I wasn’t taught about personal finance growing up. You may not have been either.
What we did know about money came from social attitudes that my parents (and almost everyone else I knew) held.
We don’t talk about money. It’s not polite.
Money doesn’t buy happiness.
Then I went to university and learned some more about wealth from a few professors who thought they were revolutionaries–as they banked their $150k/year salary.
The rich are evil. Capitalism is bad.
Not surprisingly, I held terrible ideas about money–most of which I kept until I started meeting some successful entrepreneurs and had my world rocked. (I wrote about this in my book, Doctoring).
So these money books were influential on my journey. I’ve read a lot, it was hard to choose just four. But these are important in different ways.
Personal finance books are funny. They all have slightly different bends and teachings. So
I’m not promoting one person’s personal finance approach. What I am promoting is developing a broad financial literacy from reading as much as you can.
Intimidating? Sorry. But honestly, there’s nothing that impacts the quality of our life quite as much as our relationship with money. This is worth the time.
Plus, with these books, I think it will actually be really interesting!
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The Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School
This is a really great book, and it will feel a lot less scammy if you understand this about the title. Andrew Hallam was a teacher.
He developed a system of investing that’s relatively passive, and that is based on the recognition that a lot of banks are trying to rip you off by selling high-fee mutual funds.
His answer, low-cost index funds.
Now, I’m going to stop here. Because if you’re new to personal finance this might seem like a foreign language.
But don’t be intimidated! Hallam explains all the principles of wealth-building and investing in easy to understand ways, like the teacher he is.
It’s one of the first personal finance books I ever read, and it was really easy for a rookie to understand.
This book is so fantastic! Based on her website, Lowry shares great tips for Gen Y LIFE–not just for money. Everything from how to live with your parents to how to negotiate everything, this book is a money and life hack that’s super easy to read and engaging.
The thing that makes this book different from other personal finance books is that it names and deals with a lot of the challenges that we millennials actually have!
Living with parents. Dating and relationships. Dealing with student loans. These are the money challenges of our generation.
And maybe most important of all, learning to not hate money and overcome your money blocks!
The Total Money Makeover
I discovered Dave Ramsey’s radio show and listened to it so much that, by the time I read this book, I knew most of what it said.
I like Dave Ramsey’s approach (the “baby steps”), and his no-nonsense guide to getting out of debt–the debt snowball (that’s paying your smallest debts first, regardless of interest).
This book is a perfect guide to building wealth based on “grandma’s wisdom.”
Rich Dad Poor Dad
I wasn’t sure whether to put this book on the list. It’s controversial, as is Kiyosaki. He’s a bit of a conspiracy theorist today.
But I will tell you, no book has so fundamentally changed the way I view money as this one. And I’ve had a lot of people tell me this.
It’s based on his relationships with “two dads”:
- His poor dad was his biological father. He had a PhD and died penniless. Ouch. That hits close to home.
- His rich dad was a close friend’s father who was a Hawaiian real-estate mogul.
From Lesson 1: The Rich Don’t Work for Money, this book is packed with fascinating insights into wealth that, frankly, will shake the way you think about reality.
Why do I recommend it? Because I learned a ton from it, and there are lessons in it I’ve never seen anywhere else–that I think are true.
So there you have a few of my favourites to get you started. There is so much great reading to do in this area and for me, it was important to unpack all of the harmful beliefs I had about money.
I hope these inspire you to reach for better. You’re worth it.