Before I went down my very long rabbit hole of learning about retiring early, I didn’t know where to start. I had heard about people who were in their 30’s and 40’s retiring early and all I knew was that I needed to do the same. You are probably in the same boat. The thought of retiring early sounds amazing but also like a pie in the sky idea. You don’t know where to start. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve come up with the best personal finance books for beginners. These are the books that gave me the perfect foundation to start my journey towards early retirement. And, they will give you the right starting point so you know how to start.
Some of these will be more focused on how you can increase your income. Making more money gets you to early retirement more quickly. Others will be about saving money. Just like making more money, the more you save, the faster you hit financial independence.
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Rich Dad Poor Dad
This is probably the most famous personal finance book out there. Many people leave it off their list of personal finance book recommendations because of its popularity. They feel that they want to be more original. Well I call bullshit on that. I don’t care if it’s considered too popular. This book completely changed my mindset when it comes to money.
If you are looking to become financially independent and don’t know where to start, start with this book. It’s stood the test of time (written in 1997) and is famous for a reason.
Four Hour Work Week
Tim Ferriss is everywhere these days and it is all because of this book. This book changes how people think of work. It’s great for anyone who wants their their path to financial independence to involve working less hours and making more. Seriously, who doesn’t want to work less and make more? Looking for efficiency while juggling your full time job and side hustle? This is the book for you.
The War of Art
This book is for people who want to use creation as a piece in their financial freedom plan. If you have started your own business, want to start your own business, or even put in extra effort in your career, this book is for you. Actually, I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to stick with their goals and ambitions.
The main villain in this book is resistance. I see resistance when I end up on Instagram instead of working on my latest blog post. You may see resistance when you decide that your too tired to go to the gym even though you know that you should. This book introduces you to all the sneaky ways that resistance keeps you from your creations and how to overcome resistance.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
I think I was recommended this book in a college business class, which is no surprise because many business classes recommend this book. It’s not dense and scientific loaded, with financial tactics. This book is all about exactly what the title says. How to win friends and influence people.
If are looking to increase your income, whether it be at your job or in your own business or side hustle, you need the help of others. It’s impossible to get ahead on your own. You need people to vouch for your promotion, business partners to help you with your weaknesses, or people to buy your product. This book will make you a people person. It will help your with get customers or potential clients to like you, help your with your co-workers and boss, or even your relationship. Want to learnt the art of networking and sales? This is your book.
It has tips on the human psyche that have stood the test of time. It was published in 1936 and is still selling like crazy to this day. I’ve tried to watch those old black and white films from the early 1900’s and they are painfully boring to me. Carnegie’s book however, could have easily been written in the 2000’s because the human brain hasn’t changed.
I take back my original recommendation on who should read this book. It should be read by every single person. Maybe then the world would be nicer to each other.
Millionaire Next Door
This is another very famous book in the personal finance space. All about money mindset, Millionaire Next Door throws common perceptions of rich people completely out the window. Assume rich people live in Beverly Hills or Scarsdale, Westchester? You’re only partially right. Because guess what, your neighbor who drives that old beat up but reliable Toyota Camry might just be a hidden millionaire. Changing your lifestyle could be the key that unlocks the retire early door for you. Want to be the Millionaire Next Door to your neighbors? Check out this book.
Meet The Frugalwoods
This book stems from a very popular blog in the frugal / retire early world. It was one of the first blogs that inspired me to go down the path of retiring early. Elizabeth Thames and her husband (The Frugalwoods) used to be normal 9 to 5’ers living in pricey Cambridge, Massachusetts.
They didn’t want that life for themselves so they lived frugally and fulfilled their dream of retiring to a Vermont homestead. All of this at the ages of 33. You read that right, they didn’t have some wildly successful startup that was sold to Google. All they did was save money to retire by 33. If you don’t want to read all Thames’ blog posts but are curious about how they actually did it, this book shares their story.
There are plenty of other great books out there that I haven’t read. But, I wanted to share with you the books that helped inspire me and give me direction when I was at the beginning of my financial freedom journey. If you have any other financial independence / retire early (FIRE) book recommendations, comment below! I would love to hear them.
- How F.I.R.E. Can Give You the Freedom You Always Wanted
- The Simple Way to Use Minimalism to Achieve Financial Freedom