5 Personal Finance Books for Anyone On Your List

Best Personal Finance Books for Everyone

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Ideally we’ve all solidified our shopping lists weeks ago and have gifts for everyone wrapped nicely under the tree. If not, (ehem, Johnny) I have a few financial books in mind that will fit everyone on our lists.

You may be thinking, What?? A financial book as a Christmas present?? Uh-uh, no way, no how. But, hear me out. (According to this guy, nothing good comes after this phrase. Pish posh.)

I think a personal finance book works best as a companion gift. Give it and something else. Something fun. A video game and a financial book. A scarf and a financial book. (What’s that you say? Scarves aren’t fun?) You get the idea. And if they never get around to reading it, no big deal. But if they do, that book could be the most useful Christmas gift they receive. So without further ado, here are some great personal finance books for just about anyone on your list:

Mom and Dad

The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Transitioning to the Second Half of Life

This book addresses the questions that all couples need to sit down and discuss about retirement. It discusses both financial and lifestyle choices in a conversational, interesting tone.


Sister/Woman in Your Life

Money Love: A Guide to Changing the Way That You Think About Money

This book is good for anyone on your list who’s looking to improve their relationship with money. It focuses on the reader’s “feelings” and “emotions,” but don’t discount it just yet. Although not focused on the technical terms (read: boring) of money, this book is still substantive in helping readers find financial freedom.

Kid Brother

I Will Teach You to Be Rich

This book keeps the talk about money interesting, to be sure. The tone is engaging and perfect for anyone first starting out on their own. It’s a great book to get a college student or young adult to really start thinking about their finances. This book might also couple well with a month’s supply of Top Ramen.

Man in Your Life

How to Win at the Sport of Business

For entrepreneurs and those looking for success alike, this e-book is simple and straightforward. It enforces the importance of working hard, which means it can be a beneficial read for anyone. And who doesn’t love Mark Cuban?



The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

This step-by-step guide gets couples on the right track for financial freedom from the start. The ideas are simple but important in laying the groundwork for taking control of your money as a couple.


Now that I’ve got books figured out for everyone, I just have to decide on the companion gift: socks or slippers? What about you? Have you ever received a financial book as a gift? Are there any books you’d add to this list?

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  • Reply Holly@ClubThrifty December 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

    I would add “Your Money or Your Life.”

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Cool! Thanks for sharing. We haven’t read that one. I’ll have to add that as a stocking stuffer for Johnny 😉

  • Reply Michelle December 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I’ll have to look into these! I have surprisingly not read a single personal finance book.

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Understandable… most are mind-numbingly dull!

  • Reply Savvy Scot December 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve never actually read any of these… look like decent recommendations :)

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      None are hardcore finance reading material, but they’ll keep you interested! I’m all about easy reads.

  • Reply Roo Ciambriello // NiceGirlNotes December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I might add “Living Well on One Income” as a gift idea for a new SAHM or something similar. It’s not so much a how-to or even a book about finances, per se, but more of a focus on a change in thinking. You read it and you immediately want her to adopt you and bake you cookies or something.

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Awesome… I haven’t read that one! And since I’m sure I’ll be a SAHM in the not too distant future, I’m gonna get on that sucker!

  • Reply John S @ Frugal Rules December 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Good idea for a post! I’ve heard of a few of them. I’d also add A Random Walk Down Wall Street. It’s one many would consider a must read for those looking to get more involved with investing.

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      I’m loving these book recommendations we’re getting from this post! We are just turning the corner on starting to consider serious investing, so it’ll be going on my must-read list for 2013. Thanks!

  • Reply DC @ Young Adult Money December 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I haven’t read any of these! I think in 2013 I will make it a goal to read at least one book a month. I really need to start getting into the habit. Some concepts are better explained over the course of a book vs. blogs (I read thousands of those a month!).

    • Reply Johnny December 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      That’s the exact justification I use for reading so few books. If I could compile the amount of pages from blogs, news stories, cat GIFs, etc. I read every day, I’d be reading at least a book every couple days.

      But I like your 2013 goal. So much so that I might steal it.

    • Reply Carrie Smith December 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Awesome goal! That was my goal for 2012 and I must say, once you start – you won’t want to stop. :) I read over 20 books this year (and still counting). Good luck with your goal!

  • Reply Daisy @ Add Vodka December 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I don’t know that I’d ever get a money book for a gift for somebody but it’s nice to know that there is a wide variety of books out there. I really enjoyed Debt Free Forever by Gail Vaz Oxlade (and any other GVO stuff)

    • Reply Joanna December 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks for sharing the book rec! I’ll check it out!

  • Reply Kyle @ Rather-Be-Shopping.com December 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Nice list. I really enjoyed the Mark Cuban book. Interesting guy and completely self made. I also read and enjoy his blog as it always has great life advice. The link is http://blogmaverick.com/

    • Reply Joanna December 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      I’ve been meaning to subscribe to his blog… thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply Carrie Smith December 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Great suggestions here! I’m obsessive about how much I love books and I try to pass that passion along to my family and friends. I don’t think they like it that much lol…to them getting books for a gift isn’t as fun as money. But hey, I love this stuff!

    Must add Mark Cuban and Meadow Devor’s books to my reading list!

    • Reply Joanna December 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Between my husband and me, I’m definitely the one obsessed with books! And yet, I think I’ve gifted him more books than he has me… haha, maybe I need to quit doing that!

  • Reply Budget and the Beach December 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Good choices! I’d add Your Money or your Life and Think and Grow Rich! Nice blog! I look forward to getting to know you!

    • Reply Joanna December 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks! Since you’re the second person to recommend Your Money or Your Life, I assume it’s gotta be good!! I’m definitely gonna get on that one!

  • Reply Shannon-ReadyForZero December 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Great list! I’m excited to check out “Money Love” – I’m very intrigued by the description. Thanks for sharing this list!

    • Reply Joanna December 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      It definitely gives a new approach to looking at money… if you do check it out, I’d love to hear what you think! And thank you for including us in your shout out!

      • Reply Shannon-ReadyForZero December 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        Will do! I just put it on my fiance’s Christmas list…for presents that I’d like to receive :).

  • Reply Sherri C September 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I just read The Total money makeover and I had the moment. The moment when you think, hey, I could do this. So I have made a budget and I am just starting the whole journey. I’m really excited and came upon this blog, I am doing lots of reading to keep me motivated!

  • Reply April October 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Just came across your blog! The first financial book I ever read was a gift after I graduated from grad school in 2005: Suze Orman’s Young Fabulous and Broke. It was extremely useful for the basics just starting out and having a large amount of debt but also just getting a job and having retirement options. Like what you should have learned in high school and college that you didn’t/wish you had! Going to read Your Money or Your Life!

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