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20 Best Realistic Personal Finance Books You Should Read

Written by Sukia Akiba

The best personal finance books won’t only teach you how to control your money, budget and save, but they will also teach you how to make the right investments and get rich.

Over the years, there have been many authors of personal finance books who claim to share strategies, techniques, and tools that will help you put your finances in order and lead you to financial success. But, we all know that a lot of these people made most of their money by selling these books.

So, how can you get your hands on a high-quality personal finance book?

Don’t worry, we have done all the hardwork for you. We have reviewed and researched hundreds of personal finance books and we handpicked some of the best books that will lead you to financial success.

These books are working for thousands of people already and if you’re able to read, understand and follow the principles in them, you should see yourself achieving your financial goals in no time.

Below are the 20 Best Realistic Personal Finance Books You Should Read

1. The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

There is no arguing that this is one of the best personal finance books ever written. With more than five million copies sold, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey has become the favorite choice of most people looking to manage their finances, stay out of debt and make more money.

In this book, you will find surefire ways to create realistic budgets that will help you save towards emergencies and retirement. You will also get effective strategies for paying off debts, whether they’re huge debts like car loans and mortgage or small debts like credit card debt.

The Total Money Makeover is perfect for those who want to revamp their finances and make better use of their money.

You’ll also find a lot of success stories that will inspire you to get your act together and push towards financial freedom.

Author: Dave Ramsey

Current edition: 1st Edition (September 2013)

Pages: 272

2. The Compound Effect

According to many reviews, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is the right book to read if you have been struggling to get your finances in order. This book sets you on the right path through an easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system that helps you chart your way to financial success.

In the book, you will find strategies that will help you beat the competition (which will be useful for every business owner), techniques on how to eradicate bad habits derailing your progress and ways to motivate yourself.

For most readers, the book helped them with self-development and gave them control over their finances.

The book is not only for those seeking to make progress in their finances but also for those looking to develop all aspects of their lives.

Author: Darren Hardy

Current edition: Csm Edition (September 2013)

Pages: 176

3. The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich Life

The Simple Path to Wealth by J L Collins was born out a series of letters the author sent to his daughter concerning money, investing and several other financial matters. In the book, Collins outlines a simple approach to understanding your finances and the right strategies to implement for financial success.

In the book, you’ll find tips on how to get out of debt and to avoid falling back into debt, principles on how to build your wealth and strategies to investment.

The book is basically a beginner’s guide to understanding money and investment. The Simple Path to Wealth is written in a clear and humorous style that makes it easy to understand for all readers.

Author: J L Collins

Current edition: 1st Edition (June 2016)

Pages: 286

4. I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Financial success should be closer to you once you get your hands on I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

Ramit Sethi takes you through the steps to building wealth in his best-selling book.

The book is one of the few resources where you can find realistic steps and strategies to achieving financial success even if you’re completely broke. Those in debt should also get this book as it has a section dedicated to helping you crush debt and student loans faster than you could expect.

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You also get tips on how to become a master negotiator and talk your way out of late fees. Other important things you can find in this book; include saving tips, investment strategies, and finance management.

The book will be perfect for you if you want to save for retirement, invest and build your wealth.

Author: Ramit Sethi

Current edition: Revised Edition (May 2019)

Pages: 352

5. The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack is the newbie investor’s guide to personal finance. The book features engaging stories, fascinating data, persuasive explanation and realistic steps to managing your finances.

Olen presents the book in a simple, clear language that makes it an easy read even for teenagers.

Although most of the advice presented in the book should help you manage your finances and reach your financial goals in time for retirement, you’ll need to have a lot of discipline and determination to make them work for you.

The book will teach you how to save, pay off debt, invest, budget, and spend while planning for retirement.

Authors: Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack

Current edition: Reprint Edition (May 2019)

Pages: 256

6. Principles: Life and Work

If you’re interested in learning about the principles of billionaires and how they made it to the top, then Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio might be the perfect book for you.

In this book, Dalio talks about how he went from literally broke to one of the world’s richest men and the founder of a 125 billion-dollar hedge fund. Dalio also shares a five-step process that will help you achieve whether you want out of life.

Through this book, you can learn the right approach to take in your finances, investment and money management.

If you’re a business owner, you can read through the insightful tips on how to build an organization that will accomplish the goals you plan to achieve.

Author: Ray Dalio

Current edition: 1st Edition (May 2019)

Pages: 592

7. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By

While this book sounds like a guide for children on how to manage money, it is very much suitable for adults and business owners looking for ways to manage their finances.

Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? by Cary Siegel is divided into eight life-changing lessons that focus on 99 principles that will help you make the right decisions when managing your money.

This book is written in a simple and concise language and unlike other personal finance books out there it is very easy to read and digest.

Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? is the right book for you if you’re in search of a guide that shares realistic principles on how to make every dollar count. According to the author, the principles shared in the book helped him navigate through his financial life.

Author: Cary Siegel

Current edition: 2.4.2013 Edition (March 2013)

Pages: 188

8. Think and Grow Rich: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

With over 15 million copies sold worldwide, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill remains one of the most effective personal finance books ever written. The original book was published in 1937 and it included stories from millionaires of the 20th century upon which Hill illustrated his principles.

The book has since been updated to meet the demands of the 21st century. Renowned author, lecturer and consultant, Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D. revised the book and included effective tips that will help you build your wealth in today’s world.

In the revised version, you will find strategies, stories, and guides on how millionaires and billionaires, such as Sir John Templeton, Bill Gates, and Dave Thomas achieved their wealth.

Author: Napoleon Hill

Contributor: Arthur R. Pell

Current edition: Revised and Enlarged Edition (August 2005)

Pages: 320

9. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman is the right guide to building wealth based on realistic principles.

The Personal MBA stands as an alternative to the outdated programs offered in most business school. In the book, you will find valuable business lessons that can be applied to real-world challenges.

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The book focuses on teaching you how to increase revenue, ways to create value for your customers, the pricing uncertainty principle, and working systems in business.

If you plan on going for an MBA, it is recommended you go through this book before finalizing your decision. The ideas and principles presented in the book provide answers to financial matters and will help you make the right financial decisions.

Author: Josh Kaufman

Current edition: Reprint Edition (August 2012)

Pages: 464

10. Money Honey: A Simple 7-Step Guide For Getting  Your Financial $hit Together

This book promises to double your income, halve your expenses, consolidate your loans and lower your interest rates, help you invest in the stock market and make huge returns, and get you out of debt.

Money Honey by Rachel Richards is a former financial advisor’s approach to helping newbies manage their finances and make the most out of their investment.

This book covers everything that has to do with personal finance. It is presented in a humorous and clear language that makes it easy to read and understand.

This book is recommended for all beginners who are still learning how to earn and manage their finances.

Author: Rachel Richards

Current edition: (September 2017)

Pages: 186

11. The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide To Personal Finance And Investing

The White Coat Investor by James M. Dahle, MD features actual steps and strategies that will help in money management and finance. In the book, James M. Dahle, a practicing emergency physician shares his experiences in personal finance and investing.

This book is mainly for professionals in the medical world. It also applies to medical students and aspiring medical students. 

In the book, you will learn how to stay out and get rid of debt as a medical student, get insured properly, buy a home and make the right investments that will help grow your wealth. According to Dahle, you could plan your way to becoming a millionaire within five to ten years of residency graduation if you read this book.

Author: James M. Dahle, MD

Current edition: 1st Edition (January 2014)

Pages: 160

12. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko is based on research by the authors on the life of millionaires in America.

Through their research, they were able to identify several common traits of those who have accumulated wealth. These traits will help you to improve your personal finances and manage your money in such a way that it will grow exponentially.

The book also identifies key habits you need to emulate if you want to make better investments and build your wealth. One of the key points in the book is that becoming a millionaire is more of discipline rather than luck.

If you want to grow your wealth, you will have to live on certain principles like living below your means, having a budget and stop trying to impress people with your money and lifestyle.

Authors: Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Current edition: Reissue Edition (November 2010)

Pages: 272

13. Personal Finance Simplified: The Step-by-Step Guide for Smart Money Management

Getting a true guide to money management could be pretty challenging, especially for beginners who yet to understand most of the terminologies that are related to personal finance.

If you’re tired of the complex terms and strategies you see in most personal finance books and you need something clear and straight to the point, then Personal Finance Simplified by Tycho Press might be what you what you’re looking for.

This book provides you with a guide to money management, saving and planning for your future, and making realistic budgets. You’ll also find helpful tips on how to invest and manage your debt.

According to most readers, the book covers all the necessary areas of personal finances and offers realistic tips on money management. To us, it is one of the best personal finance books for beginners ever written.

Author: Tycho Press

Current edition:  (February 2014)

Pages: 142

14. Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need

In Financial Freedom, Grant Sabatier shares his story on how he went from totally broke (with just $2.26 in his bank account) to a millionaire in just five years. He shares the secrets, principles, and strategies he discovered on his journey to financial independence.

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In this book, you’ll find tips and strategies on how to create passive income or full-time businesses that will build your wealth, save money without stress, build a money-making portfolio and attain financial freedom.

This book is perfect for beginners who want to learn more about creating wealth and how to earn more from their jobs. It is also great for those who want to gain more knowledge on money management, investment, and financial independence. 

Author: Grant Sabatier

Current edition: (February 2019)

Pages: 352

15. How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any

How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any by Mr. Erik Wecks offers to help you manage the money you have at hand rather than teaching you how to make more money. This book is suitable for those having problems with managing their finances.

The book teaches you how to manage the income you currently have and how to do more with it by making the right decisions on saving, budgeting, and spending.

Author: Mr. Erik Wecks

Current edition:  (June 2012)

Pages: 190

16. Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide To Money

Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide To Money claims to answer the “How?” “What?” and “Why? questions about money with practical information on how to manage your finances. Truly, this book offers realistic tips on how to budget, save, get rid of debt, and invest.

The book also teaches you how to manage other areas of your finances like insurance, marketing, mortgage options, marketing, and bargain hunting.

We recommend this book to everyone whether you just began earning or just trying to learn more about money management or if you are searching for a personal finance book that actually works.

Author: Dave Ramsey

Current edition:  1st Edition (2012)

Pages: 331

17. The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich

The Latte Factor by David Bach and John David Mann uses storytelling to teach you the secrets of financial freedom. The book bothers on the issues affecting most Americans; debt, work, budgeting, saving, investing, and financial freedom.

The book demystifies the secrets of achieving financial independence and shows how easy it is to achieve such independence by outlining the practical steps that you can follow.

The Latte Factor is written in simple and clear language which is makes it easy to read, understand and implement. It is completely free of many financial jargons you will find in most personal financial books.

According to one reader, you should be able to fulfill your current dreams if you are able to understand and follow the principles in the book.

Author: David Bach and John David Mann

Current edition:  (May 2019)

Pages: 160

18. The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs

This is one of the few personal finance books that focus on self-employed individuals with not-so-regular jobs. The Money Book by Joseph D’Agnese and Denis Kiernan provides an accurate money management system that allows people with an irregular income to achieve financial independence.

In the book, you’ll find tips from financial experts, real-life freelancers, and techniques that will help you attain financial freedom.

This book is most suitable for newbie freelancers who still yet to make it big in the world of freelancing.

Author: Joseph D’Agnese and Denis Kiernan

Current edition: 1st Edition (March 2019)

Pages: 320

19. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is probably the best personal finance book of all time. This book actually needs no introduction as it is one of the most recommended books to individuals looking for actionable personal finance tips.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad focuses on teaching you the right mindset you should have to get your finances in order and to create wealth.

This book will motivate you to think about your finances differently and take practical steps that will help you attain financial independence.

Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki

Current edition: Second Edition (April 2017)

Pages: 336

20. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

This book is based on investment principles from one of the greatest investment advisors of the twentieth century. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (Revised Edition) provides strategies that will help investors make huge profits in today’s market.

This book has been recommended by Warren Buffet who is a billionaire and one of the most successful investors in the world. He is also a collaborator on the revised edition of the book.

Authors: Benjamin Graham and Jason Zweig

Collaborator: Warren E. Buffett

Current edition: Subsequent Edition (February 2006)

Pages: 640

Wrapping Up

These are the best personal finance books that will help you do more with your money than you ever could. All the books listed here provide realistic tips and steps to financial freedom.

About the author

Sukia Akiba

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