Here is a quick read for you: More Than Enough: The 10 Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny by Dave Ramsey author of Financial Peace and The Total Money Makeover.
Here are the chapters which say a lot about the book itself:
1. More Than Enough What?
2. The Missing Link
3. Victory Through Vision
4. The "You" in "Unity" Is Silent
5. Hope: Balm for the Soul
6. Accountability: How to Get an A in Conduct
7. Intensity: Feeling the Fervor
8. Good, Better, Best: Work, Discipline, Diligence
9. Patience Is Golden
10. Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
11. The Great Misunderstanding
12. The More Than Enough Road
My favorite chapters were # 7, 8 and 10, 11.
Basically, I have learned that if you want something (whatever it is), you have to DO something about it. You can't just will it to happen. There is work involved, sacrifice, effort, initiative, intensity. It says "If you want something you have never had before, you will have to do something you have never done before." (And you will have to keep working at it because it doesn't carry itself.) Wow, now there is a concept! (Like if I want a clean house I might actually have to do something about that - obviously not what I have been doing previously.)
This book is also of course about not "keeping up with the Joneses." (Because the Joneses are broke!) But mainly this is about contentment. Being content with what you have. Not chasing the next best thing. Being blessed where you are with what God has given you. And along with that, giving (the great misunderstanding). Not keeping your money in a clenched fist, but keeping it in an open hand. In a clenched fist, it cannot be given away to bless others and it cannot be given back to bless you. An open hand will let the blessings come and go... and notice I didn't say let the money come, but the blessings. It has nothing to do with "If I give X amount of $$ I will be given X amount of $$$ in return." But you will be blessed by giving. You will feel better and good things will come of it. You will learn contentment in what you have.
I feel really blessed to have read this book. I feel like DH and I have a good relationship that has already been blessed by many of these concepts. I feel like (besides my complaining which I am trying to stop - Phil 2:14) we are very content. There are always dreams and desires, but they don't rule us. We have always been "together" on the money concept. We don't buy things without passing it by the other first. We have a combined hope in God our provider that helps enormously in the contentment area.
What I have learned about is the "work, discipline, diligence and initiative and intensity areas. I really need to focus during the day on these things. Funny how, when I know DH will be home for lunch, how much more I get done in the morning, as if to say "See what I get done in a day?" and yet every other day maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of that gets done. Why is that??? Why can't I be diligent on my own, without the thought of being checked-up on? Why can't I seem to implement the concept of doing things unto the Lord - like He is who I am working for, not my kids or my husband, and certainly not myself (which is my main problem here). I still haven't been motivated by this idea that "God is watching" and knowing my heart about this stuff. I know that needs to change. I guess I'll be praying about that.
But enough about my situation. Read the book. See how it can apply - even in a small way - to your life. I have another Dave book sitting at the library called Financial Peace Revisited. I never read Financial Peace, so I wonder what this one will be like?