Personal Finance

The 16 Best Personal Finance Books to Read

Get rich (or richer), save for retirement or climb out of debt with this year's must-read personal finance books.

2018 was a busy year. We saw the Pyeongchang Olympics and a solar eclipse, and millennials finally started acting like their parents.

The past year also brought us some notable personal finance books. If you're like most people, you'd much rather binge Netflix shows than spend your evenings thumbing through 300-plus pages on wealth management. But 2018's best personal finance books covered a lot of territory across a breadth of topics. Are you fresh out of college and struggling to pay student loan debt? Want to scratch that itch to flip houses for extra money? Or perhaps you want to get your spending under control and start saving money. No matter which area you're looking to make headway on, these personal finance books can help tackle a goal you've been putting off or simply didn't know how to kick-start. You might even surprise yourself by the wealth of information you'll learn.

The best books on making money

If your paycheck isn't quite living up to your aspirations, there's a good chance you need to rethink what you're doing to earn that green. Find a way forward with these books.

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

by Jen Sincero

Following up on her best-selling self-help guide, "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life," Sincero's 2018 money-making manifesto walks you through the steps she took to close the gap between the lifestyle she wanted to have and the one she was living. It will teach you how to cultivate a money mindset and put to rest the internal doubts and obstacles stopping you from reaching your financial goals.

Women & Money

by Suze Orman

Personal finance powerhouse Suze Orman gives holistic advice to women who want to find financial independence and stability and build real wealth, whether they're a stay-at-home mom or single and forging their own path in the business world. The best-selling book has been updated for 2018 with a financial empowerment plan and a bonus chapter on investing.

Sell It Like Serhant: How to Sell More, Earn More, and Become the Ultimate Sales Machine

by Ryan Serhant

Even if you're not a salesperson, just being able to sell yourself is critical to making money in whatever venture you pursue. In "Sell It Like Serhant," the "Million Dollar Listing" TV star Ryan Serhant coaches you through the seven stages of selling to a client, negotiating and more.

The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth

by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and Sarah Stanley Fallaw, Ph.D.

This follow-up to the immensely popular "The Millionaire Next Door" uses new data-backed research to debunk the common myths about how the richest 1% got to where they are. It then lays out sensible behaviors you can acquire to begin stockpiling money.

The best books on saving money

OK, you're making decent money, but holding on to it is a whole other game. These best books on money management will keep you in check so you're not blowing the down payment on your future house on lavish brunches.

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence

by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Mr. Money Mustache

"This book changed my life when I read it," said Grant Sabatier about this personal finance classic that got an update in 2018. Sabatier, author of the forthcoming "Financial Freedom" and the creator of "Millennial Money," adds, "This is the best book written about money, period. And now it's even better. "Your Money or Your Life" asks us to all ponder a simple but transcendent question: How much is your life worth?" Those looking to reach FIRE (financial independence, retire early), start here.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

by James Clear

"This is the best book on habit formation I've ever read. This book made me even rethink a few of my own money habits," said Sabatier. "While this isn't a traditional money book, the strategies can help you save and make more money." We recommend pairing "Atomic Habits" with some of the other best personal finance books on this list to build better overall money habits.

The best books on getting out of debt

It feels awful to have debt hanging over your head, but putting a plan in place to pay it off will alleviate your financial burden and the emotional one, too.

Millennial Money Makeover: Escape Debt, Save for Your Future, and Live the Rich Life Now

by Conor Richardson

Finding your financial footing in your 20s is never easy, but it can be especially difficult for millennials who find themselves loaded with debt. In this best-selling personal finance book, certified public accountant Conor Richardson takes readers through a straightforward strategy for tackling college loans quickly and moving on to savvy saving.

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in Five Years: Slash Your Mortgage with a Proven System the Banks Don't Want You to Know About

by Clayton Morris and Natali Morris

Authors Clayton and Natali Morris have flipped thousands of homes, and in their well-reviewed guide they apply their know-how to helping readers pay off their mortgages in short order. Using their system, you'll learn how to uncover fees and slash unnecessary liabilities.

The best personal finance books for parents

Whether you're saving to put your kid through college or teaching your little one how piggy banks work, these best personal finance books for parents will ease the process.

The Squirrel Manifesto

by Ric Edelman, Jean Edelman and Dave Zaboski

It's never too early to learn the value of not just earning a dollar, but knowing when to save it. That's the lesson of this best-selling children's book, which walks young ones down the path of smart financial moves—whether they'll be earning their allowance or taking on their first summer job.

Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To

by Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving J.D.

There's tremendous value in preparing for the worst so your family isn't saddled with heaps of responsibility, confusion and unnecessary bills after you pass. This best-selling, no-nonsense guide details how to organize records and manage things like real estate and retirement assets for your brood.

The best books for entrepreneurs

Earning an extra thousand bucks would be nice, but as Justin Timberlake's Sean Parker puts it in "The Social Network," a billion dollars is what's really cool. Navigating your way through the entrepreneurial gauntlet takes work and probably some literal sweat, but the payout can be huge. Here are some of the best entrepreneur books from the past year.

The Zen Money Map: Charge Your Worth, Pay Yourself First, and Fund Your Wildest Dreams

by Liz Lajoie

If the headache of running a small business and trying to have a personal life is overwhelming, Liz Lajoie is here to help. The entrepreneurial strategist offers insights into how to create positive cash flow, build your venture and still have a life.

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too

by Gary Vaynerchuk

The colorful and best-selling entrepreneurial guru Gary Vaynerchuk delivers a sequel to his beloved "Crush It" in this new book, emphasizing how important it is to have a compelling personal brand. It digs into the details of effectively capitalizing on social media platforms to help your business sell itself.

The best investing books

Stocks, mutual funds, bonds: Here's where to start, what to understand and how to grow.

Invested: How Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Taught Me to Master My Mind, My Emotions, and My Money (with a Little Help from My Dad)

by Danielle Town and Phil Town Investing wisely can feel insurmountable for anyone, but it was a special challenge for Danielle Town, the daughter of best-selling financial author Phil Town. Having long avoided the markets, she writes in dialogue with her father about her own road to learning how to take control of her money and invest it in things she believes.

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins, the famous business strategist and coach, partnered with leading money manager Peter Mallouk to deliver this step-by-step tome on finding financial independence no matter your job or bank account status. "Unshakeable" puts particular emphasis on investing in a volatile world, illuminating risk and breaking down the essential knowledge necessary for putting money away in a 401(k) account.

The best books on real estate investing

Unlike cars, homes are a practical and often fruitful way to invest and grow your portfolio. But the real estate game isn't one to get into without learning the ropes.

Retire Early With Real Estate: How Smart Investing Can Help You Escape the 9–5 Grind and Do More of What Matters

by Chad Carson

"This is an exceptional book," Sabatier said. "I strongly believe real estate investing is the fastest way to financial independence, and you can likely get enough rental income with only two or three properties to cover your expenses for the rest of your life." Best of all, "Retire Early" shows you exactly how to do it.

How to Invest in Real Estate: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Getting Started

by Brandon Turner and Joshua Dorkin

Real estate investing is a wise direction, but it can also be a head-spinning maze to newbies. Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner of "The BiggerPockets Podcast" have developed a multifaceted look into the types of properties to look for, how to work on them with a full-time job and how to pull every last dollar out of their baseboards, making this one of the best books on real estate investing for newcomers.

Paul Schrodt

Paul Schrodt is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City who has contributed to Money, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Esquire and more.