13 Best Books On Budgeting That Will Transform Your Finances

The Best Budgeting Books You NEED To Read

When you read a self-help book, its like injecting a dose of motivation into your life. You suddenly want to take on the world and implement the new ideas and systems that you learned.

As you go through your day, you hear the author’s voice in the back of your mind, telling you what steps to take and cheering you on.

The same can be said about personal finance. It’s scary for those who don’t know how to handle money properly but infectiously motivating once you have that knowledge.

The following are the best books on budgeting that will change the way you think about and deal with money. After reading and implementing the strategies laid out in these budgeting books, your financial life will be transformed.

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✅ If you prefer to listen to your books, try out Audible. It’s my favorite way to listen to books on the go and when doing chores around the house.

1) The Total Money Makeover


Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover tops the list as the best budgeting book for beginners. The book walks you through how to budget your money and stay on track using the cash envelope system.

Once you end up loving the cash envelope system, check out my reviews of the best cash envelope wallets to carry them in.

While Dave writes with a Christian slant, his book isn’t preachy. His debt payoff method has been proven to be the most effective over the long term. It uses behavior change rather than mathematics to get you on the right track.

If you’re more interested in going to a Dave Ramsey class, read my review of his Financial Peace University course.

2) The Financial Diet


Chelsea Fagan’s book The Financial Diet is listed as the best budgeting book for people who don’t care about personal finance. It’s the perfect book for graduates or beginners who are wanting to get off on the right foot with money.

The Financial Diet covers other money topics such as career, investing, food, and home. You’ll learn the steps for creating a budget too. Overall, it’s a well-rounded beginner’s book on budgeting for those who don’t know where to start.

3) I Will Teach You To Be Rich


This book is unlike any traditional personal finance book and is one of my favorites. Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You To Be Rich doesn’t recommend living a life of deprivation and cutting all the fun out of your life.

Instead, he shows you how to still spend money on the things you love while staying within your budget. He also covers how to automate your money so you don’t even have to constantly think about your finances.

4) How To Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any


Eric Weck’s book How To Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any was specifically written for Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck.  Pssst… that’s around 78% of you!

Weck covers some very pertinent topics including how the American dream may be hurting your finances and what to do about it.

5) Money Honey


Rachel Richards’ book Money Honey offers a simple 7-step guide for everyone to manage their money effectively. She goes over budgeting, debt, savings, taxes, and insurance.

My favorite section was about debt. Rachel covers credit scores, student debt, and credit cards. She even goes over whether there is anything considered “good debt.”

Best of all, the entire book is easy to understand and implement!

6) The Simple Path To Wealth


J. L. Collins’ book The Simple Path To Wealth isn’t solely about budgeting but it deserves a place on this list. His book focuses on a roadmap to financial independence and how to become a rich, independent life.

If you’re having trouble budgeting or want to get a spouse on board, this is a great book to read together. By the end, you’ll both be clamoring to reach financial independence and be motivated to get there.

7) You Need A Budget


Jesse Mecham’s book You Need A Budget is the same name as his and his wife’s popular budgeting app. The focus of this book isn’t about using the app though; it’s about a way of budgeting that makes sense and is easy to do.

It follows a proven way to handle money that will get you out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. This book also covers common budgeting issues such as budgeting as a couple and teaching your kids about money.

8) Your Money Or Your Life


Vicki Robin’s and Joe Dominguez’s classic book Your Money Or Your Life was recently updated after Joe’s passing. It’s still as relevant today as when it was originally published in 1992.

The book tackles the reasons why people want to acquire money and gets you to think critically about your money mindset. Are you wanting money for more freedom or is do you not even realize you’re trading your life energy in the pursuit of money?

9) The Latte Factor


David Bach’s and John David Mann’s book The Latte Factor is told as a parable and follows the life of a woman named Zoey. She is living paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t reach any of her financial or life goals.

As you follow her story, you learn multiple helpful money lessons. Don’t worry, the book isn’t about coffee and you don’t have to give up your coffee either. Rather, it references finding your money leaks and ways to pay yourself first to succeed with money.

10) Broke Millennial


Erin Lowry’s book Broke Millennial is focused on helping millennials get their financial act together. Her writing is conversational and has a focus on the mental aspects of finance.

Money blocks and how you grew up thinking about money shape how you manage money today. By assessing your current money beliefs, only then can you make lasting changes to your finances.

11) How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck


Avery Breyer’s book How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck is geared towards personal finance beginners. Her money management method can take as little as 15 minutes a week and is perfect for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time tracking their money.

The program is front-loaded so you’ll have to do some work initially to set everything up. It also is mainly focused on using a free software program for budgeting that she walks you through.

12) The Spender’s Guide To Debt-Free Living


Anna Newell Jones’ book The Spender’s Guide To Debt-Free Living covers how doing a spending fast helped her pay off over $24,000 in debt. She also covers various ways to budget and manage money.

If you have trouble curbing your spending habits, this is a great book that shows you various ways to cut and curb your spending. It is possible to change from a spender to a saver!

Related: How to be in a relationship with a spender when you’re a saver.

13) Get A Financial Life


Beth Kobliner’s book Get A Financial Life is aimed for people in their 20s and 30s. This book teaches financial intelligence and walks you through all the personal finance basics step-by-step.

One thing that makes this book different is the chapters on taxes and getting the most of your military benefits. Overall, this is a comprehensive book on budgeting and money management for beginners.

Honorable Mention: Rich Dad Poor Dad


While not a book on budgeting, this is an often talked about book on personal finance. Some people love it while others, not so much.

It is more of a self-help book but does teach larger wealth-building concepts well. For my complete review, go here.


Now that you know the best books on budgeting, it’s time to carve out some time to read them. Choosing any of the personal finance books on this list will give you the framework to manage your money like a pro.

Don’t be worried about where you’re starting from. Even people in a lot of debt or low incomes can benefit from these budgeting books. The most important thing is to start.

If you have a favorite book about budgeting or money management that didn’t make this list, let me know in the comments.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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Best Books That Teach You How To Budget Money

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