Question: Any personal finance book recommendations for a 20-something student?

Some of the most prestigious institutions in the country are taking efforts to create a new, permanent archive of scholarly work online.

My 23-year-old son is planning to begin graduate school. He will have been done with his undergrad degree for two years. I would like to buy a book to give him that addresses finances and would like suggestions as to what to purchase. Any tips? Thanks.

Response:

A quick search on the web will give you all sorts of suggestions, but for a young person who has no experience of personal finance and is currently in college, I'd try these:

  • Liz Pulliam Weston's The Ten Commandments of Money. Clearly written, easy-to-understand advice for people who are starting at square one with their finances.
  • Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You to Be Rich. The title is hyperbole, but Ramit's advice is sound: automate your accounts, save well and spend the rest without guilt, and invest using low-cost index funds.
  • George Clason's The Richest Man in Babylon. A classic, dating back to the 1920s. If your son is  Chicken Soup for the Soul type of reader, these parables of personal finance will work well.
  • Beth Kobliner's Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties. Topics include budgeting, credit cards, ATMs, getting out of debt, renting an apartment, buying a car, buying a house, insurance, investing, taxes and saving for retirement. The book also includes good summaries of fundamental money management principles and advice.
  • Suze Orman'sThe Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. Focused on consumers in their 20s and 30s, this book discusses credit cards and FICO scores and debt consolidation, as well as career advice, saving money, merging newlywed finances and solutions to common problems.
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"My total money makeover" Im in my 20's and I assure you is one of the best products out there. Written by Dave Ramsey he also has a great program that explains how to get out of debt and manage your money appropriately through what he calls "the 7 baby steps." My wife and I are addicts to his radio show and listen to it every day, you and him will always be thankful if you read this book. Good luck.
I highly highly recommend 8 Money Ratios by Charles Farrell for people in their 20s, 30s, 40s,and up. The sooner you get started the easier. It's straightforward and simple.
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