Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Get On Your Way to Financial Independence As A Young Adult
Being the finance nerd that I am (Accounting degree and all) I have found THE BEST personal finance books for beginners, that are VERY simple and easy for ANYONE to read! But first... a little background on my financial literacy journey itself. I bet you can relate to what I am about to share. Financial literacy is just something that is not taught enough in today's education system, and it is left to many parents to educate their children on making responsible financial decisions. But what if those parents didn't have good money management tips modeled for them? That leads to more young adults with poor personal finance skills and less of a roadmap to financial freedom. When I was growing up, money was a subject that just wasn't talked about. We were a middle class family probably like a lot of you reading this post. It wasn't like money was a taboo topic, there was just this mindset of "you either had it or you didn't." A common phrase I heard growing up was "Oh, they came from money" or "they have money because he/she is a doctor, lawyer, etc." It was commonly taught that you grow up, got good grades, found a good, stable job to make money. That was how you were able to afford things you wanted. That ALWAYS bothered me! Why would I let someone else like a job or boss dictate my financial future? I wanted more say in my financial future. In my younger years, my parents took the typical Dave Ramsey "Total Money Makeover" and "Financial Peace" type class at our local church, but there were parts of Ramsey's strategy that didn't always sit well with me. His principles were great, but the idea of a strict, constraining budget didn't really seem like the lifestyle I wanted to HAVE to live by. Does this sound familiar to you? I mean, who likes a budget?
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The feelings I was experiencing over money mindset were validated once I took a personal finance course in high school and truly learned amazing personal money management tips that totally changed my perspective on financial stewardship and the power I had to create a healthy financial future and obtain financial independence. My personal finance teacher had us read some classic financial literacy books, and from there I found other finance books that I believe every young individual should read while in their 20's. Here are the 6 best personal finance books for beginners that you should read if you are beginning your financial literacy journey. These books are not only easy reads, but they will truly teach you financial literacy in creative ways that will keep you engaged throughout the entire book. They can help you truly go after your financial goals and take control of your finances even if you are starting from ground zero... or even below ground zero with student loans! When you get to the end of these recommendations, please share this post on Pinterest for other money-savvy young adults that are looking to level up their financial game! Thanks, Friend!
The Latte Factor
The Latte Factor is a MUST for any person at the start of their journey to financial freedom! When talking about the best personal finance books for beginners, David Bach nails it again with this book and the financial concepts he covers! He covers basic money principles such as saving money for the things you value most and using retirement accounts to help you reach your financial goals. I LOVE how it is written in a story format! As a reader, you are able to identify with the characters in the story, and rather than being slammed with facts on money habits, it offers a simple outline and baby steps to follow as you read which is awesome! It is also super short! I think I read it in one weekend. I commonly give this book as a present to high school and college graduate friends and family as well as newlywed couples. It is a huge hit for its simplicity and relatable storyline!
The Richest Man in Babylon
Another amazing and great book is "The Richest Man in Babylon." This is another book that is told from a fable perspective which makes it such an enjoyable read! Like "The Latte Factor," it is a very short read so it can be read over a couple of days. This book truly covers the basics of wealth building and the behaviors one must implement in one's money disciplines. I would say this personal finance book is a classic that everyone MUST read. It provides such a foundation for wealth building that helps set you up for more complex finance books in the future that dive into more of the nitty-gritty details of your finances.
The Millionaire Next Door
You are in for a total mindset shifter when you read "The Millionaire Next Door! This book focuses on regular individuals that from first glance would not look like the rich celebrities one usually thinks of when they think of the rich and wealthy. Not only does this book uncover some common traits about the truly wealthy that live next door to you and me, but it also offers some examples of ways to live below your means with everyday financial decisions that affect your long term picture. It really goes over the difference between being "rich" and having a high net worth. Now, I know I ragged on budgeting a bit above. While I DO think budgeting is necessary and living below your means is a big part of creating wealth, I do believe you can creatively find ways to still enjoy the things you value most while within budget. You don't necessarily have to sacrifice it ALL now for a financial future later. 😉 I loved the perspective the book offered from a mindset perspective, and I can't recommend it enough to those starting their financial freedom journey.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
This is another wonderful personal money management book that has a storyline woven into its framework. Can you sense a theme here? 😉 I love good financial stories and fables. I honestly think it is one of the best ways to truly learn concepts and disciplines. In "Rich Dad Poor Dad", author Robert Kiyosaki compares the decisions of two "dads" in his life. One that was financially free and one that was most definitely not. As the comparison between the two "dads" is made throughout the book, Kiyosaki changes the mindset that you have to get a good, stable job to experience personal financial success. He also gives actionable steps on how to get on your way to the same kind of financial freedom his wealthy dad modeled for him like how to make money work for you! I'll be honest. It was a life-changing book for me!
Set For Life
Every young adult HAS to read Scott Trench's book, Set for Life! I am a HUGE fan of the Bigger Pockets Money Show Podcast, where Trench is one of the show's cohosts and CEO of the Bigger Pockets Community. As a young real estate investor and entrepreneur, Trench's creative perspective on creating a financial future is impeccable! Too often personal finance gurus preach cutting so many small expenses, leading to a more "deprivation" of lifestyle for future financial prosperity mindset. Personally, this "deprivation" method is not one of my favorites when it comes to making financial decisions. I get the total mindset of "sacrifices now for future benefit", but sacrificing every little expense just really isn't my style. I guess that's why they call personal finances, "personal." It looks different for everyone! I mean my husband and I also started with student loan debt and we had to get creative on ways we could achieve our financial freedom goals while still living a life we love. That's what I love about "Set For Life! " Trench offers the best ways and creative steps to reach financial freedom like saving for an emergency fund, choosing your career, or using your primary residence to "house hack" and easily build wealth.
The Simple Path to Wealth
Too often, individuals that have not been taught financial literacy by role models in their lives go on to put all their faith in a financial advisor or "financial experts" who is using their financial planning software or products to create that financial freedom they crave. Doesn't that still sound a bit risky to you? Maybe, I am just a control freak, but that's at least my thought. Wouldn't be nice, once you've learned the foundations of wealth building and basic principles that you yourself had a roadmap to show you where to put your money and how to know when you have enough saved up? Wouldn't be awesome if you could still be hands-off from your investments, but still have the knowledge and control over where your money is going? Well J.L. Collins nails it! Collins originally wrote "The Simple Path to Wealth" for his daughter to provide her a simple and care-free roadmap for building wealth that doesn't involve needing to check the stock market each week or month. He offers tools, easy formulas, and recommendations on investments to help you reach your goal. It's a very "out of sight, out of mind" approach to investing, and I think every new investor that is pursuing good personal money management NEEDS to read this book! It has been helpful in my own financial freedom journey to know the amount that I need in investments to retire, and it has also given me better ways to explain financial freedom steps to my friends and family members that don't have a business/ accounting degree as I received.
These books have been so influential in my own financial literacy journey. They are undeniably 6 of the best personal finance books for beginners that give some of the greatest financial advice. I am always telling my peers and other young adults about these books and the principles within them. They have been so helpful in having a language to use with my non-finance acquainted friends and family. Honestly, they really feel like common sense. I think so often people are very intimidated by finance books especially when finances aren't a topic that they want to have to stress over every week or month. I think a lot of people just want to be able to have the lifestyle they want and save for the future without the fuss and hustle of learning investment techniques, picking stocks on wall street, or living in deprivation due to extremely strict budgets. Like I said earlier, personal finance is personal for a reason, and building a solid foundation starts with a willingness to learn. If you are reading this blog post, I can already tell you are on such a great path to obtaining your desired financial future! Kudos to you! Thanks for reading these recommendations on 6 of the best personal finance books for beginners!
Have you read any of the above-mentioned books or any other personal finance books that have been impactful for you? If this is your first time researching personal finance books, I'd love to hear your feedback on these books if you have found them helpful! Just comment below!
BONUS: Personal Money Management Tips- Financial Freedom Easy Step Guide
Download the printable pdf version of this financial freedom step guide to use yourself, with your spouse, friends, and family!
As a financial literacy bonus, here is an easy financial freedom step guide that shows practical steps I have used in my own life to go after my financial goals. It not only helps you identify your financial goals but it is a great resource to implement some of the principles from these personal finance books! You will see some simple action steps to take as well as a financial freedom calculator tool and real estate investment tips! Enjoy!