6 Personal Finance Books You Should Read


Trawl Amazon or the shelves of any bookstore and you will find a myriad of options when it comes to personal finance. It can be difficult to distinguish between them. Here's a list of six top-notch personal finance reads that make the cut. (See also: 17 Places to Buy, Sell, and Trade Books)

1. Why Didn't They Teach Me This in School? Personal Money Management Principles to Live By

The author wrote this book for his five children when he realized that personal finance skills weren't being taught in high school, college, or MBA programs. When he looked for books on the subject to give to his kids, what he found were boring and lengthy reads that would never hold their attention. Personal Money Management Principles to Live By fills that niche with 99 practical, actionable, memorable, and thoughtful principles.

2. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke

I bought and read The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke when I graduated from my MBA program and was $100,000 in debt at the height of the most recent recession. I didn't know where to start to begin tackling my financial goals from my existing financial situation. Suze Orman provides a step-by-step guide in this book and on the accompanying website that helped me get on the path to financial freedom. I don't know what I would have done without this one!

3. Your Money: The Missing Manual

J.D. Roth was deep in debt and his financial life was in shambles. He made a personal commitment to learn everything he could about personal finance and turn around his life, personally and financially. He started the popular blog Get Rich Slowly to share everything he was learning. In the process, he became an accidental personal finance expert. In Your Money: The Missing Manual he shares all of the missing links that he learned that led him out of financial ruin and into financial success.

4. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties

Beth Kobliner offers smart financial advice to help people get started on the path to personal financial stability. From insurance to saving to taxes to investing to protecting yourself from identity theft, Get a Financial Life is an excellent, well-rounded guide. Though written for those in their 20s and 30s, anyone at any age would benefit from its advice.

5. Personal Finance Simplified: The Step-by-Step Guide for Smart Money Management

Personal Finance Simplified is a solid read for anyone at any phase of life because it takes you through personal financial decisions to make from graduating college, to changing careers, to growing your family, to retirement. It really gets at the idea of why taking action now is so critical for our futures. It includes tips on budgeting, spending, saving, and debt payments, paying taxes, and building equity.

6. Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics

We all have blind spots, and that's especially true when it comes to money. In Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes, authors Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich help us understand who we are and why we spend, save, borrow, invest, and waste money. They show us why money makes us behave irrationally, and then they provide us with strategies and tactics to help us make strong financial choices.

Knowledge is power, and that's especially true when it comes to your finances. These six books will help you understand money so that you feel empowered to make the best personal financial choices to live the life you want to live.

Do you have any favorite personal finance books? Please share in comments!

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Guest's picture
John Parks

I recently read "Effortless Savings" by Richard Syrop and loved it! Although he covers a lot of basic tips, there were also dozens of tips I have never heard of before. The chapters on travel expenses and banking and credit cards were particularly insightful. I also really enjoyed "The 1-2-3 Money Plan" by Gregory Karp and Clark Howard's "Living Large in Lean Times".

Guest's picture

The Wealthy Barber started me on my journey to financial independence. Helped me recognize that financial independence is possible for anyone, not just the fabulously rich, luck, highly educated. Changed my perspective and motivated me to keep learning. I've presented copies to my children with the hope that they'll avoid some of the mistakes I made.