Personal finance and budgeting books review.
If it’s on a list of recommended reading, the review is probably here.
Updated: 4/12/21. This post is constantly being updated as I review more books! So check back for new content often.
Knowing personal finance and budgeting is vital. Because when money is squared away, you’re so much more able to do things. It’s hard to achieve your goals (or even set them) if you’re worried about making rent this month.
One of the best ways to learn is to read books. Personal finance and budgeting books abound. Some are great. Some are so-so. And some are just a waste of time.
Instead of YOU having to try them all, I’ve done the work for you. Below- sorted by order of recommendation- are all the books you need.
Table of contents
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FREE Budgeting Binder
Free Printable Budgeting Binder! 15+ pages.
>Expense trackers and tips.
>3 budgeting planner worksheets & tips for saving money.
>Goal-setting worksheets & how to pay off debt.
How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any by: Erik Wecks is fabulous.
First of all, I LOVE the fact he hits mindset at the very beginning. He acknowledges- which a lot of finance books don’t- that things are going to have to change. You have to consistently start disciplining your spending.
Another thing I love is that he does a good job of pointing out that Western world seems to think they’re entitled to everything they want. And that we’re living better than 99% of humans in history.
“Consumer debt always makes the future worse than it could be because a chunk of your income must go to the debt service payments and interest. So eating out this month on the credit card makes eating out at all more difficult next month…In general, consumer debt should only be used for the most dire of emergencies.- Erik Wecks (from book)
Erik is also bluntly honest that for most of us, choosing not to save is just that- a choice. He says how you spend your money shows what you really value. So if you value eating out and cable more than housing, that’s a choice. And eating out and paying for cable instead of saving an extra month’s rent/mortgage is making that choice. Because emergencies happen.
He gave EXCELLENT INFORMATION on the consolidating debt industry and what a scam a lot of them are. I had NO IDEA about a bunch of this information. And that is after reading a dozen books!
Lastly, he has practical budget walk-through information. He’s an advocate of the zero-based budget. And has step-by-step instructions on how to set up a budget. How to adjust it. How to make a long-term part of your life.
One of the best personal finance and budgeting books I’ve read thus far.
Stuff about book.
Stuff about book.
For Specific Situations
Stuff about book
I hate to include this category. Because I respect anyone who has written a book. I’ve only written one (Personal Money Management) and it includes a bunch of printables to walk people through the content. So I know writing is hard.
But in the interest of saving your time and money…skip these books. There are just better ones out there.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko is highly recommended.
Despite that, I’m sorry to say this book was a bust.
The first problem is that you’re going to spend a lot of time reading short capsule biographies. To the point you’re going to start skipping through them. Some seem almost contrived.
For example, at one point we meet a person who grew up poor. The author is trying to emphasize the lack of priorities in spending that the person learned growing up. So he describes the upbringing. And he describes that they ate way too much food. Breakfast consisted of pancakes, cereal, sausage, eggs, etc. I grew up poor. I knew poor people. Trust me, we weren’t eating that much food for breakfast.
They take a lot of pages to explain 4 basic principles:
• Use an annual budget (one that spends less than one makes)
• Know how much you spend each year on your major budget categories
• Have a defined set of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals (I have a sign-up for a free printable goal workbook below!)
• Spend time planning your financial future
That’s basically it. I’m not sure how they could have possibly given so many examples of the fact millionaires don’t often flaunt their wealth and instead live below their means.
I’m also concerned that they’re falling into the “gorilla trap.” They picked millionaires and studied what they did. They didn’t find people who did the same things, but had different results.
Do You Have a Book to Recommend?
If you’ve read personal finance or budgeting book- good or bad- let me know! I would love to add it to the list of reviewed books. Just comment below.
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