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Best Personal Finance Books About Money - Reviews

Published 4/17/09 (Modified 3/14/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

List Of The Top Books About Money For Your Personal Finance Library

Burn those get rich quick books and ditch the late night infomercial gimmicks. Whatever you do - don't waste your money on useless junk. True personal finance knowledge is not something that can be acquired overnight, but is a lifelong marathon pursuit that requires the constant absorption of old (proven and established) and new (innovative and efficient) approaches to money management.

Embarking on what some refer to as a personal finance makeover requires an improved understanding of the basic mathematics and psychology behind income generation, responsible savings, and long term investing. But as previously indicated, there are no easy quick fixes to some of life's complex financial woes. Such pursuits of a better way of life require a self motivated determination to become more financially educated and experienced through the testimonies and learned mistakes of others.

I have heard some commentators cite the declining popularity of newspapers as the reason why book reading is no longer a necessary and relevant activity in today's technological age. However, I think this line of thought is seriously misguided. Reading books is important because the way that information is consumed through a book is different from the way it is received online. Unlike book reading where consumption is complete and systematical, online consumption is keyword search driven, prone to interruptions, and deprived of full and proper attention. The idea that you can fully understand the nuances of the world, let alone personal finance and proper money management, in small bite size chunks without extended periods of thought is foolish.

There Are Lots Of Great Books About Money But A Few Really Stand Out

When it comes to books, I select books the same way I pick my movies - by reading consumer reviews and getting a consensus opinion from the critics and experts. Admittedly, it's not the most original or ingenious of methods, but thus far it's worked well without fail as I have yet to purchase or borrow a personal finance book from the public library that I have not enjoyed or found somewhat interesting.

Coming up with a list of the best personal finance books about money was not easy. The topics they cover vary greatly and their writing styles appeal to different types of readers. Some are more suited for hardcore technical investors looking for statistical theory, while others are more geared towards single moms who just want to know how to pay off their ballooning credit card bills. Some of the authors and titles listed below may sound familiar but that's because they've stood the test of time - and have become bestselling classics and literary blockbusters among avid personal finance consumers.

Remember, the list of books I have read and reviewed below are only the ones that have worked for me, as everyone's specific needs and life stories are quite different. I own quite a few of them and each holds a special place in my personal finance library. Together, they offer everything a student of personal financial planning could want about saving money, investing in the stock market, debt management, and self motivation. You may notice that I left a few titles out. That's because I found them either too tediously technical for the average reader or I found them too boring and coma-inducing to personally stomach. Certainly not all personal finance bestsellers are great reads, but I think the following list represent the top titles. All of the book titles listed below provide related links to Amazon.com where you can find more detailed book reviews from those who rate books for a living and by ordinary readers like yourselves.

Do you agree or disagree with my selections? How about sharing a few of your personal five star favorites not mentioned here, or perhaps even offering up some of the bad ones you've come across? I'm curious to know more!

List Of Highly Rated Bestselling Money Books That Will Change Your Personal Financial Life

1) The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey - This book is absolutely essential for those who want to get started on the path to financial freedom. If you are up to your neck in credit card debt and struggling with pay check to paycheck living, this easy to read book by famed radio and TV talk show host Dave Ramsey was written for you. In this book, he talks about the importance of taking baby steps through his system of working hard, paying what you owe, and staying out of debt. Ramsey is an anti-credit preacher and is constantly imploring his readers to use cash for everything (while I don't quite agree with his sentiments about credit card usage, I can certainly appreciate it on a practical level). If you are struggling with debt, you will want to take a look at the Dave Ramsey snowball debt payoff method. The snowball debt repayment method is not the most mathematically logical way to pay off debt, but it harnesses the power of human behavior and personal motivation to accomplish its debt free ends.

The book is sprinkled with many of Dave Ramsey's own personal and devout Christian morals and practices, but even those who are not overtly religious can still appreciate his advice and recommendations such as adopting a "gazelle intensity" behavioral system to stay ahead of the financial game. The Total Money Makeover is very inspirational and not technical - definitely an easy read.

2) Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez - In this updated and revised version of a personal finance classic, the authors continue as champions of the simplicity movement. In Your Money Or Your Life, readers are implored to sit down and really re-evaluate the priorities in their lives, especially when it comes to their jobs and relationships. The book is a bit new age-ish but not controversial. It examines numerous financial truths about the interplay between life and money, encouraging readers to break out of the doomed cycle of forever trading time for money by pursuing passive income sources. If you are unhappy with your financial life and want to learn how you can break out of your current rut and live a more time efficient and value orientated life, this money book is a must read. It will change your perspective on money and life - and help you understand that it's not just about working and buying more stuff (not exactly a shocker, but the authors really hammer the concept home).

3) The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko - If you are a shopaholic or one who is obsessed with acquiring material possessions, the core message of this book will fly at you like a punch in the face (in a good way of course). The book is quite fascinating as it profiles and surveys the characteristics of very ordinary millionaires (you won't find hip hop stars or athletes in this book). In their research of the lives and habits of everyday millionaires, the authors of Millionaire Next Door discovered that true millionaires don't act, eat or even dress like millionaires, as most of them blend quite well into ordinary society due to the surprisingly frugal and cost effective lives that they live. Much of their wealth was developed by simple practices of living below their means and by making smart decisions with their money.

Other than the advice that it's important to find the right high income producing job, you won't find any information here on how to make money or increase your cash flow. The book is extremely pro-frugality and cites saving money and delayed gratification as the pinnacle keys to accumulating wealth. The book focuses a bit too strongly on the importance of frugality in my opinion, but the testimonies and stories on the need to vigilantly resist materialistic peer pressure and fight the urge to earn and spend are eye openers for anyone who's ever wanted to become wealthy, financially free, and possibly even become a millionaire one day.

4) The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman - I highly recommend Suze Orman financial books for beginners. For those who don't already do so, I also recommend watching the Suze Orman Show on CNBC every week (her show is actually more entertaining than Dave Ramsey's show in my opinion). Some people criticize her for the way she berates her readers and viewers on the bad financial decisions they make, but I think I think it's frequently well deserved. None of Suze Orman's advice is ever ground breaking or particularly inspirational, but she does a great job of making difficult to understand subjects palatable for beginners and newbies to personal finance.

This particular book focuses almost exclusively on the financial needs and situations of young adults - addressing the needs of students and young adults in their 20's and 30's, struggling with credit card debt, credit reports, and student loans. However, with its emphasis on introductory financial topics, the book is also quite suitable for even older readers looking to dip their feet into personal finance. Click on the title link above for more Suze Orman books on a variety of introductory financial subjects, pre-chewed and presented for your reading pleasure.

5) The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing by Larimore, Lindauer, & LeBoeuf - The title of the book - "Bogleheads" - refers to folks who admire John Bogle, founder of the world renown Vanguard mutual fund investment company. If you want to educate yourself on the most important fundamentals of stock investing, this book will deliver that to you. While not particularly earth shattering for personal finance veterans, the book's lessons are must reads for those new to investing and those who are currently too scared to get started. The book's main themes focuses on the investment advice and philosophies of legendary John Bogle and addresses the long term investment benefits of diversification, asset allocation, low cost and low fees, and index funds. I know the book's subject matter sounds rather techy and dry, but the financial advice it offers up is excellent and the writing style is remarkably entertaining and easy to read - making it one of the most definitive but yet accessible personal finance books on investing out there.

6) The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach - As the title makes clear, the author is a big proponent of the need to automate one's financial life. After reading this book, one of things I came away with is that there are really no secrets to becoming wealthy and no special get rich schemes that can get me there quicker. All that's really required is a bit of money saving common sense, the ability to live within your means, and the understanding that you must "pay yourself first". One of the most crucial and emphasized principles of Automatic Millionaire is the need to avoid the so-called "Latte Factor". To have the ability to save up enough to make contributions towards a retirement plan or savings account, one must make the affirmative decision to stop racking up debt and reduce spending on day to day expenses such as on frivolous and wasteful items like coffees, lattes, and cigarettes. This book is highly recommended and a must read for those looking to start saving for the future and those interested in starting up a retirement account by opening a Roth or IRA. The advice David Bach offers is quite excellent and recommended for both beginners and seasoned personal finance readers looking for a refresher course.

7) Debt is Slavery by Michael Mihalik - The message of this poignantly titled book is exceedingly clear - money is a powerful and liberating tool, but it can also shackle you and bind you into a life of miserable servitude. The philosophies that author Michael Mihalik writes in this book are succinct and direct but all are designed to force you, the reader, into a call for action to gain control of your finances and get rid of the shackles of bad debt. In fact, one of the most interesting and somewhat controversial concepts in the book is the author's distinction between good debt (loans that will produce value - college student loans or loans to start a business) and bad debt (loans such as credit card debt accrued to fund an unsustainable and unaffordable lifestyle).

If you want a personal finance book that will help you understand and respond to the terrible problem of consumer debt, turn to this easy to read book. Perhaps the next time you pull out that trusty credit card to make a purchase, you'll be reminded of the mantra - "debt is slavery" (* insert loud thunder crack *).

8) The Joy of Simple Living by Jeff Davidson - This book is a perfect resource for someone like my mother. As I have griped in prior blog posts, my mom is a chronic lifelong hoarder and a person who seems to find more and improved ways to make her life more complex and difficult. For someone like that in your life (maybe that person is you), this nice yellow book contains over a thousand very actionable methods, broken down into specific topics, to simplify all aspects of life and home. Rather than merely share philosophies and theories of frugality and simplicity, The Joy of Simple Living offers specific tips and techniques on how we can all eliminate clutter, streamline our work habits, save money, organize our possessions, and ease our mind to eliminate stress. It's a handy book.

9) The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias - When it comes to sound investment advice, some things never change. Andrew Tobias helps you navigate the convoluted world of treasury bills, municipal bonds, mutual funds, and Roth IRA accounts without making the subjects too dry or difficult to understand. The crux of his preachings encourages readers to save as much as possible, and put those savings into safe, no load, and diversified mutual funds for the long term. Don't go around betting and speculating on individual stocks because all that will lead to is you losing your money.

I didn't expect it to be, but the book was actually a pretty entertaining read, although sometimes Tobias' witty writing style and jocular side commentaries had a tendency to cloud up the personal finance message intended. But overall, the book is an excellent introduction to the nuances of personal finance and does a great job of keeping the reader attentive and continuously interested.

10) Real Money By Jim Cramer - Straight from the crazy CNBC financial guru/lunatic who got famously hammered on the air by Jon Stewart - comes Real Money, by the emotional booya man himself - Jim Cramer. I know some say that Jim Cramer has lost all credibility in the eyes of serious investors due to his propensity and history of offering dubious advice, but the fact of the matter is that while he is definitely starting to attract a growing cadre of haters, he still attracts a very loyal investor following and knows a lot about the business. Honestly, individual stock picking isn't for everyone, but if you've ever wanted to know more about the science and psychology behind this somewhat risky business, you might as well learn it from a very entertaining author on the subject.

The reality is that there is no one out there who has a perfect stock picking record and frankly, such an activity is really an educated crap shoot. But Jim Cramer's Real Money and his other books are still fairly decent guide books chocked full of very good investing advice - tidbits such as, you shouldn't risk your life savings in the stock market and most definitely not in any single stock. It's one of the few books out there where you may just wind up loving and hating it at the same time. Try it for a spin.

11) The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason - When I first started reading The Richest Man in Babylon, like many people, I was initially taken back by the compactness of the book and the weird story. But after having read it, I must say, I really enjoyed it. This book should be read by everyone from high school students to corporate executives alike - it's that enlightening and all encompassing. Essentially the book contains a series of parables set in ancient Babylon. It teaches all the principles of basic personal finance and money management through the use of these classic life lessons. By reading the very entertaining stories, you gradually begin to see parallels in your life and gain a better understanding of how good and bad habits affect how one spends, lends, budgets, and invests money. This book was originally written in the 1920's, but the fictional stories and life lessons imparted are still very relevant today.

12) The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton - If you enjoyed the preceding title, The Richest Man in Babylon, then you will definitely enjoy The Wealthy Barber as well. This book is written as a novel built around a central story plot set inside of a barber shop, with personal financial self help lessons sprinkled throughout. Some of the stories have characters engaging in discussions regarding important financial concepts such as proper saving habits, investing strategy, and tips on buying a house. The book offers the usual rehashed financial advice that other books offer, but with clear practical examples and in narrative form. If you are intimidated by traditional financial books about money, then this book's conversational story book form will definitely appeal to you. It's a great book about money and life for beginners to the subject.

13) The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham & Jason Zweig - Praised by billionaire Warren Buffet as the best book on investing ever written, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham is that good. This current revised edition contains additional modern day commentary by author Jason Zweig who applies the classic principles to modern day relevance. If you are a speculative day trader looking for short term trading tips, look elsewhere. This book focuses exclusively on the fundamentals of long term value investing and the importance of buying undervalued stocks of great companies for the long term. This book offers a tremendous amount of investment wisdom but is rather dense and comprehensive. Some say it's a bit technical, but I didn't find that to be the case (but I'm pretty comfortable with occasional numbers).

14) What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles - Year after year, the author releases a new updated revised edition of this bible of sorts for job hunters and career change seekers, one that is always chocked full of new advice and resources. The current edition was clearly written with job loss sufferers of the current economic recession in mind as it contains plenty of advice on how to cope and save money in difficult times. This book is an excellent read for anybody who is actively searching for a job or contemplating a career change. The book services as a career guidance counselor that helps you discover your true aptitude, based on your skills, talents, and interest - to help you find a profession that maximizes your potential. The author's writing style is very thorough and complete, and some people might be slightly turned off by the way he painstakingly hand holds the reader through every explanation in great obvious detail. But regardless, the Parachute series of self help books is a great resource and offers great advice on how to approach prospective employers, tackle interviews, and discover your true calling.

15) A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel - Don't be fooled. This best selling book is a must read for those who want to understand more about why it's nearly impossible to beat the market and why following the advice of so-called stock picking gurus can be detrimental to your financial health. This book discusses the famed random walk theory and dives into the intricacies of behavioral finance, which studies the social psychology of investment decisions - with reviews and discussions of past historical stock market bubbles and investment crazes. The message of the book is clear - the market, while not perfectly efficient, is efficient enough to make it very difficult and extremely cost prohibitive to beat. At the end of the day, a savvy investor is better off holding an extremely broad basket of���� all available market index funds for the long term than trying to seek out the undervalued stocks and hidden gems. This book will make you think twice the next time you blindly adhere to the financial tips that you glean from popular financial publications and financial quacks on TV. In most cases, picking individual stocks is really just a flip of the coin and a prayer. According to the author, these sources have absolutely zero predictive value in the success of individual stocks.

The book is somewhat more technical than some people might like, but I think the average reader can handle the basic charts, graphs, and ratios introduced in the text. The book is definitely not a short or quick read, but it will definitely make you think. I definitely recommend it.

16) The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn - This book by Amy Dacyczyn, a self proclaimed "frugal zealot", is the ultimate bible of frugality if there ever was one. Completely actionable, this detailed guidebook offers thousands of money saving ideas for everything imaginable, from the simple and common-sensical to the absolute extreme and borderline cheap. Unlike some of the other personal finance books that focus on intangible concepts and motivational philosophies, The Complete Tightwad Gazette is a step by step guide on how to save money in everything that you do in life. If you are already a thrifty guy or gal, this book will frankly blow you away in reverence. Her tips and advice on how to save money on food and household groceries are particularly useful in this current economy.

17) Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki - Almost everyone and their uncle who has ever been interested in personal finance or money has either read or heard about Rich Dad Poor Dad by motivational guru Robert Kiyosaki. In all of its controversial glory, it's become quite a lightening rod for fans and critics alike. The book uses the story (the truth of this testimony is still up for debate) of two fathers, the author's own dad, and his best friend's father, each who dealt with money differently - to highlight the need for a new approach to achieve financial freedom and success in today's climate.

Personally, after having read it a few times over the years, I continue to have mixed feelings about the book. It's an admittedly motivational and rather fascinating read, but there are very few truly practical or actionable lessons in the book to take away. There is a call to action in the book, an urge to seek out higher income producing assets, but the author is rather light on specifics and makes such efforts sound too simplistic. One thing that readers must keep in mind is that the book was written during the whole real estate bubble and housing hype era. Much of the cash flow and passive income messages in the book center around Kiyosaki's own successes in real estate purchases and sales during the booming era. Frankly, I have reservations whether those same sentiments are still entirely relevant in today's depressed housing market. But despite its flaws, the book remains inspirational and a rather reluctant must read. Go read it and you'll know what I mean.

18) How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - The book was first published during the World War 2 era, but even today, it is still a dominant bestselling classic. Some things in life, particularly those that involve the interplay of human emotions and social interaction, remain timeless and forever relevant. Same species, different decade - know what I mean?

So why is this title included on a list of the best personal finance books you might ask? After all, this particular title is not directly related to the issue of money, fiscal responsibility, or investing. Well, I believe personal finance and the pursuit of financial freedom goes far behind just dollar signs and percentages. It also encompasses issues of psychology, life's motivation, and emotional drive towards the pursuit of this ever elusive happiness. To acquire this happiness, the human and relationship elements are ever present. After all, financial success, as the author notes quite astutely, is mostly due to the "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people."

The book is filled with incredibly practical anecdotes that illustrate the best way to respond and maximize the relationship building opportunity in almost every situation. It doesn't matter if you are a corporate tycoon, a church leader, or a college student on the rise, this book will guide you in your inevitable relationships and social objectives. The book is not exactly a thrilling page turner with exciting cliff hangers at every twist, but it's an essential read for life long success.

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19 Responses to “Best Personal Finance Books About Money - Reviews” 

  1. Darren says:

    I've noticed that these titles are pretty popular among financial bloggers and are frequently mentioned on other blog sites such as CNN Money and MSN, but what about some of the newer books? I know the newer titles are not as established or have been fully vetted by the personal finance critics and readers, but surely the new books are worth a peek and review?

    How about the following new releases in the last year and month:

    1) "The 4-Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferris (great for new entrepreneurs and those living the mobile lifestyle)
    2) "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi (great new personal finance book for savvy younger generation types)

  2. Raymond says:

    Darren,

    Those two are interesting new reads for sure. I've flipped through both of them but haven't had time to thoroughly review them. The "Four Hour Work Week" has been out for over a year but I think "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by blogger Ramit has only been out very recently.

    I've heard fairly positive things about both but I've also heard some criticism... particularly towards Timothy Ferris' rather extreme approach towards outsourcing of personal services. For new readers, I recommend tackling the oldies but goodies of personal finance books before hitting the new age books. "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" is not really a new age book, but it approaches personal finance book through a "hipper", young adult approach...I guess it remains to be seen whether Ramit's book is destined to become a top bestseller.

    Thoughts anyone about these two titles?

  3. BetsyR says:

    Ray, I like your PF book pics...but how about Who Moved My Cheese? - written by Spencer Johnson. I dunno why the book gets poor reviews but the story is quite inspiring and gets you thinking about the whole nature of change and how we ought to respond when confronted with such scenarios. It's all about these 2 mice (Sniff and Sucrry) and 2 humans (Hem and Haw) living in this maze and their personal ways of dealing with the crisis of change when their precious cheese is moved. Lots of parallels between the story and working life in today's society. But like you mentioned in your blog post....finance and money is now just all about x's and o's and numbers, it's also about how we respond to social interaction and life's challenges. The book's a very basic but motivational read!

  4. Raymond says:

    I enjoyed "Who Moved My Cheese" but am not sure it will necessarily have mass appeal to everyone. I can see how the book may be disliked by some. The story and lesson it offers is pretty rudimentary although I liked the book's attitude and approach towards the acceptance of change. Maybe not a must read in my opinion, but rather an ought to read.

  5. Lindsay says:

    Very thorough post, thank you! I've read a lot of these, and I'll have to check out the others. I'll have to give the Richest Man in Babylon another try--it's on my iPod and I had a hard time getting into the quirky narrative. ;)

    I like the message of the Millionaire Next Door books because it really reminds us that we don't need a lot of shiny new things to be happy and independent. True wealth is really about choosing a sustainable lifestyle.

  6. Raymond says:

    Lindsay,

    Glad you are a fellow personal finance book reader as well. Millionaire Next Door was definitely one of my favorites. I've always been intrigued and particularly fond of reading about millionaire profiles. One work that I particularly enjoy is actually from CNN Money's online "Millionaires in the Making" series. They haven't been updating the blog series as much these days however...probably because of the economy - people aren't as interested in hearing about someone's dream of becoming a millionaire these days while people out there are still struggling to stay afloat financially.

    Buy for lazy book readers out there, I definitely recommend taking a look at audio books as a possible alternative solution to reading books. You can listen to some of these popular personal finance books via your iPod or car audio disc player at your leisure while exercising, jogging on the treadmill, commuting to work, or simply while running errands.

  7. DebtGoal says:

    Is there a book that you can recommend that provides a comprehensive personal financial strategy for someone that carries significant non-mortgage debt?

  8. Carter says:

    DebtGoal,
    I highly recommend you to take a read at Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey's the master guru of being anti debt. If you are looking for a real way to tackle out of control debt and keep the non-mortgage debt under control try reading his works. Financial Peace By Dave Ramsey's also a good read for the anti debt folks

  9. Budlab says:

    "The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger" book examines each of the basic steps they perform in "framing and making" an investment decision. This book is a focused look into this amazing invention within "Behavioral Finance." The genius of Buffett and Munger's parsimonious four filters process was to "capture all the important stakeholders" in a "multi-variable" equation or formula. Imagine...Products, Enduring Customers, Managers, and Margin-of-Safety... all in one mixed "qual + quant" formula.

  10. Mike says:

    Do you ever offer any personal finance book giveaways? I have never seen you offer such a prize in any of your blog posts. How about offering some of the older books for loyal readers as an online prize rather than giving out the newer, less proven releases.

    Building a personal finance book library from scratch by buying one's own books is expensive!

  11. Peter says:

    Hi,

    Could anyone please recommend me any books about this topic "the important about money, or why should you care more about money". I have had many chances of making a lot of money in the past, but I have the mentality that I don't care about money, therefore I never took the chances, and also, I had 89,000 in my saving 4 years ago and spent it all on drinking and other material things and I am currently 55,000 in visa debts, and still don't care about making money to pay them off. Are there any book out there that will change the way I look at MONEY. I have heard a lot of books out there that teach you how to be rich such as (think and grow rich and the science of being rich), but I have found none of the books that tell you the important of money and why you should work hard to make money. I need books that tell me why I need to be rich not tell me how to be rich. Any help suggestion would be great.

    Thanks,

    Peter

  12. Martin says:

    Hello all,

    I've just graduated from university and wondered whether any of these titles (or any others) would be particularly suitable for me? I've had a quick look at the Suze Orman one, but wondered if there was anything else out there?

    Peter - I particularly enjoyed a book called 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari' by Robin Sharma, and have found some useful recommendations too.

    M :-)

  13. Save Money Hound says:

    I have found No 2 and 3 on your list both excellent reads.

    Reading "Your Money or Your Life" will certainly change the way you view money.

    It really makes you scrutinise your expenses based on your values. And to question whether or not the blood, sweat and tears spent in earning money to consume is worth the effort. It all leads back to a couple of fundamental questions about what kind of lifestyle you choose to lead and what your priorities are.

    As for The Millionaire Next Door, it certainly turns up some interesting facts about who the real millionaires are. Not necessarily your high consumerist neighbour next door who has got the latest and best of everything!

  14. OnTheBrink says:

    Any opinions on Mary Hunt's "The Complete Cheapskate"? The only other book on this list I've read is Dale Carnegie's book, so I can't speak to how good they are... I just found her book to make a lot of sense from a very specific day-to-day money management perspective instead of just a broad strategy. I realize big-picture is important too, but as my "name" eludes, we are on the brink of financial disaster - most likely bankruptcy unless I can find emergency help immediately... I've somewhat given up hope that I will be able to find something in time, especially since my wages are already being garnished (and will be for the next 3-4 years), so I'm now looking for a post-trauma strategy and I want to make sure we get it right this time!!! I really don't want to flounder around trying multiple strategies and failing any more...

    I've heard a lot about Dave Ramsey's book and program and listen to his radio program. I like his approach, but mostly what I hear is how to get out of debt, and it appears that his focus is to BUDGET - which is the same as just about every other program I've heard about. What I need is a step-by-step guide we can follow to prepare us for the financial emergencies that we ALWAYS seem to be faced with.

    Maybe this isn't the correct forum for me to be airing this information, if it's not, I apologize. I'm just very desperate to find some help - if possible before the BK, but if not definitely after... We live in a very small community so assistance-counseling is essentially non-existent. Any suggestions or recommendations will be highly appreciated!!!

    P.S. I'm going to start reading these books as soon as possible...

  15. Tyler says:

    An early comment mentions "The Four-Hour Work Week" and "I Will Teach You to be Rich" as possible contenders for the list. I disagree. While they are both good reads, they definitely should not yet be considered classics. 4 hours is mostly about time management and caters to a very specific audience (those who are in business, hate their jobs, are middle aged and single). I just finished "I will teach you" and thought it had sound financial advice, but doesn't add much to classics like "The Millionaire Next Door," "The Only Investment Guide You'll ever need," etc. And I personally hated his crass hipster way of speaking (even though I'm about his same age). So, again... pretty good books, but not classics. Two other books I'd consider on the way to becoming classics are "Top Ten Distinctions between Millionaires and the Middle Class" by Keith Cameron Smith, and "Five Lessons a Millionaire taught me about life and wealth." Both are short quick reads that are practical guides to getting started in wealth accumulation.

  16. Steve Miller says:

    Have you considered the new, award-winning book, Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It? While well-researched and documented, it's written in story form to make it an enjoyable read.

    It tells the stories of people like Warren Buffett and clothes washer Oseolo McCartney and Thomas Jefferson and even Led Zeppelin - memorable, classic wisdom put in a fresh format.

    So far, it's got all five-star ratings on Amazon. Yes, I'm the author and I suppose it's a rather shameless promo, but the book is helping a lot of people and I'm trying to get the word out. Would love to see some of you read it and give your candid responses.

  17. Cathy G. Petree says:

    For the best personal finance management you have to keep up with banks and their ratings and you have to watch websites like bankrate or www.bank-ratings.net to check how your bank is doing at the moment. I think this is a very neglected thing by most of the people nowadays.

  18. Elden Mcglockton says:

    Here's a funny quote to make you smile :)
    Good judgment comes from bad experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. :)

  19. naveen taylor says:

    hi thanks for the interesting list u have provided... i have seen almost every book up there appear in one or more top lists of personal finance books... great to know some useful knowledge is shared for the good of all... i would love it if anyone could mail any of these books to my email id naveens.pr1@gmail.com i would greatly appreciate that... or may be a link where i can download the e book.... all the reviews and responses only increase my curiosity about these books.... hoping to spend most my 2011 reading them..... thank you..

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