Being financially savvy is a life goal. But if you took Econ 101 and could barely get through the lectures, you might think it’s hella boring. And we can’t blame you for that.
Not to throw shade at your professor, but we’re here to make money a fun topic. Why? Because who doesn’t love having it?! But if you wanna keep that bank account growing, you gotta get stoked about managing your benjamins.
That’s why you’ve got to check out our list of the best personal finance books for college students. If you’re still in school or graduated recently, these are our go-to’s to help you slay at managing your dough. And it just so happens that we’ve read most of them, so we guarantee that these page-turners won’t put you to sleep.
Best Books About Earning Money
You gotta have money coming in before you do any managing, right? That’s why we figured that books about earning money would be a great place to start. Whether you’re looking for a job after graduation, a work-study gig, or a side hustle, these books will help you figure out the smartest ways to earn money.
How to Make Money in High School and College is a wealth of money-making ideas (pun totally intended). It can help you get some spending cash coming in, find a job that pays well, or both! The goal with this one is financial independence while you’re still young, so you can truly enjoy everything life has to offer.
There’s a lot about money that grown-ups won’t tell you. But No One Ever Told Us That is here to demystify finance and help you reach your potential. Perfect for young adults who are just starting out, so you don’t make the same mistakes everyone else makes and prepare for life after college.
Best Life Advice
If you’re graduating soon, it’s time to stop YOLO-ing it and start setting goals for yourself. It’s the only way to make things happen, so you’ve gotta get your hands on You Only Live Once. Yeah, it includes money lessons. But it also offers much more than that! It’s a complete system to help you set and accomplish your objectives.
Ideal for Young Adults
It’s true, your 20s are for having fun. But they’re also the time to set yourself up for the rest of your life. And, best of all, you can do both with Your Money Life: Your 20s. This book is an awesome guide to help you recognize the opportunities that you have and make the most out of them. So when you’re in your 30s, you’ll have this money thing in the bag.
Best for Future Founders
Do you dream of having your own startup? Check out The Personal MBA, the book that teaches you all about starting and managing a business. Sure, you could spend thousands on business school. Or you could get started now, save money, and become a successful business owner.
Best Books About Spending
Ever gotten your paycheck and blown through your money in one weekend, only to regret it for the rest of the month? Don’t worry, these are the books that’ll help you make sure that doesn’t happen again!
Every college student is on a budget. And with 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money, you’ll learn how to save big so you can live large. It’s the perfect guide for college and beyond.
Best Lifelong Companion
Think budgeting’s hard? Nah! It’s just a matter of getting in the habit of it. Like working out or eating healthy. But don’t take our word for it, just read The Budgeting Habit: How to Make a Budget and Stick to It! And be sure to keep this one in your bookshelf, because it’s the kind of book you can read over and over again.
Especially for Rebels
Think money rules don’t apply to you? Well, maybe they don’t. But who said you have to do it the way everyone else does? What if you came up with your own system and made it work for you? If this sounds great, check out My Money My Way and be sure to also get the companion workbook and journal. They’ll challenge everything you know about budgeting. Periodt.
Most Simple System
Marie Kondo fans, brace yourselves. We’ve got the budgeting book to declutter your finances and change your money habits: The Minimalist Budget. It’s simple, painless, and easy to follow. Best of all, it isn’t restrictive and it won’t make you feel like you can’t spend! If you love the feeling of doing more with less, this budgeting system will make you feel liberated.
Best Books About Saving
Saving is a huge part of achieving financial success. But many college students don’t know where to start. And once they graduate and start earning money, they don’t have a habit of saving so they just don’t do it. But don’t even worry about it. These are the books that’ll help you avoid this common mistake and save you lots of headaches.
Easiest to Read
Looking for a novel-style, quick read? You’ll love The Latte Factor. It’s the relatable story of a young professional whose finances spiral out of control really fast. Of course, it’s got a happy ending thanks to the wise advice and small changes that the main character makes. But there’s more to this book than a good story. It also includes step-by-step action items for you to get your finances under control.
Best for Paying Off Student Debt
Student debt can feel like a big burden, but if there’s anyone who can help you tackle student loans it’s Dave Ramsey. In The Total Money Makeover, this financial expert teaches you just how to pay off that debt and find financial freedom, so you can put that degree to good use!
Best to Start Investing
You might be clever, but do you know how to kickstart your investments? Clever Girl Finance teaches you just how to grow your money and make it work for you. It’s easy to understand and full of everyday examples, to make investing approachable for everyone.
A Must-Read Classic
You’ve probably heard of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. If you haven’t read it yet, you’ve got to order it right now. Seriously. Open a new tab on your browser and get it ASAP. It’ll totally change the way you think about money and how you use it.
Best Books About Sharing
Gratitude is a big part of developing a wealthy mindset. That’s why we’re all about sharing your blessings with others. And there are many ways to do that! Check out these books, to get some inspiration and make the world a better place.
Most Fun to Read
If you love pop culture, you’ll definitely enjoy Memes to Movements. It’s an entertaining read for woke college students who want to make a difference. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to donate, this book will show you how to use social media and technology to contribute to the causes you care about.
Best Career Advice
Want to help your community and have a successful career? You can, and Valerie Jarrett will show you how in Finding My Voice. It’s a motivating story about how to tap into your belief system to grow professionally.
Best Background Knowledge
If you’re a history buff or social science major, you’ll enjoy Understanding Philanthropy. It’s a comprehensive background on altruism and its importance in our society. Ideal for anyone who wants to work at a non-profit organization or set up their own and work toward their mission.
Most Practical Advice
Got social concerns? You can gain more perspective and learn about the best ways to make an impact with Doing Better – even if you don’t have a ton of money to donate. The great thing about this book is that it offers a variety of perspectives, so you can see the many ways in which you have a positive effect on the world around you.
Social entrepreneurs will find inspiration in Thirst, the real story of a nonprofit charity CEO on a mission to make water accessible for all. Sounds like a big undertaking? It is, but no task is too big when you’ve got the passion to make it happen.
Best Books About Money Management
There’s a lot to learn about money management. And there are some really good books on the subject. Our top picks for college students will set you up for success and help you navigate the world of personal finance.
Keeping it Real
It sounds harsh, but it’s true: Money Isn’t the Problem, You Are. But it doesn’t have to be that way, if you follow the advice on this book! It’s everything you need to give yourself a mental money makeover, so you can change your mindset and put the right tools in place to achieve financial success.
Best to Learn From Others’ Mistakes
Ther older generation made a lot of money mistakes. Now, they’re writing about them, so you don’t have to go through any of that! In Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together the author talks about their experience. It offers an honest perspective on overcoming financial difficulties that can make adulting easier on you!
Best Psychology Approach
Money’s a sensitive topic for everyone. That’s why Your Money or Your Life is here to help you transform the way you manage your money. Overcoming your money hangups is the best way to nip these issues in the bud, so they don’t become an obstacle to your financial success.
Best Fool-Proof System
If you’re looking for an easy to follow approach, check out The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This is another one by David Ramsey, the money master that makes finance easy and fun for all.
Best Everyday Advice
Million Dollar Habits is worth a million bucks! OK, maybe not today. But if you wanna get on your way to becoming a millionaire, you’ve gotta make these habits part of your everyday life. Remember, it’s the little things that can add up and help you achieve financial freedom.
Make the Most of Your College Investment
If you want to be a step ahead of the rest, you’ve got to get your personal finances under control while you’re still in school. With these books, you can learn how to manage your money and make wise financial decisions. And that’s the key to unlocking wealth and starting off your adult life like a boss.