Every Personal Finance Book I’ve Ever Read

An outside flea market in Oslo, Norway (2011)

An outside flea market in Oslo, Norway (2011)

I have kept a list of every book I’ve read since 2008.

I wasn’t always a reader. But I made the commitment that year to develop the reading habit. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I also wanted to learn more about personal finance. I read whatever I could find at the public library. And looked to blogs for recommendations. Every author has a different perspective and I’ve learned something from each one.

Some patterns I notice when looking at the list of personal finance books I’ve read:

2008: Just started out reading about personal finance. Focused on frugality and saving. I mostly read blogs before. It all seemed so complicated to me back then. It still is in a way, with so many financial products and tools available.

2011: Started seriously reading up on how to buy a home. Before the end of the year I bought my condo.

2012: Wanted to learn more about investing. I started getting into local investing. Learned that local economies strengthen communities. Also started reading books that would help me advise others with their personal finances.

2013: Currently focused on how to use money to have the greatest positive impact in my life and community. Financial independence and early retirement are fun topics.

Each book below focuses on a different facet of personal finance: frugality, investing, buying a home, motivation, or retirement. Some deal with multiple topics and would be good to use as references. I decided to organize them using those categories so it would be easier for readers to choose a book if they wanted to learn more about a specific topic.

*My favorites are in bold. These are the ones I recommend to friends and family most often. 

FRUGALITY 

***Your Money or Your Life Dominguez, Joe; Robin, Vicki
*All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know about Earning and Spending Money Vanderkam, Laura
Early Retirement Extreme Lund Fisker, Jacob
Hot (Broke) Messes Trejos, Nancy
How to Live Without a Salary Long, Charles
How Much is Enough? Money and the Good Life Skidelsky, R; Skidelsky E
Living Rich by Spending Smart Karp, Gerald
The Behavior Gap: The Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money Richards, Carl
The Cheapskate Next Door Yeager, Jeff
The New Frugality Farrell, Chris

INVESTING

*Local Dollars, Local Sense Shuman, Michael
*Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from it Cortese, Amy
*The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing Larimore, T; Lindauer, M; LaBoeug, M.
*The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need Tobias, Andrew
Fail-Safe Investing Browne, Harry
Impact Investing Bugg-Levine, A; Emerson, J
Risk Less and Prosper Bodie, Zvi; Taqqu, Rachel
Unfair Advantage Kiyosaki, Robert

BUYING A HOME

*Buy, Close, Move In! Glink, Ilyce
*The Savvy Woman’s Homebuying Handbook Nelson, Tara-Nicholle
Buyers are Liars and Sellers are Too Courtney, Richard
Buying a Home: The Missing Manual Conner, Nancy
How to Buy Your First Home Brodman Summers, Diana
The Homebuyer’s Kit Lank, Edith

MOTIVATION

*Getting a Life: Real Lives Transformed by Your Money or Your Life Blix, Jacque; Heitmiller, David
*The Soul of Money Twist, Lynne
The Courage to be Rich Orman, Suze
The Middle-Class Millionaire Prince, Russ; Schiff, Lewis
The Millionaire Next Door Thomas, S; Danko, W

RETIREMENT

Get a Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well Warner, Ralph
What Color is Your Parachute? For Retirement Nelson, John; Bolles, Richard

REFERENCE

*All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan Warren, Elizabeth; Tyagi, Amanda
Automatic Wealth for Grads Masterson, Michael
Rich Dad Poor Dad Kiyosaki, Robert
Automatic Wealth Masterson, Michael
How to be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents Bissonnette, Zac
Pound Foolish Olen, Helaine
The Everything Personal Finance in Your 20s and 30s Book Davidoff, Howard
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke Orman, Suze
The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life, and Your Money Ulrich, Carmen Wong

There were lots of other books that have influenced me and how I view money, but I will write about them in another post. Some of them have nothing to do with personal finance. I’ll post other lists in the future from other categories like minimalism and economics.

I hope you find a book in this list that may be helpful to you! Feel free to recommend others. 

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6 comments

  1. The Intelligent Investor is a great book. It can get a little dry and boring in some parts, but you could really just skip over the stuff Benjamin Graham wrote and just read the chapter summaries by Jason Zweig and he covers all the important points and gives more modern examples.

    1. Thanks, Steve! That’s been on my list of “books I should really read.” But “a little dry and boring” is exactly why I haven’t gotten to it yet. I think I’m ready now – thanks for the recommendation and the tip.

      1. Also, if you ever want to recommend a super easy beginner investing book to friends and family, “How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street” is a great read. Easy to understand and fun to follow along!

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