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.
Money In, Money Out
Keeping track of your spending — and in some cases, cutting back — are important components of certain personal finance books.
- Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together…Finally: Nicole Lapin, a financial reporter for CNN and CNBC, uses her personal experiences to guide readers in allocating their funds. Writing for the layperson, Lapin focuses on creating a budget, either on paper or digitally. Most of the money goes toward living essentials, but savings, investments and retirement funds are significant outlays. Lapin also sets aside a limited but fixed amount for entertainment.
- 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.
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!