If you’re trying to improve your financial wellbeing, you must read the best personal finance books available today. In our list are a few long standing favorites as well as some motivational newcomers that have changed the way we all look at personal finances.
The Best Financial Books Of All Time
Some of the best financial books of all time are built on simpler steps than most people thought possible. Give these books a read and you’ll likely transform the way you look at financial success moving forward.
1. The Simple Path to Wealth by J L Collins
Created from a series of letters the author wrote to his daughter about money and investing that he never gave to her, but felt should be known. The book is a series of personal recounts of things the author did that worked and that didn’t work, in the hopes that it helps others.
J L Collins made the lessons fun and even funny. They are simple to understand and helpful to almost anyone. It just goes to show you that personal finance isn’t as complicated or overwhelming as we make it, but sometimes you have to read it in one of the best money books of all time yourself.
2. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin
Your Money or Your Life has been the go-to personal finance book that has helped people rediscover the importance of managing money. The money book is broken down into 9 steps and focuses not only on money, but on your mindset too, which plays a tremendous role in your personal finances.
Your Money or Your Life focuses on building wealth, increasing your income, and the basics of investing, giving you a well-rounded understanding of personal finances and how you can turn yours around.
3. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
If you’ve ever wished you could get inside a millionaire’s brain, this personal finance book is as close as you’ll get. Thomas Stanley takes you on a trip to understand how millionaires achieved their wealth. Spoiler alert – most don’t live in Beverly Hills or live super extravagant lifestyles.
The book is based on the interviews with several millionaires, many who share secrets into the life of the millionaire. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that their tactics are a lot simpler than you’d think and anyone can do them!
4. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Who better to learn about discipline with finances than the Babylonians? If you’re looking for inspiration from our past about how to live a prosperous life, you’ll find the tips you need right here in this book.
Through the historical tales, you’ll learn every principal you need to grow, preserve, and enjoy wealth. The book is timeliness, great for all ages, and a must-read for anyone just starting or starting over in their personal finance journey.
The Best Financial Management Books
5. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Everyone knows Dave Ramsey as a personal online and radio show personal finance expert from the Dave Ramsey Show. Now you can add New York Times bestselling author to that title too. In his book, Ramsey discusses how to budget, grow your wealth and be able to stick to it.
The money makeover he takes you on is like a serious budgeting diet meant to change your lifestyle and build financial security, not just be a fad. Dave has great tips for money management so you can stop living paycheck to paycheck. He’ll take you on some drastic steps to improve your financial fitness, all with the goal of helping you achieve financial freedom, which many people have done with the help of his book.
6. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
If you have always wished for someone to teach you to be rich, you’ve found it in this personal finance book. Broken down into a 6-week program, Sethi teaches you to get out of debt, earn interest on your savings, buy what you want for less, and invest.
Sethi operates differently than your typical personal finance guru, so read closely and make sure you understand the steps. Sethi’s focus is on major wins – if you’re ready to make big changes in your finances and create a solid financial plan, this is a book for you.
7. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
David Bach takes readers on a journey with a ‘real couple’ with realistic income and just as much debt as the rest of the world. Through this couple, Bach shows you how to save money and get rich just by making it automatic.
Bach bucks the normal thoughts about how you get rich. Instead, he focuses on automatically paying yourself first just like other successful people. It sounds simple, but Bach gets into such great detail that you’ll end this bestseller knowing exactly what you have to do if you too want to become a millionaire.
8. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry
If you’re in your 20s or 30s and describe yourself as ‘broke,’ this book is for you. Even if you can’t rub two nickels together, Lowry helps you go from broke to wealthy with the simple steps in this book.
Lowry combines true stories with important tips to help you get a grasp on your finances. Even if you think you know ‘nothing’ about finances this book will make you feel like an expert in no time. Take notes, do what it says and you’ll no longer use the word ‘broke’ in your vocabulary.
9. The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan
Chelsea Fagan teaches readers how to understand money and not just in the literal sense. She carefully teaches about the energy around money and how you may be wasting it and not even realizing it. She digs deep into your lifestyle, helping you see where you’re going wrong and how you can fix it.
When you’re done reading this book, you’ll have a much better sense for managing your personal finances and not just the money in the bank, but the money that comes in and out of your life. You’ll change how you’re managing your money in all areas of your life and wonder how you ever lived otherwise.
Financial Independence Books
10. Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early): How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom? By Scott Rieckens
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be on the road to achieving financial independence and retiring early (FIRE), Scott Rieckens narrates what it’s like in this book. He takes you on a journey starting from when he was overworked and in over his head in debt to living a FIRE lifestyle.
Rieckens takes you on his family’s journey not only to financial freedom, but to overall happiness. This recount of this family’s incredible turnaround may be just the inspiration you need to start living a FIRE lifestyle.
We highly recommend also checking out their documentary here.
11. ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence by Chris Mamula, Brad Barrett, and Jonathan Mendonsa
Do you just want to understand finances? If you want someone to point you in the right direction and make you feel like empowered decisions are possible, this personal finance book may provide just that. The authors do a great job of providing the framework everyone needs to turn their life into one of financial independence.
Even though the words financial independence sound scary and unachievable, the authors do a great job of making it easy to understand and implement financial planning for your own life. The collection of experience from the experts is something you won’t find in just one place anywhere else.
12. Raising Your Money-Savvy Family for Next Generation Financial Independence by Carol Pittner and Doug Nordman
We were fortune enough to have the authors contribute a summary of their book! Here’s what they have to say:
The book grew out of all the questions that I’ve been asked at FinCon and other financial-independence meetups like CampFI. Carol and I share our back&forth narrative about the specific tactics we parents used to help her learn to manage her money. I describe our “brilliant” parental ideas and why we used them. Carol discusses her memories of how she really perceived them when she was a kid contrasted with her understanding of them as an adult. We show families what worked for us (and what didn’t). It’s personal now: Carol and her spouse are raising our baby granddaughter Arya.
Kids learn to manage money by making lots of mistakes. When you start teaching them at a young age, though, their mistakes are a lot smaller (and cheaper) than years later when they’re in the workforce. The book helps parents learn to validate a kid’s feelings about money, talk through their mistakes, and think of better ways to manage their money the next time. Later, parents can help them find their own motivations and incentives to earn, save, and invest.
We cover all ages from preschoolers to young adults, and we even discuss estate planning and legacy wealth.
13. Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier
If working the traditional 9 to 5 job and living a frugal life is something you’d love to quit, then you’ll want to read what Sabatier has to say. This isn’t your typical personal finance guide. Instead, you’ll receive unconventional financial advice that helps you buck against the norm, making money ‘other ways’ while living the lifestyle you want to live.
You’ll learn to enjoy life without overspending and how money is honestly limitless when you put your mind to it. If you’re ready to think outside the box and learn new ways of making money and living, then this is a book you don’t want to miss.
14. Retire Before Mom and Dad: The Simple Numbers Behind A Lifetime of Financial Freedom by Rob Berger
Rob Berger, Forbes Deputy Editor has a lot to say about financial freedom, including that it’s not that hard to achieve. His book starts off focusing on the basics (getting out of debt and adjusting your lifestyle) but eventually he gets into the FIRE (financially independent retire early) mindset.
If you’re looking for a simple way to understand how to build a strong financial future, this book is it. He doesn’t use complicated words or concepts that you need a PhD to understand. Instead, the advice is simple, actionable, and doable for anyone who’s ready to try it.
Best Investing Books
15. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore
Investing books can get overwhelming and downright boring if you don’t find one focused on the topic you need. Fortunately Taylor Larimore makes it easy and entertaining using Jack Bogle’s buy-and-hold investment strategy. Taylor has been successful with his own portfolio and shows you how in this easy to understand book.
Larimore shows readers how to create an index that outperforms the market by investing in US stocks and bonds and non-US stocks. Larimore makes it easy to understand how to build wealth through a portfolio that’s allocated based on your current lifestyle, financial goals, age, and risk tolerance.
16. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel by Benjamin Graham
Everyone in the investment industry knows Benjamin Graham as an expert in the field. In this book, he provides the knowledge anyone needs to do well in the market. He’s updated the information to meet today’s market and times.
The advice in the book is actionable, but focused mostly on core philosophies, and is geared toward investors who really want to learn the ins and outs of investing from a professional’s point of view.
Money Mindset Books
17. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
If you’ve dreamt of a 4-hour work week or a time when you can retire from the rat race and do what you want, without sacrificing, check out Timothy Ferriss’ recount of how he went from making $40,000 per year to $40,000 per month and quitting the rat race.
Ferriss includes personal stories of how he did it and case studies from proponents of his methods. Ferriss shows you how to make major changes in life that dramatically improve your finances, but don’t make you feel like you’re sacrificing. It’s a great blueprint to start your journey to living financially free, if that’s your goal.
18. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenrich talks about her journey from complete poverty to not, showing you what it’s like to live on nothing (literally) and how to learn what it takes to get by. Ehrenreich shows what it’s like to live in America bouncing from place to place, working ‘unskilled’ jobs and the pressure it puts a person under.
She shines a light on what it takes to achieve the financial freedom you desire starting literally from the ground up. It’s an eye-opening story that will make anyone who reads it view finances differently.
19. The Wealthy Gardener: Lessons on Prosperity Between Father and Son by John Soforic
This book is more than about achieving financial freedom, it’s about achieving a sound mindset and achieving your own purpose. Known as a fable of sorts, this book is an enlightening look at the timeless principles we all hear and think we have to follow. The lessons in this book will teach you how to manage your money and create highly effective money habits.
Anyone with a penny in their pocket can benefit from reading this book. Whether you’re a blue collar or white collar worker and whether you invest or avoid it like the plague, everyone walks away with a new appreciation of money and life after reading this book.
20. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio is a world-renowned investor with unconventional thoughts and rules that he attributes his success to. The last 40 years have been a successful time for Dalio, and he shares his ‘rules’ on how he’s achieved what he’s achieved.
This personal finance book contains the valuable advice from Dalio in an organized fashion for anyone to understand. He first breaks down the concepts and in the second half of the book, shows you how to implement them. This book provides valuable advice you’d have to pay thousands of dollars to get if you were seeking it in person.
Best Books on Real Estate Investing
21. How to Invest in Real Estate: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started by Brandon Turner and Joshua Dorkin
The authors of the BiggerPockets Podcast provide their advice for investing in real estate in this helpful book. Whether you’ve been thinking about real estate investing for a long time or you’re just starting out, this book will give you the knowledge and steps needed to take the first step.
Don’t expect a ‘do this and then this’ type book. The authors give you multiple paths, allowing you to choose the one that’s right for you because they know that no two investors’ paths are the same.
22. Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat: The BRRRR Rental Property Investment Strategy Made Simple by David M. Greene
If you haven’t heard of the Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance Repeat method yet, you’re in for a real treat with this book. It breaks the BRRRR method down into simple terms so anyone can understand and implement it.
When you’re done reading this book, you’ll likely feel empowered enough to start investing in real estate too. It’s one of the most powerful ways to grow your wealth and Greene makes it easy to understand the most successful method in real estate investing yet.
Financial Literacy for Kids
23. The Simple StartUp Student Workbook and The Simple StartUp Instructor Manual by Rob Phelan
If you have kids or work with them and want to teach them how to start a business, this guide will show you where to start. This book is perfect for beginners, even those with no entrepreneurial experience. When you’re done reading this book, you’ll be prepared enough to teach the kids in your life, giving them one of the largest life skills – becoming an entrepreneur.
Kids reading the student workbook will have the skills they need to start a money-making business.
More Best Finance Books
24. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
This book is Rober Kiyosaki’s story about growing up with two ‘dads,’ one rich and one poor. Robert talks about the lessons he learned from both dads, all of which were valuable and are what helped Kiyosaki be who he is today.
This book is for anyone who assumes you have to make a lot of money to be rich and truly emphasizes the importance of parents teaching their kids about finances and not relying on the school system to do it.
25. MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is one of those people everyone needs to know. Whether he’s talking about business, health, or finances, Tony has incredible knowledge that brings the young and old to him asking for advice.
Tony, with the help of many experts, created a 7-step blueprint to help anyone achieve financial freedom. Tony stops the myths and helps you see the truth about how you too can achieve financial freedom.
26. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
If you’re looking for inspiration from one of the most influential people in the personal finance industry, look no further than Napoleon Hill. In his book, he talks about his ‘Law of Success,’ teaching you what it is and how to implement in your life.
If there’s only one book you read about personal finances, make it this one – a tried and true favorite.
Personal Finance Books are a Step in the Right Direction
If you’re looking for a way to transform your finances, you must educate yourself often. Read personal finance books by several authors to see which of the theories you love the most. No two people have the same ideas and theories, but taking bits and pieces from each theory offered may be just what you need.
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Samantha uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others control their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles, and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles. She is now a full-time entrepreneur, freelancing coach, and blogger.