Are you struggling to stay ahead financially? Do you wish you could achieve financial independence but don’t see how?
We know it can feel overwhelming, especially if you know nothing about personal finance or have already gotten into debt.
Take a breather, because there’s good news!
Sit down with a nice cup of coffee and dive into these best budget books of 2023 to help you achieve your financial goals. Whether you want to achieve financial independence, FIRE, or feel in control of your money, these budgeting books will guide you to getting ahead financially.
Financial Literacy Books
If you don’t fully understand how finance works, achieving financial freedom is hard. These books on financial literacy teach you not only the basics of finances but also the other not-so-talked-about factors that go into your financial journey.
Each book has a different perspective on financial literacy and what you must do to take control of your finances. Take what resonates with you from each book and reach your financial goals.
‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich’ by Ramit Sethi
Ramit Sethi teaches readers how to take responsibility for their finances. He says it’s time to stop making excuses and just start investing.
The best part about this book?
It’s not your traditional advice to reduce expenses and live a frugal life. While that works, Sethi promotes investing AND spending money on what you want, within reason.
He is all about spending money guilt-free as long as you’ve met your responsibilities to reach your long-term financial goals. This is good news for those who feel restricted and rebel when there are too many rules.
His book includes success stories of readers who implemented his tactics to motivate them to try it.
‘Your Money or Your Life’ by Vicki Robin
‘Your Money or Your Life’ author Vicki Robin shares strategies about basic financial literacy and your relationship with money.
Robin wants readers to understand that their relationship with money is more important than the fundamentals. When you look at money the right way, it’s much easier to have proper money management skills, and she shares this in a relatable way that includes giving you a new perspective on life.
Robin discusses strategies for paying off high-interest debt, investing, saving, and budgeting for everyday life.
Her book is written in a clear 9-step format that you can follow step-by-step or jump around as you see fit. The book aims to change your money mindset so that managing money is something you enjoy rather than considering it a chore.
‘The Psychology of Money’ by Morgan Housel
Morgan Housel talks about how to think about money rather than how to manage it. Housel focuses on the real-life aspects of money, not just the math or spreadsheets we’re taught by our parents or sometimes in school.
Throughout his book, Housel provides tips and tricks and 19 short stories to help you see ‘real-life’ tactics and combat the ‘typical’ way of thinking about money.
This doesn’t mean spreadsheets and math are wrong when you manage money. However, Housel wants you to focus on how you think about money, and the rest, in his opinion, falls into place.
Best Personal Finance Books
Sometimes, to get control of your money, you need budgeting books that give a new perspective on debt, savings, and investing. The books in this category focus on getting out of debt and creating financial strategies moving forward that help you reach financial independence.
They aren’t your typical ‘do these XYZ steps.’ Instead, each of these books has a personal story or reason they teach the way they do to help you understand personal finance topics and how they work.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not by Robert Kiyosaki
It’s on every list for a reason! Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been around for over 20 years and has had many editions since then to keep up with societal changes. But, despite its title, this book isn’t for dads; it’s for anyone who wants to learn the strategies Robert Kiyosaki learned from growing up with a middle-class dad and his best friend’s dad, who he considered ‘rich.’
The takeaways from the book may surprise you, though. First, Kiyosaki proves you don’t need an extensive income to ‘get rich.’ He proves the difference between working hard for your money and making your money work for you.
Spoiler alert: You want to make your money work for you, and that’s what Kiyosaki strives to teach in his best-selling book.
‘The Total Money Makeover’ by Dave Ramsey
We all know Dave Ramsey and his stance on debt; he hates it. So it’s no surprise that his book ‘The Total Money Makeover’ focuses on getting out of debt and staying there. He doesn’t hold back on his feelings about rent-to-own and using credit cards, so don’t be shocked when he belittles them.
Ramsey’s book focuses on how to get out of debt, save an emergency fund, and with his 7-step process, how to have a fully funded retirement account.
It’s important to understand that Ramsey is completely against debt and won’t promote the use of buying on credit, taking out student debt, or borrowing for most reasons. Instead, he focuses on the debt snowball method to help you eliminate and stay out of debt.
‘How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any’ by Erik Wecks
‘How to Manage your Money When You Don’t Have Any’ is a book written for Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, the author has ‘been in the trenches.’
Erick Wecks shares his financial struggles and how he got out of them. This book is a quick read and focuses on steps you can take immediately to alleviate your financial stress and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
He focuses on not making yourself look wealthy because you’ll only regret it in the future. Instead, the book focuses on strategies to get ahead in today’s turbulent economy.
Best Finance Books for Families
When you have a family, your finances must take priority. You have kids to care for and possibly put through college. After that, life gets much more expensive, so you must know how to budget.
Here’s the problem.
Your financial goals may take a back seat because of how busy life gets, but these finance books for families help you make sense of your budget and how to have your cake and eat it too.
‘Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money’ by Fumiko Chiba
Let’s face it, raising kids is hard, so zen is necessary when budgeting with kids. You can’t put budgeting on the back burner because you’re running ragged taking care of the kids. You need time to handle both, and it’s a big ask for anyone.
In the ‘Japanese Art of Saving Money,’ Chiba makes budgeting fast and simple. It’s focused mostly on women, but anyone can get something from it. Think of it as the Marie Kondo version of budgeting. It’s simple, fast, and effective, just what you need to raise a family.
‘The One-Page Financial Plan’ by Carl Richards
In ‘The One-Page Financial Plan,’ Carl Richards simplifies financial planning into one page. Of course, the book goes into much more depth on financial planning, but it starts by helping you simplify your goals and to be able to see them on one page.
The barebones books covers the basics but then dives a little deeper into the topics that require it. Overall, he simplifies budgeting for families to make it easy, fast, and something you can prioritize no matter how crazy life gets.
Books on Finance for Young Adults
Young adults need a budget and some handholding to understand everything. School taught them many things, but personal finance often isn’t one of them. These books break down personal finance topics, from dealing with debt to saving and investing. They aren’t overwhelming, and they talk in a way that young adults can understand to take control of their financial life early.
‘The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money’ by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage
The Financial Diet focuses on topics ranging from budgeting to personal finance decisions and topics you might not consider when discussing your financial life.
For example, Fagan talks about the clothes in your closet, the food in your pantry, and how often you eat out. She covers topics young adults need to hear to understand how it affects their personal finances and future financial decisions.
Other critical topics include talking about money with friends, being more frugal in the kitchen, taking care of your house, and budgeting.
‘Money Honey’ by Rachel Richards
‘Money Honey’ doesn’t sugarcoat what you must do to manage money. Rachel Richards gets to the point to help you get your financial life together.
She covers topics like creating a killer credit score, managing student loans, learning how to split your money between saving and investing, lowering your expenses, and doubling your income.
It’s the advice every young adult needs to create a solid financial life moving forward.
You can use Richards’ 7-step process or modify it to fit your needs, but she has a proven track record to achieve financial freedom and wants you to do it too.
‘Broke Millennial’ by Erin Lowry
Sometimes to get control of your personal finances, you need to look at your money mindset, and that’s what Erin Lowry focuses on in ‘Broke Millennial.’
Lowry firmly believes in the money story, or how you grew up with money and how it affects how you handle it today. You might not even realize you have a money story or that it affects how you handle finances, but Lowry helps you uncover it.
Lowry teaches you how to treat money right and fix any bad relationships with money. She also teaches effective techniques to get out of student debt, how to have the money talk with your significant other, and even how to handle weird situations like not being able to afford to split the bill evenly.
Best Budget Books on Getting Out of Debt
If you’re in debt, budgeting books that help you escape it can feel like a lifesaver. These books offer different perspectives on getting out of debt by helping you eliminate debt and focus on your spending habits to get your financial life under control.
We know how overwhelming it can feel to be in debt, but these books give step-by-step advice to empower your decisions and help you get out of debt.
‘Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom’ by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
Lynette Khalfani-Cox’s Book on debt provides a distinct 30-day plan to help you get out of it. The author herself was $100,000 in debt and paid it off in three years.
Khalfani-Cox discloses the secrets to paying off credit card debt (it’s not what you think) and how to manage other debts like auto loans and student debt. In addition, she helps you get control of your spending habits and teaches you how to fix your credit.
In this budgeting book, you’ll find tips and tricks other books don’t offer and plenty of motivation to get out of debt because this author has been where you are and can help you achieve your financial goals.
‘Debt Free or Die Trying: How I Buried Myself in Over $30,000 in Debt and Dug My Way Out by Age 30’ by Marcus Garrett
Marcus Garrett lived a life of living paycheck to paycheck and getting himself $30,000 in debt. However, he has also dug himself out of debt.
Garrett came up with his own 4-step plan to create your budget, get out of debt, and live a life of financial freedom, and he wants to teach you how to do the same.
‘Ditch Debt, Save Money and Build Real Wealth’ by Bola Sokunbi
Bola Sokunbi, the founder of Clever Girl Finance, has released a book that shares her money mistakes, what she learned from them, and her financial education to empower you to make smarter financial decisions.
Sokunbi teaches all the basics, including budgeting, money management, a spender’s guide, starting a side hustle, and changing your money mindset.
It’s one of those budgeting books that touches on everything you might need to get out of debt and perfect your financial life moving forward.
Best Budgeting Planners
A talk about budgeting books wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of the top budgeting planners available. Budgeting planners help you track your budget how you’re most comfortable, which is the only way to stay on track and reach your financial goals.
These budgeting planners give you an extra step to stay in control of your finances and to see where you might need to make changes.
Related Article: 13 Best Cash Envelope Wallet Options to Manage Your Money
Finance Planner by Papier
The Finance Planner by Papier is a budgeting planner for an entire year. It also includes a yearly review to review last year and see what you might change. In addition, you’ll have access to monthly trackers and periodic reviews at six months and one year to evaluate how your efforts paid off.
There are pages to plan for special occasions and a handful of articles to motivate you on your financial journey.
Erin Condren Weekly Budget Tracker Notepad
The Erin Condren Weekly Budget Tracker Notepad can help if you prefer a one-week budget. You can detail your weekly budget, financial goals, and all transactions you complete throughout the week.
You can check in and see how you did at the end of the week and determine if your week budget moving forward should change. In addition, the notepad is compact enough to take around with you, so you never have an excuse not to track your transactions and understand your financial life.
Sooez Budget Binder
If you prefer the cash envelope budgeting system, the Sooez Budget Binder is the perfect option. It includes eight cash envelopes you can personalize for your budgeting needs, and easily keep track of your spending.
It also includes 39 budgeting category stickers and 24 budget sheets to help you keep track of your budget. This budgeting planner is a great way to get a visual aspect of managing money, spending, and what you must do to achieve your financial dreams.
FAQs on Budgeting and Financial Freedom Books
Budgeting books can help you learn different techniques and understand how you look at money. They can be eye-opening, but of course, not every book is right for every person.
Do Budget Books Actually Help?
Budgeting books obviously aren’t personalized, so you can take what you want from each book. They can only help as much as you absorb and use. The authors share their stories and tactics to give you the arsenal needed to take control of your financial life.
Will a personal finance book change your life on its own?
No, you must be willing to put in the work and take actionable advice to make changes.
At What Age Should You Start Thinking About Money?
It’s never too early to think about money. In your childhood, you likely learn about money from your parents. As soon as you understand money, can save it, and learn to budget, you should start thinking about money. The earlier you save money or invest it, the more time it has to grow.
Is It Too Late to Start Budgeting?
It’s never too late to start budgeting. So even if you’re in your 30s or 40s and never budgeted a day in your life, it’s time to start.
The key is to look at your mistakes, understand your money mindset, and learn the changes you must make to create a budget that helps you achieve your financial goals.
The Best Budget Books: Our Final Thoughts
These best budget books of 2023 can help you get on the right track. Of course, you must implement the advice provided to achieve your financial goals, but they can point you in the right direction. Whether you want to understand complicated financial jargon, learn to budget, or get out of debt, there are books from authors ready to share their stories with you! When you’ve reached the end of your book wishlist, check out How To FIRE’s very own Budgeting Bootcamp and optimize your budget so you can put it on autopilot.
Samantha Hawrylack is a personal finance expert and full-time entrepreneur with a passion for writing and SEO. She holds a Bachelor’s in Finance and Master’s in Business Administration and previously worked for Vanguard, where she held Series 7 and 63 licenses. Her work has been featured in publications like Grow, MSN, CNBC, Ladders, Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Loans, Clever Girl Finance, Credit Donkey, Crediful, Investing Answers, Well Kept Wallet, AllCards, Mama and Money, and Concreit, among others. She writes in personal finance, real estate, credit, entrepreneurship, credit card, student loan, mortgage, personal loan, insurance, debt management, business, productivity, and career niches.