest and even how to negotiate when buying a car. The overarching theme from this book is to DO SOMETHING rather than not acting. Getting 80% of the way there is a whole lot better than getting 0%.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
If there ever was a book out there that tells you what REAL wealth looks like, this is it. MND is a light read that talks about the characteristics of real life millionaires. Despite what society and the media tells us, millionaires don’t usually drive around in luxury cars and have gigantic houses. More often than not they are hard working people who spend their money very wisely for a long time. This book is especially important for those new grads looking to get a new car and/or house right away. If you want to be a millionaire, this book will show you that’s just not the way to go.
Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
I was fortunate to read this book while I was in optometry school, and I’m really glad I did. It is a light and short read that can help establish a solid financial foundation. The book consists of Biblical sounding parables that contain financial wisdom. The main theme I got from this book is the biggest financial lesson of all: you will never get ahead unless you spend less than you earn. Constantly spending 100% of your earnings is no life at all.
The White Coat Investor by James Dahle MD
This is a great book geared mainly to MD’s and other health professionals, but has some great advice for everyone. The White Coat Investor is a fantastic blog that teaches professionals about student loans, investing and keeping more of your money. Honestly, it is one of the blogs that inspired me to start blogging and trying to help my fellow broke professionals. Great book for investors and a must have for anyone graduating from professional school.