Regardless of how one feels about money, it is hard to argue against its influence on people’s lives. This is never more true than with those struggling with finances and debt. There is no shortage of advice on managing money and it can be overwhelming at times, but some financial books have managed to rise above the others and present actionable instructions on money, finances, and debt.
Here are 15 of the best personal finance books on money and debt to add to a Summer reading list:
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – This is one of the best of the personal finance books. The author challenges the myth that a formal education is required to attain wealth. It has sold over 32 million copies in more than 51 languages across more than 109 countries and has been on the New York Times bestsellers list for over 6 years. Mr. Kiyosaki advocates the importance of financial literacy and building wealth through investing in different assets.
2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – The lessons laid out in this 1937 book still resonate and hold true today. With over 20+ years of research and study, Hill has said that he was inspired to write this book by a suggestion from business tycoon and later-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It was first published during the Great Depression and is a wonderful read.
3. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko – The surprising secrets of today’s “quiet” and unassuming millionaires are revealed in this informative work. The book explains why high-income white-collar professions are more likely to devote their income to luxury goods or status items, thus neglecting savings and investments.
4. Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner – While the lessons presented in this book are intended to be a financial roadmap for those in their twenties, they will resonate with audiences of any age. The new 2017 edition has been completely updated and overhauled as well. Whether you make minimum wage or bring in a six-figure salary, you need to know the rules of the game and this book can be your guide.
5. The One Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards – Cutting through all the jargon and complications, Richards presents a simple, relatable and easy to read book on finances. From his mistakes, he knows the value of creating the right plan and sticking to it. Richard’s book will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.
6. Debt Free by Thirty by Jason Anthony and Karl Cluck – Described as “practical advice for the young, broke, and upwardly mobile”. This book offers a step-by-step guide that helps you get out from under all of that debt. It was written by two 20-somethings who found their way back from the horrors of double-digit-debt. This book reveals the secrets of debt-free living.
7. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins – Robbins has taken the financial lessons he’s picked up from the countless millionaires and billionaires he’s worked with over the years and presented them to the average person seeking to break free of the traps of Wall Street. This book provides everyday people with a blueprint for financial freedom.
8. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach – Passive income is the goal of many an entrepreneur these days and the internet, social media, and technology have made it attainable. He focuses on the idea of “Pay Yourself First” which really is a great idea. It’s a simple and quick read that you can finish in a day or two at the most.
9. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – 7 easy-to-follow steps are laid out in this book with the intent of helping readers reach their financial goals. Dave Ramsey is America’s best-known financial advice guru. He’s best known for his great financial advice and helping people get out of debt. It’s no wonder why his book made our list.
10. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – Practical lessons in financial wisdom are taken from a collection of stories set in ancient Babylon. In this classic bestseller, Clason reveals the Babylonian’s secrets for creating, growing, and preserving wealth. You’ll read entertaining tales of merchants, tradesmen, and herdsmen and how they all handle their money.
11. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin – Vicki Robin lays out her 9 practical steps for transforming one’s relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Robin’s guidance. It’s full of time-tested wisdom that applies to people of all ages and covers many financial topics.
12. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School by Cary Siegel – As the title would suggest: this book presents practical financial knowledge that you won’t get in today’s classrooms, but you really should. Unfortunately, personal money management skills were rarely taught in high school or college. This book includes 8 important money lessons focusing on 99 principles that will quickly and memorably enhance any individual’s money management wisdom.
13. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham – This must-read book on “value investing” has given rise to such investing legends as Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, and Walter Schloss to name a few. Some financial gurus have called this book vital and indispensable.
14. Worth It: Your Life Your Money Your Terms by Amanda Steinberg – The founder of the popular financial website www.dailyworth.com seeks to define and inform women’s relationship with money. This book shows women how to view money as a source of personal power and freedom. Steinberg gets to the bottom of why women are stressed and anxious when it comes to their finances.
15. The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards – The title says it all and the author presents some solid advice to avoid those “dumb things” we do with our money in the future. Richards grew frustrated watching the people he cared about make the same mistakes about money over and over again. Using simple drawings to explain “the behavior gap”, Richards found that once people understood it, they started doing much better.
Whether individuals are seeking to gain control of their finances, get out from under debt, build financial wealth, or just plain increase their knowledge in the world of finance; the above-referenced list of fantastic financial books will provide invaluable lessons for years to come.
A summer reading list doesn’t have to be boring or unproductive. Use that leisurely time to better your financial future and make smart money management decisions!