Starting out on your own as a young adult with your first paycheck and having to manage your personal finances can be difficult and even daunting.
With each check you deposit, you need to decide what will be spent where and how that will affect not only your day to day expenses but your long-term goals.
With hundreds, if not thousands, of books out there to help you with these decisions, it can be difficult to choose one over others.
You don’t necessarily need books on the stock buying and selling, what you need is something that will put you on the right path to financial stability.
Here’s a list of the top 11 books focused on helping young adults create a better financial future.
By Suze Orman
Before any thoughts of future endeavors, you need to make sure you have your life in order. This means you need to work towards paying off any debts you may have, such as student loans, credit card balances, or medical expenses.
While all of this may seem difficult, Orman has designed her book with ways to overcome and surpass these speed bumps in life.
One thing Orman likes to say is that the value of youth is that you have plenty of time to fix your financial situation unlike those of middle age or older.
Suze Orman has made her book in such a way as to be directed towards the young adults of this generation. Unlike generations of the past, with goals such as buy a house and raising a family, the current generation sees those goals as impossible with the way the world currently works.
With many young adults having tons of debt, no real money (seemingly) to invest and living off of credit cards, she addresses this in ways which seem against normal wisdom such as paying into a retirement fund even though you are deep in debt to credit companies.
With this book, you will learn about things such as a basic outline on stocks and mutual funds, as well as how to raise your FICO score (credit score), which is used in many things from buying a car to purchasing a house.
While this is not the best book to cover all the needed topics, it is a wonderful starting point and well worth picking up.
by Remit Sethi
This book is quite different from many other financial planning books. This one from the start acknowledges that there is way too much financial information out there, thus young adults will be both confused as well as have no idea where to go and what information to listen to.
Sethi dives into the important factors with his book, such as if you should invest into a retirement fund or pay off your debts first.
Sethi gears his books on a strict need to have and stick with a budget. He also goes into personal money management and the benefits of investments and automatic investments.
This is a good book to pick up as it reads much like a novel and less like a financial aid guide, as well as providing visual learning via graphs and dynamic charts. What makes this book even better is it is specifically geared towards those in the twenty to mid-thirties age range.
By Cary Siegel
When it comes to learning, most people refer to what they were taught in school. What happens when what you were taught does not help you in a given situation? Well, that is where this book comes in.
When Siegel realized that our nation’s schools, both high school and college, lacked proper classes to teach young adults how to manage their finances, he made this book for them. He broke them down into 99 principles to make things easier.
Another wonderful aspect of this book is that the lessons within are not taken from a textbook on financial management but are life lessons from the author. That means, unlike textbooks, these things have been proven to work and help when it comes to financial management.
This also means that the lessons within may come off as odd or thought-provoking to the reader. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the book is easy to pick-up and read at less than 200 pages.
4. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Fully Revised and Updated for 2019
By Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
This is the fourth edition of this book, and it has always been a go-to guide to helping folks of all ages change the way they view money. It even goes as far as stating that living frugally can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.
The previous editions of Your Money or Your Life had three main points: financial independence, financial integrity, and financial intelligence. This edition adds a fourth to the list with financial interdependence or how we can depend on each other with or financial needs.
This also explains that, no matter how much independence we want, we will always depend on institutions, services, and loved ones.
No matter where in life you are, either just starting out and trying to save/invest or getting ready to retire and live out your life, this book is right for you.
This is done by teaching you how to get out of debt and begin saving towards your future, saving money by being thoughtful in your spending (needs versus wants), and living with less thus being able to save more.
This book is one of the longest-standing, tried and true examples of creating a better financial outlook due to both Robin and Dominguez recognizing that the way you view money is greatly reflected in the sense of fulfillment and happiness you get from your friends, family and your world.
By Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
While most financial planning books strive to give you a fundamental understanding of how to invest, Stanley and Danko present you with a look into just how wealthy individuals became wealthy.
One of the biggest factors present in this book is the mantra of always spend less than you make. That is because those that spend more than they earn will never be able to increase their net-worth or savings. This is known as living beyond your means.
Other things they cover are never buying objects or having a lifestyle based on status.
What they mean by this is only buy what is needed. Don’t buy a fancy import car because it looks nice as that is a poor investment and investments are what will help you in the future. The same can be said for a status-filled life.
The main focuses of this book are UAWs (Under Accumulators of Wealth) and PAWs (Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth). These are defined as someone who has a low net worth compared to their income (UAWs) and someone who has a net worth well over what their typical income is (PAWs).
This book does have some downsides though. Some of the charts are outdated as this book was made back in 1996. However, this book would be a sound item to pick up and add to your library as a good look into how the wealthy got to where they are today.
By Sarah Newcomb
Unlike many other books, this one is focused on the human aspect of money management and what we view money as. Many of us may not realize it, but our upbringing greatly affects how we view money.
Some of us may have grown up poor and thus lack proper knowledge on how to invest, just like some folks grew-up with money and could buy anything, thus view money as something to be spent freely.
Sarah ventures to address these aspects of money management and make us think about what we do with money and help us unravel the thoughts we have towards it.
Loaded is designed as an educational story as well as a workbook. So, this way not only will you learn, but you will also be required to attempt the methods given as well.
Throughout the entire book, Newcomb pushes to address the core of financial independence. She pushes on our entire outlook and has us look back at the various idioms we have heard such as, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Newcomb wants us to think on the meaning conveyed here.
Lastly, Newcomb closes out the book with a chapter called ” Loaded Budget.”
Within, she goes over things such as good versus bad debt, what a need truly is, and what an asset to you is. All the while she has you referring to the workbook to take assessments and self-directed assignments to practice her teaching.
All in all, this is a great pick up for any young adults looking for a more down to earth, but still deep look into what money is and why we view it how we do. The answers this book gives you may end up surprising you in unexpected ways.
By Jesse Vickey, Andy Ferguson, and Nicole Vickey
When it comes to the day to day aspects of adult life, most of us generally don’t know how they work. By this, we mean credit cards, healthcare companies, or what a business dinner is. This book is determined to walk you through the beginnings of life.
It understands that you most likely just left the nest and are adventuring out into the world on your own for the first time.
Written by a team of young professionals, this book is made using tried and true methods mixed in with real-life experiences. As referenced by the creators, this book is designed for anyone who eats, spends money or works and pays taxes.
Thus, it is easy for anyone even if you are not versed in the complicated financial language.
Some of the topics covered throughout include: stocks, savings, mutual investments, buying or leasing a car, how to dress for business, engagement rings, taxes, auto insurance, and many more.
As you can see this book is designed to not only help you in financial aspects but also to help you in any aspect that you might encounter in adult life.
While all this may sound like the book is going to be crammed full of information and overly long, that is not the case here. Life After School Explained was created to have quality over quantity when it comes to its writing.
This book would be perfect for that fresh out of high school or college student, not only for financial planning, but for everyday life.
By William J. Bernstein
When it comes to personal finances, investment are a major aspect of planning your future. If you make the wrong investments, it can come back to harm you. If you make good investments, you can be set for life.
This is where “The Four Pillars” comes into play. The goal with this book is to teach you how to build those investments into a portfolio to carry with you through life.
These pillars address things such as the Theory of Investing, the History of Investing, the Business of Investing, and the Psychology of Investing. Each of these pillars is then further broken down into chapters to address various aspects related to the individual pillar.
Lastly, the book covers how to assemble the individual pillars into one pillar and thus taking all the individual information and making it one.
When compared to some of the other books on this list, it may come off as dry and complicated. However, this book is a great resource when it comes to investments which are one of the best ways to set yourself up for the future.
As far as if this one is the best to pick up, that is a good question. While not the best investment book, as Bernstein is rather conservative in his investment choices, it is a great resource for long-term investments and what to look out for.
Following his guide should put you on the right track for a comfortable retirement, but it does take diligent work and frugal investments on your end.
By Steve Mariotti
One of the largest things on the minds of young adults straight out of college is the idea of using their degree to start a business. This way they are their own boss and get to make all the decisions. This, however, is a complicated endeavor and many would find themselves not knowing what to do.
Mariotti made this book to help walk through not only young adults, but anyone who wants to start a business.
This book covers many topics from how to turn hobbies/skills/interests into money-makers, online marketing, social media marketing, and even how to track your carbon footprint. These, among many others, are covered in this revised edition from the older 1996 version.
Small businesses are an investment in the future as much as a degree is. However, starting a business is no easy feat. This book is designed to help you with this. Mariotti essentially designed a bible for starting a business with nearly anything you may encounter covered here.
Not only does the book cover that all, but it is also made to be easy to read. The book even contains testimonials from real people who started their own businesses with the help from Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship which was founded by Steve Mariotti, the author of this book.
For those young adults who dream of a self-sustained life, where they are their own boss, this is the book for you. While it is not exactly personal finance, it is a guide on how to further your life while managing your finances and living out your dreams.
By Beth Kobliner
While many of the books mentioned in this list are designed to be easy to read and, in some cases, written to read like a novel, this book changes that and goes the way of textbooks or even Dummies Guides.
It’s written in such a way as to try and outline everything about the financial aspects that a young adult may need to know. These aspects are covered in enough detail that you learn quickly and Kobliner even includes things she calls “financial cramming”.
These are brief summaries of the chapter that help focus on what the reader should have taken most from that particular subject.
This is not a book to be obtained, then read through quickly and put on a shelf, but more as a strategy guide on life. Meaning, it is made to be picked up and read when needed, instead of reading fully like a story.
This book does have its downsides and would work great when paired with a few other books mentioned in this list.
Some of the downsides are a lack of visual references such as charts and graphs, listing various specific stocks as examples when addressing how to invest, and the inclusion of links to websites which can go bad as the book ages.
However, this is not all bad. Inclusions of links to websites to encourage the individual to search out more information for on their own. The book also does accomplish what it set out to do in the beginning.
This meaning, while it won’t teach you how to become a millionaire, it does educate you on many of the various financial aspects of this world.
This book is one to pick up, though unlike others which are stand-alone, you should get this along with a book more focused on investing if that is your goal in the future. Regardless, this book will still teach you many things and is not to be left behind.
By David Chilton
This book is a simple one. It is also designed as a novel for easy reading.
Contained within is a story of three young adults, who upon coming to realize they lack the ability for long-term financial stability, turn to help. They end up getting directed to the local barber.
The barber, who turned a low-income job into wealth, gives them simple advice on how to manage life. This book paints a picture of how you don’t have to be rich to live a good life. It also imparts secrets and lessons to life in a friendly and, perhaps even caring manner that most can relate to.
This book, while not truly a guide, is made to inspire and guide young adults into the world in an easy to read manner.
Given some free time and the willingness to learn, even just a little, this book is a must grab for those right out of college with a dream but little idea on how to accomplish it.
Overall, we have covered a diverse set of books. Hopefully they help assist you in improving your financial future. While this is geared towards young adults, these books can help anyone, no matter the age or financial background.
Be it stock market investments, general financial concerns, how to start a business, or simply how to manage money properly, one of these books will answer any questions you may have.