Money experts share their 17 best summer reading recs

Whether you’re sitting on the beach or looking for a graduation gift, here are some books that can improve your lifestyle and financial habits. 

Myelle Lansat


Myelle Lansat

Myelle Lansat

News Editor

Myelle Lansat is a news editor at Policygenius, where she writes the Easy Money newsletter and covers insurance and personal finance. Previously, she was a personal finance writer at CNBC and Acorns, and a reporter for Business Insider.

Published June 17, 2021 | 4 min read

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Summer books 2021

After spending more than a year indoors, you may need extra motivation to get your finances, career and routine back on track. We asked some of our favorite money and career experts to weigh in on the books they recommend reading this summer. 

Whether you’re sitting on the beach or looking for a graduation gift, here are some books that can improve your lifestyle and financial habits. 

Michelle Singletary, finance reporter for The Washington Post and author of “What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide”

Of course my book “What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide.” There are two books I recommend: The first is “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin. It's a great book about doing what you want to do with your life and with the money you make. Like spending your time doing things that enrich your life so you will be rich in life.

Another book is “Dollars and Sense” by Dan Ariely. I have a bunch of yellow sticky tabs on the pages where I flipped through it and thought it was a really good point. For example, we can get so stuck on getting a discount that we end up overspending. Saving is an action where you’re putting money into an account that is going to grow for you, but when you shop for discounts and coupons, you're spending more, not saving.

Gaby Dunn, “Bad with Money” author & podcast host

The entire “Broke Millennial” book series by Erin Lowry lays out everything so perfectly in all three books. From how to talk to the people in your life about money to how to invest to the basics of getting your finances in order. I just got an advance copy of Anna Sale's “Let's Talk About Hard Things” but I haven't read it yet. She's the host of the Death, Sex and Money podcast which I love. I also learned a lot from Tiffany Aliche's “Get Good with Money.” Aliche is a budget expert and makes it all so easy with her very doable tier system.

Nick Loper, founder of Side Hustle Nation

I just finished “Tax-Free Wealth: How to Build Massive Wealth by Permanently Lowering Your Taxes” by Tom Wheelwright, which honestly stressed me out! Taxes are by far our biggest household expense so I wanted to learn if there was anything else we could or should be doing differently.

One that keeps popping up on my recommended reading list is “Work Optional” by Tanja Hester. I feel very fortunate to already be at that point financially, but getting there mentally is another story. From what I can tell, it's a holistic view on personal finance and creating a lifestyle you love.

Marguerita Cheng, CFP & CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth

First, “What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits” by award-winning syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary. I love her no-nonsense approach to personal finance and wealth management. This is the book that everyone wishes they had before the pandemic 

The second is “The Money Queen's Guide: For Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear” by Cary Carbonaro, certified financial planner. Just like my first recommendation, the title says it all. I recommend this book because Cary walks readers through the journey of life. Practical advice for women in a relatable manner. 

Jaspreet Singh, founder of Minority Mindset

There are three: “Call Me Ted” by Ted Turner, “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh and “Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance. I really enjoy hearing stories of how someone became successful. What hurdles did they have to jump over, what pain did they have to overcome, and how they were able to succeed against all odds. It’s very inspirational for me. 

Tracy Timm, a career coach and author of “Unstoppable” 

I humbly recommend my book, “Unstoppable.” It’s a step-by-step guide to build a custom career that fits you like a hand in a glove. I would also encourage people to read “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz.

It's a fascinating book about how having more choices is debilitating and can give us more anxiety. When we narrow down our field of vision and give ourselves fewer choices, we actually experience more happiness and have more ease in making decisions. 

Sam Dogen, founder of Financial Samurai 

In addition to writing a new book for Penguin Random House, I've updated my severance negotiation book for 2021, "How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye." It's in its fifth edition and ready to go for post-pandemic life.

After more than 14 months of the pandemic, I've noticed more people are refusing to keep their lives on hold anymore. More people are looking for more exciting work opportunities if they don't love, or at least like, their jobs. The book provides a framework for people to negotiate a severance so they have a financial runway to do their next great thing. If they quit their jobs, they walk away with nothing.  

 Images: Nastia Kobzarenko