12 Best Financial Literacy Books (Ranked and Summarized)

best books on financial literacy

Ready to get smart with your money? We’ve got you covered! After digging through heaps of recommendations, we’ve handpicked the top 12 financial literacy books.

These aren’t just any books; they’re the most mentioned books on financial literacy out there. So you know they’re good because they’re the ones most experts recommend.

Money can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re already good at managing your money or you find it hard, there’s a book here that can help. These books will teach you how to budget, save, and invest the right way. Best of all, they are all easy to understand and full of actionable tips.

Ready to start? Let’s jump in and turn those money challenges into peace of mind!

1. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel (6 mentions)

“There is no reason to risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.“
—Morgan Housel

What is it about? 10-second summary:The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel aims to change how we think about money and finances. It reveals how our attitudes towards money are often shaped by societal norms, psychological biases, and personal history. Housel guides us towards making smarter and more informed financial decisions, by encouraging us to have a more balanced and healthy relationship to money.

Why should you read it?Fear, envy, pride, desire, surprise - sounds like a rollercoaster episode of a dramatic reality TV series, right? Well, emotions like these are often also the stars of our financial lives, making us behave in some wildly irrational ways with our money. In this book, Morgan Housel unpacks the mysteries of our money mindset, so we can think more like successful investors like Warren Buffett. Get ready for some chuckles, aha moments, and a newfound respect for your piggy bank!
Top lessons include:
  1. ⏰ 1. Understand True Wealth: Happiness increases from having control over one's time, not showing off material things
  2. 💰 2. Compound Interest is Unbelievable: Warren Buffett's "real secret" is not investing genius, but consistency over a long time
  3. 🆘 3. Make Room for the Unexpected: Secure your financial safety with a margin of safety for errors and tough times

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Deep insights — Easy to read — Well-researched
Criticism: Somewhat repetitive themes — Not a step-by-step guide

Read Our Summary: The Psychology of Money Buy on Amazon: The Psychology of Money

2. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (6 mentions)

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.“
—Dave Ramsey

What is it about? 10-second summary:The Total Money Makeover is a common sense guide to help you become debt-free and reach financial freedom. Dave Ramsey's "baby steps" plan emphasizes financial responsibility, discipline, budgeting, and avoiding all debt including credit cards.

Why should you read it?There’s nothing complicated about Dave Ramsey's advice, folks! He just provides us with a common sense financial plan that works—if we’re willing to work the plan! Struggling with debt? This is the one to read. Let Dave Ramsey be your financial Yoda, guiding you through bigger and bigger milestones towards the end goal of financial freedom. Eventually, you’ll defeat your personal Death Star—whether that means blowing up your debt or blasting away your mortgage payments. 🏠
Top lessons include:
  1. 💰 1. Build a Mini Emergency Fund First: Start your financial journey by saving $1,000, creating an initial safety net
  2. ❄️ 2. Tackle Debt with the Snowball Method: Begin paying off your debts in order from smallest to largest, to build momentum and motivation
  3. 🏦 4. Set Aside 15% For Retirement: Dave Ramsey's personal strategy is to invest 15% of income, ensuring a comfortable retirement

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Practical steps — Motivational — Step-by-step plan
Criticism: One-size-fits-all — Aggressive debt approach — Religious overtones

Read Our Summary: The Total Money Makeover Buy on Amazon: The Total Money Makeover

3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (6 mentions)

“The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.“
—Robert Kiyosaki

What is it about? 10-second summary:Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki challenges conventional views on finance, investing, and building wealth. Kiyosaki encourages entrepreneurship over traditional employment, an opinion illustrated by the contrast between his two fathers: his biological father (the 'poor dad') and his friend's father (the 'rich dad') - a wise, successful entrepreneur.

Why should you read it?This book has been a best-seller for longer than most TikTok stars have been alive. But the ideas inside Rich Dad Poor Dad are as fresh and dynamic as ever. If you're tired of hearing the same old advice to "work, save, retire, and stay away from avocado toast"—then here's your crash course in how rich people really build their net worth. Hint: It's not by slaving away at a job, but having money work for them.
Top lessons include:
  1. 🏦 1. Understand Assets vs Liabilities: 'The Rich' buy assets that generate income, while 'The Poor' buy liabilities that cost them money (like a house and cars)
  2. 🧠 2. Master Your Psychology: We all have inner obstacles to wealth like fear, arrogance and laziness
  3. ⚖️ 3. Maximize Tax Advantages: Having a corporation can offer you many benefits including tax savings

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Thought-provoking — Inspires entrepreneurship — Simple to understand
Criticism: Over-simplified concepts — Undermines value of education

Read Our Summary: Rich Dad Poor Dad Buy on Amazon: Rich Dad Poor Dad

4. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (6 mentions)

“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.” —Benjamin Graham

What is the book about?

The Intelligent Investor is a classic book on “value investing,” which focuses on identifying undervalued stocks. Benjamin Graham emphasizes a disciplined, long-term investing approach that goes beyond just looking at the stock price, to analyzing the underlying company’s fundamentals. Warren Buffett says it’s “by far the best book on investing.”

Why should you read it?

If you’ve ever 💭 daydreamed about becoming the next Warren Buffett, strutting around with groups of admiring fans soaking up your nuggets of investing wisdom, then this book should be next on your 📚 reading list! While “The Intelligent Investor” may be a classic today, the most important sections focus on timeless principles and remain as true as ever, like a perfectly aged fine wine. 🍷

Top lessons include:

  1. 🧐 Embrace Value Investing: Focus on stocks that are undervalued but have solid fundamentals. Look for consistent growth, strong management, steady dividends, and reasonable pricing.
  2. 🔒 Prioritize Margin of Safety: Buy stocks at prices well below their real value. This approach reduces risk and protects against market volatility and errors in judgment.
  3. 🎢 Understand Mr. Market’s Mood Swings: Recognize the market’s irrational behavior through the Mr. Market analogy. Be aware of its overreactions, both optimistic and pessimistic, and don’t let these swings dictate your investment decisions.

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

⭐️ 4.7 on Amazon⭐️ 4.3 on Goodreads
👍 Positive: Many feel the book is essential reading for a deeper understanding of investing.👎 Criticism: Some didn’t like the newer commentary in the book that seems to contradict Graham’s value investing.

5. The Millionaire Next Door by T. Stanley and W. Danko (5 mentions)

“Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self-discipline.“
—Thomas J. Stanley William D. Danko

What is it about? 10-second summary:The Millionaire Next Door is about the reality of how people accumulate extraordinary wealth. The authors conducted studies that found typical millionaires are not flashy consumers. Instead, they tend to be business owners who work hard, save money, and live middle-class lifestyles like you and me.

Why should you read it?...Because you’ll feel better about yourself afterwards! I’m just kidding. 😂 Well... half kidding. These authors interviewed hundreds of real-life millionaires and discovered something REALLY surprising. It turns out that rich people have lifestyles that are surprisingly normal - even frugal. They generally don't drive a red sports car, but a regular old Toyota or Ford. Perhaps the secret to getting wealthy might just be embracing our inner Average Joe!
Top lessons include:
  1. 🐷 1. Embrace Frugality: Financial planning and saving money is essential for creating your foundation for investment and future wealth
  2. 🏎️ 2. Avoid Status Traps: One of the biggest obstacles to wealth is the temptation to live a high-status lifestyle
  3. 🌱 3. Acquire Assets: Millionaires grow wealth effectively by looking beyond their income and accumulating financial assets

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Eye-opening and unexpected truths — Data-driven research — Motivational for financial discipline
Criticism: Old examples — Repetitive content — Overemphasis on frugality

Read Our Summary: The Millionaire Next Door Buy on Amazon: The Millionaire Next Door

6. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (5 mentions)

“A part of all I earn is mine to keep.“
—George S. Clason

What is it about? 10-second summary:The Richest Man in Babylon is a timeless finance book that explains simple rules to grow wealth, eliminate debt, and reach financial freedom. Author George S. Clason invented the phrase "pay yourself first," which means saving 10% of your income before paying any other expenses.

Why should you read it?Flipping through this book is kind of like finding a treasure map to financial wisdom, minus the dusty old caves and booby traps. Just imagine soaking up all those money lessons you wish you'd learned as a kid, but all wrapped up in fun stories set in ancient Babylon. It's kind of like hearing life lessons from wise old grandpa, but with more camels.
Top lessons include:
  1. 🏦 1. Pay Yourself First: Start by saving 10% of your earnings for your future self, before paying anyone else
  2. ✂️ 2. Lower Your Expenses: Living within our means is about drawing the line between our needs and desires
  3. 📈 3. Let Money Work For You: To become wealthy, our savings must be transformed into passive income sources through investing

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Timeless principles — Simple rules — Engaging story format
Criticism: Too simplistic for some readers — Repetitive writing

Read Our Summary: The Richest Man in Babylon Buy on Amazon: The Richest Man in Babylon

7. Your Money or Your Life by J. Dominguez and V. Robin (5 mentions)

“Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for. (...) Life energy is all we have. It is precious because it is limited and irretrievable and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time on Earth.“
—Joe Dominguez Vicki Robin

What is it about? 10-second summary:Your Money Or Your Life is different from other personal finance books because it talks about choice, freedom and fulfillment—instead of deprivation and discipline. You'll learn how to use money to achieve your authentic dreams and escape the modern traps of consumption, clutter and debt.

Why should you read it?We've all made money mistakes in the past that we may feel bad about - like those impulse buys, failing to save, or accumulating a huge pile of debt. Well, good news! These authors are like financial 👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️ therapists, helping us let go of our old guilt around money, but still craft a plan to create a great financial future. Thanks, guys! 🙌
Top lessons include:
  1. 🗝️ 1. Value Savings as the Path to Freedom: Recognize how escaping the cycle of endless debt opens the door to financial freedom
  2. ⏳ 2. Treat Money as Life Energy: Understand that money represents your precious, irreplaceable life energy - and deserves careful management
  3. 🙌 3. Let Go of Financial Regrets: Reflect on past financial decisions with "no shame, no blame" - embracing a mindset of learning and growth

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Transformative approach to money — Practical tools for financial planning
Criticism: Repetitive content — Requires major lifestyle changes

Read Our Summary: Your Money or Your Life Buy on Amazon: Your Money or Your Life

8. The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins (4 mentions)

“Stop thinking about what your money can buy. Start thinking about what your money can earn.“
—JL Collins

What is it about? 10-second summary:The Simple Path to Wealth is about how to manage our money so we can enjoy financial freedom and greater wealth. JL Collins recommends saving as much as possible, getting out of debt quickly, and investing in low-cost stock index funds.

Why should you read it?JL Collins turns the often intimidating world of investing into a walk in the park. He's like a tough, yet kind, father figure that's not afraid to tell us what we need to hear. It's like he's saying, "Hey, saving money isn't rocket science, you know!" This book is a must-read for anyone looking to get their financial life and retirement on track—without needing a degree in economics. Plus, "The Simple Path to Wealth" is Reddit’s #1 recommended personal finance book today. You can’t argue with the internet, right?
Top lessons include:
  1. 🤸‍♂️ 1. Get F-You Money: Achieve freedom by saving enough to cover several months of expenses
  2. 💳 2. Pay Off Debt Quickly: Carrying a lot of debt is the biggest obstacle to wealth
  3. 📊 3. Invest in Stock Index Funds: The safer way to grow wealth is by investing in ALL the stocks in the market

Is it worth reading? Reviews summary:

Positive reviews say: Clear and concise — Practical financial strategies
Criticism: U.S.-centric directions — Too simplistic for some

Read Our Summary: The Simple Path to Wealth Buy on Amazon: The Simple Path to Wealth

9. Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry (4 mentions)

“Trying to change how you spend or save money without understanding why it’s difficult in the first place probably means you’ll slip up.” —Erin Lowry

What is the book about?

Broke Millennial is a relatable and engaging guide for young adults to navigate their finances. Erin Lowry addresses the challenges millennials face, from managing student loans to understanding complex financial terminology. The book emphasizes practical, easy-to-understand advice for taking control of personal finances early in life.

What do the reviews say?

⭐️ 4.6 on Amazon⭐️ 3.9 on Goodreads
👍 Positive: Relatable and easy to understand — Practical and actionable steps — Engaging and humorous approach👎 Criticism: Focused mainly on beginner financial concepts

Why should you read it?

…For a real talk about money that doesn’t put you to sleep! 😂 This book is like chatting with a savvy friend who knows all the ins and outs of dollars and cents. Lowry dives into the nitty-gritty of millennial money issues without the financial gobbledygook. Perfect if you’re tired of hearing the same old money advice.

Top lessons include:

  1. 💳 Understanding Debt: Learn how to tackle different types of debt, especially student loans, and the importance of a good credit score.
  2. 📊 Budgeting Made Easy: Lowry offers straightforward strategies for creating and sticking to a budget that doesn’t feel restrictive.
  3. 🎯 Setting Financial Goals: The book encourages readers to define their own financial success and provides steps to achieve these goals, helping to transform their relationship with money.

10. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (4 mentions)

“The single most important thing you can do to be rich is to start early.” —Ramit Sethi

What is the book about?

I Will Teach You to Be Rich is an actionable guide to organize your finances and live your personal ‘Rich Life.’ Ramit Sethi focuses on conscious spending, so we can buy what we want guilt-free, while also saving money. He gives specific recommendations for credit cards, banks, and investing.

What do the reviews say?

⭐️ 4.7 on Amazon⭐️ 4.2 on Goodreads
👍 Positive: Many people liked the very specific actionable steps that tell you exactly what to do, like which accounts to open at which bank.👎 Criticism: Some people said the book contains no new information (just save money and invest in index funds).

Why should you read it?

What’s not to like about a finance book that kicks off with the tagline: “Buy as many ☕ lattes as you want”? Too many personal finance books are dry, boring and repetitive, which turns people off. This author offers the exact opposite—with plenty of colourful 😂 jokes and the real, honest truth about money. (He even spills the beans on the conversation he had with his wife before they signed a 💍 prenup!)

Top lessons include:

  1. 💸 Financial Automation. Nobody enjoys paying bills, so why not make it automatic? So that every month your bills are paid and your investment accounts funded without you needing to do anything, and you don’t need to think about it anymore!
  2. 🛍️ Conscious Spending. Rather than focusing on limiting spending, this is about making a plan for spending on what really makes you happy, so you can live our personal ‘Rich Life’ guilt-free.
  3. ⏰ Begin Today. It’s better to start now than waiting to get everything perfect, when it comes to saving money and investing. What really matters is being in the game sooner, because of the power of compound interest.

11. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle (3 mentions)

“Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!” —John Bogle

What is the book about?

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is about how to better invest your money for retirement. The main idea is that you should buy and hold low-cost index funds, rather than buying individual stocks or actively managed mutual funds. John Bogle founded Vanguard, a pioneer of index fund investing.

What do the reviews say?

⭐️ 4.7 on Amazon⭐️ 4.2 on Goodreads
👍 Positive: Many readers appreciated the easy-to-understand writing style, which helps beginner investors avoid common mistakes.👎 Criticism: Some noted the book could have been shorter, as it tends to repeat the same main point over and over again.

Why should you read it?

John Bogle is like the 👴🏻 cool grandpa of the investing world, who’s inspired tons of writers, including the author of “The Simple Path to Wealth.” His big breakthrough? A fact that now seems obvious: that the financial industry is more interested in lining their own pockets than ours. I mean, who would’ve guessed, right? 🤷‍♀️ But hey, thanks to him and others, we now have some smart new strategies for how to invest our money.

Top lessons include:

  1. 🌐 Low-Cost Index Funds: Simplify your investing through buying index funds, which are like a collection of all the stocks in the market. This approach minimizes fees, promotes diversification, and provides greater average returns than actively managed funds.
  2. 🕵️ Beware of Fees: Larger costs and fees are a major downside of buying individual stocks or actively managed mutual funds. These include management fees, buying/selling fees, and greater capital gains taxes.
  3. 🙉 Ignore Market Noise: Instead of buying and selling based on current news or trends, simply buy and hold. By investing for the long-term, and maintaining patience and discipline, you’ll benefit from greater compounding returns.

12. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Lindauer, LeBoeuf, and Larimore (3 mentions)

“Index investing is an investment strategy that Walter Mitty would love. It takes very little investment knowledge, no skill, practically no time or effort-and outperforms about 80 percent of all investors.”

What is the book about?

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing is a comprehensive resource for anyone looking to understand the basics of investing. Inspired by the investment philosophy of Vanguard founder John C. Bogle, the book breaks down complex investment concepts into digestible pieces. It covers everything from asset allocation to tax strategies, emphasizing long-term, low-cost investment approaches.

What do the reviews say?

⭐️ 4.7 on Amazon⭐️ 4.3 on Goodreads
👍 Positive: Comprehensive and straightforward — Practical investment strategies — Accessible to beginners👎 Criticism: Does not cover advanced investment strategies or concepts

Why should you read it?

For a no-nonsense guide to growing your wealth. This book is like a roadmap to investment, steering you clear of the overly complex schemes of the financial industry. It’s perfect for beginners and anyone who wants to make smart investment choices without feeling overwhelmed. The Bogleheads’ approach simplifies investing, making it accessible and manageable for everyone, not just the financial wizards.

Top lessons include:

  1. 📈 Long-Term Investing: Learn the importance of a long-term perspective in building wealth.
  2. 💰 Low-Cost Index Funds: Discover why low-cost index funds are often the best investment choice.
  3. 🧮 Asset Allocation: Understand how to diversify your investments to balance risk and return.
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