Become a Money Master: The 22 Best Books for Improving Your Financial Freedom

Posted by on June 27, 2017 in Economy with 0 Comments

Source: Developing Good Habits

Personal finance is the most valuable self help topic. It is one of the few areas of your life where simple process improvement will directly affect your money. This makes personal finance books like the ones on this list incredibly valuable.

These books are designed for everyone. They can help those who make a lot of money get a better handle on their cash flow. But more importantly, they can help those of modest means get a better handle on their finances and perhaps even accrue enough savings to be truly rich.


Whether you earn in the top 10% of national incomes or struggle to get by from paycheck-to-pacycheck, learning more about personal finance is the key to long-term success with money.

Understanding personal finance basics is foundational to financial success. They include the basics of budgeting and building a budget that works. They will teach you how to reduce debt and save money. Finally these books will show you how to turn a modest savings and investments into great saving and investments over time.

These books cover the basics of investing, but JUST the basics. If you have a lot of extra money and are looking for tips on what to do with the extra money these books on investing might be a better fit for you.  Also to consider, if you have the cash flow, is investing in property. Property is an investment that always increases with time. These real estate investment books can give you some great guidance on that specific investment.

But remember, of all types of financial management books, the ones you see on this page are the most important. These books will truly move the line on your personal finance education. Investment is wonderful but before you should consider ANY major investments, getting your personal finances in order is essential

Without further ado, let’s look at the best books on personal finance.

1. The Total Money Makeover (Classic Edition): A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover Classic Edition - from personal finance blog

This personal finance book by Dave Ramsey is especially great for younger people who are just starting to really manage their money. Ramsey provides budget forms and worksheets for the reader to reference to make things simple.

While it may not be a very exciting book, The Total Money Makeover provides a lot of real-life success stories that can help inspire the reader to properly manage their own money. It is like taking your own personal finance class in college. It may not always be “exciting” but the information presented is top-notch and essential to long term success with money and finances.

Ramsey helps readers relate to their personal finances in this book by asking the important question of “Would you fire yourself if you managed the money for a company like you manage your personal money?” This helps the reader to reflect upon their own situation and apply the lessons in the book to their own life.

While it is not meant for retirees, this book lends a lot of knowledge to people in their early 40s and younger.

2. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley

The Millionaire Next Door

This book looks at the seven common traits that continue to show up among people who have accumulated wealth. Most people picture wealthy people as living lavish lives, but a lot of truly wealthy people live right down the street, due to living below their means and investing well.

There is a lot of data and common sense in this book that proves to have surprising results. It is also full of information about both the emotional baggage and the freedom that money provides.

Regardless of your age when you begin to read this book, you will certainly be able to recognize people from your own social circles in it. Additionally, you will recognize a vision of yourself. And if you are willing to do an honest assessment of your financial habits, you will be able to recognize some areas that could use improvement.

While some statistics in this book may be outdated (as it has been around for 15 years), the principles remain the same. If you are able to follow these principles and create a plan, you can be well on your way to financial success.

This book provides a lot of valuable information at an inexpensive price.

3. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry

Broke Millennial Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry - personal finance tips for the millenial

This smart guide to money helps people who are just getting started to take control of their finances. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to go from completely broke to financially secure. This is different from other personal finance books because it not only addresses credit card debt, budgeting, and investing, but goes beyond the basic financial issues to look at tricky money matters and real-life situations that people face.

This book is an easy read with real-life stories and simple advice. It might be right for you if you have poor money habits that have been passed down through the generations. This gives you everything you need to break that cycle of financial irresponsibility.

With a strong focus on the mental aspect of spending and finances, the reader is able to think about why they spend like they do, and perhaps consider what void in their life they are trying to fill, and how to do it in a less expensive way. This is a great guide filled with personal finance tips for younger people who are just getting started.

4. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

This book, created for 20- to 35-year-olds who are financially clueless, provides a practical and non-judgmental approach to making readers want to follow the advice that is given. This book is based on the four pillars of personal finance, including banking, budgeting, saving, and investing. It also discusses the wealth-building opportunities of personal entrepreneurship.

This is a logical, step-by-step handbook to help lead readers to financial success. One of the major takeaways from this book is the importance of automating your finances so you are able to save and invest money without putting in much thought or effort. This helps leave you money to spend on everyday things without questioning your decisions or feeling guilty.

This book presents a six-week action plan that is easy and straightforward to follow. Each chapter goes through a task and why it is important, and ends with a clear checklist of actions to be taken.

This is a great book for people who have not had the chance to optimize their finances yet, and are looking for a place to start.

5. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner

Get a Financial Life Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner

This down-to-earth book speaks to people in their 20s and 30s who are just starting out. It addresses doing taxes, boosting credit scores, and decreasing debt. It also talks about how to avoid common money mistakes and effectively navigate the world of personal finance.

This easy-to-read book also includes Cliff’s notes, in case you are jumping around and scanning the chapters. The fundamental concepts are great to come back to every now and then, so it is helpful to have such a well-organized book where you can find what you are looking for easily.

This book is a must-read for people who are about to graduate from college and go out on their own. While it is great for people who are looking for general advice, this might not be the book for those who are more established in their financial lives and looking for ways to optimize their finances.

6. The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream by Suze Orman

The Money Class Learn to Create Your New American Dream by Suze Orman - personal budgeting, saving money and financial fixes to secure a better future

This is a great book for everyone, regardless of where you are in your life financially. It covers everything about taking care of your family, your career, your home, and your retirement. Using a very direct approach, Orman shows the reader how to manage the mix of money and family. She also addresses how to avoid making common, costly mistakes when it comes to real estate and your career. This is a great book to help prepare for retirement as well, as it includes a comprehensive retirement resource with an attainable strategy that can be used at any age.

The tools and advice that are presented in this book can take the reader from financial fear to financial security with lessons on how to feel hopeful about the future.

To make things practical and easy to follow for the reader, the author breaks down the pros and cons of various financial decisions and situations that people often encounter.

Though parts of this book may not apply to you, there is definitely something in this book for everyone.

7. Personal Finance For Dummies by Eric Tyson

Personal Finance For Dummies by Eric Tyson

This book offers tried and true financial tips on how to keep your financial assets growing in spite of the changing market and downturn in the economy. It acts as a guide through some of the major subjects in finance, including budgeting, paying off debt, saving, and making proper investment choices. Tyson urges his readers to examine all of the aspects of their financial well-being and pinpoint the areas that need improvement.

While this is an entry-level book on home personal finance, it is very comprehensive. The author provides solid and practical information that can be applied to anyone’s life right away.

With a bit of humor added throughout the book, there are smart lessons laid out that are always useful to keep around and refer back to in the future.

This book is easily broken down and very simple to follow. It is a great book to have on hand for anyone who wants to learn how to get out of debt and save money.

8. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

This book talks about how people in ancient times were able to be financially successful. It often refers to the “Babylonian parables,” which are known as the greatest inspiring works on thrift, wealth, and financial planning, and includes fascinating and informative stories to help set the reader on a path to prosperity.

This is an inspiring book on personal success. It helps to strengthen the reader’s faith in hard work, a positive attitude, and self-discipline. It also teaches the values of avoiding procrastination and taking advantage of opportunities.

While the old English language that pops up throughout this book may not feel right to some people, it only goes to show that these principles have been around for a long time with continued success.

The downside of this book for many is that it deals with ideas. It is more about thought process behind saving rather than actually giving you real world personal finance tools to take action.

9. The 5 Years Before You Retire: Retirement Planning When You Need It the Most by Emily Guy Birken

The 5 Years Before You Retire

Despite the fact that many Americans put money aside throughout their careers for retirement, people often wait until they are in their sixties to realize they have not saved enough. This book aims to show the reader what needs to be done in the next five years to make the best use out of current savings and create a plan for the future.

Birken covers every aspect of retirement planning and provides straightforward strategies to explain how people can make the most of their last few years in the workforce while also preparing for retirement.

This is a great book for anyone, whether you have been saving for retirement since the beginning of your career or you are just getting started. It will show you what is important to do now so you are able to live comfortably in the future.

This book presents the information in a very clear way, which makes it quite easy to read. It is also great for people who are not clear on a lot of financial terminology but want to learn more.

10. The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

The Automatic Millionaire A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

This book is different from other personal finance books because it starts out with a story of an American couple whose joint income is never over $55,000 a year, yet they own two homes, put their children through college, and retire at the young age of 55 with over $1 million in savings.

The story goes to show that just having personal financial planning does not lead to wealth. Rather, it is important to automatically pay yourself first to secure your future while also paying for the present.

This book offers a realistic system for anyone to put into place, no matter what their income level is. Investing 10% of your income automatically will result in long-term savings without any extra effort.

This is a great book for teenagers and young adults who are just starting to manage their own money. It teaches them to think about their savings first and then focus on what they want to purchase in the present moment. This straightforward book leaves little room for confusion.

11. Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23 by Beth Kobliner

Make Your Kid a Money Genius Even If You're Not A Parents Guide for Kids 3 to 23 by Beth Kobliner

This book provides a jargon-free, step-by-step guide for parents to use to teach their children about money. While this is essentially a lesson on finances, it is actually so much more than that. Teaching kids how to spend their money properly involves teaching lessons on delaying gratification, living within or below your means, working hard, doing well in school, and being generous toward other people.

What’s more, this book talks about why an allowance isn’t the best way to teach children how to handle money, and why after-school jobs may not necessarily be the answer either.

This well-structured book is candid and often funny. It is a great read for parents as well as people who do not have kids but want a better grasp on their own finances. It is easy to relate to because parents have already been through their own childhoods and have seen how their financial lessons impacted them. This book shows the process in a new light that is more effective than one may think.

12. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By by Cary Siegel

Why Didn't They Teach Me This in School

Unlike other personal finance books, this one is not complicated or lengthy. It discusses eight important lessons that focus on 99 principles that will help enhance anyone’s money management skills. This quick and easily digested read focuses on the qualitative side of money management rather than the quantitative side. The author uses practical principles that are memorable and that generate deeper thoughts in the reader’s mind.

This book is formatted in a way that it can be picked up and put down as needed. It is an easy read that can be appreciated by adults and teenagers alike. It also provides a great starting point to discuss finances with teenagers so they are able to learn what they should and should not do in the future in order to accumulate wealth.

13. Pogue’s Basics: Money: Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You) About Beating the System by David Pogue

Pogue's Basics Money

This book on money shortcuts shows that information is money. By using simple tips and tricks, readers are able to walk away from this book and start saving money.

Although a lot of information in this short book is common sense, it is great to have it all put together in one place to show that a few changes here and there can add up to a lot of savings.

Pogue writes in layman’s terms, so this is an easy read for anyone to breeze through. He offers really good insights into topics that a lot of people would not think to research on their own, so it is definitely worth the read.

14. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham and Jason Zweig

The Intelligent Investor The Definitive book on value investing by Benjamin Graham by Benjamin Graham and Jason Zweig

This enlightening book is a tougher read than some of the other books on finance, but it is full of very useful information. Geared more towards those who have an interest the stock market and investing, it offers commentaries to help the reader relate to the narrator, and give moments of the book a more lighthearted feel.

This book also addresses inflation, portfolio management, market fluctuation, stock selection, bonds, convertible issues, and other more advanced financial subjects.

While this might not be the best book on finances for younger people who are just starting out in the professional world, it lays the foundation in layman’s terms by providing the reader with a sound approach to investments in a common sense and simplistic way.

15. How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci

How to Retire with Enough Money And How to Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci

This book offers an easy-to-follow program that can change the course of one’s retirement. It helps cuts through misinformation, confusion, and poorly executed policies that keep people spending or saving poorly.

How to Retire with Enough Money covers how much money should be saved for retirement, and gives the basic principles that will help the money continue to grow. This includes ideas to help get any current expenses under control, including suggestions for getting rid of your financial advisor and take the reigns on your finances yourself, and even why it is best to pay off a loan rather than keep paying for it every month.

Providing the framework for securing your retirement, How to Retire with Enough Money looks at the risks of not saving enough money while you are working, and what other options you might have. It provides stable, solid, conservative advice for people who are interested in learning about long-term financial security.

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