Are you deeply in debt and want to get out of it? Do you want to have more money but simply don’t know where to start? When I first started my journey paying off more than $600k of student loan debt, my answer to both of those questions was a resounding YES. I was so overwhelmed by our finances and I didn’t know where to turn. So, I went to my local library and checked out every available book I could on personal finance and paying off debt. I read ANYTHING I could get my hands on. And then I made this list of my favorites– the best finance books that you should read to help motivate YOU to get out of debt (and have more money).

I am currently studying for the Oklahoma Bar. It has a frighteningly low pass rate (around 65%, compared Utah, where I just came from that has in the upper 90%). I have had to study more than is ideal for me (and for our blog for goodness sakes!) And even then, I’m still not sure if I am putting in enough hours to actually pass this thing. Please send all your good vibes/prayers/anything my way for me to pass. I don’t think our toddler will survive if I have to retake this thing! Haha. But really.

The bar is February 21-22 (a little more than 3 weeks away!) so I will likely be a little more absent from the blog and social media while I try to keep my self and toddler alive and simultaneously study for the bar. Please don’t forget about me over the next couple of weeks! I will try to check in and not be completely absent.

To keep  your financial sweet tooth satisfied, I wanted to share my list of favorite personal finance/money making books that you can read while I am a little MIA. In no particular order (because seriously, I don’t have time to organize them in terms of my favorites), here are some GREAT reads, that frankly everyone who earns money or wants to earn money should read. So, everyone. Everyone read these please. These are all Amazon affiliate links but by all means, if your local library has these, go get them for FREE.

finance books you should read

finance books you should read


Rich Dad Poor Dad 

This is a classic. Very easy to read, and very motivating to start thinking about ways to increase your income while not being obsessive about “having money.” It does not provide a lot of practical knowledge about how to get off your rear and make some money, but it is incredibly motivating to get creative for ways to earn extra. It has received negative criticism, but I found it extremely motivating.

The Total Money Makeover 

Another classic that everyone should be at least familiar with. I don’t follow Dave Ramsey’s advice 100%, but he offers great advice especially for anyone just starting out to get their finances on track. I will say at the outset, if you are deeply in debt (like six figures or more) then the debt snowball approach that he talks about in his book is probably not going to be your best bet for paying off debt. (Find out why you should use a different approach here).

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy 

An excellent book on slowly generating wealth that might change how you see the people around you, at least regarding their finances. This is one of my favorites because so often when it comes to our money, we get sucked into get rich quick schemes that don’t actually lead us anywhere. This book overs more practical advice and is a good starting place.

The Recovering Spender: How to Live a Happy, Fulfilled, Debt-Free Life 

A good read if you, like most Americans, have a little trouble with overspending. Since all of my family’s debt is student loan debt, we used to find ourselves saying things like “we don’t have a problem with spending.” But that is not true. We have purchased things we don’t need. We have strayed off our budget. We get sucked into that illustrious temptress drive thru at Chick-Fil-A. So even if you DON’T think you are an overspender because your debt comes from something like student loans or a mortgage, be sure to give this one a read.

Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want

Dave Ramsey’s daughter’s new book. I wonder if she hates being referred to as Dave Ramsey’s daughter all the time. Probably. Sorry Rachel Cruze. This book has good financial advice as well as general life advice.

Seven Years to Seven Figures: The Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire 

This book literally made me feel like starting a new business from the moment I picked it up. Not a lot of practical-real-life-application advice, but VERY motivating to start getting creative about how to increase your income.

The Intelligent Investor 

A must read if you are planning to invest at all (which you should be, at least at some point.)

Pitch Anything

Actually not a personal finance book at all, but really great practical knowledge that will help you sell yourself, or things. Both of which we all need to do to earn money. I found this to be especially true when we got serious about paying off over half a million dollars in debt and quickly realized that all the penny pinching in the world wasn’t going to do us that much good. What we needed (and what you most likely need if you have six figures or more of debt) is to increase our income. This book offered useful tools to help us sell our ideas.

Reading personal finance and other finance books (and blogs 😉 is one of the most motivating things you can do to help keep you on track (or get you on track if you’re not there yet) so that you can stay focused on your goal of getting out of debt and otherwise increasing your income. Now get to reading! But do frequently come back to check in on me/us. I may lose my mind the next couple of weeks!

What are some of your favorite finance books? I’d love to hear from you!

Stay in the loop! Gain access to all of my money saving hacks I’m using to help pay off more than $600k of student loan debt!



  1. Don’t take this the wrong way, but perhaps the pass rate differential has more to do with those taking the exam and less to do with difficulty level… 🙂

    Your book list is a good one. My mother in-law bought us The Millionaire Next Door as a gift for our 1st Anniversary. We both read it and I think it is in part responsible for our relatively frugal approach in our 18 years of marriage. I still have not read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. We are about to start a 5 day Chinese New Year Holiday here in [insert asian country where we reside]. Maybe I need to finally give it a read.

    Good luck on the Bar!

  2. Great list! You will do great on the bar exam – I took my initial bar exam after law school ended in Colorado and passed. Then we moved to Chicago and I had to take the Illinois exam while working at the law firm – I was terrified that I was not doing enough because my actual job was taking so much time from me. In the end, it all worked out. You can do it! 🙂

    1. Thanks Kamille! I definitely think its a little bit scarier in some ways now that I’ve been out of school/the test taking mode for a while. Although hopefully my legal writing has improved since law school from clerking, etc. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! I need it!

  3. I have read books #1,2, & 7. It has been 15 years since I last read Rich Dad, Poor Dad so I should look at it again & see what new lessons I can pick up now that Ihave more life experience.

    1. Almost half the list– not bad! Rich Dad Poor Dad literally makes me want to go out and make millions of dollars immediately. Haha. And makes me feel like I actually can! I should probably take my advice and re-read some of these now that I have a little more familiarly with how money works. 🙂

  4. Thank you for the book suggestions, I’m excited to get started on them. Haven’t read any, my husband being frugal has taught me all he knows. But I still need more discipline in my budget plan. I do all the finances in the home including the rental homes we own. Good luck on your exam!

  5. The bar can be so stressful – my husband took it the summer out of law school and we were so grateful that he passed. Our daughter (4th child) was born two-three weeks before the bar, and my mom came to stay with us during that time so that she could help me and he could disappear. I hope it all goes well – I think it will!

  6. I just wanted to stop by and say good luck with the blog and the whole process of getting out of debt. You can do it!

    I wouldn’t put Kiyosaki’s book on my top eight, but it would probably make my top 100. You’ll be sad to read this:


    But even with all that, I think there are a few redeeming concepts in it.

    1. Thank you very much!

      I think most personal finance books you have to take with a grain of salt. I found the book to be very motivating and got me on track to start getting our finances in gear. He’s a great motivational speaker. I basically feel the exact same way about Dave Ramsey (though he CLEARLY is more knowledgeable re: personal finance.) I think 90% of getting financially fit is staying motivated.

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