personal finance books

Personal Finance Books That Won’t Judge Or Shame You

A fantastic way to start or elevate your money life is to read a few great personal finance books.

There are so many to choose from though, that it can be hard to pick one to start with. And frankly; a lot of them are full of judgmental, classist, and tone deaf takes!

If I am looking to get good with my finances, being yelled at via a book by some rich white dude (because most money books are written by rich, white dudes) does NOT feel inspirational me! No one needs to read a Dave Ramsey book ever again, in my humble opinion.

Finding personal finance books that don’t use judgement or shame, or that don’t start off with the assumption that you already have money is a little like finding a needle in a haystack but lucky for y’all, I enjoy spending my time sorting through haystacks.

I’ve sorted my favorite personal finance books by topic below so you can scroll through and find the ones you need for where you are in your money journey!

personal finance books blog post cover with bookshelves on the background
Personal finance books that help your money get better!

Personal Finance Books That Won’t Judge Or Shame You

Investing 101

Broke Millennial Takes on Investing: Written by my friend Erin Lowry. It’s the second in her Broke Millennial series. This is the number one book I recommend to people wanting to learn about investing.

Erin truly is a fantastic writer and she covers all the basics of getting started investing while ALSO bringing a more cross sectional view to the table. For example, she talks about the racial wealth gap! She interviews people who weren’t born rich!

You can’t miss with this book if you are new to the world of investing.

The Bogleheads’s Guide to Investing– YES, this was written by a straight, rich, white dude. And YES, it’s more dry than I would like.

But in terms of the OG personal finance books, I still stand by this one. It will break down EVERYTHING you need to know about passive investing. It also includes index funds and how to devise an investment strategy. If you don’t mind a less than thrilling tale of investing, this is your book. It will provide a firm foundation for the rest of your money life.

An Overall Financial Book

Get Money– Written by Kristen Wong, this book is here to help you get several areas of your money life together. Kristen covers budgeting and credit scores and debt payoff and side hustles and investing!!!

If you need a total money overhaul, or you are totally lost when it comes to money, this is a great place to start. Kristen is as sharp as they come and also incorporates aspects of gamifying your money so that you build a financial house you actually want to live in.

Get Good With Money– Tiffany Aliche is a true force of nature and also incredibly pleasant to learn from. The woman can do it all! Get Good With Money takes you through some of Tiffany’s mistakes and teaches you to avoid them.

She also walks you, literally step by step, to something she calls ‘financial wholeness’. Tiffany’s 10 step program helps you get total control over your money.

Financial Independence

Ok, being honest with y’all- a lot of the e-books or pdf’s on financial independence are just funnels into people’s online courses and sales streams. I’m not saying you can’t find good stuff out there; I’m saying that financial independence is often used as a marketing term more so than an educational mission.

That said, here are the actual hard copy books you can read about financial independence!

Your Money or Your Life– Truly the Bible of the financial independence movement. You see this on every list about financial independence and it’s for good reason. Also, co authored by a woman named Vicki Robin who is truly living my dream life in Washington state.

This book also has a 9 step program you can follow, like Get Good With Money, but Vicki and Joe go hard on the values and morals side of money. They write a lot about their own vision and how money helped them achieve it, and the book helps you start thinking about the lifestyle you want AND the finances to get there.

Which personal finance books do you love? Let us know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Personal Finance Books That Won’t Judge Or Shame You”

  1. I got only about a third of the way through of Your Money or Your Life and I wouldn’t say I felt shamed, but I felt that there was an over-religious aspect to it and perhaps judgmental of people who don’t have time to count every last penny and create an extensive budgetary plan.

    I know I am not the main audience, since I have been studying and writing about PF for decades.

    1. I do think that YMOYL writers have a *very strong* world view that they share in the book- the environment and changing/leaving work is really important to them so it’s stressed hard. I didn’t find that judgemental but I think it’s fair to say some people probably do!

  2. Wow – was this ever an offensive article. I was looking forward to learning about non-judge mental personal finance books that would not judge the mistakes I made along the way. And I get judgemental comments about the authors of these books because they are white, straight, rich etc. You just alienated a good portion of your audience. I stopped reading after the second review and moved on to more inclusive blog. Obviously, I am not welcome here.

    1. Hey Kandy- not sure who is judging you in the comments but sorry you experienced that. Four of the authors on this list are female and two are WOC so I’m also not sure why you’re saying that all of them are straight rich white men. If you feel up to it, would love to know why you don’t feel welcome on this blog because I do strive to be inclusive!

    1. You know, I like Ramit’s twitter but I actually found IWTYTBR quite rude! He writes in a really judgemental way IMO, but I will say it is a thorough starting point.

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