Hi everyone! Since people know that I read a lot of books, I am often asked for recommendations on personal finance books. Because of that, I thought a great way to kick off the new year would be with a list of the personal finance books that are, in my opinion, the absolute BEST out there in terms of helping you understand and manage your money.
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I personally have read them all, and I can attest to the fact that they are all great books, but each one taught me something different. Some of these books may be ones that you’ve heard of before, and others maybe not. Enjoy!
Top 8 Best Personal Finance Books
1. The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley & William Danko
This is my all-time favorite personal finance book. It was written by two researchers who did in-depth studies on how people become wealthy and what the lives of wealthy people look like. The results, which are described in detail in this book, are eye-opening. My favorite thing about this book is that it completely changed my perception of wealth the first time I read it. I’ve now read this book dozens of times. Whenever I am experiencing a case of the “wants,” I pick this book up and re-read it. It never fails to remind me of the fact that true wealth often looks very different than most people think.
2. The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey
I know that Dave Ramsey catches some flack in the personal finance world, but I personally think that most of his advice is spot-on, especially for those who are just starting out on their road to financial freedom. In this book he debunks common money myths and addresses common financial hurdles that people face, all in a very no-nonsense tone. He also shares many examples of his readers who have successfully achieved their own financial goals, which I find hugely inspiring.
3. The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach
This was one of the first personal finance books that I ever read. In this book, David Bach addresses some of the key components of wealth building, including paying yourself first and automating your savings. He adds some fascinating tables that really help underscore the power of compound interest and starting to save and invest early. This book was an eye-opener for me because it helped me to understand in a very real way WHY it is important to start investing at a young age if possible. He also offers solid strategies on how to do just that.
4. Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki
I really like this book. It is not so much about investing strategies as it is about perspective on money. In this book, Robert Kiyosaki shares his unique perspective on wealth and education. He grew up with two dads, as he explains in the book, and his two dads had dramatically differing views on wealth, education, investing, and business. He discusses how people get stuck in the “Rat Race,” as well as how to get out of the Rat Race and/or avoid it by playing by a different set of rules. A really great read for those interested in passive income, entrepreneurship, or just wanting to expand their view of money and wealth.
5. Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez
This book is a personal finance classic. It dives into the more emotional and philosophical side of money and helps the reader really look closely at their money motivation. It aims to help readers identify the WHYs behind their spending and evaluate whether their spending is in line with their goals, values, and priorities. These factors are so often overlooked, but they can play a huge role in your relationship with money (not to mention your level of wealth)! That’s why I really like this book and think it is such an important one to read.
6. I Will Teach You To Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi
I love this book, which is geared toward readers in their 20s and early 30s. Sethi lays out strategies for money management that are simple but powerful, and he does it in a funny and irreverent style that makes him really relatable. He provides solid advice and actionable steps for those wanting to better their financial future. Any time an author has me both laughing and learning, it’s golden. 🙂
7. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker
This book is unique because, more so than any of the others on this list (except maybe Rich Dad Poor Dad), it addresses the mindset of individuals who attain wealth. I think mindset is another often-overlooked factor in achieving financial independence, which makes this an important read. In this book, T. Harv Eker shows the reader the difference between the mindsets of people who are poor, middle class, and rich, and offers action steps to take if you wish to change your mindset.
8. The Richest Man in Babylon, by George Clason
This book is an oldie (written in 1926) but a goodie. It’s a parable set in Babylon, the wealthiest city of the ancient world. Babylon’s citizens were said to be the richest of their time. This book offers a series of simple stories that illustrate the principles that the citizens of Babylon were said to live by in regard to money management, household budgeting, business finance, etc. This book is easy to follow and relatable, and it helps make complicated money topics easier to understand through the use of examples.
Many of these books are ones that my husband and I have read around the same time. For us, reading the same books and then spending some time talking about them has been one of the best ways we’ve found to “get on the same page” with each other financially. We don’t always agree with each other, or with every single thing we read in books, but it at least gives us a solid place to start having these conversations. And books like these give us a TON more information to talk about when it come to our money!
What do you think? Have you read any or all of these books? Are there any personal finance books that you would add to the list?
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Abigail @ipickuppennies says
I’d add anything by Liz Weston. Granted, she’s a friend of the family, so I’m a little biased. But she’s a very well-known PF writer/blogger. So I’m not *too* biased.
I’ll have to check out her work!
Derek at MoneyAhoy.com says
I love #6 and #7 – those books were very instrumental to my FI journey. Great recommendations!
Great choices. I’ve read most of them and they’re on my go-to gift list for friends and family.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich is still on my reading list. Thanks for the reminder!
I Will Teach You to Be Rich is a fun one- you’ll like it!
Emily @ JohnJaneDoe says
It may be more investing philosophy than personal finance, but if you want to understand why index funds are just…smart, try Jack Bogle’s Little Book of Common Sense Investing.
I haven’t read that one, but I’ll check it out! Thanks for the recommendation Emily!
Great selections! It’s so important for us to be mindful of our finances. Healthy finances equals freedom!
Thanks Natasha, I agree 🙂
I have actually read almost all of these. Great list!
Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire says
Great recommendations! The Millionaire Next Door made us really change the way we lived our lives as “keeping up with the Jones” lost its allure! From a personal growth standpoint (which relates to personal finance) I’d recommend “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnege. It’s super valuable!
I’ve heard of that book but never read it. I’ll have to put it on my list!
Brittney @ Britt & the Benjamins says
Great list – I’ve read 3 of your top 4! Look forward to adding the others to my line-up as well 🙂
Tracy @ Financial Nirvana Mama says
Thanks for sharing! I’ve read 5 out of 8 books. I will check out the book I will teach you to be rich. The title is off putting but since you recommended it and it is funny, I will read it.
Look forward to your future posts!
I really enjoyed. It does not necessarily contain earth-shattering information, but it is a fun read and gives solid advice.
Cedric @ USD/JPY forecast says
Incredible suggestions! The Millionaire Next Door rolled out us truly improvement the way we experienced our lives as “staying aware of the Jones” lost its charm! From a self-awareness viewpoint which identifies with individual money I’d prescribe “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnege. It’s super profitable!
I have heard great things about that Dale Carnegie book but have never read it. I’m going to have to put that on my reading list! Thanks for the suggestion!
Great list Dee! I read Rich Dad Poor Dad years ago and although I can’t say there was anything revolutionary in there, the author certainly had a great way of communicating the basic premise to the reader. I definitely got something worthwhile out of it.
I wonder if anyone agrees, but one of my all-time favorites is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Though the book deals less in specifics, it is a wonderful motivational tool if the reader is in the right mindset. A timeless masterpiece!
I agree! I’ve read that one and really appreciated it too.
Loved your list.
I agree with Paulie about Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Another great book is MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins. Easy to follow, leaves nothing out. Mainly for beginners. But everyone can learn somthing from it.
I’ve not read the Tony Robbins book! I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the recommendation!