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Top Ten Most Popular Personal Finance Books of All Time


note:  this list is not my own, they are according to Amazon’s best sellers of all time.  

Who here can disagree that personal finance is one of the most important skills you can possibly learn?  It’s sad that most people are naturally born with this trait and we know most schools don’t teach this subject.

Like everything in life, you can possibly beat the curve ball with someone to guide you and teach you about the value of holding onto your money, using it to make even more money.  Sometimes your parents are these people, sometimes it is a mentor you have to pay for, or sometimes it comes through in the form of literacy.

With the rise of e-publishing, any one can self publish a book now a days.  So try to stick with these best-selling books by true financial experts.

10.  Secrets of the Millionaire Mind:  Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth, by T. Harv Eker

This is a great book that allows the reader to explore their childhood experiences and figure out if these memories are sabotaging their chance of being wealthy.  It strives to get to the bottom of understanding everyone’s “money blueprint” that is embedded in their heads.

9.  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, by Ernie J. Zelinski

This book offers great tips on how to retire early, how to do so without a million dollars in the bank, and how to keep yourself busy and happy each day.

8.  Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill

Simply one of the best personal finance books out there, and I would argue one of the best books ever written.  You can take these principles that are outlined in this book and apply them to so many other facets in your life.

7.  The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Schwartz

This book, really hits home as of late, especially where this blog is concerned.  Schwartz’s idea is that people succeed only if they are optimistic, believe in themselves, find something positive in even the worst failure, and assume they’re going to win.

6.  Smart Money, Smart Kids:  Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money, by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze

The book I am currently re-reading.  Does me succeeding even matter, if my kids live the same kind of life I did?  This book is a reminder that nobody is born knowing how to use money properly.

5.  The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs, by Ric Edelman

I have to admit, I never read this book.  But if it is in Amazon’s Top Ten Best Selling Personal Finance Books… I am sure to look into it.  In the book Edelman works to make financing one’s retirement as uncomplicated as possible.

4.  Get Rich Carefully, by Jim Cramer

Another book I never read.  Supposedly his reputation for being loud and boisterous is an act, and that this book has a lot of wisdom in it.

3.  The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy

This is one of the books that really left an impact on me after reading it.  The book’s thesis:  every little decision you make in life, even ones that don’t seem like anything, has a compound effect on every other part of your life.

2.  Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki

One of the funnest and easiest to read books that will escalate your financial knowledge tenfold.  He tells the story of two fathers:  his own (highly educated, never made a lot of money) and his friend’s (dropout that is now a millionaire).

1.  The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

One simple rule Dave Ramsey lives by… don’t borrow money, pay with cash every time.

Did your favorite make the list?


  • Reply Susan |

    Here is another post that has nothing to do with your debt journey. I have to say I am disappointed.

    • Reply Mary |

      Totally agree. This is a waste of time. Kind of like we’ll post anything rather than talk about our debt situation. If you don’t have anything to post, it’s because a person isn’t doing enough to get rid of their debt. When a person is serious about their debt situation, trust me, there are a million little things that you’d be doing every day to eliminate your debt and there would be a lot to talk about! Paying off a lot of debt is the sum of a million little steps…it takes time to research each of these items to reduce debt. Every dollar saved is a dollar to pay off debt. I am believing more and more that if a person isn’t “gazelle intense” they’ll never get there because the mindset is still caught up in doing the same old, same old.

  • Reply Sue |

    Come on Jim! We want to hear about YOUR debt reduction situation. It’s way too early in this journey for you to resort to two “fluff” posts in one day. 🙁

  • Reply Matt |

    This is really disappointing to see post’s like the 2 you have posted today, Jim. If I wanted to know this information I could go to Amazon’s website and do the research myself. I come here to read the daily grind of 4 people trying to get out of debt.

    • Reply Jim |

      It might be primarily fiction, but it does have some good value in my opinion. These weren’t recommendations, but the fact that these are the 10 top selling books of all time according to Amazon.

  • Reply Barbara |

    Number 6 on your list that you state you are re-reading isn’t released until April 22nd. Did you get an early copy?

    • Reply Jim |

      You know Barbara I didn’t even realize this. I have had this book since middle of November, and I must have gotten an early copy for my book review blog. I am really not sure how I acquired this book if that isn’t the case, because I don’t have a review of it scheduled for when this release date. Hmm…

      • Reply Meghan |


        Do you have a link to your book review blog? I would be curious to see what a BAD writer is reading to help them along in their journey……


        • Reply Jim |

          Unfortunately Meghan I don’t think I will be giving out the sites that make me money. Well besides, http://elementalunity.com which will be along the lines as BAD is. It will be talking about the different ways I make my money.

          And inside that, there will be a book review category.

          The blog will be up and running very soon!

  • Reply Jessica |

    I have to agree with the other commenters, but this goes for all the bloggers… I definitely look forward to a new post every day, but I feel like we’re missing out on daily minutiae. Like, ‘today I really wanted to treat myself to lunch, but instead I…’ Or we’re going to save money on Easter baskets by…you get the idea. We want to hear about you!!!

  • Reply Jim |

    I am sorry I disappointed all of you with these two posts this week. But to be honest, during the month there is not much that happens, unless it is the beginning of the month. My wife and I don’t go out ever. I can write about how I saved $342 this month, so far by using coupons. But I am sure not everyone wants to read that every week.

    What I do every day to progress my debt is to read and try to implement things I read about.

    I will try to do better for next week.

    • Reply Jessica |

      Take it as a compliment that we care about you already 🙂 I personally would love to see a pic of what you got at the grocery store and how much you saved with coupons.. Then again, I’m a couponer who also likes to ‘brag’ about my great deals

    • Reply Walnut |

      Some bloggers post weekly spending reports, and I always find these very interesting. I’m a chronic small money spender, so people’s ‘no spend days’ motivate me.

      • Reply Jessica |

        ^yes! It’s the coffee on the way to work, the quick stop at the store, etc that does me in, too..those are the common struggles I want to hear about too

  • Reply debtor |

    Only posting on this because it’s the newest thread. So this is what i think (and if anyone else agrees or disagrees can you comment please?) –

    I like the variety of bloggers. I like the increase in discussion in the comments and the interactions with the bloggers. However, I think that with multiple bloggers, 2 or 3 posts a day is too much. I don’t know if that’s part of the agreement or something you guys just fell into but I think it might be better to have one post for the day – 2 if something extraordinary happened.

    This would serve 2 purposes – 1 – the readers can fully discuss one topic in depth and not suddenly have to move to the next topic and 2- the writers can focus on content instead of quantity. You’d be able to save some posts and everything you write would be relevant.

    I don’t know if I’m the only one that feels this way so I’d like it if people commented and gave some feedback.

    Jim – i think even though i see your point about not having minutiae to share. I think people are reacting to the fact that this is more like a “fluff” piece. Could have been pulled from google. if you wrote “MY 10 top personal finance books” and reviewed them and talked about why YOU liked them, i think the reaction would have been different. In this case, there are a couple you haven’t even read, so what value is that giving the readers? It doesn’t always have to be about your personal life, but then maybe even just your views on something – that’s what keeps it relatable IMO.

    • Reply Shoeaholicnomore |

      Only one post a day would be good. Unless it something urgent, it can be saved for the next week. One post a day I can read and think about and respond to. 2-3 posts a day is too many to fully process and thus I don’t always have good feedback, comments, or questions.

  • Reply Jim |

    This is a great point debtor. You are totally right, I should have made this more personal. I do have a top 10 list that I could have easily used. :-/ Thank you for being honest.

  • Reply Chellie @ Debt and the Girl |

    You did a good job on this Jim! I didn’t feel disappointed on what you posted, the important thing is, you still write a blog about money like personal finance. You just give people who are too busy in searching the ideas on how they can improve their financing skills.

  • Reply Kili |

    @Chellie: I disagree. Like Matt pointed out you get the exact same info just looking on Amazon. So there is no added value in this list. It would have been different to me if it were all books Jim has read and has an opinion about.
    @debtor: I do like the two (or three) posts a day by the different bloggers, because it allows to address different topics in a more organized way. The post don’t have to be long. And if there is a busy week for one of them, I’ll be fine with just one post.

  • Reply Theresa |

    What about compiling your budget? You gave us raw data last week and got some good advice. where did the budget lead to?

  • Reply Juhli |

    Or you could talk about how you are going about increasing your income, cutting expenses (e.g. barter for photos of you son), stopping stockpiling using coupons until you have used what you have and putting the cash not spent towards debt, etc. Read about people who really have taken eliminating their debt seriously and you will see that they examine every place they spend money and cut it down while increasing their income. I don’t get that you are seriously interested in making any changes.

  • Reply Cathy D. |

    One thing you didn’t mention was how are you paying for these books or are you getting them at the library? That would be interesting. Do you have a budget for books or do you regularly go to the library? Personally I download almost everything onto my Kindle which is cheaper than the full price because I hate to wait for them to come in at the library. Even the library app on the Kindle requires you to wait because they only have licensing for so many copies. Also, do you recycle your books, donate them somewhere or sell them online to help pay off your debt? Do you have some used books stores near you that you frequent? You are such an interesting guy and you have so much to share. Each day you make a decision to spend money on something or NOT is part of your debt journey and part of the learning experience. Many of us are going through it too!

    • Reply Jim |

      Hi Cathy,

      This list isn’t a list of books that I recommend, it was just a post of what I found interesting in what books sold the most. As for how I go about getting books, because let’s face it I own 8 out of the 10 books. Let’s go on the record and say I haven’t bought a book in about 8 months. That is saying a lot, since at one time this was a huge expense for the wife and I.

      For the most part, I get every book that I want from my book blog, sometimes many months in advance of the release date. There were times that I used to buy books, just so I can review them. But my readership has gotten pretty steady, and I no longer have to do this.

      As for what I do with these books, for the most part they are given away to my readers. I do hold onto some, but for the most part they are given away. I was actually contemplating actually buying books to go to Amazon, but decided against this avenue till I am out of debt. There is one book store that is within 30 miles of me, and it is a used book store. Unfortunately the books there aren’t that good.

      Thank you for the nice words Cathy!

  • Reply Joley |

    I like that there are sometimes more than one post in a day. But that’s just because I sit behind a computer all day and I like to have things to read! Lol.

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