Understanding and Embracing Personal Finance

According to UNSGSA, the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, “Almost a third of the world’s adults struggle to get by without the financial tools they need to escape poverty and improve their lives.” This unfortunate reality affects many aspects of our lives, from lack of education to social injustices as well as inadequate access to food and medical care. Sahoja is committed to the alleviation of poverty, and the best place to begin is by expanding awareness and understanding.

Let’s begin with you! This blog repost from Bella Wanana gives you resources that will help you gain a better understanding of personal finances, money, investing, and financial independence.

Ultimate Personal Finance Book List

Last Updated: July 27, 2021 by Bella Wanana

This is my ultimate personal finance book list. Bookmark it for easy reference!

As a passionate personal finance writer and book lover, I have read many books in the genre and curated a personal finance book list. Below is a list of personal finance books that I have personally read. These books really are great resources for understanding key personal finance terms and guiding your personal finance journey. I highly recommend that you check them out!

For every book on my personal finance book list below, I include the following:

  • Goodreads rating: helps you get a sense of what the general public thinks of these books.
  • Page number: helps you determine how much time it will take for you to finish. Bring on your time management techniques!
  • Year in which the book was first published: helps you determine how well it has withstood the test of time
  • What is it about: a brief description of the book, usually taken or paraphrased from Amazon descriptions
  • My review: this is where I share my thoughts on every item on this personal finance book list. I will share what I like about them and what I find the most helpful.

Note that these books are not listed in any particular order. Let’s dive in!

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

  • Goodreads rating: 4.07
  • Page number: 336 pages
  • First published in: 1997
  • What is it about: Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad. The story focuses on the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
  • My review: this book has really opened my eyes about the importance of financial literacy, and how important it is to make money work for me rather than the other way around. It has also taught me the importance of acquiring assets that can generate income in the long run, as opposed to items that are actually liabilities masked as assets.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  • Goodreads rating: 4.18
  • Page number: 388 pages
  • First published in: 1937
  • What is it about: In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.
  • My review: This is an all-time classic in the personal finance world. The book illustrates 13 principles that touch all aspects of your life, including desire, faith, financial planning, and subconscious mind. Through specific examples, the book teaches you the importance of having clear goals and perseverance. Personally, I find this book not only helped me improve my understanding of personal finance, but also helped me think and grow in my professional life and achieve my aspirations.

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

  • Goodreads rating: 4.04
  • Page number: 272 pages
  • First published in: 1996
  • What is it about: The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue — They live next door.
  • My review: I have to admit: the findings in the book surprised me. Maybe it is precisely because of that, the book has left a deep impression in my mind. It helped me understand an important concept in personal finance: high income doesn’t necessarily translate into wealth. Through extensive research, the authors clearly illustrated how chasing high social status could cause havoc in our journey towards financial independence. The book has instilled in me, and hopefully in all readers, the confidence that if we manage our money well and live below our own means, we can one day get rich from nothing.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

  • Goodreads rating: 4.26
  • Page number: 151 pages
  • First published in: 1926
  • What is it about: In The Richest Man in Babylon, George S. Clason reveals secrets of ancient Babylonians for creating, growing, and retaining wealth. Through these entertaining tales of merchants, tradesmen, and herdsmen, you’ll learn how to save more out what you earn, get out of debt, put your money to work, attract good luck, choose wise investments, and safeguard a lasting fortune.
  • My review: This again is a personal finance classic that has withstood the test of time. The piece of advice that I find most helpful is the 10% rule: save 10% savings rule of every dollar you earn. I have since incorporated this practice into my daily life, and has seen surprisingly positive results. It is an easy-to-read book with digestible materials that can pay dividends in the long run.

The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton

  • Goodreads rating: 3.88
  • Page number: 224 pages
  • First published in: 2011
  • What is it about: Significantly older and marginally wiser, Dave Chilton offers his unique perspectives on the world of money.
  • My review: This is the sequel to the original The Wealthy Barber, first published in 1989. The Wealthy Barber Returns reiterates the importances of paying yourself first and living within your means. The most impactful advice I found was that “I can’t afford it” is not embarrassing, but rather liberating. Another piece of specific advice that I found refreshing was the idea against buying too big of a house. Growing up, owning a nice house with a white picket fence was always something I thought I wanted. However, reading this book has really given me a new perspective and helped me understand the burden of too big a mortgage, and I am now a much more practical person when it comes to properties. The book also touches on investment, and recommends that we focus on the long-term by having a well-balanced and diversified portfolio.

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach

  • Goodreads rating: 4.07
  • Page number: 320 pages
  • First published in: 1999
  • What is it about: This book focuses on showing women of all ages and backgrounds how to take control of our financial futures. Whether you’re working with a few dollars a week or a substantial inheritance, Bach’s nine-step program gives you the tools for spending wisely, establishing security and aligning your money with your values.
  • My review: Although this book seems to be geared towards a female audience, I find the steps and contents to be applicable regardless of gender. In addition to advocating for savings, this book goes one step further and stresses the importance of figuring out WHY you want to save. It is only when you have a specific goal in mind that you have an internal motivation to get there. Spend money where your values lie.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

  • Goodreads rating: 4.20
  • Page number: 224 pages
  • First published in: 2005
  • What is it about: In this fresh and original book, T. Harv Eker explains how you can master the inner game of money so that you will not only achieve financial success but keep it once you have it.
  • My review: I find this book refreshing because it acknowledges the impact of our subconsciousness and environment on our view of money. This really helps lessen my guilt about some of my bad money habits, and sets me up to face the problems with courage and a positive mind. However, the book doesn’t stop there. I also learned from the book how to adjust my not-so-perfect innermost blueprint to be more in control of my financial well-being.
  • If you want to learn what savings rate it will take for you be a millionaire, check out my spreadsheets here!

Well-Heeled: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Rich by Lesley-Anne Scorgie

  • Goodreads rating: 3.79
  • Page number: 224 pages
  • First published in: 2014
  • What is it about: In this book, Lesley-Anne Scorgie lays out the roadmap for young women to be financially independent and debt-free.
  • My review: This is a relatively young book compared to the rest of the books I have on this list. The book covers common personal finance concepts including making a budget, saving money, and paying off debt. The book is written in a casual and easily digestible manner, with examples from real people. What I especially like about this book is that it advocates for frugal living tips. By referring to them as the new sexy, the book really helps lessen the stigma around spending less.

A Canadian’s Guide To Money-Smart Living by Kelley Keehn

  • Goodreads rating: 4.13
  • Page number: 176 pages
  • First published in: 2019
  • What is it about: A Canadian’s Guide to Money-Smart Living will help the reader understand how to live money-smart. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to take control of his or her financial future with simple everyday solutions.
  • My review: This is the youngest book that I have on the list. I picked up the book because it was on CPA’s list of recommended books to read. What I found the most helpful in the book is the idea of learning to be comfortable talking about money in the household. I grew up in a household where money talks were nonexistent, and it wasn’t really until I started earning my own money that I started learning about it more. To me, being comfortable talking about money is a really important step towards financial literacy. It is definitely something that I want to keep when I have my own family.

Of course, this personal finance book list is not exhaustive, and I will be continuing updating this list as I expand my reading horizon. Please leave a comment down below if you have any specific books you want to recommend!

Author Bio:

Bella Wanana is the blogger behind bellawanana.com, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She loves sharing with her readers the best tips and tricks on personal finance and how to live a balanced but fulfilling life. She is also a freelance writer, and she has been featured on sites like MSN.com, Reader’s Digest, The Financial Diet, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates.

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