Books Magazine

Resolved: Be Smarter About Money — A Book List

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

Graphic for New Year's Resolution Reading ChallengeTo celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas from now through Epiphany and to advocate for the idea of reading books to support New Year projects, resolutions, and goals, I’m writing a series of posts with themed book lists for various popular resolutions. So far…

Day 1: Be More Fit
Day 2: Be Happier
Day 3: Be a Better Cook

Today, let’s talk about money. Every one I know has trouble with money — either you don’t have enough of it, you spend too much of it without saving for a rainy day, or you worry about how to invest that rainy day money with proper care and vigilance. We all struggle, I think, because we live in a society that doesn’t have a healthy attitude — our models either value money too highly (greedy Wall Street stereotype) or not enough, as in dismissing it with “money can’t buy happiness.” Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project our New Year Read Along book, writes about the (partial) myth that money can’t buy happiness. I’m no better in this realm than anyone, but it makes me feel better that developing a healthy attitude towards money is hard, requiring the sort of effort that a New Year’s resolution can foster.

My dad handed me a copy of The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias when I got my first job. It wasn’t the only investment guide I ever read, but it was a good starting place, not least because it starts with some tips on frugality so that there’s money to invest. A book my husband hands to young people is A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel, a more technical book but one that represents a long-term investment philosophy about reducing risk.

cover of Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford

A book that covers psychological aspects of money as well as practical ones

After looking around at various “best of” lists this morning, I’m adding these books that appeared on multiple lists to my To Be Read stack:

  • The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton (a novel!)
  • The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley
  • The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  • Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford

What books on personal finance have you read and liked?

Signature of Joy Weese Moll

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