Our favorite money books

Cover art Erka Capili Inciong

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Lifestyle Upgrade 101

Last week, we talked about investing in one’s self and how, beyond financial literacy, we are advocates of education. Today, we open a 5‑part series of our favorite titles that shaped our personal financial journey. Here is a list of authors (and books) who have inspired us and taught us nuggets of wisdom about money and life.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Before you start your financial journey (or any endeavor really), it’s important to get yourself into the right mindset and attitude. In this book, Napoleon Hill interviewed several successful people and documented success stories with the objective of deducing what the secret to their success was.

One of the greatest secrets to success is the power of the mind. Being clear on your desire or what you want to achieve from the very beginning will be key in starting any project or endeavor. As long as your purpose is clear and you do everything in your power to get that, the opportunities will then follow. More than a book about money, it also taught us many things about life. We drew so much inspiration from it because it taught us the importance of a strong desire, the follow through of faith and the execution of action. Definitely a powerful formula leading us to thinking and growing rich (and successful).

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Harv Eker believes that each of us has a financial blueprint, a plan that is constructed and programmed by everything we’ve experienced growing up. He stresses though that this blueprint could be changed, depending on how you make it so. The book tackles the importance of how we perceive wealth and success in order to come out as a successful millionaire. He does this by exposing the stark differences between the mindset of the rich and the poor.

“Money will only make you more of what you already are”. If you start with the mindset of the poor—insecure, unhappy, demotivated—money will only magnify this and make it worse. Therefore, it is important for you to begin with the proper mindset—similar to that of the rich—in order for you to create the blueprint you’ve always wanted to execute.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Thomas Stanley debunks the myths of a millionaire by concluding that real‑life millionaires are not found in the most luxurious of neighborhoods, but could actually be living next door. The reason why we don’t really notice them is because they don’t flaunt their wealth to build an image and to display their social status. They are efficient in their spending, they are frugal and they did not become wealthy by having an extravagant lifestyle. This is where the value of discipline comes into play, and that being rich isn’t only gaining the right mindset, but also following through on the choices you make and the lifestyle you live.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Becoming rich is more than just a powerful mind and a frugal lifestyle. It’s also about finding ways to grow what you already have. Rich Dad Poor Dad has been one of the best books that expanded our understanding of finances. It taught us to make our money work for us by getting into investing and gaining passive income. It was a true eye opener because it pointed us to the goal of attaining financial freedom. Being financially‑free is not just about money freedom but also time freedom. Your passive income being more than your expenses allows you to no longer work for money, but to make money actually work for you. A thousand financial decisions and numerous investment ventures after, here we are—living a life of financial freedom thanks to Robert Kiyosaki.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Do you think you could retire at the age of 47? Well, Robert Kiyosaki certainly did, and this has inspired us to aim for the same thing: to retire young and rich. A follow‑up to Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki taught us practical ways on how to reach our goal by getting into real estate, paper assets and businesses. He follows through on these ideas by discussing the importance of taking calculated risks in business and ensuring that the rewards outweigh the risks. He’s inspired us so much that after reading this book, we are determined to retire young and rich.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Tim Ferriss narrates his story on how he shifted from a 40‑hour work week to a 4‑hour work week. A little bit unimaginable, right? But, Ferriss offers us with a series of life hacks that we never really learned from any other book before. He suggests hacking your business life to become more efficient in earning money over time and freedom, even opting to set up an online business in order to earn passive income remotely. This book is refreshing, offering you with tips and tricks that would augment your management of your finances and of yourself.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

The true goal, however, is not only to grow by yourself, but to also bring others to grow with you. Brendon Burchard taught us the importance of giving back, that being a millionaire does not stop at personal gain. Being a millionaire is an avenue for you to share what you have—both your resources and your story—to make a difference. This book has been such an inspiration for us to see a purpose beyond ourselves and to actually follow through on them. How do you think Lifestyle Upgrade and our two books, I Wish They Taught Money in School and Money Grows on Trees, came to be? Definitely, Millionaire Messenger inspired.

We owe a lot of what we know and where we are to these books. They have led us to getting into the right mindset, living the proper lifestyle, building on our financial aptitude, working on our passive income streams, learning the tricks of the trade and eventually, giving back to others. We encourage you to start reading up and learn a new thing or two, just like we did. 


Clarissa Seriña‑de la Paz and Sharon W. Que are financial literacy advocates and the bestselling authors of “I Wish They Taught Money in School” and “Money Grows on Trees” Check out their books at www.lifestyleupgrade101.com. Get 10% off, plus a free notepad and bookmark, by sharing this story with the hashtags #MoneyMonday and #SparkUp. Remember to make your post public!