Whether you’re budgeting for your first apartment or saving for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, you should know how to manage your money so you can achieve the next step of living out your dreams. Since we’re in an ever-changing economy, some of the financial information out there is outdated, so you need to know where to look to find out how to make the right decisions. To help you navigate murky financial waters, check out our suggestions for the five best personal finance books, all printed since late 2009. The following books are particularly recommended for those in their 20s and 30s.
“The Money Saving Mom’s Budget” by Crystal Paine
Why: Crystal Paine, author of the popular blog MoneySavingMom.com, has been writing about frugality and living debt-free for the past five years. Her seven rules to financial success are easy to understand and include tips for budgeting, starting a side business, reducing clutter, couponing, living frugally and getting out of debt for good. Since she encourages readers to break out the lessons over 12 months, you can focus on one at a time – or all of them at once if you are so inspired.
Publication date: Jan. 10, 2012
“Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?” by Susan L. Hirshman
Why: Stop the cycle of comparing what you have to what others have with this book for women, which is structured like a diet book and written by a J.P. Morgan financial adviser. The three-phase plan includes an evaluation phase, induction phase and maintenance regimen to help you develop realistic, achievable goals, make wise financial decisions, figure out how to invest based on your personal beliefs and learn when to ask for help from a financial professional.
Publication date: Sept. 14, 2010
“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
Why: Originally published in 2003, “The Total Money Makeover” is on its third edition, and with good reason: Those who have read and actively follow his principals have reduced their debt and increased their wealth by thousands. His steps are simple: Save $1,000 as an emergency fund; pay off debt from smallest to largest; pad your emergency fund by saving three to six months’ living expenses; invest 15 percent of income into a retirement fund; save for your kids’ college and pay off your mortgage.
Publication date: Dec. 29, 2009
“From Ramen to Riches: Building Wealth in Your 20s” by James Wood
Why: If you’re in your 20s and are wondering where people find the money to save 10 percent of their incomes, this book is the blueprint to your financial house. Following its practices will prevent you from falling into the same money mistakes as other recent college graduates (credit card debt, little savings, no retirement and living paycheck to paycheck) – or, if you’re in your mid- to late 20s and you already have made a few of those blunders, this book can help you get out of that rut and onto the path toward financial freedom.
Publication date: Oct. 6, 2010
“The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve” by Suze Orman
Why: The tell-it-like-it-is, jacket-wearing financial guru’s latest book is a little different from the others in that it is in a nine-class format, focusing on how to manage money during a troubled economy. Suze tells you how to blend money and family, avoid real estate mistakes and get back on track after a career setback. This book is for all ages, incomes and financial situations, as she explains how to plan for retirement no matter how old you are.
Publication date: Jan. 10, 2012
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