According to Bankrate, only 48 percent of U.S. adults have enough emergency savings to cover three months of expenses. Additionally, only 43% of U.S. adults would use their savings to pay for an unexpected emergency expense.
Even worse? 36% of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings as of January 2023, the highest figure since 2011. Among those who have emergency savings, 51% have more than they owe on their credit cards.
Why is this such a big deal? In the absence of an emergency fund, you are at risk of being financially at risk. Is your vehicle in need of a new brake line? How do you handle taking a leave of absence at work if you become ill?
Occasionally, we are forced to pay up due to circumstances beyond our control. The last thing you want is to come up short at that point.
The above are just a few examples of why managing your finances is important. Others exist as well. Other examples include:
- You can retire without worrying about money.
- Being able to invest in a new venture.
- Being generous with friends, family, and charities
As a general rule, money eases our lives to a certain extent. To help us become more financially savvy, there are a lot of good books available. And, to start, here are the 16 best finanical books of all time that should be on your reading list.
During the 1930s, Napoleon Hill interviewed a series of millionaires and philanthropists, including Andrew Carnegie, founder of Carnegie Steel. The result? Among the best-selling self-help books of all time, this work advocates the idea that “greed is good” when shared with others.
In fact, since its release in 1937, Think and Grow Rich has been called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.”
Key quote: “Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.”
2. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joseph R. Dominguez
Originally published in 1992, this book encourages readers to take a step back and think about what their ultimate goals are.
In the years since it was released, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for changing the relationship between you and your money. How? With a simple nine-step program, you’ll learn how to:
- Save money and eliminate student debt.
- Put an end to the treadmill of work and spending.
- Follow your values when spending money.
- Spend less and save the planet.
There is a strong emphasis in this book on balancing life energy and money. Additionally, it claims that people today possess too many things, but they still feel emotionally void, which leads them to seek more stuff and money as a way to fill those voids.
In general, Robin’s mindfulness technique will help you out in this read. Because of this, it is considered to be a top finance book.
Key quote: “What does it mean to “transform” your relationship with money? It doesn’t mean getting more money or less money; it means knowing how much is enough money for you to have a life you love, now and in the future. It means shifting from being a victim of money and the economy to making conscious choices.”
The Total Money Makeover was first published in 2003 and has been a best-selling personal finance book ever since. 2007 and 2013 updated editions were published.
When it comes to debt and credit card management, The Total Money Makeover is praised for its tough approach. That’s why it’s ideal if you’re buried in debt.
After reading The Total Money Makeover, you will be able:
- Develop a debt repayment plan that works.
- Identify the 10 most dangerous myths about money.
- Save for retirement and establish a healthy emergency fund.
- Transform your life and the family tree in a positive way.
Key quote: “Savings without a mission is garbage. Your money needs to work for you, not lie around you.”
Personal finance is a subject that you should educate yourself on as early as possible. This is why Erin Lowry’s book Broke Millennial, which was released in 2017, makes a great starting point if you’re struggling with your finances.
With Broke Millennial, Erin aims to assist young professionals in planning for the future and starting their careers. Additionally, from investing to retirement planning, this book provides a friendly tone and practical advice.
Since Broke Millennial captures this generation’s financial mindset so well, it is the definitive money book for them. Nevertheless, it is also essential for anyone looking to make their finances more organized.
Key quote: “Trying to change how you spend or save money without understanding why it’s difficult in the first place probably means you‘ll slip up.”
Are you ready to take your portfolio management to the next level? According to Benjamin Graham, value investing is the key to a successful investment portfolio. The purpose of this strategy is to select stocks with a lower price than their intrinsic value.
Originally published in 1949, this book has been revised over the years with modern investors’ insights.
Key quote: “The market is a pendulum that forever swings between unsustainable optimism (which makes stocks too expensive) and unjustified pessimism (which makes them too cheap). The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.”
With this New York Times bestseller, published in 2009, Ramit Sethi introduced a six-week personal financial program designed for people who are “materially ambitious but financially clueless.” As such, it’s one of the most effective plans you’ll find anywhere — especially for 20-to-35-year-olds. The book covers practical topics such as:
- Keeping a household budget.
- Waiving credit card fees.
- Opening an investment account.
- Personal entrepreneurship ideas that build wealth.
Key quote: “In the end, managing your finances well is a lot like developing a strong personal productivity system: You keep track of everything without making it your full-time job; you set goals; you break them down into small bite-size tasks; you save yourself time by automating manual work; and you spend your time and brainpower focusing on the big picture. That’s what I try to do with my time and money.”
Listed as a bestseller by The New York Times, this book is the result of a study by the two authors on American millionaires.
According to the authors, two groups of people have different behavior: underaccumulators (UAWs) and prodigious accumulators (PAWs). According to their research, millionaires are disproportionately clustered in middle-class and blue-collar neighborhoods rather than in more affluent or white-collar neighborhoods. They explain that this is largely due to the fact that high-income white-collar professionals neglect to save and invest their savings.
In addition, the book offers the following key lessons:
- Live below your means.
- Spend the majority of your income on saving and investing.
- Have a long-term financial plan.
- Own your own business.
- Be frugal.
- Avoid debt.
- Be financially literate.
Key quote: “People whom we define as being wealthy get much more pleasure from owning substantial amounts of appreciable assets than from displaying a high-consumption lifestyle.”
In the history of investing, Philip Fisher ranks among the most influential. Across the globe, he is highly respected and admired. Today’s financiers and investors study and apply his investment philosophies, developed nearly forty years ago, and many consider them gospel.
One of the best money books ever published, this book has been essential reading since 1958. It’s even one of Warren Buffet’s favorite books.
Key quote: “Investors have been so oversold on diversification that fear of having too many eggs in one basket has caused them to put far too little into companies that they thoroughly know and far too much into others about which they know nothing at all. It never seems to occur to them, much less their advisors, that buying a company without having sufficient knowledge of it may be even more dangerous than having inadequate diversification.”
How does one become a millionaire? This was a question people asked David Bach for years. And, for good reason. In addition to Start Late, Finish Rich, Smart Women Finish Rich, and Smart Couples Finish Rich, he is the author of ten consecutive New York Times bestsellers
There’s a powerful story in The Automatic Millionaire about an average American couple: he’s a low-level manager and she’s a beautician. Despite having a combined income of $55,000 a year. Despite this, they manage to own two homes debt-free, send two kids to college, and retire with more than $1 million saved by the time they’re 55 years old. With their story, you’ll discover that budgeting won’t get you rich.
The best way to pay yourself first is to have an automated system, a system that pays for your present and secures your future. It could be the key to securing your financial future. No wonder it spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list
Key quote: “There are only three essential things you need to do to become a millionaire: decide to pay yourself the first 10 per cent of what you earn, make it automatic, buy a house, and pay it off early.”
You might want this book beside your bed if you want to learn about history and finances at the same time.
If you’re thinking that The Richest Man in Babylon would be a boring history book, you’re wrong.
Combining two subjects in one, this book has objectives and key results right from the start, though it is titled “seven cures for a lean purse.” Aside from providing you with a background of ancient Babylon along with great storytelling skills, this book involves a number of habits you need to cultivate to reach your financial goals.
In this one, you have the chance to follow in the footsteps of generations of investors.
Key quote: “Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.”
11. Personal Finance QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Eliminating Financial Stress, Building Wealth, and Achieving Financial Freedom by Morgen Rochard
It is Rochard’s role as a financial expert that holds this book together while making it very easy to understand.
What makes this a solid finanical book is the variety of topics covered. As well as receiving basic financial advice, you are developing your own personal financial plan.
In addition to providing enough financial knowledge for people new to finance, Rochard provides you with worksheets, planners, and workbooks to help them plan their finances.
Ultimately, this book will provide you with financial peace once you understand the world of finance.
Key quote: “Finacial goals and resolutions have an unfortunate way of fading. We set with a lot of ambition, but we fail to sustain the day-to-day actions that we need for real change.”
Using The Psychology of Money, we can learn how to think about money more rationally.
Specifically, it explains how our thoughts and emotions influence our money decisions through the concept of financial psychology. As well as teaching us how to make better financial decisions, it helps us develop a healthy relationship with money.
What is one of the most important lessons we learn from the book? When it comes to money, time is of the essence. As such it gives insight into the long-term use of money. It aims to prevent impulsive decisions from damaging our financial future.
We also learn that perspective is important when it comes to money in the book. Instead of thinking about money just as a number in an account, it inspires us to think about it as a sum of values and priorities.
Key quote: “We all do crazy stuff with money, because we’re all relatively new to this game and what looks crazy to you might make sense to me. But no one is crazy—we all make decisions based on our own unique experiences that seem to make sense to us in a given moment.”
Throughout Money: Master The Game, people will learn seven fundamental steps to securing financial freedom. In addition to Burton Malkiel and Ray Dalio, it relies on extensive research and interviews with more than 50 financial experts.
In designing a lifetime income plan, readers aim to become financially independent.
You’ll walk away with the following key takeaways:
- Saving 10% of your income is essential.
- Identify the reasons for your desire for money. It’s easier to get where you want when you know what you want
- The three types of assets that you possess are security, risk, and growth
Key quote: “You’re already a financial trader. You might not think of it in just this way, but if you work for a living, you’re trading your time for money. Frankly, it’s just about the worst trade you can make. Why? You can always get more money, but you can’t get more time.”
Originally published in 1968, this book takes listeners to the Street to learn how money affects every aspect of life. To make wise, lucrative investments, one must know themselves, according to the author. As Smith argues that there is no substitute for information, he shares pithy insights about intuition and guilt psychology in witty, easy-to-understand language.
Also, according to Smith, the markets are fuelled by greed and fear, as well as by countless myths and misconceptions.
Here are some of the things readers will learn:
- Investing in the safest types.
- To follow market trends, you need to know what they are.
- Capitalizing on growth.
- Gaining insight into stock movers.
Overall, The Money Game explores our desire to become rich through entertaining anecdotes and analyses of who makes the most money. Wall Street has always been about crowd mentality, from the concept of a random walk to how timing is everything. This is the definitive portrait of Wall Street through the ages.
Key quote: “If you don’t know who you are the market is a very expensive place to find out.”
Tiffany Aliche, known as the Budgetnista, shares her 10-step process for financial peace, focusing on a holistic approach to financial well-being and dismissing traditional financial advice’s unnecessary complexity.
This book, released in 2021, focuses on short-term actions that will lead to long-term gains. As a result, Aliche says, more than 1 million women have benefited from her program.
Get Good With Money also includes worksheets that can help you determine your financial wellness.
Key quote: “What would this purchase, change, or financial decision do for me now? What will it do for me a month from now, when the bill comes? What will I do when the bill comes and the money that was supposed to go toward one thing has to go to this other thing?”
This book tells the story of a boy raised by two fathers, one rich, and one poor, to help you develop a wealth-building mindset and financial knowledge.
Even though it is one of the most famous, influential, and widely cited books on financial self-help, this book is highly controversial. In spite of this, it may motivate you to take action.
This book is based partly on the life of Kiyosaki, who learned two things from his dad and from his best friend about handling money. There is a mix of lessons on money as a concept, basic accounting and budgeting knowledge, and investing tips. It won’t take you long to implement the tips once you finish the story.
The main takeaways are:
- Don’t use your money to acquire liabilities, but to acquire assets.
- It is better to manage risks than to avoid them.
- Learning is more important than earning.
Key quote: “The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”
What are the benefits of reading financial books?
It is beneficial to read financial books for a variety of reasons. You can use these books to:
- Become more knowledgeable about finances.
- Find out what financial strategies are available.
- Improve your financial habits.
- Identify and achieve financial goals.
- Take steps to avoid financial mistakes.
- Boost your financial confidence.
How do I choose the best financial book for me?
The following factors should be considered when choosing a financial book:
- The level of your financial knowledge.
- What are your financial goals?
- How you invest.
- What do you like to read?
Beginners may want to start with a book written in plain language that requires no prior knowledge of finance. For more advanced readers, a book discussing a more complex topic may be more appropriate.
Taking into account your financial goals is also important. Depending on your needs, if you are planning to retire or start a business, you will need a different book.
Last but not least, consider your reading preferences. Would you rather read easy-to-read or more challenging books?
Where can I find financial books?
Almost all bookstores and libraries offer these books, as well as online retailers like Amazon and secondhand bookstores.
What are some other resources for learning about personal finance?
Personal finance can be learned through a variety of resources in addition to financial books. Among them are:
- Websites and blogs related to finance
- Newspapers and magazines devoted to finance
- Podcasts on finance
- Tools for calculating finances
- Financial advisors