Personal Finance

9 Must-Read Books to Help With Your Personal Finances

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Finance, Real Estate News & Commentary
30 Articles Written

No one wants to struggle to make ends meet, but sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do. Invest or pay down debt? Work overtime or get a second job? Budget strictly or have flexibility? Lots of experts are ready to tell you how to handle your money. How do you know who to trust? Here are some recently published books that offer straightforward advice so individuals can repair, restructure or reinforce their personal finances.

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Money In, Money Out

Keeping track of your spending — and in some cases, cutting back — are important components of certain personal finance books.

Related: BiggerPockets Presents: The Best Real Estate Books Ever

  • One Bed, One Bank Account: Better Conversations on Money and Marriage: The wife-and-husband writing team of Carrie and Derek Olsen addresses money issues that affect couples’ marriages. The authors suggest a specific process for financial conversations that encourages honesty and listening. Couples not only share their bank accounts; they also need unified expectations and goals.
  • Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness: Attorney Leslie Tayne works with clients to resolve debt. However, her book proposes that debt is not to be avoided. It’s only problematic when it’s burdensome. While developing a budget is important to Tayne’s approach, handling debt responsibly is an essential component.
  • The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life: Author Kimberly Palmer shares her story of creating an Etsy store, as well as stories of others who use their talents and interests to develop money-making part-time jobs. While the book is useful for people considering a second income source, it also has tips for people who’ve already started. For instance, if you love your car and already make money as an Uber driver, you can see predictions for the future of side gigs.


More, More, More

 Whether you’re starting out, nearing retirement or are somewhere in between, investing is an important part of financial security. These books look at investment during different stages of life.

  • Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By: Cary Siegel offers financial advice for younger generations. Budgets, savings, credit, housing, and insurance are covered thoroughly. The investment section provides a process to begin entering the market, including an introduction to mutual funds. The book also describes investments readers should steer clear of.
  • Personal Finance For Dummies: While Eric Tyson looks at many aspects of personal finance, including setting goals and obtaining insurance, investments are essential. Controlling debt is a prerequisite to building assets. Tyson uses real-world, personal stories to highlight his points. Because it’s written much like a reference book, finding answers to specific questions is easy.
  • The 5 Years Before You Retire: Retirement Planning When You Need It the Most: Author Emily Guy Birken has recommendations for workers who see retirement fast approaching and worry they won’t be financially ready. Birken helps readers make the most of their 401(k) investments. She also examines medical and family issues that crop up as people prepare to leave the workplace.


Related: 5 Cures to Financial Mediocrity From the Classic Book The Richest Man in Babylon

Look to the Future

Getting your own finances in line is a great idea, but what about your kids? Here are some books that discuss how to teach children to be responsible with money:

  • Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money: The father and daughter team of Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze reflect on their real-life family experience of overcoming bankruptcy and becoming financially strong. While the parents led their family back to solvency, the children learned about budgeting, saving, personal responsibility, resilience and goal-setting. The authors also delve into the importance of these lessons, which resulted in independent, successful and happy adults.
  • The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money: Wall Street Journal and New York Times writer Ron Lieber offers everyday practical ideas that have worked successfully. Topics include budgets, part-time jobs, donations and wants versus needs. Lieber illustrates his recommendations by telling stories about his and other families.

Do you need more money, want to get control of your earning and spending or invest what you have? Maybe you want to help someone from another generation avoid economic struggles. Regardless of the situation, there’s a financial book that can help.

Will you add any of these books to your reading list? What have you read lately that you’d recommend?

Let me know your thoughts with a comment!

Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of the millennial money blog, Current on Currency.

    Andrew Luong Rental Property Investor from San Francisco, CA
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Very cool list of books – haven’t heard of quite a few of these!
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied about 3 years ago
    While it is an old book, the Richest Man in Babylon is a pretty good book I have had a few family members read it and you can tell it really made them think. It makes them think about money differently, kind of like Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
    Michael Lee Investor from Coppell, TX
    Replied about 3 years ago
    I have been reading investment books while I medically recover and have liked several. I appreciate your recommendations. Finance views are very important and should be paid attention to. Thank you very much!
    Peter Mckernan Residential Real Estate Agent from Newport Beach, California
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    This is great insight on what books to grab off the shelf for bettering yourself and your spouse to have a brighter future. All these topics that he books cover really cover many topics that are at the forefront of many conversations due to high school debt and many medical bills that hit a lot of homes. Thank you for sharing!
    John Mathewson from Schererville, Indiana
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great post! Always love learning what other people recommend as good books.
    Virgil Amper
    Replied 4 months ago
    Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” is a must read and has helped millions of people with the “Babysteps.” Also, Tony Robbin’s “Unshakeable” and “Money, Master the Game” are good books as well.