Figuring out money is overwhelming. It’s essential to your very life, yet it’s so hard to earn to keep. Money is also a part of major life changes like becoming a young adult or going into retirement.
The best personal finance books will help you learn more about how to make money and do it in a way that seems accessible. They will break down complicated ideas into understandable concepts.
What Makes a Good Financial Book?
How do you know what is a good financial book, other than seeing what reviewers think?
First of all, the book has to be understandable. There’s no point in reading something that you don’t understand. That’s a waste of your time. Plus, you can’t use the advice the authors are trying to give you.
Some of the best personal finance books are written by people who built themselves from the ground up instead of starting with a lot of money. Because they were at your level at one point, they can explain things in a way that’s easy to understand.
They also give you hope because if they could do it, then you certainly can try, right?
Does this person actually know what they are talking about? Do they have a financial background like a degree or a popular finance blog or show? How do you know you can trust them?
Remember you are trusting them with your money in a sense because they are telling you what to do with it. You don’t want an author to lead you down the wrong path.
Many books on this list are either considered classics in the financial book world, or they are known for their money skills through podcasts, radio shows, or columns they’ve written.
How We Reviewed
Finance is a straightforward idea. Everyone wants to be able to live comfortably and be in control of their money. The problem comes from how everyone has a different financial situation.
How can we compare a book for young adults to one for retirement? How can we say that one writer’s ideas are better than another?
We tried to find a wide range of books about different periods of financial choices. We really depended on reviewers to find what books were good and ones that weren’t your time. Reviews were particularly crucial with this type of book because the people who read the books tried the strategies and will tell others whether they work or not.
Using sites like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, we look for books with a high rating and a lot of reviews to get diverse opinions. Luckily, we found reviews from people of all financial skill levels and were able to see how some books were good for beginners and not for people with advanced financial skills and vice versa.
Top 10 Best Personal Finance Books
As mentioned before, we tried to find a wide variety of books on different financial topics. Many of these books reviewers claim are the best personal finance books out there whether you are looking to be a financially independent young adult or planning your retirement.
Starting on your own can be terrifying, and Lowry wants to make it a little less scary for you. The book will go step by step on how to go from broke to perfectly comfortable. It’s not just getting rid of credit card debt, investing, and budgeting, it goes beyond that.
It will help you understand your relationship with money, how to manage student loans without freaking out, what to do when you can’t split the bill evenly among your friends, and how to get “financially naked” with your partner.
The book is full of simple advice, humor, and true stories to create a roadmap for people who are figuring out their financial life.
Reviewers say that this book is excellent for taking back control of your life if you feel overwhelmed. It covers the basics of financial planning and how to change your mindset about everything involving money. It reads as very approachable and understandable way.
If you are already familiar with the basics of financing, you may find some parts of this book boring. Some readers didn’t like how much humor Lowry inserted into the book.
This book has been around for a long time, initially published in 1997, and it got updated in 2011. Part memoir, part finance book, this is popular because it’s easy to read and understand.
Kiyosaki focuses on the two dads in his life, his father and his best friend’s father, who happens to be rich. The books look into how each man influenced the author and taught him about money.
It will teach you about creating financial independence and making money through investing in assets, real estate investing, starting and owning businesses, and increasing your financial IQ.
People found that Kiyosaki wrote in a way that was easy to understand and engaging. Some people had written that it has changed their lives and that they have more money than when they started the book.
Some people were frustrated by the lack of step by step instructions. Some people feel that he offers some bad advice about not saving. Many readers suggest not following him a hundred percent.
This book wants you to know that having a good retirement involves more than having enough money. You need hobbies, to be healthy, to feel good mentally, and plenty of social support.
Zelinski will help you get the courage to retire early, put money in perspective, help you find meaningful hobbies, and create retirement goals. Even though this book is a decade old, the advice is still valuable and relevant.
People feel that this book is filled with practical advice and helps them calm down at the idea of retiring. People like that it offers more than financial information, though that part is helpful too.
Some readers point out that Zelinski contradicts himself a few times within the book. The advice seems almost too obvious to reviewers.
Ramsey has a disdain for get-rich-quick schemes and leaves them out of his book. Instead, this book is filled with simple, straightforward advice. That doesn’t mean this book isn’t hopeful though.
He will help you design a plan to pay off your debt, all of your debt, recognizes ten of the most dangerous money myths, and create a big nest egg for emergencies. He teaches not to fall for the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, and debt consolidation.
To prove that his strategies work, he fills his books with stories of people who listened to him and have had success. He breaks down how society tends to focus more on material things which encourage bad spending.
Readers found this book to be life-changing. Many people started paying off their debts in months. They found Ramsey’s advice useful, easy to understand, and doable. People of all ages have read and appreciated this book.
Some people felt that there were too many success stories and that they pad the book. It’s a little drier than most readers prefer and becomes repetitive.
Originally coming out in 2008, this book has been updated for 2018 with fresh new takes on the changes that have happened in the financial world in the past decade. This book is all about changing your relationship with money.
The book will help you get out of debt and develop savings, save money through mindfulness and good habits instead of strict budgeting, declutter your life and live well for less, invest your savings to create wealth, and how to save the planet while saving money.
People who are just starting seem to benefit the most from this book. It’s practical and easy to understand - people like that it’s not just about money but about life as well.
Some people said that it almost sounds like a seminar that you’d go to and they didn’t mean it in a good way. A running complaint is that the book is in severe need of an editor and could be condensed.
Have you ever wondered why you make the choices that you make? Why you seem to pick the wrong choices? That’s what Nudge is all about. Thaler, who is a Nobel Prize winner, and Sunstein, a Harvard Law School professor show you that no choice is given to you neutrally.
Using psychology and behavioral economics they explore human choice and behavior. They offer two systems of things, the “Reflective System” and the “Automatic System.” They write about how one system is more instinctive while the other is more deliberate.
Different from other books on this list, instead of focusing on money and planning for the future, it instead focuses on why you choose to buy what you buy.
People like that both authors can break down a complex concept like freedom of choice into easy to understand sections. It has helped people understand their options and make different ones.
It can get a little repetitive at some points, and some readers felt that it didn’t age well. It’s from 2009. People found it interesting but not exactly life-changing.
This is the fourth edition of this book and has more of a focus on younger people. Millennials are coming to age after an enormous economic crisis and are trying to recover from it. Kobliner’s has been helping young adults for twenty years.
She has a down-to-earth writing style and will teach you how to get rid of debt, learn to save, and how to invest. This new edition offers new insights and practical advice to help you get started.
Even though this book is geared towards millennials, people of all ages have read and enjoyed Kobliner’s writing. It’s full of common sense, step by step guides, and easy to understand language. Reviewers have said it has changed their lives and they have reread the book many times.
While some people liked the common sense advice, other people felt that it was too common and could be looked up with ease. Some people wondered if she was trying to cover too much in one book and should have slimmed down topics.
This book is focused more on investing than overall financial IQ. Bogle writes about low-cost index funds, which is how you can get the most out of investing. He thinks you should build wealth over a long period of time through buying and holding at a low cost.
Even though the market is volatile, Bogle’s principle has survived and served people well. This is a tenth-anniversary edition that has updated info while keeping the same perspective the original. He shows you how to make investing work for you and hit your money goals.
Readers of all skill levels can read this book and understand what Bogle is saying. He breaks down how the finance world works and lets people feel confident in their decisions. People have tried his suggestions with success.
Some readers have found the book repetitive and if you have some familiarity with investing you could find the book too simple.
This book is helpful because it records Sincero’s own journey to become better with money. It’s not someone who is already rich and telling you how to be rich. Sincero isn’t telling you to get rich, just to use your money better.
It’s not dry and textbook style, the book is full of sass and attitude. She uses personal essays and simple concepts to help you learn what your earning potential is. She will help you get rid of your fear and doubt, figure out why you aren’t making more money, get as much money as you want, and more.
Readers like that this book is in her voice and that it’s more engaging than other finance books. The fact that it focuses more on your mindset and how you view money is refreshing for readers.
Some people feel that it’s repetitive and doesn’t offer any new advice when compared to other finance books. A lot of people are frustrated because she seems to use examples that involve more luck than self-starting.
Have you ever got annoyed by the fact that school didn’t teach you anything about finances in school? This book understands your frustrations. Siegel created this book for his five children because they hadn’t learned anything about money management.
This book focuses on eight lessons on the ninety-nine principle for money management. It’s quick and easy to read so that anyone of any level of money management can understand. These lessons come from what Siegel learned through his financial life versus a textbook.
Even though people love buying this book for teens and young adults, people of all ages can benefit from reading this book. It’s straightforward and hits the basics that you need to live without going into overwhelming details.
Many people don’t like that one of the principles is to refuse to pay your last month of rent, which is not very good advice. It could cause damage not just to your credit history but your chances of renting other places.
There are a lot of finance books out there and these are just ten of the best personal finance books. Depending on your situation, one book may be better than others. As mentioned in the list, some are more geared towards younger or older audiences.
Before you make a purchase, think about what your financial situation and what would be helpful for you to handle. No matter what book you choose, make sure to check out the review to see if people found the author easy to understand or not.
Whether you want to change your life or just educate yourself, any of these books can help you.