My Favorite Personal Finance Books!

I’ve never been a big fan of reading, but I AM a big fan of personal finance; so it is strange that I have found a happy medium over the past few years. I haven’t read as much as I’d like to in the past few years, but I have enjoyed a handful of reads that I’d be happy to pass on my take on each of them. Keep in mind that these are the books that I really liked, you may find they rubbed you differently, but we’re both reading this, so we must have SOME of the same ideas, eh?

1. It’s funny that one of the first books I read in personal finance was by a guy that got me excited about investing, but didn’t really teach me anything in it. Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad kept me interested for the few hours it took to breeze though the book. It left me excited about investing, but realizing I needed to HAVE the kind of money he described and tactics he used.

2. The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton is a unique book because it is disguised as a novel with a story, but the basis of it is that a bunch of buddies meet once a month at the barber shop and share their thoughts on finance. It does have an underlying story to it, but the point really is to catch the investment piece of it. If you’re not into reading dry info, but want info nonetheless, this might be up your alley.

3. If you’re just starting out in life and haven’t fallen for the standard 401k debacle, skipping out on savings, knowing how to pay bills, save at the store, etc, then Wealth on Minimal Wage by James Steamer is a good choice. James talks a lot about how to save on many everyday things, driving home the frugality piece nicely.

4. I’ve seen this guy on a few late night TV endeavors touting the book and offering other classes, but The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach really does offer some good advice on basic investing. It’s not high level and doesn’t delve deep into a lot of numbers and charts. Just tells the basic everyday person how to set up retirement savings to make your money work for you.

5. I’ve tried to read through A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel, but this book is EXTREMELY technical. You need to have a pretty thorough knowledge of investing to be able to dissect it. People (MyMoneyBlog, and TheSimpleDollar) give good reviews on it across the web, and I WILL read it eventually, but I’ve yet to make it through the whole book.

6. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve certainly heard of Dave Ramsey and his book The Total Money Makeover. He and Suze Orman share a lot of similar ideas. They both are big against insurance and credit cards in general. He has gone from millionaire to bankrupt-ee and lets everyone know how to deal with both. If you need to find a good way out of debt, I’d start here with Dave. He’s got some very good ideas in it.

I’ve always supplemented my reading offline with my readings online; clearly favoring the latter more, but like I said at the beginning, to each their own as people have different learning and investing ideals and strategies – the fact that you’re on a personal finance blog now leads me to believe you’re looking to make a change in the right direction! Good luck!

What are your favorite personal finance reads?


  1. This is a great list! A few of these books are on my to-read list, and some of them I’ve already finished reading. So far this year, one of my favorite personal finance books is “The Behavior Gap” Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money, by Carl Richards. His advice is easy to understand, especially for normal folks like me. But what I love most is the Sharpie napkin illustrations, they are so profoundly simple. It’s a very thought-provoking book.

  2. Thanks for the great recommendations. An excellent addition to this list would be The Millionaire In The Next Cubicle by self-made millionaire Chip Mendez.
    I have read many business books of many kinds of the years but none have ever had quite the immediate impact that this one did. The advice and guidance offered is so simple to follow and just makes perfect sense in the plainest possible terms. I also think it makes a great read for school leavers to establish some core ideas and philosophies about personal finance. Really great stuff.

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