17 Personal Finance Books That Will Change Your Life

If you want to change your life, then I recommend that you start reading personal finance books. Yes, money is not everything, but improving your financial situation can help you gain control of your life. The personal finance books below may help you: Pay off your debt Find side hustles Manage your money better Communicate…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 12, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

If you want to change your life, then I recommend that you start reading personal finance books. Improving your financial situation can help greatly!If you want to change your life, then I recommend that you start reading personal finance books. Yes, money is not everything, but improving your financial situation can help you gain control of your life.

The personal finance books below may help you:

  • Pay off your debt
  • Find side hustles
  • Manage your money better
  • Communicate more effectively in your relationship
  • Figure out retirement
  • Live well on a budget
  • Deal with the delicate world of increasing college expenses
  • Overcome difficult financial situations, such as when someone is hiding money from you

And more!


Below are some of my favorite personal finance books.

All of authors of these personal finance books also have amazing websites that you should check out!

The Broke and Beautiful Life by Stefanie O’Connell

The Broke and Beautiful Life is a personal finance book written by my friend Stefanie. And, I think it’s the best title ever for a personal finance book!

Stefanie’s personal finance book is a great, fun read that won’t leave you bored. You will learn about many topics related to personal finance, and you will take away several actionable tips that will help you improve your life and financial situation.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich By Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a great book for beginners. It would make a great gift for a recent high school or college graduate.

Ramit’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich is packed full of great lessons, and it is written in a fun way. He covers the basics of personal finance such as budgeting, saving money, investing, and more.

31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses by Kalyn Brooke

Kalyn’s 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses is a great read that will help you cut your costs dramatically so that you can save more money. She teaches readers how to never again pay full price for gas, how to get a refund on unused phone data, how to have a smaller mortgage payment, how to watch your favorite shows without cable, and more!

Frugality for Depressives by Abigail Perry

Frugality for Depressives is a book written by my friend Abigail Perry. The description says it all, “It’s no secret that depression makes life harder. Sometimes it takes everything you have just to get through the day. The thought of frugality might seem daunting or even impossible. It’s not.”

How Much Money Do I Need to Retire? by Todd R. Tresidder

Determining how much money you should save for retirement can be a difficult task. In his book How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?, Todd makes it easy.

You will learn all about topics such as improving your financial security, how to reduce the amount you need to retire, how to calculate your retirement amount, and more.

Next Round’s On Me by Martin Dasko

Martin has written several books including I Like You As a Friend: How You Can Avoid The Friend Zone Forever. If that doesn’t make you want to learn more about him, then I don’t know what will!

Martin’s book, Next Round’s On Me: How-to Achieve Financial Freedom in Your 20s, is a great read for young adults who don’t want to be broke but also don’t want to miss out on life. Yes, you can have a great life and reach financial freedom!

Real Life on a Budget by Jessi Fearon

Jessi’s book, Real Life on a Budget, is a great personal finance book that will help you learn to manage your money better. She includes real budgeting advice, challenges that will help you to improve your financial situation, and actionable steps so that you can live well on a budget.

Real Money Answers for Every Woman by Patrice C. Washington

Patrice’s book, Real Money Answers for Every Woman, is a must-read for women! Her book teaches readers valuable lessons such as how to plan for the future, how to manage credit cards, homeownership, and more.

Money Talks by Talaat and Tai McNeely

Money Talks: The Ultimate Couple’s Guide to Communicating about Money is a great guide that will help couples better manage their money together. I believe this is a big problem with relationships. Not many people discuss money in their family, and this needs to stop today! Read this book ASAP, especially if you do not communicate regularly with your family about money.

The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement by Doug Nordman

The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement is a great book for anyone in the military or those with military family members. You will learn how you can happily semi-retire or retire completely in your early 40s.

Degrees of Desperation by Bobbi Dempsey

It’s no secret that college costs are increasing, and more and more people are having to take out student loans in order to afford it. Many people are even raiding their retirement funds in order to pay for their children’s education.

Degrees of Desperation: The Working Class Struggle to Pay for College is a great personal finance book packed full of valuable advice for anyone with children.

Train Your Way to Financial Fitness by Shannon McLay

Shannon is an amazing woman, and she has a fun podcast that I recommend you check out. Her personal finance book, Train Your Way to Financial Fitness, is just as great!  Shannon’s book helps readers become financially fit and is packed full of great advice and exercises.

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads by Valerie Rind

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads won the 2015 Plutus Award for Best New Personal Finance Book, so you know it’s good!

In this book, you will read stories about people who were presented with financial struggles caused by another person and were able to overcome these difficult times.  This includes things such as those who co-sign loans for others, finding out that your significant other has hidden debt, family members who are taking advantage of elderly parents, and more. You will also learn tips to prevent these horrible mistakes, as well as what to do if you are currently dealing with them.

Hustle Away Debt by David Carlson

David’s book, Hustle Away Debt, just came out last month and it’s a great one! This personal finance book will help you get rid of your debt by making extra income. As you all know, that’s one of my favorite topics!

Soldier of Finance by Jeff Rose

Jeff is a Certified Financial Planner and army veteran. “Soldier of Finance is a no-nonsense, military-style training manual to overcoming financial obstacles and building lasting wealth.”

His book will help you get rid of your debt, create a budget, invest, and more.

One Bed, One Bank Account by Derek and Carrie Olsen

Talking about money is something that should take place in every marriage. In One Bed, One Bank Account, you will learn to effectively communicate with your partner, whether you are just starting out, if you are currently having a financial problem, or if you are doing great.

You Only Live Once by Jason Vitug

This book was just recently released. Jason is a blogging friend of mine, and I just KNOW that this will be a great book.

You Only Live Once is a book that will help you make smarter money moves, while also thinking about the future and how it may impact you. 

What are your favorite personal finance books?

Filed under:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Amanda-LivingFullyandFree

    Such a great post Michelle! I am going to be coming back to this as my goal is to read one personal development book each month! I strongly recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki as another great book to read. It’s less of a how to and more of a what mindset you need to have.

    Thanks Michelle!


  2. Wow all of these books seems great for people are going to have a budget, how to talk with your partner about money and finances…thanks for suggestions:D

  3. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

    Great list, Michelle! Love seeing so many authors from the FinCon community. The Millionaire Next Door totally changed my perspective on wealth and material possessions!

    1. Yes, I love that the FinCon community is so awesome!

  4. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor

    I love book lists. The book that changed me was Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. It really put spending in perspective for me when I read it as a college student.

    1. I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks!

  5. Love the list of books! I’ll be pinning this to keep as reference for when I need a new read!

    The Green Swan

  6. I LOVE these books! A game-changer for me (and one that I always recommend to my readers) is I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit. It’s so simple and concise that it’s hard not to learn from.

  7. Melissa

    Thanks, Michelle, for this list! I really like Dave Ramsey’s books such as “The Total Money Makeover.”

    1. Kim

      The Total Money Makeover was a game changer for our family! A must read!!

  8. Ree Klein

    Holy smokes…I can see that there are new personal finance books out there that I’m not aware of. Back when I was gobbling up every PF book I could lay my hands on, there were a few that hit me like a ton of bricks and caused me to make some significant behavior changes.

    ~ The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason (Every parent should read this to their kids and it’s a good read for adults, too!)
    ~ Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez (This book blew my mind)
    ~ @Amanda mentioned Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (I also love his Cashflow Quadrant)
    ~ @Kate mentioned Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley (Who knew they could be next door!?!?!?)

    1. The Richest Man in Babylon was the book that changed our financial lives. I’ve always hated debt but my husband took a little while longer to come around. When he read ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ he was determined to kick our small debt, especially when you see how easy and stress-free it can be, when you have a system.

  9. Thanks for compiling this list, Michelle. I’ve got some reading to do! I echo adding Dave Ramsey’s books as well as David Bach’s.

  10. Apathy Ends

    The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach is my #1 recommendation for beginners

    Quite a few I have not read on this list, and a few titles that are intriguing

    1. I’ll have to check this book out 🙂

  11. Lisa

    I really liked Elizabeth Warren’s “All Your Worth.” I’m also looking forward to reading JL Collins’s “The Simple Path to Wealth”!

    1. I’ll have to look into these two!

    2. Ree Klein

      I just bought JL Collins’ book and can’t wait to dive it!

      1. Lisa

        I requested it be added to my library’s collection so I’m waiting for them to get it on the shelf. I’m checking the catalog daily hoping for an update!

  12. Lindsey

    This is a great list! From time to time I read some personal finance books, but I haven’t read any of these yet! I can’t wait to get some.

  13. Thanks for including my book on this list Michelle!! This is a great resource you created! Looking forward to seeing you soon in San Diego!!

  14. Stefanie O’Connell

    THANK YOU for the love Michelle! I try to keep it fun 🙂

  15. I’ll have to read that one. I know it’s super popular!

  16. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    I sadly haven’t read any of these books yet. I’ll definitely have to check them out in the future.

  17. Thanks so much for including me in this list, Michelle! I’m honored! I also have a lot more books to add to my TBR list now. 😉

  18. Thanks for the mention!

    As for PF books, I’m partial to anything by Liz Weston. She’s written a great deal about money (including in syndicated columns), so she’s knowledgeable but her style is approachable.

  19. I’ve read a few of these and several are on my to read list. This is certainly a great round-up, Michelle!

  20. Holly S

    I just read “The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living” by Ann Newell Jones and loved it!

  21. Oh man! I just realized I need to make time to read more. 🙂 I read a ton of online articles and signup for newsletters, but there is nothing that beats a good book. Thanks for the list. 🙂

  22. Katherine Blaney

    I found Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach to be an excellent resource and helped develop some great systems for keeping track of everything too! Another great author on the topic is Lesley-Anne Scorgie – they are directed at younger people which is great!

  23. Danielle Encinas

    These sound great! I can’t wait to add them to my reading list. 🙂

    “What Your Financial Advisor Isn’t Telling You: The 10 Essential Truths You Need to Know About Your Money” which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to better understand how to improve their whole financial picture and how to guard themselves from bad financial advice!

  24. Thanks so much for including my book, Michelle! I really appreciate it! So many other great books on the list, too.

  25. ZJ Thorne

    This is an excellent collection. I hadn’t heard of the Depression book, but I am glad to know that it exists. I see my friends’ struggles and feel helpless to be of any use to them during these extra trying financial times in their lives. Definitely going to check that out.

  26. Aja McClanahan

    Cool list of the FinCon Who’s-Who! I’ve read a few of these, so thanks for curating this list. I think the “Hustle Away Debt” is one I had been eyeing for a while….will have to check that out!

  27. This is a great list, Michelle! I have actually read a few of these.

  28. Learning personal finance is always good for business and personal knowledge.

  29. Becky@frametofreedom

    Great list Michelle! I would be interested in reading Stephanie’s book as the title is great. I have only read a couple on this list so I better get moving! Thanks for the recommendations!

  30. Yess this was exactly what I needed, recommended books for future reading! Thanks Michelle, looking forward to reading these 🙂

  31. Awesome List! Mitchelle. My first will be I Will Teach You To Be Rich By Ramit Sethi. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Milton Garcia

    I love reading personal finance books.. They inspire me to achieve financial stability..

  33. I will definitely be checking out some of the books you shared! My personal favorite and the one that changed my life is Debt Free Forever by Gail Vaz-Oxlade and also Money Talks by the same author. She is a Canadian so I’m not sure if her books are available in the USA, but they are awesome.

  34. I would recomend adding Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen (http://amzn.to/29medlu). If you have a good understanding of everyone’s motives, it’s easier to tell who is BS’ing you!

  35. Peyton Floyd

    Great fresh list of some new people to check out! With that said, The Millionaires Next Door is a must read!

  36. kamran

    I have definitely read out all the books because I have plenty of free time due to holidays. Thanks for Sharing!

  37. David

    I like all the books but I will read how to reduce your expenses one. Many Thanks

  38. Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover! Great read. Really helped me tackle my debt. I love his podcast too!

  39. Cari Ouweneel

    Hi Michelle!
    Great post and I love the new streamlined look of your website! The comment recommendations are great, too. My #1 fave is Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. It discusses how your time is given away to make money and time is the one resource we never get back. Eye opening for sure!
    Can’t wait to check out some of these books…

  40. Riches 2 Rags

    These will be added to my summer reading list. The Millionaire Next Door was one of my favorites.

  41. Sarah

    Can’t wait to dig into these books! Thank you for your recommendations!

  42. One of my favorites is Suze Orman’s The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke.

  43. Dave Dally

    So many good book options!! I read a few Dave Ramsey books and loved them!

  44. Great article and list of books I haven’t read yet. The book that really changed my way of thinking was “The Richest Man in Babylon”.

  45. Georgina

    When I saw the title I thought for sure I would have read a majority of them, turns out I’ve only read one from your list. I think I just found my new reading list for the season.
    The Dave Ramsey books are really good too