Managing our personal finances is a key part of each of our lives. But somehow, in school, most of us learn about quadratic equations and polynomials—which aren’t the type of math skills that are useful for managing money (or anything else, really). But lucky for us, there are some really helpful books on managing our money. Whether you’re just starting your financial journey or looking to enhance your money management skills, here are 10 personal finance books that can help you transform your financial life.
1. “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” has a step-by-step plan to take control of your finances. It focuses on how you can get out of debt, build an emergency fund, and become financially independent. Ramsey’s practical advice and motivational tone make it pretty easy to read and more fun than you’d expect a finance book to be.
2. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
“Rich Dad Poor Dad” challenges conventional wisdom about money and wealth. Robert Kiyosaki shares what he learned from two father figures in his life—one rich, one poor—and focuses on the importance of financial education. This book is really helpful for changing your mindset about money and investing.
3. “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
“The Millionaire Next Door” is sort of a millionaire mythbuster—it tells us that they often live modest lifestyles (sometimes they’re actually really cheap) and put a big focus on saving and investing, rather than spending. It provides a lot of valuable lessons on building wealth and living within your means.
4. “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Despite the clever title that sounds like an armed robbery, this book is actually about the relationship between money and, well, life. It provides a step-by-step plan to change your money habits for the better, reduce your debt, and build your savings. “Your Money or Your Life” encourages readers to align their spending with their values and create a fulfilling life with less financial stress.
5. “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason
If you like to learn through storytelling, this book is for you. It’s set in ancient Babylon and its financial principles are told through parables. “The Richest Man in Babylon” imparts wisdom about saving, investing, and making solid financial decisions. Its simplicity and entertaining approach make it easy to understand and appreciate for pretty much anyone of any age.
6. “Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry
If you’re a young adult, or you have one in your life. Erin Lowry’s “Broke Millennial” is a great resource to help them master their finances. It covers topics like budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt in a relatable and engaging way. Lowry’s humor and practical advice make this book a fun read.
7. “The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins
“The Simple Path to Wealth” offers a straightforward approach to achieving financial independence and retiring early. JL Collins gives advice on the best types of funds to invest in, and provides a complete guide on how to build wealth over time. His “Stock Series” in the book is particularly helpful for investment beginners.
8. “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach
While the title may suggest it’s geared toward women, “Smart Women Finish Rich” is a valuable resource for everyone. David Bach—yes, he’s a man—offers a practical, step-by-step plan for financial security and prosperity. It empowers readers with tactics to take control of their money and build a secure financial future.
9. “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi
Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” is a six-week plan for automating your finances, investing wisely, and ultimately reaching your financial goals. The book’s humor and practical advice make it entertaining and useful.
10. “The Behavior Gap” by Carl Richards
Carl Richards goes deep and gets into the emotional and psychological aspects of personal finance in “The Behavior Gap.” He explores the reasons behind financial mistakes and how to make better decisions. This book is very useful for helping readers to understand and address the behavioral mistakes that can keep them from being financially successful.
The bottom line: top books to improve your financial intelligence
These personal finance books offer a wealth (pun intended) of knowledge and practical advice to help you strengthen your financial future. Whether you’re focused on getting out of debt, building wealth, or reaching financial independence, there’s a book on this list to suit your needs. Remember that personal finance is a journey, and continuous learning and improvement are essential to reaching your goals.