by Aidan Kang, CFA
Senior Writer
UPDATED: October 02, 2023

College is one of the best stages in life to start learning about personal finance and how the money cycle works. Most people are familiar with Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, and this a great place to start unconventionally learning about money and get out of the “rat race”. However, there is a battalion of other gems online and on paperback that provide solid financial advice, especially to young adults just starting their earning journey. 

In this 5-minute read, we’ve compiled a list of five great books covering everything from budgeting and investing to debt management and financial planning. We know how busy you are attending classes, working on assignments, or worrying about tests to find enough time to read these books. A reliable essay writing service may help free up some time on your schedule for you to explore these good reads. 

Without further ado!

“I Will Teach You to Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi

If you’ve never heard of Ramit Sethi, he’s the guy with the infectious smile on our header image. His book I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a financial guide tailored specifically for young adults in their 20s. It dispels the myth that you need to be a financial expert to start managing your money effectively. 

Sethi offers a high level of detail and quality by providing a practical six-week program to kickstart your financial journey, with the following snippets:

  • Week 1: Optimize your credit cards to build good credit.
  • Week 2: Set up no-fee, high-interest bank accounts.
  • Week 3: Open a 401(k) and Roth IRA for retirement savings.
  • Week 4: Create a Conscious Spending Plan to manage your expenses.
  • Week 5: Automate bill payments and savings.
  • Week 6: Learn the power of index fund investing for long-term wealth.

This book is worth the read because it adopts a realistic and practical approach to banking, saving, spending, and investing. It stresses the importance of early saving and setting up automatic investments to make your paper work for you. 

“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

In The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey, a renowned radio talk show host, provides a straightforward roadmap to financial success. Ramsey's message is crystal clear: how you manage your finances shapes your life's outcomes. While this book may not be necessarily aimed at college students or young adults, its approach is universally applicable, whether you're a high earner or struggling with debt.

Ramsey's principles are quite pragmatic. He emphasizes creating and sticking to a monthly budget, spending within your means, and avoiding consumer debt aka credit cards if possible. He also advises one to start building an emergency fund early and prioritize investment for retirement, whilst working toward a mortgage-free life. 

“The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke” by Suze Orman

Suze Orman's The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke is a lifeline for the “Generation Debt” and “Generation Broke” individuals, often college graduates burdened by student loans and facing a tough job market. While Orman doesn't sugarcoat the challenges, she also empowers her readers with practical solutions.

Something great about this book is the fact that Orman plainly addresses the financial realities of today, offering actionable advice to youthful readers without being condescending. Her unconventional advice, like using credit cards wisely, saving, and investing while still managing debt, helps the youth to challenge traditional ways of thinking that may be passed down to them by their parents. 

“Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin is a progressive read that challenges the notions of conventional living by going for material possessions. Time is emphasized as a critical factor in this book, with the authors advocating for living on less (not frugally) and retiring early. 

The core principles emphasized here revolve around reducing expenses, increasing income, and investing wisely. A pivotal concept is the “Crossover Point,” where your investments generate enough income for retirement. If you ask someone to “Write essay for me on Your Money or Your Life” remember to keep in mind the following key points made by the author:

  • Escaping debt and building savings.
  • Reevaluating material priorities.
  • Developing new skills.
  • Achieving a fulfilling livelihood and lifestyle.

Beyond just building or striving for wealth and a good life, you can totally transform your relationship with money through this book.

“The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins

Like its title, The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins offers a simple, straightforward roadmap to achieving these aspirations. JL Collins first provides his opinion of financial independence as having enough passive income to cover all living expenses, granting individuals the choice to work or retire early.

For specific strategies, Collins encourages starters to avoid complex strategies and embrace low-cost, passive index fund investments. As practical advice, he encourages starters to focus on low-cost index funds with lower expense ratios when they can spare only little on investments. He emphasizes that the stock market, despite its occasional ups and downs, is the most effective tool for building wealth over the long term.

“The Simple Path to Wealth” is a valuable resource, with a neat conversational style and real-world examples and case studies. As a reader, you’ll be thoroughly engaged and learn about market concepts in a simplified way that can apply to your situation.  

So, Which Book Should You Buy?

It really depends on what your current level is in terms of financial literacy, education, and practical experiences. If you're just looking to get it right from the basics with budgeting, savings, and shorter-term financial planning, then The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is a great place to start. However, if you need more detailed planning with a practical approach to matters like stock investing, I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi might just do the trick for you. 

Overall, all these five books have something great to offer, both for the student who is curious about good financial habits and for the experienced, risk-averse, or boisterous investor who needs to set up a good tenure plan for their finances. Good luck!