If You Have These Books, You Probably Don't Need a Financial Planner

When it comes to your finances, do you take a head-on or head-in-the-sand approach? If you identify with the latter, the good news is you’re not alone. The bad news? You’re not alone. When it comes to managing money, data suggests women are not as independent as you’d expect. In fact, many women in heterosexual couples are not participating in financial decisions. We want to change that statistic.

To help you become a master of your own finances, our series, The Paper Files, will uncover tricks and tips that will help you manage your money and your future. Ready to take it head-on?

top personal finance books
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Some days I wonder why it is that I was never offered a personal finance class in college (even as a business minor, I learned supply and demand curves and how to prepare an income statement, but never anything related to my spending). Needless to say, post-grad budgeting and spending have been a learn-as-you-go process for me, which is why I've been on the hunt for the top personal finance books out there. And I'm sure I'm not alone.

If you're doubting whether reading is the best way to educate yourself on your spending habits, just ask Grant of Millennial Money (he only goes by his first name). The self-made millionaire read 360 personal finance books to school himself on the topic. (By the way, it only took him five years to accrue over a million dollars in savings).

Let's be honest: Not everyone has investment adviser friends or the money to hire a financial consultant—we're trying to budget here! But with the top personal finance books, you can actually coach yourself in everything from investing to financial independence to establishing a work/life balance (and even learn to teach your little ones the rules about money early on). Below are eight must-read books about money management.

Alexa von Tobel Financially Fearless, Hardcover $22 $12

Learning how to budget without having to give up all your favorite things. LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel teaches you how to save for the here and now.

Liz Davidson What Your Financial Advisor Isn't Telling You, Paperback $17 $12

Searching for financial independence? Stop relying on a money manager (or your parents) to tell you how to handle your money. Davidson's practical advice and handy charts will help you navigate everything from how to get out of debt, choose mutual funds, and pick a financial adviser (if you even still need one).

Benjamin Graham The Intelligent Investor, Revised, Paperback $25 $14

This finance "bible" for portfolio investment was first published in 1949 and is still popular todayand for good reason. The book details the art of "value investing" and how to pick your own portfolio so you can retire comfortably down the road.

Beth Kobliner Get a Financial Life, Paperback $17 $10

If thinking about managing your money makes you cringe, this might be the book for you. Kobliner teaches millennials Financial Planning 101 chapter by chapter, touching on everything from paying off credit card debt to strategizing student loan repayment plans.

Vicki Robin, et. al. Your Money or Your Life, Revised 2018 $18 $14

There may not be a more relevant top personal finance book out there. Your Money or Your Life allows you to reexamine your relationship with spending and saving. While reading, allow yourself to dig deeper and decide what's most important to youmaking money or living.

Beth Kobliner Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You're Not) $20 $16

It's never too early to start teaching your little one about managing money, which is why we're featuring a second book from Beth Kobliner. Now you'll know how to get your kids on the right track, especially since research shows that they start developing good (or bad) money habits by the age of 7. (Who knew?)

David Bach The Automatic Millionaire, Expanded and Updated $17 $10

The Automatic Millionaire scoffs at the idea that budgeting is what will make you rich. Instead, it's all about creating a plan in just one hour that will ensure your financial security for life. The secret? You'll just have to pick it up to see.

Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack The Index Card, Paperback $14 $12

What happens when the University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack and personal finance writer Helaine Olen team up to fit everything you need to know about money rules on one index card? A super-down-to-earth book about exactly how to save the smart way.

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