Give the gift of wealth this Christmas! When you’re not sure what to get for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list, here are the most-wished-for personal finance books for Christmas. Ranging from the wildly popular “The Latte Factor” to the classic “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, there’s something for everyone.
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Why Give Personal Finance Books for Christmas?
If the idea of giving personal finance books for Christmas doesn’t appeal to you right away, consider this. A recent article in The Globe and Mail states that a comfortable retirement may be out of reach for one in three Canadians. Household debt has reached precarious levels. An interest rate rise or sudden job loss could leave them financially vulnerable.
Student summer jobs no longer pay enough to cover the cost of post-secondary tuition. Young people are graduating with high student debt loads, and entering the precarious gig economy to scrape out a meagre living with no job security.
Arguments about money can be common in relationships, and in fact a recent Investopedia article reports that money is the leading cause of divorce. Moreover, women in financially precarious situations may feel trapped in unhappy relationships.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can all learn to master our own finances, paying down debt and living within our means.
Giving personal finance books for Christmas could be the best gift your love ones ever receive. An ugly light-up Christmas sweater doesn’t compare with the long-term peace of mind that comes from financial security.
Best Personal Finance Books for Students and Graduates
The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to be Rich to Live Rich
In David Bach’s 2019 bestseller, we follow Zoey, a young adult living in NYC. She struggles whether to leave a job she loves, for one that pays more money, in order to make ends meet. She is living paycheck to paycheck, with credit card debt and student loans weighing her down. Zoey has recurring conversations with a number of different influential people in her life, who give her great advice.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your latte after reading this book!
Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By And Get Your Financial Life Together
“Stop living paycheck to paycheck and get your financial life together!” says author Erin Lowry. This book is packed full of real life examples of tricky financial situations commonly faced by young adults. Learn how to have “the money talk” with your significant other.
The casual and conversational tone is sure to appeal to millennials and older generation Z, in a “we’re all in this together” kind of way.
Help the young adult on your Christmas gift list to go from being flat broke to becoming a money master!
Best Books for People who want Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE)
Quit Like A Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, Or Trust Fund Required
Canadians Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung were only 31 when they retired from their downtown Toronto jobs with a million dollar investment portfolio. Now they are world travellers and spend their time helping people with their finances, so they too can realize their dreams.
Leaders in the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement, Kristy and Bryce can show you how to live life on your own terms!
The 4-hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated
Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. Discover how to eliminate half of your workload in just 48 hours, outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants, or trade your long-haul career for short bursts of work with extended mini retirements in between.
Learn how Tim Ferriss went from working 80 hours per week for $40,000 a year; to earning $40,000 per month and only working 4-hours per week!
I Will Teach You To Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just A 6-week Program That Works
Buy as many lattes as you want. Choose the right accounts and investments so your money grows for you — automatically. Best of all, spend guilt-free on the things you love. Financial guru Ramit Sethi will show you how to crush your debt, maximize the interest you receive without paying bank fees, a set-it-and-forget-it investment strategy, and more.
In this 6-week program you will learn how to pay for the expensive things in life – buying a car, paying for a wedding, having kids, and more.
Bonus! Get the exact words to use to negotiate a big raise at work!
Best Personal Finance Books for Parents
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is the number personal finance book of all time. By emulating the father of his best friend, Robert explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich. This 20th anniversary updated version of the classic shows how the principles taught by his “rich dad” have stood the test of time.
Learn the difference between working for money, and having your money work for you!
Think And Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised And Updated For The 21st Century
The original “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill looked to millionaires such as Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and others for financial lessons. In the updated version, Arthur R. Pell adds anecdotes of contemporary millionaires and billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash, Dave Thomas, and Sir John Templeton. Discover how they achieved incredible wealth.
Learn the money-making secrets of the greats that aren’t taught in school!
Best Books for People in Debt
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness
Follow Dave Ramsey’s proven ‘7 baby step’ method for getting out of debt. Dave will help you design a sure-fire plan for paying off your debt, then secure an emergency safety net, and save for retirement.
Dave has walked this path of crippling debt and even bankruptcy. Now he has helped over 5 million people turn their financial lives around.
Use the total money makeover worksheets included in the book, and learn the popular ‘debt snowball’ method of getting out of debt!
Living Debt-free: The No-shame, No-blame Guide To Getting Rid Of Your Debt
No one wants to be in debt. But life happens and if you’ve got debt, life has happened to you. Whether you have a rolling balance of $2,000 on your credit card or an $80,000 line of credit you are positive you will carry to your grave, debt can be a huge cause of stress — affecting both your emotional and financial wellness.
Canadian financial trailblazer, Shannon Lee Simmons, has worked with thousands of clients to help them pay down debt without having to stop enjoying their lives.
Nothing says “I care about you” more than personal finance books for Christmas. Read her “no shame no blame” plan to start feeling good about your money again!
Best Personal Finance Books for Women
Lucky Bitch: A Guide For Exceptional Women To Create Outrageous Success
Self-made millionaire Denise Duffield-Thomas will teach you how to put the Law of Attraction to work for you. With sassy humour, she gives clear step-by-step instructions on how to create your own luck. Learn to grab life by the horns with her ‘Ten Lucky Bitch Commandments’. This is an essential book for women to move through money mindset blocks.
Unlock new insights into your life in order to meet the opportunities waiting in front of you!
Clever Girl Finance: Ditch debt, save money and build real wealth
Turn to author Bola Sokunbi to learn how to monitor your expenses, build a budget, make the most of a modest salary, clean up your credit card debt, start a successful side hustle, invest in your future, and much more.
Bola draws on her financial experiences and education to empower women to talk about money and financial wellness.
Inspire the woman on your gift list to pursue and achieve her dreams of financial independence!
Best Books for Frugal Living
Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
Meet award-winning personal finance blogger Elizabeth Willard Thames, and hear their story. Elizabeth and husband Nate were conventional young urban professionals, living for the weekend. At age 32, they achieved financial independence, and moved to a 60-acre homestead to live with simplicity in peace and happiness.
Learn how frugal living will help you align your time and money with your highest priorities. And surprise, frugality doesn’t feel like deprivation, instead it leads to increased happiness.
Let go of trying to “buy your way to the good life” and stop keeping up with the Joneses!
The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies For Building Wealth
The classic “Millionnaire Next Door” by the late Thomas Stanley, has been updated by his daughter Sarah Stanley Fallaw. They highlight how specific decisions, characteristics and behaviours align with disciplined wealth building. Namely, living frugally is the path to wealth, while those with large houses and flashy cars are often deeply in debt.
Follow this proven method to success: work hard, save diligently, and live below your means!
Best Personal Finance Books for Canadians
Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things With Their Money – And What You Can Do About It
Bruce Sellery, well-known radio show host and podcaster, shares his years of experience. Personal stories, great practical advice, and interactive exercises help you live the life you want by getting your finances under control.
Dramatically improve your financial well-being while enjoying this entertaining book.
The Snowman’s Guide to Personal Finance: A simple approach to managing your money
If you are a Canadian, trying to make sense of your money situation, The Snowman’s Guide to Personal Finance is the book you’re looking for. The easy-to-understand chapters are concise and to the point. It starts right from the basics, including income, savings, and managing unexpected expenses.
Then it goes on to second level topics like budgeting, credit scores, debt, insurance, and more. Naturally, investing in Canadian government programs such as RRSPs, TFSAs and RESPs are covered too.
Once you’ve got the basics, come back again to this book and learn how to set up your investing accounts, how your subconscious mind works against your savings goals, and calculate how much you need to save for retirement.
New Personal Finance Books for 2021
Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change
Author Tanja Hester sheds light on how we can all use the power of our own spending to make a social impact. Wallet Activism is not a list of dos and don’ts. Nor is it anti-consumerism.
Instead, it helps you create a personal spending philosophy based on your own values. This is the book for anyone who wants to leave the world better than you found it.
The Perfect Day to Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide to Building Your Empire
Hip-hop icon Rick Ross shares his secrets to success. Look at the steps he took to turn his ambition into action. Read fascinating inside stories from him business and music ventures. See how he turned failure into success. Learn how to build the perfect team as you build your own empire.
The Procrastinator’s Guide to Retirement: A Financial Guide to Retiring in Ten Years or Less
The earlier we start saving for retirement, the better. The magic of compounding and stock market returns will build our nest egg over time.
But what can you do if you have less than 10 years until retirement, and you’re not ready? Your twenties was full of student debt. Thirties and forties was marriage, home ownership, and kids. Often there just isn’t enough left over to save for retirement.
If this sounds like you – or someone you care about – this book will take you step-by-step through how to plan and save for retirement in your fifties and sixties.
Related Reading at Money In Your Tea
- My review of The Latte Factor and Smart Women Finish Rich, both by David Bach
- STANDUP to the Financial Services Industry, authored by John de Goey
- Broke Millennial, by Erin Lowry
- Read Your Way to Wealth, a summary of the best books of the year
- The Snowman’s Guide to Personal Finance – Interview with Steven Arnott
- Finish the year with more peace and joy, by taking my 10-Week Debt-Free Christmas Challenge
- Earn Extra Money During the Holidays with Airbnb
I love the Wealthy Barber too, he’s a great follow on Twitter.
I haven’t read a lot of these, actually. I have never read I will teach you to be rich, I should probably try and borrow that one from the library.
Which one is your favourite?
Hi Gym! Tough question, picking a favourite! I really liked “Broke Millennial” for younger adults, but in my 40s I think I’ve gone past many of those scenarios. Maybe it’s funny, but I find whatever I’m reading at the moment is often my new favourite. I’m currently about 60 pages into Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “The Two Income Trap” and even though it’s a bit dated, it is really resonating with me. As an economist and a PF blogger, there is so much here that I want to dig into! There is a revised and updated version at Amazon and Indigo
The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are (Still) Going Broke
She shows that the biggest risk for bankruptcy is … having children. Over-consumption of frivolous goods is a myth. As an economist I’d love to dig into the Canadian data and see if our household income and spending statistics are the same. Not sure it would make a good blog post though! More like a think-tank research paper.
Great list of books. Happy to see some Canadian content in there too. One of my go to favourites has always been The Wealthy Barber & The Wealthy Barber Returns.
Hi Maria! Thanks for your comment! I love the Wealthy Barber too. Unfortunately Indigo doesn’t seem to carry it except in audiobook format, but here’s the link for anyone who is interested.
The Wealthy Barber: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide To Becoming Financially Independent
The link for The Wealthy Barber Returns (which is available in paperback) is
The Wealthy Barber Returns: Significantly Older and Marginally Wiser, Dave Chilton Offers His Unique Perspectives on the World of Money
It’s great for Canadians to see personal finance books written for us. For Canadians reading the fabulous books from U.S. authors, simply generalize 401(k) to RRSP – it’s a retirement savings program.