Best Personal Finance Books
Learn about 11 of the best personal finance books in the genre.
I have heard that most Americans don’t read a nonfiction book once they graduate from high school or college. That seems hard for me to believe (especially as an English major and someone who loves to read), but if it’s true, it also makes me really sad. There is so much amazing information that you can learn from books—in so many different areas of life. The knowledge you gain from books really can help you to be successful in life.
11 Personal Finance Books to Teach You to Be Successful with Your Money
As one of my favorite financial experts, Dave Ramsey, says, leaders are readers. He also often mentions a statistic that the average millionaire reads a nonfiction book a month. So reading is pretty important, and if you want to win with your money, reading about personal finance is pretty important!
I work full-time as a professional editor, so I literally read all day long, and I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. One time, when I had a long commute to work, I even started reading all of the personal finance books that our library had, from A to Z. I made it more than halfway through the alphabet before something else eventually caught my interest and I started reading other things again, but it was a lot of fun and a great experience to read all of the differing perspective on money. Some of my favorite personal finance books, or those that made me consider or even reevaluate my thinking on the subject, are these:
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Possibly my favorite personal finance book, this is the best one I have read as far as laying out a simple plan that you can follow to save, get out of debt, and invest to build wealth. Two thumbs way up!
Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and daughter Rachel Cruze. In this great book for parents, Dave and his daughter Rachel teach parents how they can teach their children about working, spending, saving, giving, avoiding debt, and being content. This book teaches parents how to help their children make good financial decisions and gain character attributes that will help them not only win with money but win at life.
Your Money or Your Life (2018 edition) by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. This book takes a different approach from most of the personal finance books out there. It emphasizes discovering your values and then aligning your life to follow those values. It also shares the intriguing idea of looking at everything you buy in terms of number of hours worked (hours of life energy spent), and suggests considering whether the things you buy or spend your money on are really worth the number of hours of life energy spent to pay for them. The authors suggest the idea of potentially working less, and living more.
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. This book explains the benefits of automating your finances so that you can set up systems to help you win with your money. By automating your finances you can save and invest in order to build wealth and retire in style. Set it so you won’t sweat it!
Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach. This book, like Smart Women Finish Rich (also by David Bach), talks about the importance of reducing unnecessary spending in order to use your money to reach the goals that matter most in your life. In Smart Couples Finish Rich Bach focuses on how couples can work together to identify and reach their financial goals such as saving for retirement and building an emergency fund. He also specifically teaches couples to save money toward reaching their dreams, whatever those may be.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Though I don’t believe in all of the principles that the author follows (such as being highly leveraged—using a lot of debt—to build wealth), I definitely do believe in his entrepreneurial spirit and the importance he places on gaining financial literacy.
Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze. This book emphasizes that if we always focus on what we don’t have and on comparing ourselves to others, then we will always be unhappy and broke. She teaches the importance of getting out of debt in order to avoid the worry and stress of living paycheck to paycheck and teaches sound financial principles such as living on a budget and saving for the future that bring joy and build a solid financial foundation.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William D. Danko. This eye-opening book debunks the idea that millionaires all live in huge homes and drive brand-new luxury cars. The reality, in fact, is that most millionaires live in ordinary neighborhoods and drive average cars. The findings of Stanley’s study are fascinating, but beware that he uses a lot of statistics. Even still, it really is a great read. Highly recommend!
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason. This classic money book teaches the importance of saving at least 10 percent of your income and of differentiating between wants and needs. It also teaches that it’s important to go after the things you want to achieve by working hard and improving your skills so that you will be able to earn the money needed to reach your goals. It teaches to invest wisely and not get involved in money-making investments that seem too good to be true.
Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup. In her first book author Ruth Soukup tells about her own journey to learn to live within her means and combat the desire to always buy more. With practical advice and humor, she teaches 12 principles that can help you get control of your money and your life—learning to spend less, declutter, get organized, and love the life you live.
Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. Another iconic book in the personal finance genre, Hill’s classic work talks about the importance of both desiring what you want and then making a plan to go after it. The author recommends setting a specific goal for how much money you want to attain and a specific date by which you want to attain it, as well as a plan for how you are going to do it. He then recommends reminding yourself daily of that plan. He also emphasizes the need to know what you want in order to make decisions quickly and not procrastinate. Though there are definitely some interesting ideas the author shares, I definitely agree with the main idea of directing your thoughts toward attaining the things that you want to accomplish in life and then following through to make those desires reality.
If you will continually read throughout your life, you will be able to continually improve your situation in various areas of your life. You can read books on personal finance, of course, to stay money savvy and learn new ways to be successful at the money game, but I would also recommend reading books on strengthening your relationship with your spouse, raising kids, increasing your faith, improving your health, leading, managing business, and more.
Invitation to Share
Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!
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