Top 7 Improbable Book Recommendations: Essential Nurse Money Skills

books Jan 24, 2023
Top 7 Improbable Book Recommendations: Essential Nurse Money Skills

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Best Money Books For Nurses

I’m a nurse who’s read hundreds of personal finance books. It’s part of how I got really good with money and turned myself into a nurse millionaire.

I’m going to let you in on a secret which is that most personal finance books aren’t worth the time. I have trouble relating to most of the authors…

🥱 Obsessed with money

😬 Willing to grow rich by any means possible… which comes with really bad (and dangerous) advice

🤢 Write in financial jargon

😕 Lack sufficient guidance for reader to take action

If revealing this secret isn’t enough to get me into hot water with you, maybe this will definitely do it? My least favorite finance books are the one’s written by the so-called giants of the industry–old, rich, white men. 

A nurse’s quick prayer

God grant me the confidence of an old white man. 

The deference of those around me to tell me what I make is groundbreaking. 

And a platform to get it into the hands of billions. 


Nurse Millionaire’s Top 7 Money Book Picks

Now that I got that off my chest … I’m going to share the books with you that have left a lasting impact on me. And now you’ll understand why they probably aren’t going to be the ones you expect. 


#1 The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist has played a profound role in my life. When I was 35 years old, I walked away from my professional career as a nurse and NP. The pressure had taken too much of a toll on me, and I decided it wasn’t for me. Yes, burnout. I panicked about my loss of income even though I had plenty of money saved and invested to support myself.

I could not move past my worry about money. That prevented me from taking new risks to branch out beyond my life as a nurse. I was working with a coach with the express goal of helping me to be able to tolerate nursing again. One day, he told me we weren’t able to make any progress because of my fixation on generating money. As an intervention, he asked me to read Twist’s book. It transformed my relationship with money. 

Twist describes money like water, an inanimate object that flows in and out of our lives. We as people are the ones who give money meaning. And what meaning we give it, is up to us. I know, this sounds like stuff of extreme privilege, but before you come at me, read it. 


#2 Get Good With Money by Tiffany Aliche

To me, Get Good With Money is the authoritative source to paying down debt. It’s chock full of easy to follow actionable steps. Aliche is a fun storyteller and this book is enjoyable to read! As a nurse, I’ve always felt a kinship with teachers–Aliche was a pre-school teacher first. It feels like we share a struggle.  

If you are looking for support with debt pay down, this is your book. Period.


#3 The Simple Path To Wealth by JL Collins

Collins says he wrote The Simple Path To Wealth for his daughter. The intent was to provide her with the simplest path to investing possible. It’s just that, simple. This book is a great starting point with solid advice that won’t hurt you in the piggy bank. Yes, he's an old white man. But I give him a pass. There’s something endearing about a dad trying to teach his teenage daughter how to invest. I can imagine that would not be an easy feat! I agree with almost everything in this book. I also know that nurses can do better so please, if you read it, don't end your learning here.


#4 Work Optional by Tanja Hester

Work Optional feels basic in a lot of ways: live a meaningful life, use your money in a way that brings value to your life. The finance industry is dominated by money-hungry, fearmongering, megalomaniacs. Not this though. This book feels like a warm blanket reassuring me at the right time in my life that I was on the right path. 


#5 Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

This book, Your Money or Your Life, perched Robin as the queen mother of the FIRE (financially independent retire early) movement. This book is old. It reads that way too, even though it says it was fully revised and updated for 2018. It continues to be a worthwhile read compelling the reader to work to live and not live to work. I'm pretty sure she's the originator of this cliché. 

Robin convinced me that bonds are worthwhile and that investment strategies change. She's got refreshing ideas about how to invest in local communities. That's not discussed often enough.


#6 Stop Acting Rich: ...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire by Thomas Stanley

This book, Stop Acting Rich, almost didn’t make it on the list. Stanley comes dangerously close to the ‘giant-in-the-industry’ type. But his research does something important. It describes the unexpected frugal lifestyle of real millionaires. He exposes people who look wealthy but are not. It will make you see your community in a new way.

He also shows us who the ‘glittering rich’ are–the uber wealthy who you have probably never met and probably never will. Stanley helps you see why you are never going to be them, and it’s ok. 

This book isn’t the kind that you sit down and read. It’s actually very dry. And I do get irritated thinking about who he excluded from his research. Despite that, the book remains important. It reveals the behaviors of real-world millionaires. And guess what? The behaviors are replicable by nurses! 

Yes you! I have no doubt you have what it takes to be a millionaire. And I know that being unstuck from your job and financial freedom are within your grasp. 



#7 The Dirtbag's Guide to Life: Eternal Truth for Hiker Trash, Ski Bums, and Vagabonds by Tim Mathis 

By now, you may have noticed that I care less about money and more about living the life I want. And no book describes this better than The Dirtbag's Guide to Life. This book written by a youngish, 30-something, white man combines the wisdom of a theologian turned psych nurse. Mathis taps into the deeper meaning of life through a life full of outdoor adventure. He shares exactly how in this book. 

I know the dirtbag lifestyle isn’t going to be something that appeals to many nurses here (most?) but to me, this book is my north star. Anyone who cares more about creating a life full of meaning with the resources you have will find this book useful. 

Did you notice I share a last name with the author? Yes, I’m extremely biased, because this man is my husband (20+ years now). Many of the adventures he’s lived, I’ve lived too. If you read it, you're going to learn a lot more about me...which is a little embarrassing.

The Dirtbag’s Guide has a rating of 4.4 stars on Amazon which means it’s up there with some of the best. So I solidly stand behind my recommendation. 

Have you read any of these books? What are your must reads?

Let's discuss on Instagram @nursesinvestingforwealth

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