Looking to up your personal finance game? Here are the best personal finance books that you should put on your “to read” list this year.
Reading is something I’ve always enjoyed. I used to avidly read paranormal fiction books, but I realized that they were keeping me up at night. My brain would replay everything I read I just couldn’t go to sleep.
So, I swapped to reading non-fiction books.
While, not quite as exciting as a fiction book, personal finance books don’t keep me up at the same rate that fiction books do. I can easily start reading one and then put it down and go to sleep.
Some actually put me to sleep. Great perk if you’re feeling some insomnia coming on.
Not all of them should put you to sleep though. You should at least be intrigued by them.
This is why I love the books on this list. I’ve started each of them and can say that I probably won’t have any issues finishing them. (I’ve since finished Total Money Makeover and am focused on Millionaire Next Door now.)
Why Should You Read Personal Finance Books?
If you’re not so fantastic with money, then reading personal finance books is definitely something you might want to consider. Personally, I feel they give me that swift kick in the pants to get things back on track.
For a long time, I’d spend money without a second thought really. It didn’t matter to me. I was making money, so I should be able to spend it however I want, right?
Wrong. That’s the exact wrong way to think. Reading The Millionaire Next Door definitely opened my eyes to that.
Most millionaires don’t spend their money all willy-nilly. Most actually hoard their money and spend frugally on things for their life. I found this most fascinating.
There is quite a lot of research that went into that book, and it’s interesting to see how millionaires stack up to what people typically think a millionaire would do.
So, if you’re wanting to pay off debt, get off the paycheck-to-paycheck roller coaster, and actually have more money at the end of each month then check out some of these books. They’ll inspire you.
How to Make Time to Read When You’re Busy
Life can be so freaking hectic and we can make so many excuses as to why we don’t have time to read. But, if you can even devote 10-20 minutes before bed or when you wake up you can get in a lot of reading.
Here are some tips for finding time to read in your busy day:
- Get up 20-30 minutes earlier than normal to read a few pages from your book of choice
- Take your book to work with you and read on your lunch break
- Read in the car line if you get there a little early (1-2 pages is something!)
- Instead of surfing through Instagram or Facebook at night read at least 10 pages (not a chapter, not more… 10 pages)
If you aim to try and do 2-3 of these each day you will be amazed at how much of a book you can get through over time.
Or, you can even listen to audiobooks.
- Listen on your way to work
- Listen to and from lunch
- You can listen as you go pick up your kids
- Or listen as you cook supper
The ideas are endless really. It’s up to you to decide if developing a better mindset about money and managing money is something you’d like to achieve.
Best Personal Finance Books to Consider
I was going to list out tons of books in this post, but I’m sticking to ones I’ve either read, started to read or have on my “to read” list coming up.
These are all great and ones that I’ve been recommended by others to read.
One great thing is that they’re all different and don’t have the same ideas. So, if one isn’t to your liking you can pick out the parts that speak to you and toss out the rest of the information.
The whole idea is to improve your mindset, and that means taking what fits and leaving the rest. It doesn’t mean you have to conform to what everyone thinks is right because it might not be what’s right for your family.
Sure, there are some things that might be necessary to listen to advice wise (think stock market advice), but even then if you do your own due diligence you could probably make your own assumptions.
Money is very personal and so is our habits with money. That’s why it’s so important to develop a better mindset and I believe that reading personal finance books are one way that you can definitely improve your money mindset.
Have Read List
1. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
This book and the Financial Peace University kit are what started my education with money management.
Not everyone follows Dave’s plans to the letter, and we’re probably one of those couples. Mainly the whole Baby Step 1 part. And, this is sort of personal preference really.
You can either only stick $1000 in an “Emergency Fund” and start tackling your debt, or you can find your way to make it work.
For us, we got the initial $1000 in savings, but we also allocate an amount each month that keeps going into our emergency fund. This is because we don’t feel that $1000 is sufficient enough to cover us in the event of an emergency.
It’s still a really great book and you can create your own plan based on his amazing knowledge and his background of helping thousands of others become debt-free.
Have Started List
2. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
This book is really eye-opening and definitely makes you think about things from a different perspective.
In the book, you’re lead through basically a journey where they have studied millionaires for over a decade to see what their spending habits are, how they live, what kind of cars they drive, and if their wives are spenders or savers… it’s crazy.
It’s super in-depth and they provide a lot of data to back up their thoughts in the book. Learning how actual millionaires live and spend their money makes you wonder why others don’t follow the same path.
3. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
I think I’m about halfway through this book. It’s really an amazing read and will definitely make you think.
Profit First isn’t like any other book I’ve read on personal finance. Most books will tell you to get out of debt and THEN save all your money.
But, this book says that you should pay yourself first and then pay all of your bills.
Um, so what if you don’t have enough money at the end of the month? Check out the book and see what Mike has to say about it. You might be surprised.
4. The Art of Money by Bari Tessler
Truthfully, I’ve had this book for a few years. It got shoved to the back of my closet during moves, but I recently found it and I’m making a point to finish reading it this year.
If I’m not mistaken, Bari also has a course with the same title as the book. I haven’t looked into it much (mostly because I haven’t finished the book), but I might check it out once I finish reading this book.
It was recommended to me by an old friend. Life got away from me and we had kids. *sigh*
Next Up To Read
5. Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
I’m super excited to read this book as there has been a lot of buzz around this book and her newest book Broke Millenial Investing.
The title intrigued me and is ultimately what made me want to read it, though, I don’t really agree with the whole “scrape by” part of the title. So, I’m kind of hoping that’s not what the entire book is about.
6. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle
A woman I was deployed with overseas bought this and was showing it on Insta Stories a while ago and I mentioned that I had been wanting to read it. She told me I needed to, so like a good friend… I put it on my list.
It helps that she’s a personal development nut and only reads the best. So, I’m going to follow her lead on this one.
Besides, I definitely want to learn more about investing for when we’re finally debt-free, have our 6-month savings and are ready to start investing!
7. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin
Another one that was recommended. It has high reviews on Amazon and is really great at opening your eyes to financial matters and how to transform your relationship with money.
If you don’t have a good relationship with money, this book is said to help tremendously.
8. The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach
Everyone loves a one-step plan, but is it really one step? I’m going to find out.
This was also recommended to me and I am eager to get to it. David Bach has many titles that are well known in the personal finance/personal development genre. I don’t think I’ve ever seen much in the way of someone not liking his stuff.
Oh, sure, there might be but you can’t create something that appeals to everyone, right?
I’m most eager to see why he says you don’t need a budget ?. This should be interesting!
Why These Personal Finance Books?
Every single one of these was recommended to me by people I trust, and the research I’ve done also leads me to believe their life-changing.
One I’ve already read and is changing my life. I believe that if we allow it and open ourselves to personal development in the personal finance realm we can change our money habits, get out of debt and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck.
So, if you’re ready to make changes this year, and you’re wanting to have a better relationship with money I highly suggest choosing some reading materials.
Make a List Then Make a Plan
Once you have your list of books at the ready it’s time to make a plan of how you want to tackle them.
I don’t advise reading multiple at once. Nope. I found out the hard way that it doesn’t work.
Or, well, it doesn’t work for me anyway. It might work for you. Who knows?
Definitely make a list though.
These are the 8 books I planned to read this year and I’m ready to get through them and soak up the wisdom. I’ll also update this list as I go along :).
What Personal Finance Books Are You Reading?
Do you have a favorite you’ve read or something you plan to read that isn’t on this list? I’d love to hear what books have inspired you, are inspiring you or you think will inspire you. I’m always game for a little (or a lot) of inspiration!
Want to learn how to budget your money without feeling like a budget failure? Check out my post where I show you how to use YNAB for Budgeting!