Recently, a friend asked me about budgets. Actually, more than one friend has brought up the topic. Maybe it is because of my love for Excel spreadsheets. Maybe it is because they think I have the wisdom of age and might know something. Maybe they are just desperate, and I am a listening ear. Regardless of their reasons, I savor the challenge of making income and expense formulas to help my friends reach their financial goals. It’s especially rewarding when we are talking about someone else’s money. So message me if you want to chat. 

Talking face-to-face about money and budgets can be intimidating, though. Thus this book list. Here are a few books I recommend, or I have had recommended to me, that might give you some insights on how to handle your income statement, increase your financial literacy, or just learn how others handle money. 

You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham

As I listened to Mecham read his book, I found myself nodding my head frequently. His advice for those new to the budget arena or looking to change their accounting strategies was right on target. He has an entire website dedicated to helping spenders find a way to meet their financial goals. 


As always, you are welcome to whatever personal beliefs you may have, but for me, the Bible has given tremendous financial wisdom. More than 2,300 verses in the Bible deal with money and how to deal with it. The verses apply to all walks of life, such as Proverbs 10:4-5, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Since its publication in 1926, readers have looked to Clason’s collection of parables to gain wisdom in the money realm. The short book – less than 150 pages, depending on your edition – gives timeless saving and investing rules. One of the oft-quoted sentiments of the book is regarding paying yourself first. Clason writes, “A part of all I earn is mine to keep.’ Say it in the morning when you first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky.” 

Get Rich Carefully by Jim Kramer

As the host of Mad Money, Jim Kramer is known for his over-the-top shenanigans and loud, attention-grabbing methods. In his book, though, all the bells and whistles are, and he gives you tactical advice on how to start working with the investment system. His experience as a Wall Street investor provides him with the knowledge, and his grasp of communication allows him to share in a way that is easy to follow. 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book cemented my conviction that you should learn from someone with the life you want. Robert Kiyosaki compares two different mindsets in his book and encourages readers to follow the path that gives them the results that they want. I appreciated Kiyosaki’s personable demonstration contrasting a traditional education then job model with the entrepreneurial pathway. Reading this book pushed me to find a mentor to learn from who had the financial footing I was looking for. 

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin

Thank you for this recommendation, Juan. Vicki Robin’s book details the transformative concept that satisfaction with money is more than dollar bills in the bank. She challenges readers to take a more holistic approach to money and look for ways to save money and maintain the quality of life that they want. In addition to her book, check out her Life Energy Calculator on her website.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Okay, this book isn’t technically about money, but I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who is looking for ways to change their habits regarding dollars and cents. James Clear outlines numerous valuable methods for altering your life, and all of them can be applied to your budget. This book is a must-read for establishing new routines in your life, and I’d love to hear how you apply the principles to your money questions.