I was raised relatively poor. We spiritualized our poverty too. Plus I grew up in a solidly working-class town, where everyone worked for The Man who owned the local mines. We lived hand to mouth and were always afraid of the next crash in the price of gold that would put the town back on unemployment.
In short… I grew up surrounded by terrible ideas about money and making it.
And one of the things that set me free from that terrible money atmosphere was reading. I’ve read as many money books as I can find. These are 7 of the best books about making money EVERYONE should read.
No two books on this list are the same. Some even contradict each other. But I’d totally recommend them–read them all! They’ll help you learn to build and keep your wealth.
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
This one has been at the top of my list for a long time and I really do believe everybody needs to read it. The author, Robert Kiyosaki, is an unusual figure, extremely controversial today. Honestly, I disagree with almost everything he says on his social media.
But it’s undeniable that this is one of the best money books I’ve ever read, not just giving me tips to save and spend, but helping to completely reorient the way I think about work and wealth. It was earth-shattering and has made me so much richer. My only complaint is that I didn’t read it sooner.
2. The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss
This book is hella famous, and there’s a reason why. In part, it sounds too good to be true. Could you really work for 4 hours a week and earn a living? Then, what might be a better question: Even if you could, would you want to? After all, there’s a certain self-actualization that comes from finding something we love to do and devoting ourselves to it.
The power of the 4-Hour Workweek isn’t about four literal hours. It’s about the concept of scaling your time through automation and using your money wisely. That’s why, like Robert Kiyosaki’s book, it’s valuable. Even if you never work a 4-hour week in your life–the book helps you to think about work differently.
3. Broke Millenial – Erin Lowry
This one had me at the title because I’m a millennial and for most of my adult life, I felt like I was doing everything wrong. And it’s based on Erin Lowry’s website, which is full of all sorts of great life advice. The book itself has tips on everything from how to live with your parents successfully to how to negotiate everything. Dating. Student loans. It’s all there. It’s a great read and super actionable and you’ll love it!
4. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
This is an oldie but a masterpiece. Napoleon Hill’s classic came from him interviewing millionaires in his day, and he came away with some fascinating lessons. Although the book is a little flaky at times, with things like manifesting success and positive thinking, not to mention a whole bunch of crap about faith and money, I still found this book helped me deal with a lot of my money mindset issues.
First of all, it made me take a hard look at the stuff I was raised with and not be afraid to admit that I do want money. Secondly, it helped me devote some of my mental power towards actually getting it.
That’s a pretty powerful shift and I have Napoleon Hill to thank for it.
5. I Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit Sethi
I know the name is a little cheesy. And Ramit Sethi, the author of the blog by the same name, admits it too. But how could he know that the little personal finance blog he started in college would grow into a global behemoth, giving him the opportunity to write a best-selling book by the same name.
I’ve always loved Ramit’s money ideas, and this book is a simple to understand guide to transforming your personal finances. It’s the basics of adulting, starting with looking at your credit rating, paying off debt, and–above all–learning to invest. It’s the smart money foundation that people in my generation desperately need, and there are no tricks. He’s also a great writer!
6. The Millionaire Fastlane – MJ Demarco
While the book is clearly written for men, it’s still one of my favorite books about making money. It might actually be THE FAVORITE. The thing that stands out to me the most is that at some point in your life, if you want to be wealthy, you’ve got to stop working by the hour and build stuff that will pay you passive income.
MJ also takes some much-deserved shots at the mainstream way of thinking about wealth-building–that is, putting aside a portion of your paycheck every week for the rest of your life. Even if that does eventually get you there (and newsflash, $100/week doesn’t get you very far unless you start when you’re 12), you’ll be too old to enjoy that “wealth” anyways.
7. You Are A Badass At Making Money – Jen Sincero
At some point, conversations about money have to come down to money mindset and money beliefs. And while I’ve never been a fan of the whole “positive vibrations to attract wealth” stuff that you’ll hear about in famous books like The Secret, this book does a super good job of covering issues with your money mindset in a good balance.
Money isn’t bad. It’s not a bad thing to want money. And if you lean into your desires, cultivating great feelings towards money and not unconsciously cursing your ability to ever have it, you’ll be well on your way.
I had a messed up money mindset, grown out of a religious upbringing that taught me that money was evil and only bad people had it. We were holy because we were poor.
That was crap. And this book, although I found it at a time when I’d dealt with a lot of that, provides the perfect anecdote to this type of thinking.
These are 7 of the best books about making money. I hope you read them, and I hope they put you on the track to fantastic wealth and freedom. Good luck!