Personal finance books help you manage your money better. At the most basic level, you can learn personal finance basics like why paying yourself first pays off or how to manage and pay off debt so you’ll become smarter and more confident with handling your money.
A good personal finance book is one that offers valuable information on how to manage spending, savings, debt, and investments. These picks of the best finance books do all that in a package that’s also entertaining, upbeat, and accessible.
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad
You’ve probably heard of Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” but there’s a reason it’s stuck around for more than two decades. In one of the most popular personal finance books of all time, Kiyosaki shares what he learned growing up from his father and his friend’s father, the latter of which is the “rich dad” in the title. Those lessons include how you don’t need to make a lot of money to get rich, assets and liabilities, and explains to parents why schools won’t teach your kids what they need to know about personal finance. This 20th-anniversary edition includes an update from the author on all things money, the economy, and investing.
2. The Wealth Choice
Equal parts inspirational and informational, Dennis Kimbro’s book “The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires” is an outstanding read for anyone interested in wealth accrual. Dr. Kimbro, a college professor, motivational speaker, and writer for the Napoleon Hill Foundation, effortlessly pairs years of in-depth research with engaging success stories in this 2013 publication. The page-turning narrative style combined with his financial savvy and general life wisdom are sure to make it a personal finance read that will have mass appeal for years to come.
3. Master the Game
Money: Master The Game lays out seven simple steps to financial freedom, based on the advice of the world’s best billionaire investors, interviewed by Tony Robbins.
Tony Robbins dedicated ten years of research to this book. After the financial crisis of 2008, he decided to help average people secure a good future. After interviewing several billionaire financial legends, such as Ray Dalio, Warren Buffett, Jack Bogle, he put together their best strategies. The book contains everything from mindset changes to saving tips to asset allocation. The transcripts of the interviews are worth the price of the book alone.
4. The Barefoot Investor
The Barefoot Investor is an Australian farm boy’s no-BS guide to taking charge of your personal finances with a simple system to eliminate debt, live in the now, and still retire in peace.
Scott Pape is Australia’s most trusted personal finance expert. His book has sold over 1,000,000 copies. Despite growing up on a farm, Pape wanted to get rich by trading stocks. That didn’t work out. He went back to his farm and now uses the simple life as a metaphor for managing your money. The book helps you take control in three phases: plant, grow, and then harvest your money. He balances easy tips with radical advice.
5. The Total Money Makeover
Debt Management plays a major role in the state of your personal finances. Need a little help in that area? Take a look at Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover.” This New York Times bestseller explains, without mincing words, how to get out of debt and improve your financial picture by avoiding common pitfalls like rent-to-own, cash advances, or using credit. It also offers solid advice on starting an emergency fund, saving for college and retirement, and how to succeed at Ramsey’s famed “Snowball Method” for debt payoff.
6. The One-Page Financial Plan
Confused when it comes to your money, whether it’s how to properly invest or how to deal with unexpected financial challenges? Carl Richards’ “The One-Page Financial Plan” takes the mystery out of how to effectively manage your finances. This book helps you not only figure out what your financial goals are, but also how to get there in a simple, one-page plan. Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and a columnist for The New York Times.
7. I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Being rich isn’t about not spending money at all. In “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, financial expert Ramit Sethi explains that you can spend your money, guilt-free, as long as you have it invested and allocated properly. This title talks about how to deal with all the common money pitfalls, from paying off student loans to how to save every month, and even how to talk your way out of late fees. This 10th-anniversary edition includes updated views on technology, money, and psychology, as well as some success stories of readers who have actually gotten rich from reading—you guessed it—Sethi’s book.
8. Investing 101
There aren’t many investing books that are attractive enough to live on your coffee table, but “Investing 101” by Michele Cagan is one of them. Between the covers of this book, readers will find a well-written soup to nuts introduction to investing. Part manual and part textbook, this book, and the entire 101 series, won’t give you advice on how to beat the market, but it will provide you with a working knowledge of how different financial vehicles work, the differences between various types of investments, and how to build a well-rounded portfolio for long-term growth.
Cagan, a certified public accountant (CPA), excels at providing readers simple yet comprehensive definitions of complex financial vehicles and concepts. “Investing 101” is the perfect book for anyone who wants to learn more about the world of investing, as well as for those looking for a go-to resource on investing to consult from time to time. Cagan’s straightforward approach and lack of editorializing are what make this book a great introduction to investing.
9. The One-Page Financial Plan
The One-Page Financial Plan makes financial planning stop feeling like a burden for the less disciplined by helping you plan your entire financial future on a single page.
Carl Richards has spent more than 40,000 hours over the last 20 years as a financial advisor, working at Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch and others. Some of his sketches he shares on Instagram went viral. They illustrate the ideas that helped him and his wife plan their finances on just one piece of paper. His book shows you how to do the same.
10. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is a curation of the 13 most common habits of wealthy and successful people, distilled from studying over 500 individuals over the course of 20 years.
This might be the most popular book about success in the world. After steel magnate Andrew Carnegie himself put him on to the task, Napoleon Hill interviewed successful individuals for 20 years. The result, was published in 1937 and has sold 70 million copies. It’s a book about thinking, vision, and doing what it takes to succeed. If you’re a young entrepreneur, this is for you.
11. The Psychology of Money
This read is an interesting delves into the psychology of money and how your ego, preconceived notions, and even your pride can affect your decisions around money. As expected, this isn’t exactly the best way to manage your investment portfolio, and Morgan Housel’s “The Psychology of Money” gives readers tips and tools for combating these biases in the form of 19 short stories that focus on the same topic. Housel is a partner at The Collaborative Fund and has worked as a columnist at The Wall Street Journal.
12. Perfect Credit
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox has 15 money management books under her belt, but “Perfect Credit,” first published in 2010, is one of the best books on credit ratings because it’s a clear, actionable guide to improving credit, step-by-step. Additionally, according to a 2019 Experian report3, about a third of Americans have subprime credit; the need for a book that addresses improving credit scores is clear.
Despite the often fraught topic, “Perfect Credit” manages to be entertaining, approachable, and upbeat. Khalfani-Cox’s voice makes the readers feel like they’re getting trustworthy advice from their best friend who just so happens to be a former Wall Street Journal reporter. The book also covers important and often overlooked topics like how to negotiate with creditors and how to control excess spending to prevent credit overuse in the future.
13. Your Money or your Life
With more than a million copies sold, Vicki Robin’s “Your Money or Your Life” lays out an easy-to-follow, nine-step plan to help readers change their relationship with money. Whether it’s how to get out of debt, get started investing, how to build wealth, or even save money by practicing Robin’s signature mindfulness technique, this read has you covered.
14. The Intelligent Investor
The Intelligent Investor explains value investing, which is focused on generating steady, long-term profits by ignoring the current market and picking companies with high intrinsic value.
Warren Buffett says this is the single greatest book on investing ever written. It’s based on Benjamin Graham’s classes, which Warren Buffett took as a young student. Value investors find companies with great fundamentals and buy their shares at a discounted price. After that, all they have to do is waiting. Eventually, their real value will unlock.
15. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
The Automatic Millionaire is an actionable, step-by-step plan for building wealth without being disciplined by relying on fixed percentages, small payments, and automated transactions.
When he was seven years old, his grandma took David Bach to McDonald’s. Over lunch, she told him there are three types of people in the world: those who eat at McDonald’s, those who work at McDonald’s, and those who invest in McDonald’s. Wow! Later, Bach became a vice president at Morgan Stanley. Today, he runs a consultancy and publishes books. 7 of 12 are New York Times bestsellers, and this one is his most practical template for building wealth.