10 Financial Literacy Books For Independence

Personal Finance

5 Min Read

Person reading financial literacy books by a bright window.

Although the estimated average household income in the United States was around $78,500 in 2020, fewer than four in 10 Americans have enough cash on hand to pay an unexpected $1,000 expense. So, there's little doubt why personal debt is almost $15 trillion in total and why so many people live on the edge with their finances.

If you want to learn how to avoid or escape financial strife, many books can demystify the process of successful money management. Here are ten financial literacy books that can help you change your finances for the better and show you how to prepare for a brighter future.

10 Best Money Books to Improve Your Financial Literacy

1. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

In a perfect world, the book "The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy" would be required reading for anyone entering the adult world. Authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko totally debunk the Hollywood myth of the typical wealthy person. In truth, Stanley and Danko’s research reveals that the most common trait among millionaires is frugality. This book reveals how and why wealth-building is achievable for almost anyone who adopts a frugal money mindset and follows the authors' advice and tips.

2. Your Money or Your Life: The Revised Version

If you need a well-designed plan for improving your financial health, the book " Your Money or Your Life" provides a nine-step strategy for gaining financial independence by changing your relationship with money. Authors Vicky Robin and Joe Dominquez provide sound financial advice to help you gain control of your finances under your own terms. They detail how you can prosper by identifying bad money habits like blowing hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars in $2 and $4 increments. Also, this book can increase your money management skills by teaching you proper budgeting by analyzing your present and past spending activity.

3. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

In his book "The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness," money guru Dave Ramsey takes a bare-knuckle approach to money matters. He shares many uplifting success stories and how-to tutorials on getting out of debt and avoiding money traps like cash advances, rent-to-own, and debt consolidation. Ramsey’s book also encourages you to ignore peer pressure to overspend and focus on habits that promote wealth creation.

4. Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

With millions of followers, Tony Robbins leads the planet in the number of people seeking and following his advice on living a more successful life. To help people with finances, Robbins wrote "Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom" with the information he gathered from the world’s top 50 investors, including Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, and Carl Icahn.  Robbin’s seven-step financial plan contains simple instructions that anyone at any income level can follow to achieve financial independence.

5. Why Didn't They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By

Back in 2013, Carl Siegal thought it was ridiculous that personal finance was not part of high school and college curriculums. His response was to write, "Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Lesson." Over the years, this book has become a popular financial primer for young adults and the reading public. Essentially, Siegal’s book is a crash course in personal money management that focuses on 99 principles designed to raise your money management IQ.

6. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties

As the title states, Beth Kobliner’s book "Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties" targets the millennial generation. This book can help you get out of debt, deal with high rents, create a workable budget, and invest for your future. Written in a casual tone, the newly updated version of this book shares some fresh monetary ideas and insights along with some actionable advice on getting a higher credit score and saving money on taxes.

7. The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way To Be Smart About Your Money

Carl Richards’s book "The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way To Be Smart About Your Money, takes the intimidation factor out of taming and controlling your finances." Instead, Richards helps you become a better decision maker by teaching you to define your financial values and goals using a step-by-step approach to teach you how to prioritize your life’s ambitions and develop a strategy to achieve them.

8. The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner's Guide to Getting Good with Money

Taking control of your financial life can be very frustrating when you're starting from scratch. To get you started, the book "The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money" virtually takes you by the hand and teaches you how to manage your credit, create a budget, negotiate a raise, and invest in a variety of financial instruments.  Authors Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Van Hage use an easy-to-understand blogger writing style to help you see the correlation between your finances and certain lifestyle habits such as diet.

9. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

Financial expert Suze Orman provides a vital tool for millennials struggling to get a financial foothold in a challenging financial environment. Her book "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke" provides sage advice in dealing with large student debt, skyrocketing house prices, and a weak job market. Also, this financial literacy book offers practical strategies to solve your present money problems and achieve your future goals.

10. The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to Be Complicated

Authors Helaine Olen and Harold believe that everything your need to know about money management can fit on a 4”x6” index card. Their book "The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated" contends that ten rules on an index card can get better money management results than most multi-pronged financial strategies in other financial literacy books.

Financial Literacy Books Teach Financial Freedom

One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to gain financial freedom. Any of these ten books will give you the financial literacy you need to gain control of your finances and plan for a better future. (Not to mention these financial freedom quotes.)

Besides books, apps can be a great resource to use in your journey. See how Monorail can help you accomplish your financial goals and better manage your money.

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