New Year, New Money: 4 Personal Finance Books for Millennials

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Ashley Holstrom

Staff Writer

Ashley Holstrom helps make books at Sourcebooks. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color. Newsletter: Crooked Reads. Twitter: @alholstrom.

Happy New Year! In the middle of January! I bet your finances are scary after the holidays, so I found you some wonderful new personal finance books to whip it all back into shape.

I’ve been really interested in the ~millennial~ take on personal finance books lately. They’re my people with my problems. They’re not rich white dudes who know how to play the stock market or whatever. They don’t have cults of followers. They’re just people trying to get by and share what they’ve learned.

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These books are all very new, and very relevant. Fill up your TBR with these great personal finance books for millennials (and humans of all ages, of course). Even just one will do the trick.

bad with money by gaby dunnBad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together by Gaby Dunn

A refreshing take on personal finance, Bad With Money is more of a money memoir than a how-to book. Right at the get-go, Dunn tells us she is not a professional money person, and that this book is her journey to being financially woke. Each chapter is a bit of her money story, interspersed with interviews with financial and psychology professionals—and queer folks, who tend to not be considered at the table when talking about money. She ends each chapter with tips on how to maneuver student loans, credit cards, investing, and more. This is a great way to get your toe into personal finance books. Dunn is cool and relatable with her stories of bouncing around from gig to gig, some with benefits, some without, and the mistakes she made along the way.

refinery29 money diariesRefinery29 Money Diaries: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Your Finances…And Everyone Else’s by Lindsey Stanberry

Refinery29 takes the best of the Money Diaries feature and organizes it into a lovely book. A money diary is simple: Note your income and monthly expenses, record every dollar you spend for a week (or a month or whatever), and take a good, hard look at how those numbers are affecting your life. Read about people of all ages, ethnicities, locations, careers, etc., and their relationships with money. It’s fabulous and eye-opening. Periodically, there’s a note to go put $1 into your savings account (or swear jar or whatever), which is a sneaky little trick to get you to save money while you read about money. There’s also a section about playing 21 Questions with your partner about finances and your futures, and it was SO helpful. This is a great, all-encompassing personal finance book for young people.

happy go moneyHappy Go Money: Spend Smart, Save Right and Enjoy Life by Melissa Leong

Here’s a fun personal finance/self-help combo. Happy Go Money teaches us how to find joy with money. Strange concept, right? Using humor and kindness, Leong shares a lovely starter guide to living a happier life with a better relationship to your money.

30-day money cleanseThe 30-Day Money Cleanse: Take Control of Your Finances, Manage Your Spending, and De-Stress Your Money for Good by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

This little book packs a real punch about getting your money in order. Feinstein Gerstley points out how money is such a ~taboo~ topic, but it really shouldn’t be! We all deal with it! She offers advice on changing your mindset and being more aware of your spending (don’t ignore those bank statements, y’all) so you can decrease that spending. The 30-Day Money Cleanse is a great guide to whip yourself into financial shape. (Full disclosure: I work for the publisher of this book.)

Now go forth and get rich. Or something.