Five years ago My Dollar Plan readers shared their favorite personal finance books.
It’s time to revisit the list of best personal finance books to give you some inspiration for your summer reading!
There were more than 100 suggestions, so I picked out 35 to highlight. That should be more than plenty to get all of us started!
While the order is somewhat random, I’ve started with some of the most popular responses and ones that I consider my favorites near the top. There are also some controversial inclusions, feel free to discuss your favorites in the comments. Don’t forget, many of these books are available at the library for free!
Readers’ Favorite Personal Finance Books
- The Millionaire Next Door. It changed my perspective that you have make/spend a lot of money to become wealthy. – Mike
- Your Money or Your Life. I was working three jobs spending over 100 hours working. I never had enough to even make ends meet much less some set aside. I had zero control over my life and my bills and all because of the choice I made regarding a marriage partner. This encompassed the first 45 years of my life. – Janet
- The Intelligent Investor. It is a classic and has kept me from foolishly following trends many times. – Lauren
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street. If you want to know how to invest, this is best book. It illustrates why trading is a bad idea, and how you can win with a long term approach. No tricks, no gimmicks, just the best approach to investing. – Peter
- Good To Great. Is by far my favorite book about finances and what makes good leadership. – Joshua
- The Automatic Millionaire. The advice was simple to implement and has worked very well for me. I’ve given out copies of his books to my nieces. Advice like automating payments, paying extra principal on my mortgage with auto payments, and setting up investment accounts via Sharebuilder were implemented after reading his books. – Kay
- The Total Money Makeover. It helped me pay off all my credit card debt and car loan. His “kick in the butt” teaching is what I really needed. – Lisa
- The Family CFO. It taught me how to look at financial situations from different angles and more importantly how to discuss all financial issues with my husband. – One Frugal Girl
- Rich Dad Poor Dad. It emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship, and having a diverse array of investments. Since reading it together my husband and I have started our own small business, invested in real estate and are now buying sticks while they are still on sale. Needless to say it gave us a kick start, and we enjoyed the read. – Rochelle
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. While it’s not directly about personal finance, I’ve always found that it really helps me in that department, particularly when it comes to putting frugality into its proper context. – Stephen
- Women and Money. It is my favorite because it was easy to read, and step-by-step, and it was not intimidating like some other books that I could not get through. – Christina
- The Wealthy Barber. It is a good one to introduce people to financial planning concepts. Excellent for teenagers and young adults and anyone that finds the subject a little over-whelming. – Carolyn
- Debt Free on Any Income. It does have a religious background to it but I feel that the advice that is given is very sound. It is similar to Dave Ramsey, but I have a few things I don’t agree with his stuff. – Tony
- For Love and Money. It is a book that talks about money but about relationships with couples. As I was reading it with my husband we were able to see spending habits that we both brought into our marriage and how we could fix some of it. It has a very strong Religious aspect to it, but the advice it gives has helped us a lot with our own relationship and money problems. – Jessica
- The Snowball. This Warren Buffett biography sums up the traits that really made him who he is. – Keith
- The Intelligent Asset Allocator. It opened up Modern Portfolio Theory for me. (For those not as math geeky, his The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio covers much the same material without the equations, but with more examples from financial history.) Diversification, it’s what’s for breakfast! – Jane
- The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. It’s how I turned the corner from in-debt post-college 20-something to reach goals and learning to dream bigger 30-something. I must have loaned it to over a dozen friends and family by now. – Marguerite
- Making the Most of Your Money. It’s a book whose information is timeless. The advice in the book is just as useful today as the day it was first published sometime in the ’90s. – Mike
- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. The author understands the link between our beliefs and thoughts and our financial success. – Lindsey
- Courage to be Rich. It really empowered me to make financial decisions for myself that I am comfortable with, and not just do what others advise or go along with conventional wisdom if it doesn’t fit me. – Laura
- Beating the Street. Excellent book for learning how to research and pick stocks. – Clark
- The Richest Man in Babylon. This is a wonderful book of parables on money management and building wealth. Who knew the same principles hold true no matter what century you are in! – Diane
- Money Drunk, Money Sober. – Kathleen
- Payback. It delves into matters such as why we think debt is acceptable. – Martha
- The Number. When I started the book, I was, in fact, looking for the “right number”, but as I read it further, I realized that there is more to retirement than just the “number”. He talked about types of people and how they deal with the idea of retirement and how they save, and about how enjoying retirement wasn’t always based on money. – Amy
- The 4-hour Work Week. It challenges normal advice and really made me think. – Amanda
- Financial Peace. My favorite financial book by Dave Ramsey. – Galfridae
- The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples. This book gave us budget guidelines which have helped us since we have been married. – Curtis
- Debt is Slavery. Because of its direct, concise approach. – Jamie G.
- Unconventional Success. I have multiple favorites, but one of them is [this one]. – Jonathan
- How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously. It’s a realistic comparison of the process of de-debting alongside the process of staying sober. – Sarah
- Saving for Retirement without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery. It made retirement planning easier to understand for me. – Kristia
- Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World. – Tom L.
- Wealth Without Risk. Though some of the tips may arguably now be dated, I always liked it just because it was the first book to motivate me to take control of my finances. – Mike
- The Storehouse Principle. It teaches how to be good stewards, and to master your money instead of being slave to money. We are blessed to be a blessing. – Rosemary
Alicia added a favorite quote from her husband’s grandfather:
Son, it’s not your living it’s your life style.
She adds, “Great advice from someone who lived through the great depression.”