While technological advancements ranging from apps to podcasts have changed the way that people think about personal finance, it is important not to forget about the importance of seminal books. Over the years, a number of personal finance titles have helped people to completely turn their lives around and reach their goals with surprising success. Of course, not all books about personal finance are created equal. At the same time, some specific books stand out as essential classics that virtually everyone in the financial industry would endorse. The following are some of the best personal finance books of all time:
1. Your Money or Your Life
Published by Vicki Robin in 1992, Your Money or Your Life remains a foundational read. Despite the age of the book, its points still hold a lot of relevancy. In the book, Robin talks about “making a dying” rather than “making a living.” The author challenges readers to think critically about what they want out of life and the legacy that they want to leave behind. While the book does not really focus a lot on numbers, its philosophical exercises will help individuals to understand what is really important to them so that they can map out a realistic path to the future that they want.
2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Now in its second edition, I Will Teach You to be Rich lives up to its name and provides a step-by-step guide to financial liberation. The author, Ramit Sethi, takes a direct, no-nonsense approach to finance with a clear outline of everything that you really need to know to take control of your financial situation. While many step-by-step books exist for building wealth, this one stands out from its competitors in one key way. The book is more than a surface exploration of finance. Sethi is not afraid to get into the weeds and explain some of the subtler points and details, which means that the book is not for beginners, but it is also probably the only one that someone really needs.
3. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Living paycheck to paycheck has become a serious problem in the United States. According to a recent study, 40 percent of Americans do not have enough money saved to cover a $400 emergency. This lack of support leaves people open to severe consequences, such as losing their home or being forced to take out a loan with an extremely high interest rate. Thus, How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck is an important and relevant book. Author Avery Breyer does not blame people for being in that situation, as such an exercise is fruitless. Rather, Breyer offers sound and actionable advice for starting to save and learning how to make the most of that savings.
4. The Little Book of Common Sense
Written by John C. Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense is a must-read for people who are just starting out in the investing world, as well as seasoned investors. Much of this book focuses on how to get in the mindset of investing for the long run rather than focusing on get-rich-quick deals, which rarely pan out and distract people from building a more guaranteed foundation of wealth. Some of the most successful investors today credit this book with helping them to develop their strategies and to understand the most fruitful way to look at the market.
5. Think and Grow Rich
One of the most respected books ever written about wealth, Think and Grow Rich is a self-help guide. Napoleon Hill wrote this book after interviewing a number of philanthropists and millionaires starting in the 1930s. One of the key featured players is Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate and noted philanthropist. Hill looks at the mindset necessary for wealth accumulation and the belief that people who become so focused on becoming rich that they convince themselves they will achieve that goal actually do end up becoming rich in the end.
6. Get Rich Carefully
This book by Jim Cramer looks at the dangers of accumulating wealth too quickly. While everyone wants to get rich fast, Cramer warns that this can lead to making poor decisions that may lead people to losing everything that they gained. In the book, he draws on decades of firsthand experience in working in the stock market and speaks openly about his own successes. Ultimately, Get Rich Carefully shows people how to turn their savings into long-lasting wealth over the years.
7. Stack Your Savings
People looking for a gentle introduction to personal finance that also has all the keys to wealth accumulation should turn to Stack Your Savings. In this book, S.J. Scott provides a lot of facts about personal finance that are meant to change how people think about money in a slow and subtle way. In addition, the book outlines seven key pillars of saving money. While these pillars are not presented in a stepwise fashion, they can help individuals to create a solid foundation for success and develop an understanding of the habits that they need to start cultivating now.