I was late to the game figuring out my personal finances, to put it mildly. I floundered through most of my 20’s until eventually smarter money habits came online in individual components. It really wasn’t until impending fatherhood scared the hell out of me that I got my act together to the degree it is now.
With that in mind, a few book recommendations for the twenty or thirty-something interested in learning more about personal finance. If I’d read these and taken them seriously in my early 20’s, I’d be much wealthier for it.
- Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner — A real lesson to be learned here. I was given this book at 23, I’m sure as a blunt-anvil hint from my parents, and didn’t read it until I was 27. Smart! What I found was a good entry-level personal finance book geared towards those just starting out, focusing on developing good habits at a time of your life where it’s too easy to develop bad ones. I passed my copy to my younger brother recently and gave him the “Don’t do what I did” speech, which hopefully doesn’t go unheeded.
- Eric Tyson’s Personal Finance for Dummies — A wonderful book and an invaluable reference guide. With a needed sense of humor and a very innate ability to explain complex things in simple terms, Tyson’s book touches any base you’d need to and is the one book I recommend to anybody who will listen. Which is very few people, it turns out.
- The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing — Once you’ve wrapped your head around some of the basics, jump into the common sense guide to simplified investing before every uncle and cousin tries to give you stock tips and other forms of drunken investment advice. Written by the moderators of the Vanguard Die Hards forum, it’s a great introduction to the unexciting (but so exciting!) world of low-cost, tax-efficient index funds. Amongst other things.