Already stalling on that New Year’s resolution to fix your finances? We’ll help you jumpstart that commitment.
We asked NerdWallet’s money experts what books they recommend for achieving common financial goals. Peruse their responses below to find your first read.
1. To save more, read:
“Your Money or Your Life”
by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez with Monique Tilford
“Everyone should read ‘Your Money or Your Life,’ a book that encompasses savings, paying off debt and how ordinary people can achieve financial independence. It’s especially helpful for people who want to retire early or simplify their lives, but its basic strategies — including how to view spending in terms of the time it costs you to earn the money — are helpful for anyone who wants to get smarter about money.” —Liz Weston, personal finance expert
2. To spend less, read:
“Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half With America’s Cheapest Family”
by Steve and Annette Economides
“I spoke with Steve and Annette for an article about ways to save money on groceries and was impressed by how much they know about grocery shopping. They have the process down to a science! Their knowledge and fun approach to grocery shopping comes across in their book. It’s an enjoyable read that will teach you savvy shopping techniques so you can spend less on food and become a more informed consumer.” —Courtney Jespersen, consumer savings expert
3. To stick to a budget, read:
“You’re So Money”
by Farnoosh Torabi
“When it comes to living on a budget and stretching a modest paycheck, no one is better at guiding us through trade-offs and prioritization than Farnoosh. She understands we can’t live completely without luxury, so she offers ways to still enjoy life while cutting back in areas that aren’t as important to us. Her ideas about shopping for clothes and makeup were especially useful to me; she points out that you can invest in a few nicer items and then be super-frugal on other basics.” —Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert
4. To start investing, read:
“If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly”
by William Bernstein
“This short, easy-to-read book offers would-be investors a complete guide for how to get started. It’s not going to give you hot stock tips or point you to the next bitcoin. Instead, it’s aimed at people investing for long-term goals, like retirement. Bernstein doesn’t shy away from some of the hurdles to successful retirement investing, including our all-too-human penchant for short-circuiting our own finances. He writes that the ‘if’ in the book’s title is the most important word. If, for example, we can resist blowing our budget on the latest phone or a brand-new car, we can succeed.” —Andrea Coombes, investing specialist
5. To buy a house, read:
“100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask”
by Ilyce Glink
“The fourth edition of Ilyce Glink’s guide for first-time home buyers is coming out in February, and if it’s like the previous editions, it will be friendly, informative and comprehensive. There are a lot of ‘how to buy a home’ books, and most of them miss the mark in some fashion. Either they have a lecturing tone that feels unsympathetic, or they’re for wannabe landlords. Glink empathizes with the reader, never talking down. She writes about her own experiences, making them relatable to the reader.” —Holden Lewis, research analyst and home expert
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