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Ten favorite personal-finance books

Great advice for the financial stages of life.

Shoppers browse at the newly opened Barnes & Noble book store at The College of New Jersey, Aug. 19, 2015, in Ewing Township, N.J.
Mel Evans/AP/File | Caption

While great literature is said to transcend audiences, the best personal finance books are arguably most impactful when they address a particular stage or challenge of your financial life with practical insight and advice.

With this in mind, here are 10 ValuePenguin favorite personal-finance tomes — many of them among Amazon’s best sellers and Goodreads.com’s most loved — for four different aspects or times of managing your money. 

Resetting Your Finances

1. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence

Authors: Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford

Goodreads rating: 4.07 / 5

Published during The Great Recession, in 2008, this book looks at personal money management (i.e. getting out of debt, starting to save) in the context of ethics as opposed to spreadsheets. It touches upon mindfulness, building good habits and even being a more environmentally-friendly consumer.

2. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Author: Dave Ramsey

Goodreads rating: 4.28 / 5

Like other books in the financial-management genre, the title tells you what you need to know. Ramsey’s may be best for readers who are looking to climb out of debt before worrying about the ensuing stages in their personal-finance development.

3. I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Author: Ramit Sethi

Goodreads rating: 4.04 / 5

If you’re more likely to gain from a step-by-step and goal-oriented approach, Seithi’s book may be worth picking off the shelf. He offers a practical approach to what he calls the “four pillars” of personal finance: banking, saving, budgeting and investing.

Building Wealth

4. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy

Authors: Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Goodreads rating: 3.99 / 5

Taking the tack that much can be learned from those of us who have already made it, so to speak, these two authors, both with Ph.D.s, examine the best practices of America’s very rich. The book’s success and value lies in how it makes those takeaways apply to those of us with a lot less in our portfolios than the lux types.

5. The Richest Man in Babylon

Authors: George S. Clason, Charles Conrad

Goodreads rating: 4.22

This 100-pager, while nearly a hundred years old, retains as much value as when it was first published, in 1926. Some of the authors of the other books on this list have this classic on their bookshelves, and look fondly on its timeless advice for aspiring wealth-builders.

6. Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

Author: Tony Robbins

Goodreads rating: 4.14 / 5

While some of Robbins’ work focuses on get-rich-quick schemes for the everyman, his latest book offers more traditional advice on investing. It’s at its best when it borrows from the strategies and methods of top investors.

7. The Wealthy Barber

Author: David Chilton

Goodreads rating: 3.97 / 5

Unlike Robbins’ effort, this book claims to empower even the average salary-earner to help him or her to gain financial independence. It’s more readable than the average personal finance book, in part through its use of a successful barber’s experiences to illustrate Chilton’s most powerful points.

On Personal Finance and Parenting

8. Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You’re Not)

Author: Beth Kobliner

Goodreads rating: 4.25 / 5

Also the author of “Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties,” Kobliner addresses this 2017 book toward readers who have grown into parenthood, and now want to instruct their kids in managing money. She offers a guide teaching toddlers to teens everything there is to know about money, whether it’s how to use a credit card or how to pay for college.

9. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not

Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki

Goodreads rating: 3.92 / 5

Kiyosaki takes the stories of his own father, and the wealthy father of his best friend, to explore how parenting affects a long-term outlook on money and investing.

On Retirement

10. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor

Author: Ernie J. Zelinski

Goodreads rating: 3.71 / 5

At times, this may feel less like retirement wisdom than quiet wisdom you might receive from your yogi. Zelinski goes beyond dollars and cents to address how everything that’s important in your life is connected to the time after your work life ends; it also aims to get you to that milestone more quickly.

This story originally appeared on ValuePenguin.

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