Personal finance is a lifelong learning experience with never ending trials. It never hurts to have a second opinion when it comes to personal finance. It’s necessary to check the assumptions and habits you develop handling money whether in your budget, investments or in large life events like wedding planning. Understanding your personal finances and how the finances of aging through your life will impact you is very important to making sure you live and achieve financial success even if the odds are stacked against you.
Your First Steps
When we get started really thinking about money, it’s usually when we’re already out of high school or cashing our first check. It’s usually at this point that people really start to wonder what the system is all about and they start asking a simple question, Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?
It’s a seemingly simple question, with tragically serious consequences for most Americans. This is why this is the most introductory book for Financial Literacy. It covers a slew of essential money management skills for those at quite honestly any stage in life.
What we often forget in the day to day of our jobs is that we live in something big powered by social forces that drive sometimes our personal and financial decisions, the economy. We think the below books, The Compound Effect
and The Complete Personal Finance Guidebook help form a more critical thinking of economic forces that can transform your individual financial life.
The Compound Effect is an in depth look at how the power of compounding interest can transform your long-run financial health and help make you potentially, financially independent.
What we see in the Complete Personal Finance Guidebook by The Wall Street Journal, is a flat and clean approach to the most important principles in managing money: saving; investing; budgeting; and understanding opportunity cost.
These books can be a little dense and technical, but they are strong options for mid to late teen readers and beyond who want to evolve their knowledge about finances.
Managing The Holidays
Regardless of your age or place in life, there are some events that hang over all of us and society – holidays. Almost all religions and cultures share some sort of gift giving practice. Scroogenomics takes a hard look at these practices and asks some tough personal finance and economic questions around what the point and value of all that gift giving really is, both to the giver, the receiver, and our culture.
Choosing A University
As we transition into adulthood, one enormous cost awaits almost all Americans, choosing a university. Right College, Right Price tackles the hard realities of both expected costs of universities as well as the enormous impact this decision, sometimes not properly evaluated, means for us and our financial futures.
Your First Job
Scoring your first paycheck is a milestone in American culture. Some people frame them, some people go on to celebrate to their heart’s content with that hard earned money. Earn What You’re Really Worth
is quintessential for those new and old in the workforce for making sure that cash you earn is as much as it possibly can be in any position you land yourself in. It teaches some extremely practical techniques on how to climb the pay ladder and deliver
Your Retirement Planning
Before he was selling Clear Eyes, Ben Stein was actually working for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the White House. He’s come to the forefront of some financial and economics discussion, particularly around policy, but has plenty to say on personal finance. His book The Capitalist Code: It Can Save Your Life and Make You Very Rich has not only had great success, it has provided many with his interesting insights into how to manage your money to help you become wealthy. You may have a feel for his conservative roots reading the book yet Ben Stein has been a renaissance man throughout his long and winding career.
Few people opt in to the Town-Hall style weddings and usually end up spending a significant amount of both their own, parents and family money on a single day or weekend. That is not the way it needs to be. From finding $30 wedding bands on Amazon to keeping your expectations in check for the bridal party and dress, keeping your budget tight can be hugely important. My Thrifty Bride Guide breaks down the biggest challenges with wedding planning in a digestable and reasonable approach to help you cut costs throughout the wedding planning process.
Your First Home
First comes the wedding, then comes the house… or at least that’s how things used to be. With younger generations forgoing homeownership due to the constraints of student loan debt and a more competitive job market and many cultural shifts in when home ownership is appropriate, buying a home could happen at almost any age. No Nonsense Real Estate is a book for anyone at any age to consult before making one of the most important financial decisions of their lives. Home ownership is a critical step in building wealth and enormously important to creditors, making the pressure of making the right choice for housing even more critical for your long-run wealth.
Some say “Small leaks sink fleets”, others that you can be “Pennywise and Pound Foolish”, but Trent Hamm landed an aggressive approach to simplifying his finances and life to escape crushing debt and eliminate budget leaks. The Simple Dollar is a personal touch to a rigorous approach to cutting costs, making hard decisions about the quality of your life, and escaping unbelievable debt as he did. We think it’s a book to keep you thinking about how you can put practical techniques to minimize the cash you’re losing on the small and big expenses to focus on achieving financial independence.
Raising Financially Literate Kids
Being frugal throughout life is something we’ve covered already in this list so we wanted to focus on raising kids from a parental perspective. There is really no other book that speaks to parents in a way that can help them train their kids to not be brats and understand finances in a way that will impact them for the rest of their lives. The Opposite of Spoiled also enables parents to reassess the financial benefits their kids may have and help themselves when talking with other parents.
Your Career Outside Work
Almost all of us will land in a job that we hate at some point in our lives. The $100 Startup is a minimalist and effective guide that almost anyone can follow to start and deliver their best in an area that they love to escape the rat race. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone and we don’t all have “what it takes” to start our side hustle, yet the barriers through Chris Guillebeau’s method are straightforward and approachable.
Managing Your Wealth
Big Mistakes is a retroactive view on some of the worst mistakes some of the best investors in the world have made. The book is not particularly long, but it is a bit dry for most readers. It made this list because of the lessons almost anyone can learn about how your behavior is one of the most likely things to hurt your ability to continue investing well in the long run.
Managing A Windfall
We didn’t quite know where to land this book in our list. Windfalls of cash or inheritance don’t exactly happen when they’re planned. It could be when you’re young or old and they’re rarely expected. We settled on this as a standalone category mainly due to the power of Ann Perry’s The Wise Inheritor. It’s a blunt and realistic approach to managing the legal and personal finance maze that can occur from being listed in a will or trust and the consequences one must navigate to handle these challenges.
Preparing for The End
Managing retirement is a hard task given all the medical and unexpected life events that can pop up to drain your finances, however planning for the end of our days can become even more important. With planning this specifically in mind, we can’t ignore that women can and on average do outlive men by at least 4 years in the United States and many other countries. A Widow’s Guide is both a personal and in depth look at the legal and personal finance challenges that pop up throughout the first year of becoming a widow that both men and women can learn from with the passing of a partner.