5 best personal finance books for kicking off 2021

21 December 2020

We can guarantee there isn’t a New Years resolution out there that doesn’t mention either saving money or making more money. As Kiwis take to the beach to ponder their new goals, many will look to books to help them plan out this financial journey.  


To help you decide between the millions of books on the topic, we’ve whittled them down for you. Because we’re nerds and read this stuff anyway, we’ve taken the top five books to help you become a wealthier, more financially savvy person this coming year. 


Why Didn't They Teach Me This in School?

This book was born out of Cary Siegel's frustration when he realised how inadequately schools are teaching kids about essential financial skills. It’s about the basics of money — 99 of them in fact —done in a way that a high schooler in their first job can easily grasp. 

But don't get us wrong, it's not for teens only. These rules are worth mastering for anyone, whether you’re 15 or 50. 

99 sounds like a lot, but they are broken down to eight easy digestible lessons. And we think that lessons work well because the author retired at age 45. 


Broke Millennial series 

Erin Lowry's "Broke Millennial" in our opinion is one of the best take-ups on managing money for beginners. Addressed to 20+ and 30+ years old, it stands alone from the whole bucket of books for the older crowd.  It gives an easy guide on how to go from "flat-broke to financial badass" by covering tricky, real-life situations involving money, from managing student loans to not being able to split the bill with friends.

The second book of the series, "Broke Millennial Takes On Investing" is an excellent guide on investing basics. The author walks readers through questions that'll particularly appeal to new, young investors, like how to invest in socially responsible ways to where one can find investment advice online. Book explores topics like retirement savings and how to buy and sell stocks in a digestible, refreshing way.


The millionaire next door: The surprising secrets of America's Wealthy 

This book is an old one, but an inspiring read that shows how almost anyone can become a millionaire. Sound too good to be true? It's not. 

Through countless interviews and a vast list of data, Stanley concludes that being the average millionaire is within reach of just about everyone so long as they are willing to sacrifice. He shares how becoming a millionaire has nothing to do with luck, or being an entrepreneur (although it doesn't hurt) but living below your means, having a budget, investing and not trying to impress people you don't like with money you don't have! The Millionaire Next Door is required reading for anyone hoping to understand the unglamorous secret to wealth.


Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies of the Successful High Earners

There are more high-salaried women in the workforce today than ever before, yet most females remain seriously underpaid when compared to their male counterparts. 

Financial journalist Barbara Stanny decided to find out why and interviewed high-earning women of various professional backgrounds. She put her findings on what specific characteristics these women have in common into the perfect book for working women who want to ensure their wealth and success while learning and getting inspiration from other successful women.


Barefoot Investor 

For a finance book, Scott Pape's message is refreshingly anti-materialistic: do you need a BMW when a Holden will do the trick? But also: you should still go to the pub, take holidays and give to charity. 

The principles set out in Barefoot Investor emphasise on saving, not living beyond your means and having a manageable mortgage. We think this book has gone on to create a movement mainly because it doesn't overwhelm the reader with a bunch of tips. It's not a get-rich-quick book. Or a book about how to buy 30 investment properties. Or how to retire by 40.  Instead, it's about security and tapping into the basic and boring stuff like saving for retirement. Scott keeps his rules to wealth simple and uses humorous analogies throughout on how wealth building works, taking the mystique out of money. And now there's also The Barefoot Investor for families who are meant to be a money guide for the kids and hope to equip them with financial literacy as well.


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