The best personal finance books for every age

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Hanna Horvath, CFP®

Hanna Horvath, CFP®

Managing Editor & Certified Financial Planner™

Hanna Horvath, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and former managing editor at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in NBC News, Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, CNBC, Best Company, and HerMoney.

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Anyone can learn something about personal finance, no matter the age. Financial literacy is a lifelong quest, and even experts still have something to learn.

Crack open a personal finance book to brush up on any money topic, from getting out of debt to the basics of budgeting. Here’s some of the best books for every age.



“Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money” by Emily Jenkins & G. Brian Karas

Cost: $16.99

Your child has something to learn money-wise at any age. This picture book, perfect for younger children, tells the story of two siblings who use their money to set up a lemonade stand. The book teaches budgeting and entrepreneurship in a fun and interactive way.


“How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!” by James McKenna, Jeannine Glista & Matt Fontaine

Cost: $12.95

It’s never too early to start teaching your child good financial habits — or give them a millionaire’s mindset. This book, from the creators of “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” offers lessons on saving money, investing money and making money.

Want more? Here’s a list of easy ways to teach your kid about money.



“O.M.G.: Official Money Guide for Teenagers” by Susan Beacham & Michael Beacham

Cost: $12.95

Teenagers often make big money decisions, from getting their first job to planning for college. Learning about money early on help teens make smart financial decisions in the future. This comprehensive guide, full of helpful infographics and charts, helps teens turn “pocket money into power and freedom.” Topics include budgeting, credit cards, philanthropy and insurance.



“The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns” by John Bogle

Cost: $24.95

A common investing adage is to start early. And if you have money goals, like retiring early or buying a home, investing can help you reach them. But getting started can be intimidating and confusing without the proper knowledge.

This book, written by the founder of the Vanguard Group, provides the basics of investing without getting too in the weeds. Learn more about investing here.


“The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” by Thomas Stanley & William Danko

Cost: $22.95

Becoming rich is a common goal of many young adults. And what better way to learn than to study the habits of the wealthy? “The Millionaire Next Door” breaks down the seven common habits of the rich. The truth? Most millionaires don’t live in luxury — most built their wealth by being frugal and earning their riches slowly.



“The Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By & Get Your Financial Life Together” by Erin Lowry

Cost: $15

If you’re still clueless about saving in adulthood, or are crippled by debt and student loans, Lowry’s book is for you. “Broke Millennial” is for true beginners who want to eliminate debt and learn the basics of money.

Want to go further? Check out Lowry’s second book, “Broke Millennial Takes on Investing”. Read our interview with Lowry about the book here.


“ChooseFI” by Brad Barrett, Jonathan Mendonsa & Chris Mamula

Cost: $14.99

Ever wanted to break free of the daily grind? “ChooseFI” is a guide to the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement. It covers how to reduce expenses, get rid of debt and build passive income. Want to learn more? Check out the ChooseFI podcast or our interview with Mendonsa.

40s & 50s


“The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money” by Jill Schlesinger

Cost: $25

You’ve been doing this whole money thing for a while, but still aren’t saving as much as you’d like. Or you keep making dumb money decisions. If so, Schlesinger’s book is a good place to start. Oftentimes, your brain may be the thing standing in your way to financial freedom.


“Age-Proof: Living Longer Without Running out of Money or Breaking a Hip” by Jean Chatzky & Michael Roizen

Cost: $17.99

As you grow closer to your golden years, it’s important to safeguard your hard-earned retirement savings and stay healthy along the way. The authors link health and wealth together, providing advice on how to maximize your remaining working years financially and physically.



“How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide” by Jane Bryant Quinn

Cost: $17

So you’ve retired with money in the bank. That doesn’t mean you have nothing else to learn financially. There’s a common fear that retirees will spend too much of their nest egg too quickly. Quinn teaches you how to make the most of your assets and stretch your money out over many years.

Here’s how to budget in retirement.


“Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security” by Laurence Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller & Paul Solman

Cost: $20

Understanding how Social Security works can be confusing. “Get What’s Yours” tackles the complicated issue and provides tips on getting the most of your benefits. The book is told in compelling stories and simple, easy-to-digest tips, making a dry topic interesting.

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Image: Ralph Hopewell Anderson