One of the main tenants of Simple Economist is simply being efficient with our spending decisions. This often means buying fewer things and being mindful of the items we do purchase. We frequently get asked about different products or services we actually use and have truly enjoyed over the years. Here is a collection of different things we can personally recommend to our readers. This page will constantly be updated as we experiment and try new things but many of our recommend companies, services, and books have been consistent over the years.
We do a lot of research before we make any recommendation but many individuals have unique situations that make specific selections a personal decision. We are always looking for improvement so let us know if you feel like there is a better option or we are missing a clearly excellent product or service. If we like your recommendation better, we will update our page to reflect the changes.
Bloggers are often supported by referral links in their articles. A few of the companies listed happen to offer commissions for online referrals. Several others do not. We do not make our recommendations based on revenue, but where available, we use special links so that this blog will get a credit if you end up becoming a customer. It is an optional way to support this blog so we can continue to write and provide great content!
I enjoy reading and I spend as much time as I can reading non-fiction. My favorite books tend to be ones that make me think or create action in my life. I’ve already written about five books that have changed my life but there are plenty more that I enjoy. I primary read on my Kindle but I often give away paper books as gifts (my favorite thing to give people). So, without further ado, here is the list (in no particular order) of my favorite nonfiction books:
Walden – Thoreau
1854 called and told you to get off your computer and get out in the woods. The classic, which can be read for free, describes social experiment and spiritual journey of Henry David Thoreau. The book outlines the life of Thoreau and the challenges and observations made while spending two years in a small cabin in the woods of Massachusetts.
Simple Guide to A Minimalist Life – Leo Babauta
A short read that explains the basic tenants of minimalism, but, more importantly gives practical advice on how we can design our life and our habits. Even if minimalism sounds awful to you, the advice is great for prioritizing your life and work. I try and read this book at least once a year.
How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie
This 1937 classic gives insight into human nature and basic principles of interaction. While the title appears a bit cheesy, the content is actually great. It is timeless information that still holds true almost eighty years after it was published. I almost feel like this should be required reading for any business person.
Principle of the Path – Andy Stanley
Are you on the path to get where you want to be? The ironic answer to this question is that most people are not on a path to meet their goals and expectations. Stanley does a fantastic and witty job of getting his readers to understand the implications of what you are doing now and how it impacts your future.
Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
One of the best selling personal finance books of all time and for good reasons. Dave’s strength relies on his humor, readability, relatability, and step by step processes. The book is written as an entry point to personal finance and does a great job of getting people motivated while keeping them entertained. While I do not necessarily agree with every nuance of the content, it is still the default book I give people who are just starting their financial awareness journey.
Your Money or Your Life – Joe Dominguez
Another classic about lifestyle design and financial wealth. The book that converts most subtle financially aware individuals to saving and investing machines. This book goes though the nuts and bolts of income, early retirement and the cross over point where investments out earn your spending. This is fundamental text of lifestyle design when it comes to combining life and money.
Belief in an Age of Skepticism – Tim Keller
This book rocked my world. I spent many years of my life trying to figure out exactly what my thoughts were about organized religion. Keller does an excellent job of explaining the basic tenants of religion but also provides great feedback for hardcore skeptics. The format is easy to understand but is deep enough for seasoned philosophers (aka Richard Dawkins). Keller is a New York City apologist.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess – Jen Hatmaker
A great read for anyone but especially entertaining for the ladies. I love reading about many different things but there are a few books about low impact living that both me and my wife enjoy. Hatmaker presents an entertaining read full of humor, subtle self depreciation, and suburban endearment/mocking. I enjoyed the actionable challenges and most are easy to try as a family.
4 Hour Workweek – Tim Ferris
Ah, he shows up again. Ferris is quite a marketer and entertainer. His book is an inspirational one that challenges assumptions about the 9 to 5 and pushes readers out of their comfort zone. His book forces you to write down what you actually want out of life and design a plan to get there. His writing on efficiency is classic for workplaces, and provides tons of insight and entertaining anecdotes to keep you reading.
Other Books I’ve Thoroughly Enjoyed:
Amusing Ourselves to Death – Niel Postman
Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
Outliers – Malcome Gladwell
Freakonomics – Levitt & Dubner
A Random Walk Down Wall St. – Burton Malkiel
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven Covey
Food Rules – Michael Pollan
Letters From a Stoic – Seneca
What are your favorite nonfiction books? Anything I need to read or add to the list?