According to the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index, financial literacy is improving in the United States. Surveyed Adults answered just 53% of questions correctly. That number has however been improving by around 1% per year, from 2016 to 2020. If you are like most American adults, it means you did not learn much about financial management from your school or your parents. That’s why finding out such educational resources is vital.
Our selections in this article aim to provide you with information you need to feel empowered to control your finances. An excellent personal finance book offers valuable information on managing savings, spending, investments, and debt. This list of the best finance books does all that in a package that’s also entertaining and accessible.
Best Overall: The Wealth Choice
Dennis Kimbro’s book – The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires is inspirational, informational, and an outstanding read for anyone interested in such literature. Dr. Kimbro is a motivational speaker, a college professor, and writer for the Napoleon Hill Foundation. He effortlessly pairs years of research with engaging success stories in this publication. In fact, his narrative style, combined with general life wisdom and his financial savvy, makes it personal finance read that will become highly popular for years to come.
The Wealth Choice and the Investopedia Financial Review Board highly recommend it. Over seven years, Kimbro and his several colleagues conducted a study of 1,000 Black millionaires to determine how and why some people can build significant wealth, even when they come from very humble beginnings. Kimbro, in his writing, shows his readers how those black millionaires implement the techniques to help themselves achieve financial success.
Best Introduction to Investing: Investing 101
Not many investing books are attractive enough to put on your coffee table. However “Investing 101” by Michele Cagan is one of the best picks. Readers will find in this book a well-written soup-to-nuts introduction to investment. The entire 101 series of this book will not give you advice on how to beat the market. Instead, it will give you a working knowledge of how financial vehicles work. In addition, it explains the differences between various types of investments and tips on building a well-rounded portfolio for long-term growth.
A certified public accountant, Cagan, excels at providing readers comprehensive and straightforward definitions of complex financial concepts and vehicles. Many consider investing 101 the perfect book for people learning more about investing and those looking for resources on investing. Cagan’s approach makes this book an excellent introduction to investing.
Best Introduction to Budgeting: Easy Money
Easy Money, a book by the Canadian personal finance TV show Til Debt Do Us Part Gail Vaz-Oxlade, is a great read. Vaz-Oxlade’s writing style and experience as a personal finance educator appear in this short guide to direct readers on how to budget and include in a budget.
The best things about “Easy Money” are that the book is timeless. And the accessibility of the budgeting method is essential. While other budgeting books are focused mainly on tracking and optimization, Vaz-Oxlade’s budgeting system requires no software, no apps, and no tech or math skills. As a result, this book is equally applicable to the low earner and the high earner.
Although it mainly references Canadian investment vehicles, readers can apply it to budgets anywhere. Vaz-Oxlade’s budgeting method is about course correcting, assessing current spending, and maintaining control on budgeting and prioritization.
Best for Behavioral Economics: Dollars and Sense
The idea that our spending decisions are about education and logic has long been exposed. Now, we know that our money decisions are mainly based on subconscious desires and emotions. Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter is a book by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler, where they advise readers of the human mind regarding the workings of Money. The James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, Ariely, and comedian Kreisler form a great pair in creating an engaging read, seamlessly combining scientific evidence with entertaining examples from reality.
This is the perfect book for someone interested in overspending. It explains why we always overvalue things we have and how our state of mind and surroundings impact our willingness to spend Money. There you will find out why so many people lose control of overspending. Unlike many other psychologies and behavioral economics books, “Dollars and Sense” talks about the problematic ways humans approach Money by default. And it provides accurate, actionable advice to help people overcome irrational money habits.
Best for Credit Repair: Perfect Credit
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox has other 15 money management books under her name. “Perfect Credit” is one of the best books on ratings because it’s a straightforward, actionable guide to step-by-step improvement credit. According to a 2019 Experian report, a third of Americans have credit. So the need for a book addressing how to improve credit scores is clear.
Khalfani-Cox’s voice can make the readers feel like they are getting advice from their best friend, who happens to be a former Wall Street Journal reporter. The book also covers essential and often overlooked topics like negotiating with creditors and controlling excess spending to prevent credit overuse in the future.
Best for Managing Student Loans: Debt-Free Degree
“Debt-Free Degree” is essential for parents who want to help their children avoid debt and to know how they can prepare their kids for college. They will find out what courses and majors their kids should take in high school and after. The author Anthony ONeal details how to get a college degree when you are paid in cash.
While most news headlines focus on the certainty of student loans, ONeal offers an alternative approach to get a more incredible deal on higher education. “Debt-Free Degree” is also a very enjoyable read.
Best for Managing Money: Your Money or Your Life
Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s “Your Money or Your Life” the key message is Money alone can not buy happiness. This personal finance is the best book for learning to build wealth and a healthy relationship with Money. Besides, it is in a list of recommendations by the Investopedia Financial Review Board.