The best personal finance books

16 authors have picked their favorite books about personal finance and why they recommend each book.

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The Complete Tightwad Gazette

By Amy Dacyczyn,

Book cover of The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle

This is an entirely different kind of book to those listed above. From 1990 to 1996 Amy Dacyczyn, a self-styled "frugal zealot," put out a monthly newsletter, The Tightwad Gazette. It contained all sorts of tips, tricks, strategies, and advice on how to pinch pennies. This book brings all her articles together in a single volume. For anyone committed to living simply–which usually means living cheaply–it is a goldmine. True, not all her recommendations met with my family's approval: mixing real maple syrup 50-50 with fake maple syrup received multiple thumbs down. But browsing through it is great fun, and on almost any page you'll find a salutary reminder of how you could be more frugal. And as we all know, frugality is associated with wisdom and with happiness.


Who am I?

I am a philosopher who is especially interested in relating philosophy to everyday life. So I like to ask–and try to answer– questions such as: Why is frugality considered a moral virtue? Are there times when rudeness is justified? What makes some kinds of work shameful? I earned my Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and am currently a Professor of Philosophy at Alfred University in Alfred, New York.


I wrote...

The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less

By Emrys Westacott,

Book cover of The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less

What is my book about?

From Socrates to Thoreau, most philosophers, moralists, and religious leaders have seen frugality as a virtue and have associated simple living with wisdom, integrity, and happiness. But why? And are they right? Is a taste for luxury fundamentally misguided? If one has the means to be a spendthrift, is it foolish or reprehensible to be extravagant?

In this book, Emrys Westacott examines why, for more than two millennia, so many philosophers and people with a reputation for wisdom have been advocating frugality and simple living as the key to the good life. He also looks at why most people have ignored them, but argues that, in a world facing an environmental crisis, it may finally be time to listen to the advocates of a simpler way of life.

Prince Charming Isn't Coming

By Barbara Huson,

Book cover of Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart about Money

The number one fear for women in divorce tends to be money, since a woman’s standard of living often falls significantly post-divorce. Barbara Stanny, a journalist and the daughter of H&R Block founder Richard Bloch, found herself in financial straits after her then-husband gambled away their money, left her with a massive tax bill, and fled the country. She had to learn to make and manage her own money to support her three children and has since become a financial educator. This book is critical for any woman who is worried about her finances in divorce. Stanny tackles both financial literacy and the psychology of money in this powerful and practical read.


Who am I?

As a Certified Divorce Coach and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, I work with clients during one of the most difficult stages of their lives. Clients often feel regretful about the past and fearful for the future, and the right book recommendation can really help them move forward. I often give clients reading assignments between coaching sessions that help them process their grief, figure out their goals, educate themselves about finances, feel less alone in the divorce process, and become more confident in making major decisions. I’m never not reading on this subject.


I wrote...

The Designed Divorce: How to preserve your wealth and peace of mind in divorce

By Jen Lawrence,

Book cover of The Designed Divorce: How to preserve your wealth and peace of mind in divorce

What is my book about?

In The Designed Divorce, Jen Lawrence shares the secrets she's gleaned from her private coaching and concierge practice and her training as a CDC Certified Divorce Coach, CDC Divorce Transition and Recovery Coach, Certified Divorce Specialist, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.

This book will help you: deal with your emotions so you can focus on the business of divorce, get clear on your goals so your settlement supports your dreams, hire a divorce team that can help you maximize your options, avoid the biggest divorce mistakes that threaten your wealth and peace of mind, implement radical self-care techniques that go far deeper than a spa day, understand your money and how to build financial security, and start down the path to a future that excites you. Filled with practical tips, exercises, and memorable stories injected with Lawrence's trademark humor, The Designed Divorce will make you feel like you are never alone in this process.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

By Robert T. Kiyosaki,

Book cover of Rich Dad Poor Dad

A friend recommended this book to me. At the time I was looking to expand my thinking about business and also started delving into the world of financial education.

Rich Dad Poor Dad aims to help the reader to consider their thoughts and actions and the path which they are on and offers an alternative to what the "herd" is doing, with a move towards very strategic activities when it comes to lifestyle, money and how you think about and use it. Reading this book led me to discover Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant.

The idea is to move beyond the left side of the quadrant which includes being an Employee (E), or Self-employed (S) across to the right side of the quadrant, towards being a Business Owner (B) and Investor, (I) for greater freedom and control over life through more focus on activities which can be game changers!


Who am I?

I’m the founder of Purposeful Group, an author, and a multi-award-winning entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses from scratch. I believe that when you have the right mindset, positive things will flow from this. As the designer of programmes for entrepreneurs and digital learners, I have recommended books that I hope will give readers a great foundation to build on to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. From a personal perspective, they have kept me on track, and helped me build a framework of “success behaviours.”


I wrote...

Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Book

By K.N. Kukoyi,

Book cover of Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Book

What is my book about?

Do you have an idea for a web, or mobile app? If you do, but you’re not sure how to transform your business idea into a technical product, then this practical “software survival guide” is for you!

This is the second of 5 books that I've published for entrepreneurs, designed to show you how to build your software application the smart way! I mentor entrepreneurs and tech startups from around the world, and as a qualified tech professional and software delivery specialist, I explain the do’s and don’ts involved in getting your startup business off the ground step-by-step, so you can avoid the common mistakes, pitfalls and challenges experienced by aspiring tech entrepreneurs. Having led and worked in teams creating multi-million-pound digital products from scratch.

Money Honey

By Rachel Richards,

Book cover of Money Honey: A Simple 7-Step Guide For Getting Your Financial $hit Together

Money Honey is a quick and easy read that asks the reader “why are you here on the planet and why are you wasting your time living someone else’s life?” Richards’ story of saving and investing then essentially retiring from day job hours while in her 20s will get your attention. You will start asking yourself why you’re sitting on the couch scrolling social media when you could be making a business plan or increasing your savings rate. At its core, the concept is not just about money. It’s about using money for the purpose of living the life we want to live, the one “you” were designed for. She asks, why waste any time getting there? Her money bucketing system is spot-on for saving for long, intermediate, and short-term financial goals. I wanted to save so hard after reading this book.


Who am I?

I own Aptus Financial and am a writer, financial columnist, and a Certified Financial Planner™. I also run 401(k)s (in high heels.) Financial literature and advice tends to nerd out with natural savers or shame debtors, but my passion is the folks in between—the break eveners. I believe that this group benefits from financial advice that nudges, not bludgeons. Also, many women don’t feel they belong in the world of personal finance, which is why I dedicate time to public speaking to women’s groups around the country. I am tapped into a network of financial ladysplaining authors and speakers who have collectively pulled ourselves up by our Mary Jane straps and are pulling chairs for other women at the financial table—right where they belong.


I wrote...

But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life

By Sarah Catherine Gutierrez,

Book cover of But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life

What is my book about?

But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life focuses on a simple concept that is all about inspiring women to save 10% of everything they make. Period. It starts with the inspiration to save, arms against YOLO (You Only Live Once) brain traps, and teaches a “pay-yourself-first" cash management system for life. Financial books have been the most clichéd graduation gift of all time and have weighted down moving boxes for decades with layers of dust and guilt springing from unread pages. But this one comes with a Gen-Z movement in college sororities, clubs, organizations, non-profits, and a growing Facebook group dedicated to Save10 conversations, questions and crowdsourced answers. Financial mistakes no longer have to be a rite of passage. Saving is the new Gen-Z power suit. Yes, we can want nice things, but first, we have to pay ourselves. But first, we always Save 10.

Clever Girl Finance

By Bola Sokunbi,

Book cover of Clever Girl Finance

I have recommended Clever Girl Finance to several of my coaching clients, and every one of them has reported that they found it very helpful—perhaps because Sukunbi starts by inviting readers to let go of past mistakes. (Regret is a frequent companion of financial anxiety.) Sukunbi is a wonderful storyteller, and she does a great job of breaking down financial concepts to make them clearer and more accessible. The book helps readers master concepts that build upon each other, and as such it is especially useful for women who feel overwhelmed by the prospect of taking charge of their money. 


Who am I?

I am a writer and financial wellness coach, and I am on a mission to help women like you become more confident and capable with money. Previously, I was an award-winning business and financial journalist with The New York Times, Business Week, and CNBC, and I have a graduate business degree from a top university. Even with all that, though, it took me years to build healthy personal financial habits and start using my money to achieve my life goals—so I understand the pain of financial stress and self-blame. I wrote my book to help you find an easier path to financial wellness and empowerment.


I wrote...

You Are Worthy: Change Your Money Mindset, Build Your Wealth, and Fund Your Future

By Kelley Holland,

Book cover of You Are Worthy: Change Your Money Mindset, Build Your Wealth, and Fund Your Future

What is my book about?

Many women live in silence about their finances, holding anxiety and fear inside. Many want to change, but don’t know how to even start. In You Are Worthy, I go to the heart of your money issues; shining a light on problem areas, providing solutions, and instilling confidence and skills to help you achieve financial well-being. 

You Are Worthy takes you step by step through the process of taking charge financially, weaving in the voices of dozens of real women. You will shed outdated beliefs; you will be inspired to learn; and you will learn to create an integrated financial plan to achieve your goals. You will come away with greater confidence, clarity, and hope, not just about money but about your whole life.

Smart Money

By Naseema McElroy,

Book cover of Smart Money: The Step-By-Step Personal Finance Plan to Crush Debt

Smart Money: The Step by Step Personal Finance Guide to Crush Debt is for the Millennial ready to act and looking for the facts. Imagine a no-nonsense personal finance book with 9 steps to get out of debt. When people start their professional lives with credit card debt and student loan debt, they have the choice to get comfortable with it and figure out ways to “manage it.” Ms. McElroy wants the reader to be deeply uncomfortable with it and to “slay it.” Along the way, she covers the financial basics, unlike many financial books that assume a level of reader knowledge that may not yet exist.


Who am I?

I own Aptus Financial and am a writer, financial columnist, and a Certified Financial Planner™. I also run 401(k)s (in high heels.) Financial literature and advice tends to nerd out with natural savers or shame debtors, but my passion is the folks in between—the break eveners. I believe that this group benefits from financial advice that nudges, not bludgeons. Also, many women don’t feel they belong in the world of personal finance, which is why I dedicate time to public speaking to women’s groups around the country. I am tapped into a network of financial ladysplaining authors and speakers who have collectively pulled ourselves up by our Mary Jane straps and are pulling chairs for other women at the financial table—right where they belong.


I wrote...

But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life

By Sarah Catherine Gutierrez,

Book cover of But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life

What is my book about?

But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life focuses on a simple concept that is all about inspiring women to save 10% of everything they make. Period. It starts with the inspiration to save, arms against YOLO (You Only Live Once) brain traps, and teaches a “pay-yourself-first" cash management system for life. Financial books have been the most clichéd graduation gift of all time and have weighted down moving boxes for decades with layers of dust and guilt springing from unread pages. But this one comes with a Gen-Z movement in college sororities, clubs, organizations, non-profits, and a growing Facebook group dedicated to Save10 conversations, questions and crowdsourced answers. Financial mistakes no longer have to be a rite of passage. Saving is the new Gen-Z power suit. Yes, we can want nice things, but first, we have to pay ourselves. But first, we always Save 10.

Do It for Yourself (Guided Journal)

By Kara Cutruzzula, Tessa Forrest (illustrator),

Book cover of Do It for Yourself (Guided Journal): A Motivational Journal

Do It For Yourself: A Motivational Journal is a great pairing with any of the books above. The beautiful and powerful designs ask questions and challenge thinking. They move you to action, like one particular page entitled, “Day One or One Day.” In a world of social media where we don’t keep up with the Joneses driving down the street but rather having the Joneses drive into our own living rooms, Ms. Kutruzzula reminds us that “Comparison Will Kill You.” Money requires action today, not promises tomorrow. It requires us to stick to our own goals and our own plan, not the plans of others. And it requires perseverance. This journal guides just that process.


Who am I?

I own Aptus Financial and am a writer, financial columnist, and a Certified Financial Planner™. I also run 401(k)s (in high heels.) Financial literature and advice tends to nerd out with natural savers or shame debtors, but my passion is the folks in between—the break eveners. I believe that this group benefits from financial advice that nudges, not bludgeons. Also, many women don’t feel they belong in the world of personal finance, which is why I dedicate time to public speaking to women’s groups around the country. I am tapped into a network of financial ladysplaining authors and speakers who have collectively pulled ourselves up by our Mary Jane straps and are pulling chairs for other women at the financial table—right where they belong.


I wrote...

But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life

By Sarah Catherine Gutierrez,

Book cover of But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life

What is my book about?

But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life focuses on a simple concept that is all about inspiring women to save 10% of everything they make. Period. It starts with the inspiration to save, arms against YOLO (You Only Live Once) brain traps, and teaches a “pay-yourself-first" cash management system for life. Financial books have been the most clichéd graduation gift of all time and have weighted down moving boxes for decades with layers of dust and guilt springing from unread pages. But this one comes with a Gen-Z movement in college sororities, clubs, organizations, non-profits, and a growing Facebook group dedicated to Save10 conversations, questions and crowdsourced answers. Financial mistakes no longer have to be a rite of passage. Saving is the new Gen-Z power suit. Yes, we can want nice things, but first, we have to pay ourselves. But first, we always Save 10.

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom

By Van Tharp,

Book cover of Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom

Good trading does not always involve just buying and selling decisions. If it was, trading would be much easier! To be a successful trader, you must have your psychological “house” in order. And that is what this book is superb for. Trade Your Way To Financial Freedom assists you in navigating the turbulent mental, emotional and psychological waters all traders face.


Who am I?

I have been trading for over 30 years now, and I was lucky to be one of the part-time “hobby” traders to be successful enough to trade full time. Along the way, I was a 3-time trophy winner in the world’s premier real time, real money futures trading contest. My passion is trading, both for my personal accounts and in assisting my students with their trading. While I always say “trading is the hardest way to make easy money” this field is my lifelong passion.


I wrote...

Entry and Exit Confessions of a Champion Trader: 52 Ways A Professional Speculator Gets In And Out Of The Stock, Futures And Forex Markets

By Kevin J. Davey,

Book cover of Entry and Exit Confessions of a Champion Trader: 52 Ways A Professional Speculator Gets In And Out Of The Stock, Futures And Forex Markets

What is my book about?

Are you looking for trading entry and exit ideas for your trading strategies? If so, this book is just what you need. This informative guide includes 41 entry ideas, 11 exit ideas, and code in Tradestation format and plain English for each (NinjaTrader 7 and 8 code available in the complimentary Book Bonuses described in the book).

Each entry and exit has been used in actual strategies by Champion trader Kevin J. Davey. Also included are detailed steps for how best to incorporate these entries and exits into your own trading. Start building strategies today with these fully described entries and exits!

The Simple Path to Wealth

By J.L. Collins,

Book cover of The Simple Path to Wealth

This book is short, sweet, and to the point – and frankly, a delight to read. It provides straight talk about investing and doesn’t overcomplicate things. I like its homespun flavor and its emphasis on just how simple it can be to become financially independent and retire early. Oh, and it includes a forward by Mr. Money Mustache himself, one of the gurus of the FIRE movement.


Who am I?

Robin and I are passionate about early retirement because we’ve lived the journey ourselves. At the age of 28 we had just $16.88 to our name, with bleak job prospects and college and car loans to pay off. Fifteen years later (despite average combined gross salaries of just $89,000), we had achieved our dream of retiring early to travel the world. Another fifteen years have passed since then, and we’re still happily retired with more than $1.5 million in investments and plenty of world travel under our belts (with more, hopefully, to come). We think the very fact that we’re so ordinary is what makes our journey interesting – because guess what? What we did is easily repeatable by you


I co-wrote...

How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less

By Robert Charlton, Robin Charlton,

Book cover of How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less

What is our book about?

How to Retire Early proposes a slow-and-steady approach to financial independence and is aimed primarily at those working 9-to-5 jobs who earn middling rather than super-high salaries.

What makes this book different from all the other books out there on early retirement? We think it's the amount of personal financial detail we provide. We don’t hold back! You can use this information as a kind of financial yardstick to measure what is possible in your own life. We retired from full-time work at the age of 43. In this book we share with you the roadmap we followed to get from full-time work to financial independence in less than 15 years. If we can do it, so can you!

Your Money or Your Life

By Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez,

Book cover of Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence

This perennial favorite transformed our view of money when we were first getting started. It asks you to consider how much “life energy” you’re putting into each purchase you make. Now, the concept of life energy may sound new-agey at first, but trust me, in the end, you may be thinking differently about both earning and spending. You’ll be asking yourself, How much, exactly, is enough? And can I live happily (not miserably) on less? Depending on your answers to these questions, you may even be able to shorten your own journey to early retirement.


Who am I?

Robin and I are passionate about early retirement because we’ve lived the journey ourselves. At the age of 28 we had just $16.88 to our name, with bleak job prospects and college and car loans to pay off. Fifteen years later (despite average combined gross salaries of just $89,000), we had achieved our dream of retiring early to travel the world. Another fifteen years have passed since then, and we’re still happily retired with more than $1.5 million in investments and plenty of world travel under our belts (with more, hopefully, to come). We think the very fact that we’re so ordinary is what makes our journey interesting – because guess what? What we did is easily repeatable by you


I co-wrote...

How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less

By Robert Charlton, Robin Charlton,

Book cover of How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less

What is our book about?

How to Retire Early proposes a slow-and-steady approach to financial independence and is aimed primarily at those working 9-to-5 jobs who earn middling rather than super-high salaries.

What makes this book different from all the other books out there on early retirement? We think it's the amount of personal financial detail we provide. We don’t hold back! You can use this information as a kind of financial yardstick to measure what is possible in your own life. We retired from full-time work at the age of 43. In this book we share with you the roadmap we followed to get from full-time work to financial independence in less than 15 years. If we can do it, so can you!

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