In the spirit of tax season, last week I told you about five of my favorite personal finance YouTube channels. This week, I figured we’d delve into some good books on the subject, as dictated by me! You may be going, “But Megan! How could you ask me to buy these things?! Is that not counter-intuitive to your money saving, minimalist mindset?!” to which I reply, “I think these are worthwhile investments considering you stand to learn a lot and benefit financially from the information presented! HOWEVER, there are libraries! You can go to them! You can rent books FOR FREE!” (Seriously, though. Library for the win.)
Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn
This is a great one for people who are just starting to take an interest in getting their financial shit together; it’s got a lot of great information (ranging from taxes to retirement), but it’s also an entertaining read thanks to Gaby Dunn’s personal stories and overall tone. You might be familiar with Dunn from her Buzzfeed days, but she’s moved on to greener pastures work-wise. She’s at the helm of plenty of projects, but most relevant to this particular post, she hosts the Bad with Money podcast (which inspired her to write the book). The book itself is, again, perfect for anybody dipping their toes into personal finance, but I’d especially recommend it to people who haven’t yet hurled themselves into the never-ending black hole of higher learning debt. Particularly excellent advice on that front.
The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan
You should know by now that I mega-stan The Financial Diet in all its forms, but this book is perfect for people who are trying to get a handle on their money. It talks about budgeting, how to get started investing, how to talk about money with your peers and not make it super weird, etc., and overall I think it’s a great jumping off point for thinking about longer term goals.
The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack
This is another good option for beginners. The information presented is simple enough, but the ten personal finance rules to live by that you’re left with really pack a punch if you’re willing to implement them. The goals are all fairly achievable (though it’s obviously an added bonus if you’re starting out in a more or less financially stable place in your life), especially given the clear-cut way in which they’re expressed in the book. Very much recommended, especially if you’re short on time.
The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
One more recommended read for ultra beginners! (I mean, that’s kind of why we’re here, isn’t it?) This one is another straightforward road map, but I especially like it because JL Collins feels like your dad, but way less annoying. While it isn’t necessarily specifically about early retirement, it’s a resource that will point you in the direction of that, should that be of interest. Very accessible read.
Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker
We’ll end on a slightly less beginner note! This book is called Early Retirement Extreme for a reason, you guys. The road to early retirement for the average person (aka definitely me, and maybe also you) requires a fairly complete mindset shift when it comes to thinking about money. And if living more simply/minimally isn’t something you’re into right now, then I would maybe skip this book. But as someone who IS very interested in a scaled back way of life, I personally found this to be a really interesting and inspirational read. I definitely don’t think I’ll be going as HAM as Lund Fisker, who suggests foregoing niceties such as air conditioning and heat to save money, but he makes many a solid point on how we hold ourselves back with over-reliance on material goods and other fleeting luxuries. Would definitely recommend it if you’re interested in escaping the consumerist hamster wheel.