Sorting out your finances can feel daunting, especially with lots of complicated jargon to get to grips with, but there are plenty of books which aim to make the process easier.
Here’s a rundown of some of our favourite money books which might help steer you in the right financial direction.
Books about Investing
If you’re looking to get to grips with investing, this book claims it is “the definitive companion to investments and the financial markets”. Written by full-time investor Glen Arnold, it covers the basics of what investors do and why companies need them, through to the practicalities of buying and selling shares and how to make the most from your money. The book aims to debunk the myth that investing is only for the wealthy, and gives readers everything they need to choose investments with confidence and skill.
Author Andrew Craig doesn’t claim to be a financial guru, but he says that he is confident he can help readers learn enough about money and investment to get their financial house in order. The book compares the benefits of DIY investing compared to holding cash, and explains the importance of understanding real returns (what’s earned on your investments once inflation and taxes are factored in) and how compound interest works (when the interest you earn on your savings itself earns interest). The language used is clear and accessible, making it a good starting point for people of all ages who might be considering investing for the first time.
This guide, written by Tony Levene, aims to provide readers with all the tools they need to start investing. It covers all the basics, such as how stock markets, shares and bonds work, along with more advanced, alternative investments for more adventurous investors, including gold and other commodities. The book provides a good foundation for those thinking about investing for the first time, and also takes a look at investor psychology, looking at some of the emotions that drive investors and debunking the ‘stock market as a casino’ mentality.
Books on Dealing with Debt
This book, written by Clare Seal, aims to “re-wire the way you think about money” and is ideally suited to those who have built up debts and perhaps can’t see a way to take charge of them. The author wrote Real Life Money after running up £25k of credit card debt and £2k of overdraft, with no accessible savings. She is still in the process of repaying her debts and wants the book to help everyone who might have a “less than perfect” relationship with money. It looks at the way we emotionally approach our finances, and covers things such as negotiating repayment terms to setting realistic budgets, so that you live within your means.
Written to help people take control of their debts, this book provides a step by step approach to paying back what you owe and managing your money more effectively. The author Nick Sturgeon, has himself struggled with debts and explains how he first got into difficulty, because even when his income rose, he wasn’t able to clear what he owed because he always increased his expenditure. Although this book is written for an American audience, the use of personal experience and case studies can help readers see how quickly things can spiral out of control, and includes lots of practical steps showing how to negotiate with creditors, how to systematically pay off debts and how to create a saving strategy.
General Money Management Books
This book, by author and personal finance coach Inge Natalie Hol shows you how you can create a lifelong money management system in just one month. Each chapter is no longer than a few pages and has a daily ‘to-do’ list at the end. The advice is easy to follow and implement, making the book accessible to those who don’t have much financial knowledge. It’s likely to prove particularly useful for anyone looking to take greater control over their finances in a series of short, simple steps. There are no lengthy explanations about financial management, which may make it easier to maintain your motivation when following the plan.
Pete Matthew is a chartered and certified financial planner in Penzance, Cornwall. He started podcasting in 2012 and his ‘Meaningful Money’ Podcast has now been downloaded well over 1.5m times. His book aims to guide you through everything you need to do to build a secure financial future for yourself and your family and focuses on three main steps, clearing debt and spending less than you earn, insuring against disaster, and building up your savings and investments. Matthew focuses on each of these steps in detail, explaining what you need to do to get on the right financial track.
Written by the Times’ journalist Laura Whateley, Money: A User’s Guide offers practical information and guidance on a wide range of financial issues, from pensions, money and mental health and stocks and shares, to paying off debts, housing, and ethical investments. Although the book is written predominantly with ‘millennials’ in mind, as Laura is one herself, it is actually useful for all age groups, and anyone who might be looking to spend less and save more.
This book by David Sawyer provides an “unconventional early retirement plan for midlife careerists who want to be happy”. It contains useful sections on planning and goals, along with how to overcome your digital fear, and ways to declutter your life. The aim is that readers can work towards financial independence, or early retirement (often referred to as the ‘FIRE’ movement). The book goes into some detail on how to invest, but there are also broader less financially-focused sections that deal with taking a more minimalist approach to your life.
Money and Business Books
If you’re considering setting up your own business, or are looking to manage your existing businesses more effectively and to think more strategically, The Finance Book covers all the fundamentals of finance. This includes outlining how accounting and cash work, along with personnel and systems. It explains financial statements and key terminology such as profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and cash flow statements, and also shows how to assess a company’s financial health by examining key financial performance measures and how these aﬀect business value. This book is written by Stuart Warner and Si Hussain, both chartered accountants.
Although finance books can provide a great introduction to money matters and helpful ideas to better manage your cash, they can only offer guidance, and not all the tips they give will be applicable to everyone.
If you want specific recommendations based on your individual circumstances, you’ll need to seek professional financial advice. You can find a local financial advisor on VouchedFor or Unbiased.co.uk or check out our guide on How to find the right financial advisor for you.
If you think you might be interested in speaking with a financial advisor, VouchedFor is currently offering Rest Less members a free financial check with a local well-rated financial advisor. There’s no obligation, but once you’ve had your check, the advisor will discuss the potential for an ongoing paid relationship if you think it might be useful to you.