Personal finance is the most valuable self-help topic. It is one of the few areas of your life where simple process improvement will directly affect your money. This makes personal finance books like the ones on this list incredibly valuable.
These books are designed for everyone. They can help those who make a lot of money get a better handle on their cash flow. But more importantly, they can help those of modest means get a better handle on their finances and perhaps even accrue enough savings to be truly rich.
Whether you earn in the top 10% of national incomes or struggle to get by from paycheck-to-paycheck, learning more about personal finance is the key to long-term success with money.
Understanding personal finance basics is foundational to financial success. They include the basics of budgeting and building a budget that works. They will teach you how to reduce debt and save money. Finally these books will show you how to turn a modest savings and investments into great saving and investments over time.
Without further ado, let’s look at the best books on personal finance:
This personal finance book by Dave Ramsey is especially great for younger people who are just starting to really manage their money. Ramsey provides budget forms and worksheets for the reader to reference to make things simple.
While it may not be a very exciting book, The Total Money Makeover provides a lot of real-life success stories that can help inspire the reader to properly manage their own money. It is like taking your own personal finance class in college. It may not always be “exciting” but the information presented is top-notch and essential to long term success with money and finances.
2. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley
This book looks at the seven common traits that continue to show up among people who have accumulated wealth. Most people picture wealthy people as living lavish lives, but a lot of truly wealthy people live right down the street, due to living below their means and investing well.
There is a lot of data and common sense in this book that proves to have surprising results. It is also full of information about both the emotional baggage and the freedom that money provides.
This book is different from other personal finance books because it starts out with a story of an American couple whose joint income is never over $55,000 a year, yet they own two homes, put their children through college, and retire at the young age of 55 with over $1 million in savings.
The story goes to show that just having personal financial planning does not lead to wealth. Rather, it is important to automatically pay yourself first to secure your future while also paying for the present.
This book offers a realistic system for anyone to put into place, no matter what their income level is. Investing 10% of your income automatically will result in long-term savings without any extra effort.
This is a great book for teenagers and young adults who are just starting to manage their own money.
4. Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23 by Beth Kobliner
This book provides a jargon-free, step-by-step guide for parents to use to teach their children about money. While this is essentially a lesson on finances, it is actually so much more than that. Teaching kids how to spend their money properly involves teaching lessons on delaying gratification, living within or below your means, working hard, doing well in school, and being generous toward other people.
What’s more, this book talks about why an allowance isn’t the best way to teach children how to handle money, and why after-school jobs may not necessarily be the answer either.
5. You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero (My personal favorite)
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth is from Jen Sincero, author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Published in 2017, this second Badass book takes more of a financial angle than the first one did.
Prepare to chuckle. You’ll roll your eyes. This book is candid and funny, and if you’re like many of us, you’ll recognize yourself and your own habits in its pages. It’s based on Sincero’s personal experiences as she emerged from her salad days (although she preferred Taco Bell to cheap greens) to living very, very well. You Are a Badass #2 is designed to help you nix the financial habits that hold you back and introduce some simple, easy understandable concepts into your life that will help you improve the way you handle your money.
6. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki (My personal favorite)
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! is something of a memoir with lessons attached. It celebrated its 20th birthday in 2017 with an updated edition, and author Robert Kiyosaki has a lot to celebrate. This is this the # 1 bestselling personal finance book ever.
Kiyosaki walks readers through some childhood reminiscences, a contrast between his own not-very-wealthy father and the dad of his friend who happened to be one of the richest residents of Hawaii. The comparison shines a spotlight not just on how to best manage your money or lack of it, but also on helping your kids to do so as well. According to Kiyosaki, not all debt is bad, and you can work your way toward wealth even if you don’t enjoy a staggering income. It’s all about how you handle the money you do have and figuring out ways to lead you away from that paltry paycheck.
7. 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money by Trent Hamm
This is certainly a frugal living book. But it also discusses ways to save long-term money. For example, using cold water while washing your clothes cancoupon save almost $65 a year, while investing in a deep freezer and buying food in bulk can save on groceries.
Hamm encourages his readers to take a look at their own lives and to realize that there are many ways to live on less. Offering a multitude of ways to cut costs, this book on saving money still makes sure that you are living a lifestyle that is satisfying for you.
8. Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More by Kasey Knight Trenum
This is a great book for people who like the idea of couponing, but don’t like the idea of spending their time doing it. Trenum is well aware of the fact that people do not want to spend time clipping coupons, but also knows how much money coupons can save families in this tight economy.
This book helps people find coupons for what their family eats, ways to cut down on Internet bills, how to determine sale cycles, and how to make shopping less stressful.
9. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half With America’s Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won’t Have to Cut Coupons by Steve Economides and Annette Economides
This is a great book for people who want to save money on their everyday groceries without spending the time that is needed to search for coupons. The authors offer tips that can cut down on your shopping trips to once-a-week or less while eating healthier and saving money. Written by a husband and wife who practice what they preach, this is a relatable book with a lot of realistic tips.
Known as “America’s Cheapest Family,” the authors present strategies and tricks to save money annually by cutting down on grocery bills. One of the best things about this book is that the tips provided are useful whether you live by yourself or have a family of seven.