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Read All About it: Books for Financial Literacy

Financial literacy books can help you learn more about personal finance, investing, debt, and more — here are some of the best financial books to read this year.

March 4, 2022

Looking to brush up on your financial skills? Books can be one of the best ways to learn about money. 

While most of us turn to the internet for information, financial media is so full of noise, “hot stock tips,” meaningless commentary and complicated jargon that it can be difficult to find beneficial information online. 

A great alternative is to pick up some financial literacy books. There are thousands of money books from all sorts of different financial authors — from classics that are still relevant today to modern editions from today’s most popular financial voices. 

The list below goes over some of the best financial literacy books available. Topics like debt, investing, budgeting, the psychology of money, and much more are found in these books for financial literacy.

Bonus points: Start your financial education off right by borrowing these books from the library instead of buying them! Consider using the money you saved to pay down debt or start investing. 

For changing your relationship with money

Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez has sold over one million copies. The book focuses on understanding your relationship with money, which helps you understand the financial decisions you make — and the framework to make better ones. 

The authors explain how to get out of debt, how to use mindfulness to reduce unnecessary spending, how to invest and build wealth and much more — all through the lens of the psychology of money. 

For getting out of debt

The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey is a “New York Times” bestseller with over five million copies sold. The book provides a no-nonsense approach to what the author refers to as “financial fitness” — learning the techniques and instilling the discipline necessary to make your financial dreams a reality. 

This book is most useful for those who are in debt and need a serious financial overhaul. But with plenty of chapters on building wealth, saving and even navigating careers, there’s plenty of value for just about anyone. 

Have credit card debt to pay off? Check out Tally† Tally helps qualifying Americans get out of credit card debt faster by offering a lower-interest line of credit. Learn more about how Tally works here

For achieving financial security 

Get Good with Money” by Tiffany Aliche is a user manual on achieving “financial wholeness” — a realistic, achievable and energizing path toward living a more comfortable, financially secure life. And unlike many financial literacy books, it’s written in a fun, engaging way.

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche lays out a clear 10-step process for attaining peace of mind and financial security. The book covers everything from automating your bill payments to optimizing your credit score, as well as info on investing, debt management, and more. It’s beginner-friendly, but there are valuable insights in this book for everyone, regardless of experience level or income. 

For investing basics

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” simplifies investing to its core principles. It builds on the teachings of John C. Bogle, legendary investor and founder of the Vanguard Group. 

The book stresses the importance of diversifying, keeping investment costs low, making a plan and sticking to that plan for the long term. It encourages readers to invest in diversified index funds rather than trying to pick individual stocks. It’s the perfect introduction to investing, particularly for people who want to keep it simple. 

For more investing basics, check out our investing 101 guide

For changing your perspective about wealth

The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko explores the most common traits that show up among people who have accumulated significant wealth. Importantly, it focuses on “everyday millionaires” — seemingly average people who live in neighborhoods like yours and drive normal vehicles but who have amassed substantial wealth. 

This book is a great way to shift your perspective on what wealth means. It also provides practical insight on how to integrate some of these millionaire habits into your own life. 

For budgeting your money

You Need a Budget” by Jesse Mecham provides a systematic approach to budgeting and becoming more aware of where your money is going every month. The author explains budgeting principles like giving every dollar a “job,” embracing your true expenses and paying yourself first. 

Jesse Mecham is the founder of the popular budgeting software that’s also called You Need a Budget (YNAB). While readers could certainly benefit from using the software along with reading the book, there are plenty of lessons in the book that apply to anyone. 

For further budgeting information, check out our guide to budgeting 101 and our overview of the different types of budgets

For automating your finances

The Automatic Millionaire'' by David Bach provides an easy yet powerful “one-step plan” to building wealth. The secret, as the name suggests, is in automating your finances. It’s one of the simplest financial literacy books on this list, yet it contains powerful insights that can help all of us on our financial journeys. 

Bach explains the importance of paying yourself first, setting up automatic investments and putting as much of your financial life on autopilot as possible. And it works for any income level: The book’s intro highlights the story of a couple who retired happily at 55, despite never earning more than $55,000 per year combined

For financial independence & early retirement

The Simple Path to Wealth” by J. L. Collins is a perfect primer on the FI/RE movement, which stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. In this simple yet powerful book, Collins lays out everything you need to know to invest smartly, avoid debt, build wealth and retire early (if that’s your goal).

This book does a great job of simplifying the complex world of money, boiling everything down to the essentials. It covers index investing, how to think about money, the different types of retirement accounts you can use, the importance of having an emergency fund and much more. 

Wrapping up

Personal finance books provide expert advice and information without the noise and distraction of modern financial media. Whether you want to learn about conquering debt, investing, economics or any other topic, there are many great finance books available to enjoy! 

Prefer bite-sized financial lessons? Explore the Tally personal finance blog to read about debt payoff, budgeting, investing and more. 

†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. Based on your credit history, the APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% - 29.99% per year. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.