The best personal finance books to give away this holiday season

Man taking a book from a shelf

Man taking a book from a shelf

Many successful people will tell you that they read a book that changed their lives. In this look at some of the best personal finance books of 2022, there may be one or more that could help you transform your financial life. Reading isn’t always easy, but it’s important that you learn how to reach your financial goals or even How to set realistic financial goals. Learning from A financial advisor is a good supplement to learning from financial books.

The following five personal finance books can help you better understand your financial needs and teach you how to set and track goals. Here are the top five personal finance books for 2022:

1. “Why didn’t they teach me this at school?”

Ever wondered why they don’t teach personal finance in high school? Some colleges and universities require it, but not all. If you major in finance, you probably still won’t take a personal finance course unless you take it as an elective. Most finance majors focus on corporate finance or investing rather than the principles of personal finance.

Many students graduate from high school or college with little idea how to manage all aspects of personal finance. As the author of this book, Cary Siegel wrote what he believed to be the guiding principles of personal finance for his children. He realized that his notes to his children found a wider audience and “Why didn’t they teach me that in school?” was born.

Most personal finance books and personal finance textbooks are difficult to read. Instead, this author focused on eight lessons about personal finance and developed a comprehensive but short and simple book around them. He combined 99 principles with these eight lessons and ended up with an excellent book that is qualitative rather than quantitative. It gives you the knowledge on which the quantitative information is based money management you have to learn to do that. Following his own principles allowed Siegel to retire at the age of 45.

This is a great book to read before diving into more complex and quantitative personal finance books.

2. “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Mystery of America’s Rich”

Open large with a tree growing out

Open large with a tree growing out

The Millionaire Next Door is a personal finance book with a difference. Originally written two decades ago and recently updated to reflect the 21st century, the book explains why most millionaires in the United States are not professional athletes or movie stars. They are your neighbors. They live next door, right next to you. They probably don’t know they’re millionaires because they don’t brag about their money. They don’t drive fancy cars. They don’t live in incredible houses. They’re like you and me, except they’ve applied the principles of personal finance to their lives. Most didn’t even inherit their money. They saved and invested their savings by living below their means. They shopped for bargains. They invested small amounts of money as they could. They chose their investments wisely and for the long term or buy-and-hold investors, no speculators. Their children probably didn’t even know that their parents were millionaires.

Authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko have interviewed many millionaires. They found that most millionaires are the opposite of what we normally expect. They are not high rollers. Instead, they’ve lived their lives without being conspicuous consumers, sacrificing a little in the present to secure a financially free future for themselves.

3. “Smart Money: The Personal Finance Plan to Reduce Debt”

I like this book because it gives you a step-by-step plan for planning your financial future while giving up what doesn’t work and learning what works. Author, Naseema McElroy, gives you nine financial principles to help you learn how get rid of debt and accumulate wealth. It helps you learn how to save money, correct mistakes you’ve made and avoid making mistakes in the future. The book provides you with worksheets and checklists. There are dozens of tips and tricks on topics such as debt management, investing, budgeting and more.

The book uses plain English with little financial jargon to explain simple concepts that will get you on the right track. It is easy to read for people with no financial experience. Complex financial concepts are broken down and linked to actionable steps you can take. In the author’s tips you will find a wealth of information that will enable you to get your debt under control and look towards a better financial future.

4. “I’ll Teach You to Be Rich” (2nd ed.)

If you think you have to deprive yourself to get rich, think again. Bestselling author, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi shows you how to invest your money the right asset allocation so you can spend guilt-free. In this New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, he discusses all sorts of financial problems you might be having, such as: For example, how to manage your student loans, how to start saving and investing, and more. It is based on tools and systems that will help you achieve your financial goals.

This second edition is up to date and contains information on such diverse subjects as a robo advisor and how to beat the banks. It’s a refreshing look at personal finance because Sethi is honest and open, even sharing his own personal approach to achieving his financial goals. He discusses the concept of conscious spending, optimizing your credit cards, and how to prepare for investing. Throughout the book he intersperses stories of successful people and how they got there, as well as accounts from those who have used his system. This is a book you want to give to others.

5. “Rich dad, poor dad”

This is the #1 best-selling international personal finance book of all time. Rather than focusing on a financial area like debt management or investing, it’s a general look that’s still timely. It was originally written over 20 years ago and recently updated for its 20th anniversary. Over the years, author Robert Kiyosaki has written a number of books on personal finance, all beginning with this book. There are 14 books in the series covering all things investing to credit cards to cash flow and much in between.

Kiyosaki begins with a personal story of how he had two fathers growing up. One was his real father. The other was his best friend’s father, a wealthy man with a knack for money. His “other dad” taught him some simple lessons about personal finance, and he learned after those lessons how to make your money work for you instead of you working for your money. He learned that you don’t have to be rich to have financial success.

The final result

A huge library

A huge library

Many people do not like to think about money. It feels uncomfortable for many people. This is often because we don’t know all the traffic rules or how to spend our money. Schools don’t teach it. Sometimes parents don’t teach it. We enter adulthood with little to no idea what personal finance means or encompasses. These personal finance books, some of the best of 2022, will help you set and achieve your financial goals. There are other good ones too as this list will attest.

Finance tips

  • After reading these books, you may decide that you want to learn more about managing your money. If so, it would be wise to work with a financial advisor. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors operating in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches for free to decide which one is right for you. When you are ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

  • Thinking about refinancing your mortgage? Find out the details about refinancing to make a better decision. Cash SmartAsset’s refinancing calculator to help you with your decision.

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