At some point in their lives, everyone is expected to figure out how to handle their own finances. Contrary to what you might have come to believe, you don’t have to figure all this out on your own. Here are the 7 best personal finance books that will change the way you think about money, keep you out of debt and help you plan a long and healthy financial life.
1. The Truth About Money (Ric Edelman)
Perhaps you are finally at a point in your life where you’re putting away enough money to actually be able to afford to spend some—wisely, of course. All the experts say planning financially for your future is an essential part of success and wealth, but what does that even mean?
In the newest edition of his personal finance guide, Ric Edelman tells you more than you probably ever knew you needed to know about money. Everything from financial planning to taxes and investing to how markets and capitalism work. Don’t do anything with your money until you have flipped through his book.
2. The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
In general, we have a lot of misconceptions about money. We enter the workforce with this idea that as soon as we start earning, we are free to spend our income on whatever we want as long as we don’t overdraw. In reality, more spending does not equal better financial health. Just because you own a lot doesn’t mean you won’t still owe a lot.
What is unique and exceptional about Dave Ramsey’s guide to personal finance is that it runs much deeper than a laundry list of how-tos. He gets real about what is safe and smart when it comes to our finances, and what isn’t. You will have a completely different perspective on this thing called the American Dream by the time you finish reading, and you’ll be much better off for it.
3. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? (Gary Siegel)
If you have just recently graduated, or will be graduating within the next few months, you may have already begun to realize something rather odd about the quality education you’ve received up to this point in your life: you can balance chemical equations, diagram a sentence and find the circumference of a two-dimensional circle, but no one ever taught you how to manage your own money.
You’re just the person Gary Siegel had in mind while writing this book. This quick and simple yet information-packed read will introduce you to all the basic principles of personal finance. Reading this book, you will have a much clearer understanding of how money in the real world works, and you’ll be able to make much smarter decisions with your income and expenses.
4. You’re So Money (Farnoosh Torabi)
If you have ever asked a cynical adult what it’s like to live and work in the real world, they have probably immediately filled your head with images of endless Ramen dinners and one-bedroom apartment horrors. You have probably come to believe that “having it all” is a myth. You’ll never be rich … or will you?
Farnoosh Torabi’s approach to working hard and living comfortably is a refreshing take on what real adult life can be like, if you plan your money carefully. The book sets out to prove that you can have all the things you want and more, as long as you are willing to be patient, spend wisely and treat yourself regularly. Money was made to be spent. You are not doomed to a miserable life of financial instability.
5. Personal Finance for Dummies (Eric Tyson)
Others may have told you what you need to do with your money—earn, save and invest—but have offered no further guidance as to how to make the majority of those things happen. How are you supposed to know if you are on the right track, financially? Is there a right and a wrong way to keep track of your money?
Eric Tyson’s book is designed to help anyone and everyone set realistic goals for their finances. Planning for your future in any regard involves setting goals, and this guide will help you figure out where to begin. You will also learn how to avoid slipping into debt, how to get out of debt and how to create a budget that will keep your finances stable over longer periods of time.
6. Get a Financial Life (Beth Kobliner)
Those in their early twenties not only struggle to figure out how to get their finances in order, but also wrestle with keeping up their student loan payments and trying to balance out their income and expenses. It’s a lot to learn when recently out of school, especially when you’re spending so much time, well, trying to earn more money.
If you can identify with these money struggles, Beth Kobliner’s book is definitely for you. She will teach you how to pay off debts and loans, afford more advanced education beyond an undergraduate degree, save when there isn’t a lot of money in the bank and so much more.
7. Debt-Free by 30 (Jason Anthony and Karl Cluck)
There are a few money-specific things we really, really want to be able to accomplish before we turn 30. We want to stop borrowing from our parents. We don’t want to hold our breath every time we check how much money we have in the bank. Possibly the most important, we don’t want to continue feeling as though we’re drowning in debt.
The authors of “Debt-Free by 30” believe you are smart and capable enough to start saving money early, even when it seems as though every cent of your income disappears instantly before you can grab hold of it. The book will teach and motivate you to get out of debt before it’s too late to save your finances.
Money is not to be feared. With careful planning, helpful tips and plenty of encouragement—all things these books can offer you—you will figure it out. Worrying about your personal finances will soon be a thing of the past.