31 fun finance books for your summer reading list

Binge Read Books Like You Binge Watch Netflix
Binge Read Books Like You Binge Watch Netflix

While you relax in the sun by the pool this summer, make the most of your free time by checking out 31 of the best personal finance books. Learn how to catapult yourself to success and better manage your finances with this summer reading list so you can have more time and money in the future to enjoy yourself.

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Make it your summer goal to read this wildly successful finance book if you haven't already done so. In this book, Robert T. Kiyosaki explains what you need to teach your kids about money to help them achieve future success. The book dispels popular beliefs about earning and spending money and teaches lessons on handling assets and liabilities.


Nasty Gal Founder, CEO and Creative Director Sophia Amoruso details her rise from wild teenager to the head of an online fashion retailer worth more than $100 million. One of the main pieces of financial advice from the book: trust your instincts and following your gut as you work toward massive success.

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3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

If you frequently find there's not enough time in your day, you'll want to put this personal finance book on your summer reading list. Author Greg McKeown teaches how to allocate your time wisely so that you're able to accomplish high-priority tasks. Rather than focusing on doing it all, McKeown explains why it's best to reclaim your time and focus on the goals and activities that matter most.

4. The Richest Man in Babylon

George S. Clason's classic is one of the most essential money books, sharing the secrets to overcoming your personal financial problems. Read the inspirational and informative Babylonian parables containing financial advice told through stories on thriftiness, financial planning and personal wealth.

5. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life

If you feel like you need to get a grip on both your life and your budget, you'll want to add this personal finance book to your summer reading list. Author Ruth Soukup provides personal accounts of living an unorganized life and how practical action plans can help you make lasting changes to improve your finances and home.

6. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal listed this book as a best seller. In it, Adam Grant discusses the link between success and how people interact with others. Find answers to the age-old question of why some people achieve overwhelming success and others fail to launch.

7. Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win With Money

Finance expert Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze offer one of the best books to read when it comes to teaching children how to handle money. Their book covers the basics of working, spending, saving and giving as well as bigger issues like paying cash for college and living without debt and discontentment.

8. The Compound Effect

Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, shares the guiding principles that lead to success as well as strategies to beat bad habits and inspire motivation. As he explains how everyday decisions can lead to success or disaster, he provides a not just financial advice, but a step-by-step guide to good decision-making, tracking progress and achieving goals.

9. Jim Cramer's Get Rich Carefully

"Mad Money" host Jim Cramer uses his extensive knowledge of the stock market to help you earn major returns on your investments without having to take risks. What separates "Get Rich Carefully" from other finance books is that it teaches the importance of creating lasting wealth, not get-rich-quick schemes. Add this book to your summer reading list and learn long-term investing themes, individual and sector plays and more to turn your savings into wealth.

10. MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins used extensive research and interviews with 50 renowned financial experts to craft one of the best financial books, and his first book in two decades. Use his easy-to-follow, seven-step plan to get your finances in order, create a lifetime income plan and achieve financial freedom.

11. The Real Book of Real Estate: Real Experts. Real Stories. Real Life.

Kiyosaki followed up "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" with one of the best books on how to invest and win in real estate. Learn how to break into the real estate investment market or improve your existing strategy with advice from 20 seasoned real estate experts. Even if you're a veteran real estate investor, this should still be on your list of books to read this summer.


SUCCESSONOMICS delves deeper than other finance books into what creates success. Rather than just offer financial advice, SUCCESSONOMICS brings together multiple financial experts like Steve Forbes to explain how to achieve goals through fiscal competence and detail components of success such as perseverance, passion, planning and risk taking. They also provide insights from experts on how success is dependent on being willing to fail, making decisions and taking action, so that you can apply their techniques to your own life.

13. When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women

In one of the best books on money, author Farnoosh Torabi addresses a modern phenomenon that has become increasingly common: the woman as the breadwinner of the relationship. Torabi explains how women can avoid burnout, infidelity and divorce as the family breadwinners. Add this to your books to read and find out her 10 rules to achieving personal and professional success.

14. Live Richer Challenge: Learn How to Budget, Save, Get Out of Debt, Improve Your Credit and Invest in 36 Days

The Budgetnista, Tiffany Aliche, shares her financial advice in this step-by-step plan to take control of your finances and learn how to live richer in just 36 days. Aliche breaks her steps down into clear financial missions each week, for a total of five weeks — making this perfect for your summer reading list. Read her book to discover how to get out of your financial mess and enjoy a sense of control over your money.

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15. Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together ... Finally

If talking about finances puts you to sleep, then you have to add Nicole Lapin's book to your summer reading list. Lapin shares her easy-to-follow, 12-step plan for getting your finances organized and learning to invest in yourself. She teaches how to snap bad financial habits and breaks down the language of money for the everyday reader to understand.

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16. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money

Personal finance columnist Ron Lieber details how parents from all income levels can teach their kids about money in a manner that allows them to become more giving and less greedy. There are plenty of personal finance books on teaching children about money, but Lieber uses stories from real families, covering everything from the tooth fairy and allowance to cars, first jobs and college tuition.

17. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer didn't write just another self-help book filled with financial advice. In "The Success Principles," they created a compilation of 64 principles that successful people throughout history have followed to achieve their goals. If you want to learn how to boost your confidence, apply proven principles to daily life and achieve your goals, then you must add this to your summer reading list.

18. The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team and Growing Your Career

Ten years after the success of "Winning," Jack and Suzy Welch returned with one of the best books for succeeding in business. Their book covers the biggest challenges professionals face today, including finding strategies that work, leading and managing a team and developing your career path.

19. The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone

Unlike other personal finance books, "The Sell" isn't concerned with saving money and budgeting as much as it is with one main skill to master: the art of selling yourself. Bravo TV's "Million Dollar Listing New York" star Fredrik Eklund and author Bruce Littlefield share personal stories and anecdotes from Eklund, teaching you how to recognize your true talents to make a sale.

20. When to Rob a Bank ... and 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants

The authors of "Freakonomics," Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner managed to create a personal finance book that is both informative and fun by sifting through over 8,000 Freakonomics.com blog posts they've written and compiling them into one book. Covering everything from when to rob a bank to why KFC runs out of fried chicken, this is a great book to add to your summer reading list if you want quirky yet absorbing anecdotes about the way the world works.

21. I Will Teach You to Be Rich

Ramit Sethi's personal finance book is designed to appeal to 20 and 30 year olds; it's funny, tongue-in-cheek and yet very practical, which is the best part. You get a six-week personal finance course that teaches topics ranging from 401ks to financing a wedding. At the same time, the book truly motivates you to master your finances.

22. One Bed, One Bank Account: Better Conversations on Money and Marriage

Derek and Carrie Olsen wrote one of the best books about money by teaching an overlooked aspect of finance: how to have encouraging conversations about money when you're married. Having survived their own financial crisis in the early years of their marriage, they help you, your partner and other couples strengthen their relationships through open and honest discussions about finances.

23. Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness

Attorney and debt therapist Leslie Tayne offers this real-world guide to managing debt. Where other personal finance books are about getting out of debt quickly, "Life & Debt" recognizes that it's nearly impossible to live without debt in today's society. Instead, Tayne proposes you embrace your debt, and explains how to take steps toward financial stability while helping people who are going through transitions in life, such as divorce and retirement.

24. Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security

Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman have written one of the best books on Social Security and, more importantly, how to get the most money out of it. The authors have already done the hardest work for you by extracting the most useful secrets from Social Security's complicated set of rules and presenting it in an easy-to-read manner. Retired and married to retired and widowed, make this one of your books to read no matter which Social Security benefit scenario you face.

25. The 5 Years Before You Retire: Retirement Planning When You Need It the Most

This is easily one of the top personal finance books if you're close to retirement, but haven't saved nearly enough money. Author Emily Guy Birken takes you through what you need to do in the five years leading up to retirement. Birken offers financial advice on how to maximize your current savings and create a practical plan for the future, while covering everything from medical expenses to 401k plans.

26. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder

Arianna Huffington explores what it means to be successful, and how money and power — the two traditional metrics of success — are damaging your quality of life. Huffington makes her case for redefining success by a "third metric": your well-being, intuition, wisdom, sense of wonder and compassion.

27. The Behaviour Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money

If you continually make poor decisions with money, put "The Behaviour Gap" on your summer reading list. Author Carl Richards uses straightforward writing and drawings to show you how emotions are ruining your sound financial plans. Along the way, you will learn how to break bad money habits and recognize your most crucial financial goals.

28. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

Avoid this book by Charles Duhigg if you're looking for books to read about getting rich quick. Instead, productivity and the science of productivity are at the core of "Smarter Faster Better." Duhigg explains that managing how you think is more critical to productivity than what you think. The author translates his findings into real life lessons that you can use to improve your everyday productivity.

29. How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide

A veteran author of personal finance books, Jane Bryant Quinn wants to make your retirement money last — and that means squeezing the most money possible out of your assets. Whether you're choosing between selling your home and getting a second mortgage or taking a pension as a lump sum, Quinn finds a way for you to stretch your retirement fund and invest along the way.

30. The Wealth of Nations

Unless you're in summer school, Adam Smith's masterpiece is probably not on your summer reading list — but it should be. Of all the finance books to read on the list, "The Wealth of Nations" is the oldest — published in 1776 — and the most relevant, no matter the time period. If you have no idea what capitalism is, be sure to add this timeless book to your summer reading list.

31. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

With the peer-to-peer lending industry looking shaky and growing worries over subprime auto loans, "The Big Short" is one of the best books to learn the shady and complex world of Wall Street finance. Author Michael Lewis explains the growth of subprime mortgages and the resulting housing crash so you can finally understand what happened during the subprime mortgage crisis. Even if you've seen the movie already, this book is a must-have for your summer reading list.

Keep Reading: 'The Big Short' and 14 Other Best Movies About Money and Wall Street

Laura Woods contributed to this article.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Summer Reading List: 31 Best Personal Finance Books to Read

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