Top 10 Personal Finance books to read before you turn 30

“Books? So boring, dude!”
“What good are books, they don’t even have any pictures!”
There are YouTube videos that can help me, why do I need to read a book for this? Duh!”

Have you ever found yourself saying any of these things out loud before? If yes, then welcome to the club – YOU ARE OFFICIALLY A MILLENNIAL! Yes, it’s a group of people that is below 30 years of age (as of now) and thinks that all sorts of solution can be found out on the internet (OK, Google!) thereby questioning the existence of books. Not to generalize, but a lot of us have developed this weird aversion towards reading. It’s a rarity that you find young people reading books in today’s time because everybody is busy on the internet (YouTube and Instagram are #bae after all).

We can tell it to you with 100% surety that the internet is no match for books. Cultivating reading as a habit will take you a long way in life. Be it for recreation or topic specific, reading is something everyone should incorporate in their daily lives. In this article, we will talk to you about financial education and the best personal finance books available in the market. As a person who is under 30 years old, it is important to understand early on in life, the importance of financial planning and management. If you learn, the A-Z of finance (or roundabout) today, imagine how smooth your life would be in the later years of your life.

Financial education is currently a very less traversed area and it is common observation that the youth today, is scared of managing money (or even talking about it). This means that your 20’s is the right time to start facing your ghosts (and defeating them, yay!). It’s the perfect time to start learning about wealth management and making your own financial plans for the coming years. So, here’s a list of 10 personal finance books we would highly recommend if you are in your 20’s and are just starting out in your career:

1. You’re So Money: Live Rich, Even When You’re Not

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Okay, we don’t see a world in which that title isn’t catchy! It literally says “Live Rich, Even When You’re Not”, what more could anyone in their 20’s ask for? We all have some basic necessities like home, food, clothes etc. And we all have occasional demands like taking a cab rather than public transport or eating out once/twice every week. And then we have desires that can’t be categorized as demands as much as “luxuries”. Your PlayStation 4 or that designer watch, dinner at the most expensive restaurant in the city or that new year trip…all these expenses come at a cost. 

Farnoosh Torabi, in this book says that it’s okay to splurge on one thing, as long as you know that you might have to cut down on a few others. Maybe you can get the designer watch in the next few months (delayed gratification anyone?) and go to eat dinner at your favourite restaurant today. Sounds good, right? This is the kind of micro management and prioritization that Torabi is talking about. What makes it one of the best finance books is the simple time bound solutions it offers, to complex financial problems.

2. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

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WE THE MILLENNIALS have a special place in the heart of author Suze Orman who wrote a fabulous book just for us – the perpetually debt ridden youth that is recovering from student loan hangovers (because when it comes to education, how much debt is too much debt?). It is a commonly seen pattern that most money books talk about people who are above 35 and sort of settled with at least some knowledge of the market and some plan for retirement. 

But what about the young, the dynamic, the brave, the vibrant and the fun? Who will give these reckless beings sound financial advice? Enters Suze with her famous book and wham! The reason why this is a very famous finance book is that it offers first time investors something to read before they take long term (or even short term) financial decisions.

3. Let’s Talk Money

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Let’s talk money, ha? The name’s quite self explanatory and so is the context. The book author Monika Halan has become a household name when it comes to money and it’s management. Consulting editor with Mint, India’s second largest business daily, in this book, Halan talks about money problems in a very everyday Indian context.

The best part about this book is that it doesn’t suggest a single-shot solution but a lifelong system one must follow, in order to get around money woes. When it comes to money, Halan believes in one very simple idea – “You’ve Worked Hard for It, Now Make It Work for You”. A very contextual and relatable read, this is one of the best finance books that was released in 2018.

4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

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When you are talking about books to read on money, how can you leave this one out? Rich Dad, Poor Dad is Robert Kiyosaki’s 1997 literary masterpiece. The book can be said to be one of the financial classics and talks about Kiyoski’s own life experiences growing up in Hawaii. 

The teachings in Rich Dad, Poor Dad are centered around the fundamentals of your work life. Kiyosaki advises to work for learning and not for earning. Moreover, he believes that there are various lessons rich people give to their kids while growing up, which are usually missed out in poor and middle class families. This is one of the classic personal finance books found in almost every person’s bookshelf. A definite must-read!

5. The Millionaire Next Door

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The  title of this book, “The Millionaire Next Door” makes us feel like this is something anyone of us could be! It reminds us of very common people, people we meet and see everyday, someone like our neighbour or a relative that doesn’t live in the most posh location in the city (or has the most expensive car) but is still a millionaire. Published in 1996 by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, the book talks about the surprising secret of America’s wealthy. This book mainly covers around 7 most common characteristics of America’s richest 

This book is great for someone in their 20’s because your 20’s is just the right time to start saving and investing. It offers some basic advice like “spend less than you earn” and “Diversify your investments”. Might sound boring and redundant but trust us, the beginning is always boring. Once you get into the habit of following these ground rules, your financial fitness will get much better!

6. The Intelligent Investor

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Another classic in the field of finance is “The Intelligent Investor”. Published in 1949 by author Benjamin Graham, this book has financial principles that continue to help investors till date. This timeless literary piece has proved to be the blueprint for first time investors and beginners in the field of finance. 

Often referred to as the stock market’s Bible, this book is still relevant in the current times due to its principles on “value investing”. Benjamin Graham, commonly called the “father of value investing” is famous for excelling in money making during his time in the wall street without much risk taking. The current edition has added comments by the famous financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspectives includes the realities of today’s market, and  draws similarities between Graham’s examples and today’s financial circumstances.

7. The Total Money Makeover

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Ever heard the line, “If you don’t take care of your body, your body won’t take care of you” ? Yep, it’s true. When you take care of things, they last, while when you are reckless with things, they don’t. The same is true for your bank account. All your money related problems, and all your financial issues can be dealt with if you have a plan. If you make a conscious choice to take care of your financial fitness, you will remain financially healthy for a long period of time.

Dave in his book, talks about 7 step plan to get rid of all your debts and recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths that hinder a person’s financial growth and success. This book has proved to be the turning point in the lives of millions of people and has proved to be Dave’s all time bestselling book. This is one book we would highly recommend to anyone who has had financial woes to deal with or has dealt with financial problems life long.

8. The Automatic Millionaire

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This is another one of those gems in the list of personal finance books. Two simple words that describe the concept of this book are: Automating wealth. Yes, the whole idea prescribed by David Bach to get rich is to “pay yourself first” and thereafter, automate the entire process of wealth management. The automatic transfer of money is an obvious consequence of the advancement in technology and as millennials we all are very familiar with the power of machines and the internet. 

The crux of the book is the story of a couple that gives us powerful financial lessons. It makes the reader understand how very simple finance tips can help in managing your everyday finances while the “pay yourself first” money can help in wealth accumulation for the future. Bach doesn’t prescribe budget tips or willpower tips or the most common of all “having a plan”, he simply wants you to learn to automate your transactions in the present so that you can have a secure tomorrow. 

9. The Investment Answer


What is the right age to start investing? Is it 25 or it is 35-40? Well, we all know that the early bird gets the worm (spare the unrelated analogy) but you get the idea, right? The earlier in life you start investing, the better your financial health will be. There are no shortcuts to success especially when it comes to the market. 

When you are young you don’t think about the consequences of your actions, but as you grow up you realize how better it would have been if you had planned and invested years before. Wealth accumulation is not an overnight process, rather it takes years of hard work and perseverance to build wealth. The solution to all your investment dilemmas is “The Investment Answer” by Gordon Murray and Daniel Goldie. Right from the basics of investing to advanced knowledge, this book covers all investment based queries. Go ahead and buy a copy, we promise that this is one of those personal finance books that you won’t regret buying.

10. Your Money or Your Life

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Your Money or Your Life is a book that can be alluded to as the reason as to how millions of people’s relationship with money has changed over the past few years. For millennials, the very idea of making a living by going to the 9-5 job is off putting. This book points out to the very idea that there is a difference between “Making a living” and “Making a life”.

The 9 step of changing your life by changing your financial understanding of the world is the essence of this piece. This particular book by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez has been recommended by millennial millionaires (already ha?) as a must-read. The updated version is linked to the current circumstances and talks about very relevant financial stuff in today’s time. The idea of early retirement and living a comfortable life afterwards is the driving force of millions of millennials right now, all thanks to this book! 

Well, we sincerely hope we could fill you with some kind of enthusiasm in relation to reading. The best part about reading is that you don’t even need to buy these books, as most of them are available in public libraries. So, don’t let anything hold you back! Start reading these finance books now and learn to manage your finances better.
Happy Reading:)


Written by

Priyanshi Bhardwaj