As the new year begins with a fresh start, you’re energized to start taking action on your resolutions. One of your goals for the new year might be to read more. Why? One common trait that many successful people share is that they make reading a part of their daily lives.
While there’s no shortage of great books, consider learning more about your personal finances. Here are five of the best finance books that will change the way you think about money.
1. Your Money or Your Life
If you’re looking for a seminal text on personal finance, “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin is a great place to start.
The book brilliantly frames money in relation to your life, spending, and values, and was a precursor to the financial independence movement. It’s no wonder it’s one of the top finance books out there.
The book makes you think about money differently, and you’re encouraged to figure out your actual wage. (Hint: It’s not your salary.)
For example, let’s say you make $50,000 per year. But after taxes, paying for a car to get to work, professional clothes to wear to work, and other related costs, you’re not really making that amount. Suddenly, you may realize you aren’t getting paid all that much.
Not only is this book great at making you think differently about money, but it’s also a classic text that encourages financial independence — the idea that you don’t have to trade hours of your time to make money.
Instead, the authors talk about the “Crossover Point,” in which the passive income that you earn from investments equals your expenses. In other words, you can live off of your investments and do what you please. Seems like a lofty goal, but this book makes it sound possible.
2. Think and Grow Rich
Looking for an inspiring read to get motivated about your financial goals? “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill has you covered. This 80-year-old book is chock-full of great advice and is considered to be one of the best finance books, selling millions of copies.
Hill studied the habits of successful people who broke through barriers and amassed a certain level of wealth, then outlined those wealth-building principles in the book.
“I recommend this book to new clients, blog readers, and podcast listeners all the time because more than showing you how to grow rich, it shows you the importance of setting goals and putting a plan in place to achieve them,” says Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym.
Though it was written 80 years ago, the lessons are still relevant today. “This book forces you to set your financial destination, or your ‘rich goal,’ and put the plan in place to achieve it,” explains McLay.
3. Overcoming Underearning
Have you ever felt stuck in the low-income trap? Do you feel like you’re worth more, but you just don’t know how to go about it or ask for it? You’re probably an underearner.
Barbara Stanny’s “Overcoming Underearning” is for you. This is one of the best books about money for women, though anyone can benefit from its content.
No one wants to think of themselves as an underearner, but many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck, unable to get ahead. With this book, you can take action through the exercises and break free from underearning.
Stanny, the daughter of an H&R Block founder, never had to worry about money growing up. She didn’t learn how to manage her money until her gambling husband accrued tax bills amounting to over $1 million.
Her husband fled the country, her dad wouldn’t lend her money, and she had children to raise. This moment was the catalyst for Stanny to get financially smart.
Through her work as a journalist, she was able to interview successful, high-earning women. She found that what separates underearners and high-income earners is a way of thinking. The book is full of actionable exercises to help you learn (and earn!) more.
This book is a great read for anyone looking to shift their money mindset and ask for what they’re worth.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People
You don’t have to read books about money to get financial lessons. Though not technically a financial book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” can have a dramatic impact on your professional life, career, and earning potential.
The book, written by Dale Carnegie and published in 1936, offers techniques and tips for successfully dealing with people. But how exactly can it help you with money?
“It taught me to do the things I enjoy doing, listen more than I speak, and be genuinely interested in other people,” says Taylor Schulte, a financial advisor and the owner of Stay Wealthy San Diego. “If I did those three things well, my business would grow and money would eventually follow.”
For Schulte, using the steps listed in the book has worked. “Making money is the last thing on my agenda. But since reading the book and changing my priorities, my business has never grown faster,” he says.
In other words, learning how to be likable, influential, and charismatic can help you in your career and personal life, directly affecting your earning power.
5. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Do you dream of being a millionaire one day? Sure, you need to make more money and flex those saving muscles, but maybe you need to adjust your mindset first.
In T. Harv Eker’s book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,” you can learn about your money blueprint as well as the 17 things rich people do.
“The book changed the way I look, think, and feel about money. In a few chapters, I was given actionable steps to change the way I think about money, and began to view money in a more positive way,” says Andrew Daniels of Family Money Plan.
“Once you change the way you think about money, everything changes,” he adds.
When you think of books about money, you probably imagine pages of numbers, budgets, or stock picks. But the best finance books out there focus on changing mindset and behavior.
After all, money management should be as simple as spending less and earning more. Though it’s not always that easy, you can master your money mindset and start to build wealth with these top finance books.
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