When it comes to improving your knowledge of personal finance, a good book collection is essential. But if you walk through your local bookstore, chances are it will have a whole aisle devoted to personal finance books. The selection is daunting, and you could never possibly read them all. Luckily, you don’t have to. Here are five great personal finance books that all belong on your bookshelf, and can help give you a better understanding of money, debt, saving, and investing.


Personal Finance for Dummies


Already in its 8th edition, Eric Tyson’s Personal Finance for Dummies is a great primer on everything to do with living your life in a financially shrewd manner. The book covers everything about personal finance, from budgeting and debt management to planning for big purchases and saving for retirement. Personal Finance is truly the go-to beginner’s guide for anyone who wants to understand all aspects of managing their money and start improving their financial well-being as soon as possible.


The Millionaire Next Door


While not strictly a personal finance book per se, Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko’s Millionaire is nonetheless an essential read for anyone who wants to improve his or her personal finances. The authors rely on over twenty years of their own research to discern the habits, attitudes, and overall characteristics of self-made millionaires — people who have worked hard and become successful because of it. The profiles that Stanley and Danko develop through studying these amazing people shed light into positive attitudes and activities that can be applied to your own personal finances as well, making this book an essential addition to your collection.


The Total Money Makeover


Popular radio host and financial expert Dave Ramsey wrote The Total Money Makeover in 2003, and it has been updated multiple times since then. This is a great, easy to read book to help you improve your financial literacy, and get control of all the money issues in your life. Ramsey’s light writing style helps makes it easy to understand the importance of budgeting, limiting your exposure to excess debt, and even how newlyweds can keep money from becoming a major source of conflict in their relationships. Ramsey also wrote a companion to Total called The Total Money Makeover Workbook, which can even further help you visualize what you have to do to get your personal finances in order.


I Will Teach You To Be Rich


While the title sounds like a gimmicky get-rich-quick scheme, Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich is anything but. The approachable book lays out a six-week program for people to take stock of their financial situations, and design an action plan to improve them for the long haul. Along the way, Sethi takes the time to educate readers about important financial subjects, such as loans, credit, index funds and retirement planning. This book is great for anyone, but it is especially geared towards younger people who are just starting out in their adult lives and want to get on the right track financially.


Your Money or Your Life


Your Money or Your Life is as much a philosophy book as it is a personal finance guide. The book examines how, despite changing times, we are nonetheless trapped in debt-ridden, materialistic lifestyles, where free time and happiness remain elusive. Your Money lays out a different path, one where we live more frugally with less debt and more satisfaction. Along the way, it covers weighty financial topics, such as the importance of budgeting, avoiding debt, and saving for retirement. It is hard to read Your Money or Your Life and think of money in the same way ever again.