Ask Money

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

Marketplace Staff Jun 28, 2013

Question:

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:

Paddy Hirsch Jun 28, 2013 Senior Editor, Marketplace
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 Clasons 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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