These are the best books on personal finance for beginners or those just starting out on this journey. They represent many different ideas and in some cases conflicting ideas.
In 2013, my mother passed away suddenly in her sleep at age 52. There was no money to bury her and no life insurance. My sister and I split the cremation and I had to put it on a credit card.
I resolved to not leave my family in that position so I started reading hundreds of books and watching thousands of hours of YouTube videos about finance and personal finance.
The books below helped me to dig myself out of a huge hole and sway my net worth by about $700,000 in less than 10 years.
There is some conflicting information in these books. Especially if you read Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki. One is cash only and the other is using banks’ money to make more money. It is up to you to look at your life situation to determine who you will follow.
Frankly, I would suggest following Ramsey if you are in debt up to your eyeballs and then give Kiyosaki another glance when you have money.
Read below for what I have found to be the best books on personal finances for beginners.
These ideas are based on my personal experience and opinion and should not be considered professional financial investment advice. Furthermore, the ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.
What Are The Best Books On Personal Finance For Beginners
Below I have listed out some of the best books – many are classics but you may not have heard of a couple of these. All are worth a read depending on where you are in life. I tried to break them down into different categories so you can find the one or two that matter the most for where you are at.
Finance 101 Books
First to a Million by Dan Sheeks. Even though it says “A teenagers guide” don’t think that only teenagers should read it.
I have given out this book several times to teenagers for them to learn how money actually works so they don’t get into the trouble I (and so many others) did with the money. Being a negative $105k net worth and only making $11k a year after graduating college showed me how much I didn’t know about money.
This book is a great start for those that are just starting out, but it has a ton of information on how to pursue financial independence at a young (or any) age.
Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. This is a story that teaches one of the greatest lessons in finances.
Pay yourself first. No matter what you do.
The book shows you numerous reasons why you should pay yourself first and then pay your expenses after.
When we learn to live with less it is amazing how much we can save and invest without losing our quality of life.
Getting Out Of Debt
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. If you are drowning in debt and don’t know what to do next, this IS the book to read first.
This is the only book to read on this list if you don’t have $1,000 in savings, credit card debt you don’t pay off every single month, and tens of thousands of dollars in car, and student loans.
I am not a huge fan of the just cash system personally, but if you have impulse control with credit cards it is worth it to switch to cash only for a time.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This is probably the best book to help you open up your brain to the possibilities of how money actually works.
Robert Kiyosaki grew up with two powerful male role models in his life. One was poor but did all the things that culture tells you to do. Get a safe job and save a little money.
The other was a dropout but owned numerous businesses and employed hundreds of people.
This book provides another way of thinking about how to make money. I highly recommend it if you aren’t up for just working and saving money for 40+ years.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. He lays out so much information about investments that it is a must-read if you don’t understand the stock market.
Frankly, it is a must-read if you think you do understand the stock market.
He covers all the different types of investments you can make and gives very practical advice that will get you set up financially if you keep working on the process. Which honestly almost runs on autopilot.
Where Is Your Money?
Most people don’t know what they are invested in when they start a new job and open up a 401k.
Do you know exactly what the fund or funds you are investing in even are?
How much are you spending on fees?
What if there was a way to invest in the biggest companies in the world easily and with fees less than 0.1%?
The Latte Factor is the practice of examining your daily / weekly small expenses to remove those and invest the difference.
Many people nickel and dime themselves to death. This is why I tell you to save and invest money first and live on the rest of what you make.
It will be the small expenses that you will automatically cut out. This is a good read to understand what a $3 – $6 coffee 5 times a week is actually costing you.
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) by Hal Elrod. The book is a game changer in terms of changing your daily routines.
Hal Elrod has an amazing personal story that is worth a read.
The summary of the book is to wake up early and start your day doing what he calls Life S.A.V.E.R.S.
Silence, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, Scribing (writing). Check out this book if you want to change your habits and really change your life.
Small Business / Side Hustle
The Insider’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing by David Sharpe. This e-book shows you how to use affiliate marketing to make money online.
If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is it is where you recommend a product that someone else has created and if they buy it you get a small commission for the recommendation.
You shouldn’t recommend anything you haven’t benefited from. All the books on this page I have personally used and have recommended to friends and family. This $1.99 book will help you learn how to make money recommending products you use.
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. This book covers how to order your finances from a small business you own.
He uses the concept of paying yourself first but in business.
The best part about this book is it breaks down how much you should be spending in different categories for a healthy business and how those percentages change as your business grows.
Are you living your best life or are you stressed about paying the bills?
In this quick 2-page PDF, I cover 5 ways you can get your financial life back on track.
I used to live paycheck to paycheck and after years of paying off debt and maximizing my investments I am now able to save and invest more than 45% of my wife and I’s gross pay.
This allows me to live comfortably (not a crazy rich person) and sleep better at night. If you want this let me know where I can send it to you below.
Wow, you read a lot to get here. Can you do me a favor, please? Can you leave a comment if this was helpful to you or if I missed something? Alternatively, it would help me out a lot if you shared this content with those that might need to see it. Thanks, you are the best!
About Dwight Scull
I have been married to my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who puts up with me since 1999. I am a proud father to my Gen Z, son, and daughter-in-law. Grandfather to my favorite granddaughter who was born in 2021.
I lost my mom, father-in-law, and 12 others in 2013 and was DEEPLY in debt. I started reading and watching all the financial info I could find.
I chipped away at my debt and went from a negative $105k net worth having one home paid off, no credit card debt, and saving/investing 45%+ of my gross salary.
I used these daily habits to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.
I believe that you can overcome any challenge you face if you just take small daily actions and be consistent with them. It is how you will be financially successful.
Join my free Facebook group to get a ton of free resources to help you get out of debt, learn how to invest your money and work toward having the option of retiring early.