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. New data suggests that when it comes to managing money, women are not as independent as you’d expect. In fact, 91% of women in heterosexual couples are not participating in financial decisions. But we want to change that statistic. To help you become a master of your own finances, we’re debuting a new series called The Paper Files, where we uncover tricks and tips that will help you manage your money and your future. Ready to take it head-on?
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… except being warned to start a 401(k) early on). 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 others are on the same quest as I am.
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 the eight must-read books about money management.
Finally: 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.
Searching for financial independence? Stop merely relying on a money manager (or your dad) 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).
This finance "bible" for portfolio investment was first published in 1949 and is still popular today—and 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.
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 to 401(k)s and IRAs.
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 you—making money or living.
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?)
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.
What happens when 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.
Is there a top personal finance book you always recommend to friends? Be sure to tell us in the comments.