Best Personal Finance Books: Budget Tips for Students


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This is the time of year when parents get their cars ready to transport college kids to their new dorms. Along with those XL twin sheets and shower caddies, there’s one more necessity you should stash away in their stuff boxes: a good book on college money management.

College is the time when kids usually have their first glimpse of financial freedom – they can buy their own food, pay for their own entertainment, and get their first credit card. Some will have jobs in addition to being students, and they might try to save for a big purchase like a car.

Figuring out how to budget in college is essential for students who don’t want to take on even more debt after graduation. In addition, starting students on a solid financial footing now means they will have four years of practice before they step into the “real world” of adulthood.

Money asked experts in money management and financial literacy – including some who specialize in dorm demographics – their top book recommendations that will appeal to young adults (that is, one that won’t pick up not just dust on a shelf) and offer solid principles and strategies for becoming financially independent and smart in managing money. Here is what they say are the best money books to give to students.

Courtesy of TarcherPerigee

Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at, says author Erin Lowry has a knack for presenting personal finance in an accessible way in his blog and book of the same title, Broken millennial.

“She has a knack for making complex and confusing subjects relatable and interesting,” says Schulz. “So many personal finance books that you find online or in the library are drier than the Sahara and a challenge to be overcome. This is not one of those books.

In other words, there is a good chance Broken millennial will appeal to a student even if they are already up to the task of reading textbooks.

“This is a simple monetary manifesto with basic but crucial approaches to spending, saving, investing, increasing income and creating wealth,” Gigi Hyland, executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation, said of by Jean Chatzky. Money rules.

Hyland says middle school students will enjoy the book’s “easy and fun” way of presenting money concepts on which young adults can base their personal financial management throughout their college years and beyond.

Courtesy of Green Olive Books

Phil Schuman, director of financial literacy at Indiana University’s MoneySmarts program, says Your money life is good for students who need an introduction to money management as well as those who already have the basics.

“The information is extremely well presented and focuses on improving the reader’s financial habits and not just improving their literacy level,” says Schuman. “Anyone who reads the book will come away with a good idea of ​​how they can successfully set up their financial path. “

Courtesy of Holt Paperbacks

Schulz calls from CompareCards The financial regime by Chelsea Fagan “A perfect choice for someone who is just trying to get their feet under them when it comes to money.”

Schulz says the book is very user-friendly thanks to its understandable voice and easy-to-understand lessons. “It doesn’t read like a personal finance book at all,” he says. “It’s witty, it’s smart, and it’s got a lot of style, and those things make a difference when you’re trying to get messages out about something like personal finance.”

Courtesy of Ballantine Books

“This is one of the most practical, straightforward personal finance books I know of,” National Foundation for Credit Counseling spokesperson Bruce McClary said of the personal finance columnist. Michelle Singletary. Spend well, live well.

Singletary presents information in a tone that teens and young adults will appreciate. “It’s honest and relevant in a way that allows readers to make healthy financial choices without feeling like they’re being reprimanded,” McClary said.

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