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Summer Reading List: Essential Personal Finance Books

finance books finances for kids finances for parents high school students reading tricks and tools Jun 30, 2024

The Importance of Personal Finance Reading

Summer is the perfect time to relax with a good book, and what better way to enrich your knowledge and financial health than by diving into some excellent personal finance reads? Understanding how to manage money is crucial for everyone, from children to retirees. The right books can offer valuable insights into money management, wealth building, and even the psychology of spending. Here’s a list of must-read personal finance books, curated from recommendations by financial planners and originally compiled by the Wall Street Journal.


  1. "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
    This classic book reveals that many millionaires live frugally and save diligently, contrary to the flashy lifestyles often portrayed. It offers insights into the habits and mindsets that can lead to financial success and emphasizes the importance of living below one’s means.
  2. "The Psychology of Money" by Morgan Housel
    Morgan Housel delves into how emotions and personal psychology impact financial decisions. This book is a fascinating exploration of how irrational behaviors can influence financial outcomes, offering readers tools to make better, more rational financial choices.
  3. "Same As Ever" by Morgan Housel
    In his second book, Housel discusses the constant factors in finance and economics, suggesting that understanding these constants is key to navigating financial uncertainties. It’s written in an accessible style, making complex concepts understandable to everyone.
  4. "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham
    A timeless guide to investing wisely, this book emphasizes the importance of a disciplined investment approach. Written by Warren Buffett’s mentor, it’s a must-read for anyone serious about investing and building long-term wealth.

New Options

  1. "The Social Justice Investor" by Andrea Longton
    This book addresses the intersection of finance and social justice, providing a guide for those who want to invest ethically and align their financial decisions with their personal values. It’s an insightful read for socially conscious investors.
  2. "In This Economy? How Money and Markets Really Work" by Kyla Scanlon
    Known for her engaging social media presence, Kyla Scanlon explains macroeconomic concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. This book is great for anyone looking to get a better grasp on how the economy works and how it affects personal finance.

For Young Adults

  1. "Finance for the People" by Paco de Leon
    Addressing personal money management in a world of inequality, this book empowers readers with practical advice on managing their finances. It’s especially beneficial for young adults looking to gain control over their financial futures.
  2. "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez and Vickie Robin
    This book is a guide to transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence. It teaches readers how to live more meaningfully while spending less and is popular among the early-retirement community.
  3. "Stop Acting Rich…and Start Living like a Real Millionaire" by Thomas J. Stanley
    A follow-up to "The Millionaire Next Door," this book cautions against overspending on homes and other major purchases. It emphasizes the importance of living within your means to achieve true wealth.
  4. "Financially Stupid People are Everywhere—Don’t be One of Them" by Jason Kelly
    This straightforward book highlights common financial pitfalls and offers practical advice on avoiding them. It’s an essential read for young adults starting their financial journey, emphasizing the importance of smart financial decisions.

For Students and Youngsters

  1. "Debt Free U—How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching Off My Parents" by Zac Bissonnette
    An inspiring read for college-bound students, this book offers practical advice on how to pay for college without incurring debt. It’s a motivating and engaging guide for high schoolers preparing for higher education.
  2. "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki
    A classic in financial education, this book contrasts two different financial mindsets through the stories of the author’s two “dads.” It underscores the importance of financial education, investing, and entrepreneurship from a young age.
  3. "Lily Learns About Wants and Needs" by Lisa Bullard
    This children’s book is perfect for teaching young kids about the basics of financial literacy. It encourages conversations about spending and gratitude, making it an excellent choice for parents to read with their children.

Reading about personal finance is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Whether you're just starting out, looking to deepen your financial knowledge, or seeking ways to invest more ethically, there's a book on this list for you. Take the time this summer to explore these titles and enhance your financial literacy. Special thanks to the Wall Street Journal for compiling this comprehensive list of personal finance reads. Happy reading and happy saving!

NOTE: A special thanks to Stu Novik for bringing the article that inspired this blogpost to Total Cents.  Thanks Stu!

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