April is National Financial Literacy Month. And while I tend to geek out about all things personal finance related, I also realize the average person doesn’t find these topics as riveting. Nevertheless, understanding the fundamentals of personal finance can help you make better decisions in your daily life and improve your financial confidence at the same time. In this article, I’m sharing 10 books and podcasts that can help you boost your financial literacy (and won’t bore you to tears in the process).
Personal Finance Books
#1: Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? by Cary Siegel
As a parent of two young adults myself, I understand how important it is to impart sound financial judgment to your children. Author Cary Siegel felt the same way, which is why he wrote Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Lessons to Live By.
Discouraged by the lack of financial literacy among young adults and determined to break the cycle with his own family, this book originated as a personal finance tome for Siegel to pass on to his five children as they entered adulthood. It includes eight important lessons focusing on 99 principles that can quickly boost your financial literacy–even if you’re a true beginner.
And unlike many personal finance books, Siegel focuses on the qualitative aspects of personal financial management so that anyone can quickly understand the principles he teaches.
#2: The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards
I love Carl Richards for his ability to turn complex subject matter into information that anyone can understand. In The One-Page Financial Plan, he helps readers prioritize what they really want in life and figure out how to get there.
And the best part is that you don’t need any knowledge of the economy, financial markets, or investments to benefit from his wisdom. While Richards does get into more detailed topics, the only thing you need to know to get started is what’s most important to you. So if you’re determined to boost your financial literacy and bridge the gap between where you are now financially and where you want to be, do yourself a favor and read this book.
#3: The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
The Psychology of Money is based on the premise that financial success isn’t about what you know–it’s about how you behave. The good news is you don’t have to understand the complexities of personal financial management and investing to be financially successful.
On the other hand, it may mean you need to change your habits, which can be equally challenging. In this book, author Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and offers solutions for how you can make better sense of it.
#4: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
I Will Teach You To Be Rich is based on what author Ramit Sethi calls the four pillars of personal finance–banking, saving, budgeting, and investing–as well as the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship.
What’s unique about Sethi’s advice is that he believes in focusing on the financial decisions that can truly move the needle over time–for example, maintaining a strong credit score. Instead of eliminating your daily latte habit, for instance, he argues that a high credit score can save you tens of thousands of dollars or more over the course of your life because of the better borrowing terms you’ll receive.
Additionally, he suggests a simple strategy for getting started with investing, even if you don’t understand anything about financial markets. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense way to boost your financial literacy, you’ll love the candid and actionable advice in I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
#5: AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip by Jean Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
At Align Financial, we often talk about the relationship between health and wealth. Indeed, focusing on your physical wellbeing can help you thrive today avoid outliving your retirement savings.
That’s the premise of AgeProof, Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip. Written by Today Show financial expert Jean Chatzky and the Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer Dr. Michael Roizen, AgeProof provides readers with the tactics, strategies, and knowledge to live longer, healthier, more prosperous lives. According to the authors, the same principles that can improve our physical wellbeing can also boost financial wellbeing.
At the end of the day, it comes down to developing good habits and systems in our daily lives. In AgeProof, Chatzky and Roizen offer a plan for financial freedom and physical strength with clear steps to help you achieve both.
Personal Finance Podcasts
#1: The Retirement Answer Man with Roger Whitney
Roger Whitney’s popular The Retirement Answer Man podcast is all about helping people live well today without sacrificing tomorrow. As a financial advisor and CFP® professional, Whitney has more than 25 years of experience helping people retire successfully. He leverages his knowledge and experience to provide a fun, fresh perspective on money and life that will boost your financial literacy without being boring.
Roger claims that there’s no “magic number” or accurate calculator when it comes to your retirement. What matters more is having the right conversations with your financial planner and finding confident answers to meaningful questions. He also emphasizes the importance of prioritizing goals based on how you want to live today, so you can maintain your lifestyle even after you stop working.
I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest on Roger’s podcast several times and have always enjoyed my conversations with him. If you’re curious, you can listen to my episodes here.
#2: Retirement Starts Today Radio with Ben Brandts
Benjamin Brandt is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and founder of Capital City Wealth Management in Bismarck, North Dakota. He’s also an Iraqi combat veteran, having served in the North Dakota Army National Guard for eight years, including a 15-month deployment to Iraq in 2003.
In his Retirement Starts Today Radio podcast, Brandt answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree. Plus, he’s often joined by top experts in the retirement planning industry. If you want to hear Benjamin’s take on your biggest retirement questions, you can ask him here.
#3: Radical Personal Finance with Joshua Sheats
Joshua Sheats is a professional financial advisor and the host of the popular Radical Personal Finance podcast. What makes this podcast unique is that it’s not designed to appeal to the masses. Instead, Sheats provides in-depth and focused content designed to boost your financial literacy and help you make better, more informed decisions.
Sheats’s goal is to share the proven strategies, tools, and tactics you need to achieve your financial goals more quickly and efficiently. No matter your starting point, he believes you can construct a plan to take you from where you are to where you want to be and ultimately achieve financial freedom.
#4: Her Money with Jean Chatzky
Her second appearance on this list, Jean Chatzky’s Her Money podcast is dedicated to providing women with quality, curated, lingo-free financial information and guidance. Chatzky’s perspective is that contrary to public opinion when it comes to money, women are different. As such, the standard financial advice doesn’t always apply to us.
One of the biggest issues Her Money aims to tackle is the gender wage gap, as the average woman still earns only 81 cents for every dollar a man makes. And this gap is even wider for women of color. Chatzky’s mission is to “level the playing field for financial security, confidence, and power with content that is welcoming, thought-provoking, bold, unbiased and always smart.”
#5: So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
Host Farnoosh Torabi, CNET Money’s Editor at Large, is an award-winning financial correspondent, best-selling author, and television personality. In her So Money podcast, Torobi has candid conversations about money with the world’s top business minds. Past guests have included Arianna Huffington, Tim Ferriss, Gretchen Rubin, Seth Godin, and Robert Kiyosaki, among many others.
Over the years, Farnoosh’s content has evolved to tackle the most important financial issues facing modern women. Every Friday, she takes a more personal approach by answering her listeners’ biggest money questions via #AskFarnoosh.
A Trusted Financial Advisor Can Help You Boost Your Financial Literacy
These 10 books and podcasts are just a few examples of how you can boost your financial literacy to make better financial decisions now and for the future. However, working with a trusted financial advisor can also help you improve your knowledge and make smarter money decisions.
At Align Financial, our mission is to help people connect their money to their life. Our personalized approach to wealth management is about understanding your life and your money and how those intersect. If we can help you align your money with your life, please contact us to see if we’re a good fit. We’d love to hear from you.