These days, there are so many fragmented articles online that try to teach you how to understand and manage your finances. With so many distractions like viral cute puppy vids, it's hard to filter, track and retain useful info. There's nothing like being able to access and digest all relevant info in one place from an expert's perspective (aka, reading a book).
To get you financially savvy, our team partnered up with Textbooks.com to pick the 5 best personal finance books to read this summer. By reading even just one of them, you'll gain a strong basic understanding of how to manage your money. Hopefully, you'll know how to better manage your summer internship or job earnings too!
Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
This ain't no get rich quick scheme. It's filled with practical tips on the core aspects of money management, from how to set & achieve financial goals to how to use credit wisely to how to save for retirement to how to invest smartly-just to name a few! Written by the creator of the wildly popular blog Get Rich Slowly, it lives up to its billing as a blueprint "manual". It's a must read for everyone, even if you have a perfect credit score and no debt.
Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson
This is probably the most comprehensive book for financial beginners. Even if you think you know everything, you'll probably learn something new here. Don't underestimate the "For Dummies" part of the title. It's packed with useful info covering both basic concepts and practical advice. Eric Tyson is a renowned personal finance counselor, and uses stories & humor to engage you. It's also a great setup for other more in-depth "For Dummies" books like "Taxes for Dummies" (highly recommended too!)
This one is written by a millennial for millennials. Erin Lowry shares funny stories that you can really relate to, combined with simple but powerful advice. Unlike the other books listed here, it focuses on the emotional, mental and social aspects of money. She also gives tips for how to handle situations like when you're out with friends and can't afford to split the bill evenly, or when you want to get "financially naked" with your partner. She even helps you set the right money goals so you're "on track" at certain points of your life. Despite its title, this book still works perfectly for Gen Z!
The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack
The authors believe that all the advice you need to successfully manage your money can be written down on a single 4" by 6" index card. They actually made the index card and it went viral, hence they wrote this book! It's based on 10 basic rules to manage your money (like save 10–20% of your pre-tax income). Ironically, the book is over 200 pages long… but that's because they back the rules up with detailed explanations and examples! You should definitely give this a read if you like to live by "simple" rules.
Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner
Closing out our list of best personal finance books for college students, Kobliner's must-read gives you a straightforward overview of everything personal finance, without overwhelming you with too much depth. It even has a "Cliff Notes" version in the book! If you don't want to spend too much time reading about money and are just starting to learn the basics, this book is a great place to start. Fun fact: it's a book often used by professors in college personal finance courses!
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Also, check out the Pluto iOS app to track your college expenses and savings. 💰