Did you know that I wasn’t born with all of the financial literacy that I have now? Shocking, I know. No, really, I actually had to learn the things that I know. Financial literacy is not something that is innate. Yes, my personality means that I tend to be more organized with my money and more focused on my financial goals. But I still had to find resources that were interesting to me and easy to understand. That’s the important part - you have to find the personal finance advice that speaks to you and makes you feel like you can achieve your goals. For example, if you’re underpaid and living paycheck to paycheck, Suze Orman may not be the one to read. But you’re in luck! Below are five books that I think make personal finance more accessible and interesting to everyone.
That’s the important part - you have to find the personal finance advice that speaks to you and makes you feel like you can achieve your goals.
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
If you know me or if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’re probably very surprised to see that my first book recommendation was written by a middle-aged white man. However, this book was the very first personal finance book I ever read! It was gifted to me when I completed my internship at the National Wildlife Federation. I was only 22 years old and the information in this book woke up my passion for learning about money. I’d always been fairly careful with my money, but this book showed me how important it really is to be smart with my money and also gave me the tools to do so. I haven’t re-read it since then, so I’m not sure how well it’s aged, but I do recommend it as a good place to start.
David Bach has written many other books in addition to this one. Another good one to read is Smart Couples Finish Rich.
Financially Fearless by Alexa Von Tobel
This is the second personal finance book that I remember being really affected by. I even attended a book tour event for it in DC! Alexa Von Tobel founded Learnvest, which used to be my favorite budgeting platform and personal finance blog (it now seems to be defunct after Northwest Mutual bought it). This book is easy to read, straight forward, and digestible. It gives you all the financial information that you need to get your money right, plus it gives clear action steps that you can take to move forward.
I haven’t read it yet, but Alexa also just released a new book called Financially Forward.
Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
Erin Lowry, aka “Broke Millennial”, specifically targets millennials when she writes and speaks about personal finance issues. If you’re looking for a book that is honest and real, this is a great place to start. This book won’t make you feel stupid or behind the curve. Erin shows you how to go from broke to flush with simple advice and funny stories.
If you love this book and want to expand your financial knowledge to investing, check out Erin’s newest book Broke Millennial Takes On Investing.
The Financial Feminist Handbook by Brynne Conroy
Any book with the words “financial feminist” in the title is going to catch my eye. Add someone as great as Brynne Conroy and you have a winner. I met Brynne at FinCon a few years ago and we bonded over our shared passion for women’s empowerment and financial literacy. I was so excited to find out earlier this year that she was publishing her first book. In this book, Brynne dives into the financial issues that disproportionately affect women in our society. But you won’t walk away feeling hopeless because she gives you actionable steps to achieve financial success in your own life.
If you want to hear more from Brynne, check out her blog at Femme Frugality!
Clever Girl Finance by Bola Sokunbi
I’ve been following Bola and Clever Girl Finance since I got into the money game nearly four years ago. I was even a guest on her podcast last year! One of the great things about Bola and her work is that she helps readers identify their own financial needs and challenges, which is important for finding the right way forward. In her very first book, she goes deeper into how women’s lives and struggles are unique and how we need more specific advice and guidance.
If you want to learn more from Bola, check out Clever Girl Finance!
There is so much personal finance goodness out there, so if you can’t get enough after reading these five books, here are a few more to check out:
Get Money by Kristin Wong
Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup
Sacred Success by Barbara Stanny
The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan
Certified Financial Education Instructor. Feminist and financial coach for women. Founder of Money Circle.