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The 10 best personal finance books of 2021

Bankrate logo Bankrate 6/9/2021 Sean Jackson
a book shelf filled with books in front of a bookshelf: Various books on shelves © Kai Schwabe/Getty Images Various books on shelves

Looking for a great money-themed book for your summer reading? Here's our short list of the best personal finance books for 2021.

Bankrate's 10 best personal finance books for 2021

  • "The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy," by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
  • "How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide," by Jane Bryant Quinn
  • "A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing," by Burton G. Malkiel
  • "Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction," by Bert Whitehead
  • "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan," by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
  • "The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing," by Benjamin Graham
  • "Bunny Money (Max & Ruby)," by Rosemary Wells
  • "Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Get What You Want with the Money You Have," by Michelle Singletary
  • "Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together," by Erin Lowry
  • "Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties," by Beth Kobliner

‘The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy,’ by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Who should read this book:

Anyone who wants to build sound financial behavior.

Why the book made our list:

Being rich doesn't mean being flashy. In fact, it's the opposite. This book reveals that many affluent individuals shy away from buying the most expensive cars and taking the most over-the-top vacations, opting instead for a disciplined approach to their money. It turns out that being a millionaire relies more on being thrifty.

‘How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide,’ by Jane Bryant Quinn

Who should read this book:

Those looking to build wealth through solid investment advice.

Why the book made our list:

If you have questions about how to sustain your investments through your retirement, this book has the answers. With thoughtful details on ways to squeeze income from Social Security, investments and more, Quinn shows how to create a recurring paycheck that will have you living comfortably through retirement.

‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing,’ by Burton G. Malkiel

Who should read this book:

Anyone (specifically business students) who wants to understand how the stock market works.

Why the book made our list:

If you're new to investing, this book lays out an excellent blueprint for success. Malkiel goes into detail on a variety of investing strategies including "smart beta" investing (which combines the benefits of passive investing and the advantages of active investing strategies) and finding opportunities in emerging markets. The reader will gain a complete overview of the complex world of investing.

‘Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction,’ by Bert Whitehead

Who should read this book:

Readers who want to adjust their financial behaviors towards a more sustainable future.

Why the book made our list:


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Perhaps you've been failing to pay off your credit card debt in full each month, or maybe you haven't been contributing to any kind of retirement savings account. No matter how smart you think you are, you've probably made a misstep with your cash. This book suggests that the error of your ways may be attributed less to your wallet and more to your mind.

‘All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan,’ by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi

Who should read this book:

Those who seek practical advice when developing a budget.

Why the book made our list:

Warren and Tyagi stress the importance of balance when it comes to managing your money by laying out a step-by-step guide that can help you devote more of your finances to saving, paying off debt and developing a promising financial future.

‘The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing,’ by Benjamin Graham

Who should read this book:

Readers who want to grasp the risks and rewards of investing.

Why the book made our list:

This book is the gold standard of investing. You'll learn the importance of value investing, which enables investors to develop long-term strategies. And with updated insight from financial reporter Jason Zweig, readers will gain an understanding of long-term values and how they can incorporate them into the current financial landscape.

‘Bunny Money (Max & Ruby),’ by Rosemary Wells

Who should read this book:

Children looking to learn the basics of personal finance.

Why the book made our list:

The story in this children's book is about bunnies Max and Ruby who are trying to buy their grandma a gift for her birthday. As they set out, they encounter a series of adventures that deplete their money supply. In the process, children discover how their decisions impact the money they have.

‘Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Get What You Want with the Money You Have,’ by Michelle Singletary

Who should read this book:

Readers who want practical advice on how to manage their money.

Why the book made our list:

Singletary chronicles the "7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life" she learned from her grandmother. These mantras may be simple in nature, but they provide a firm foundation for anyone hoping to build sound financial behaviors. The book differentiates between wants and needs and why you should sweat the small stuff.

‘Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together,’ by Erin Lowry

Who should read this book:

Any millennial who needs to learn the basics of money management and how to avoid common financial errors.

Why the book made our list:

Lowry creates a blueprint you can use to go from living from paycheck to paycheck to achieving your financial goals. She delves into the thought process behind making financial decisions like "do you treat your money like a Tinder date or a marriage?" By providing applicable insight and relatable stories, this book gives those in their 20s and 30s the basics they need to make better money decisions.

‘Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties,’ by Beth Kobliner

Who should read this book:

Those in their 20s and 30s seeking guidance on managing their finances.

Why this book made our list:

This book covers all aspects of personal finance from how to file taxes and investing, to strategies for improving your credit scores. Kobliner creates a guide that encompasses every aspect of your financial life, with practical suggestions you can employ to build a financial future that helps you achieve your goals.

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