7 Must-Read Personal Finance Books for Every Teen
These books could be a huge aid to your students as you are helping them get a better understanding of all things personal finance. You could pick one to read with them and spend time discussing each chapter, thinking through the practical applications in their lives.
When I was a teen, my mom was obsessed with a personal finance guru named Suze Orman. She had this super slick hairdo and talked so fast you could barely understand her. But you always got the sense that, when it came to money, you didn’t question her judgment.
I wasn’t surprised when my mom gave my sister and me Suze Orman’s Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke as a Christmas gift. At first, I rolled my eyes — but I eventually started reading it, and it changed my entire outlook on life.
You’ll learn many personal finance lessons through experience. Whether you’re financing your college education or purchasing your first car, you’ll learn things as you go. But there are some great books out there that can get you on the right track early on.
Here is a list of seven personal finance books for teens that should be on your bookshelf:
1. O.M.G.: Official Money Guide for Teenagers by Susan and Michael Beacham
Okay, so the cover is cheesy and not at all appealing. But this is the book to have if you’ve got zero idea what credit cards are or aren’t sure what anyone’s going on about when they talk about “investing.” It’s a quick, easy read that will make you feel smarter when you put it down.
2. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By by Cary Siegel
This personal finance book will break down some crucial lessons (99, to be exact) that every adult — or soon-to-be adult — should know. For example, you’ll read about why you need to pass up store credit cards and why your credit score will follow you around for life. Even those who think they know it all will pick up something new while reading Cary Siegel’s tips.
3. How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any by Erik Wecks
Graduating from school doesn’t guarantee you a well-paid job. More than likely, you’ll just scrape by for the first few years. Author Erik Wecks understands this and wants to help you figure out how to find happiness and security with what little you may make.
4. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
This book is a 20-year-old personal finance “classic” that has stood the test of time. Using research and interviews with real millionaires, the book breaks down what’s needed to gain that level of wealth. You’d be surprised by some of the takeaways that have made these people so successful.
5. How to be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents by Zac Bissonnette
The title alone sold me, and Zac Bissonnette backs it up with his straight-up, honest talk about your relationship with money in your 20s. He gives you a reality check about what’s waiting for you out there in the real world after college graduation.
6. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
Personal finance isn’t just about banking and retirement accounts. It has a lot to do with what apartment you find, how you handle your first job, and where you find your most valuable friends. Brown keeps a sense of humor while giving great advice to those who aren’t quite ready to handle the whole adulting thing yet.
7. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman
Wait…didn’t I already mention this one? Yes, but I love it so much that I am going to make it official. Orman’s book came out 15 years ago, but the advice is as relevant as ever: Make wise money choices now that will last your whole life. Her book breaks it down so that it’s easy to understand — with lots of side notes and examples that still apply to teens and college students today.
A Final Thought
Hopefully, you’ve picked up by now that personal finance isn’t a bunch of boring numbers and spreadsheets. It’s your real life happening in real time. Learning all that you can about what your money can do for you is one of the best ways to build your financial foundation — and these personal finance books will give you a great start.