Personal Finance Books – The Perfect Graduation Gift

Personal Finance Books – The Perfect Graduation Gift

Do you remember what it was like when you graduated high school and made plans for university?

I remember having plans of living in a cute apartment all by myself with nice furniture and my favourite homemade meals in the fridge...

...The reality was that I shared a tiny apartment (although it was cute) with a friend and often ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. No car, no spending money, and I spent my days scrounging to save for the new computer I desperately needed.

Some say being a "poor student" is just a part of life…it’s normal and nothing to worry about.

But try saying that to a parent. I doubt they’ll say, "Yeah, you’re right, I won’t worry." They’re probably freaking out, wondering how they’ll be able to send food to their poor, starving baby.

The problem

Many parents know that teaching your kids financial responsibility is something you should begin early in life, and the more healthy those habits, the better.

But what about the kids who don’t have parents who can teach them these things? Or the stubborn kids who just won’t listen to their parent’s advice (financial or otherwise)?

The truth is, there are far too many college and university students who either don’t know how to manage their money, don’t care about managing money, or don’t have any money to manage.

Related: Better Money Habits in 3 Easy Steps

The solution

Only YOU can prevent your beloved graduate from going into lifelong debt.

OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. But you can definitely help them learn how to manage money. It’s never too late.

So here are some highly recommended financial planning books that will help your new graduate set out on the right path.

Graduation gift idea: personal finance books for your graduate

While some of these books are best suited for high school grads, others might be better for those leaving university with that fancy degree under their arm.

But all of these books are guaranteed to provide your grad with the tools they need to make it on their own.

How Not To Move Back In With Your Parents: The Young Person's Guide To Financial Empowerement

By Rob Carrick

Good for: Students thinking about the next step in their lives.

Rob Carrick is one of Canada's own, creating a name for himself as one of the country's most trusted financial experts through his weekly personal finance column on The Globe And Mail.

His book, How Not To Move Back In With Your Parents, is a frank introduction to the world of personal finance – which can be quite overwhelming for young adults making the transition to independence.

Covering all pressing topics, from affording school to saving for retirement, Rob provides valuable insight for young adults looking to take the next step in their life.

The best part? He also speaks to the parents of these young adults, making the book perfect for a parent-child book club.

Related: 7 Steps To Get Ahead With Your First Paycheque

The Wealthy Barber

By David Chilton

Good for: Logical students who want to get rich.

Canadian David Chilton is a celebrated author, former Dragon on the hit television show Dragon’s Den, and general all-around finance guru. Over the years, he’s had his hand in publishing, personal finance, business management and – of course – television.

The Wealthy Barber is a fictional story created by Chilton as a simple illustration to teach everyday people about investment and personal finance. This book is actually written like a novel where the barber himself tells his financial tale to a group of siblings who are eager to learn the secrets to his success.

While you won’t learn the intricacies of the stock market and the author doesn’t guarantee exorbitant returns, the lessons learned can most definitely lead you to a place of long-term security. In fact, my dad says this book is "trim-endous."

Broke Millennial

By Erin Lowry

Good for: The *ahem* stereotypical millennial who likes brunch more than budgets.

Erin Lowry is the author and creator of the "Broke Millennial" blog, which was created to help her generation of millennials navigate their way through basic money matters. Her work has been featured in many different media outlets, including CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan magazine, Forbes and NBC News.

As Lowry’s website says, "Preaching and finger-wagging [is] not included" in this refreshingly-written manual. By using humour coupled with first-hand experience, this young author offers advice on basic subjects and complicated concepts alike, including the ominous task of analyzing your individual relationship with money.

How did your upbringing affect your money mindset? How can you reevaluate and reorient this mindset in order to set yourself on a better financial path? It turns out this advice for millennials is best understood when it comes from one of their own, as Lowry sets out to answer each of these questions.

The Money Savvy Student

By Adam Carroll

Good for: The thoughtful student who sees the bigger picture.

Adam Carroll is an author and filmmaker. His documentary Broke, Busted, & Disgusted explores the how and why 42 million borrowers have accumulated $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. This, along with his other books, Winning the Money Game and 30 Days to $1K, contribute to his message of building "a bigger life."

Many young people aren’t given any financial lessons or advice from their parents or teachers, and many choose to ignore what little advice they are given (Ignore their parents? Never!). Carroll’s book offers a no-nonsense approach to finances, starting by drilling home that only YOU are responsible for your financial future.

The book covers areas like budgeting and the implications of debt, and encourages students to think about how they can make money while still in school. With key concepts and vocabulary written in bold font, students will find this book easy to read and easy to put into practice.

Related: The War On Debt: Save, Pay Down Debt, Or Both?

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money

By Chelsea Fagan

Good for: The socialite who never says no to an event.

Chelsea Fagan’s first book, I’m Only Here for the Wifi: A Complete Guide to Reluctant Adulthood was based on articles she had written for Thought Catalogue. She has also contributed to The Huffington Post and The Atlantic, and founded the wildly popular blog and YouTube channel The Financial Diet.

The introduction to this book is called "How to Give a Shit About Money." That pretty much tells you all you need to know about Fagan’s writing style and her tone for this book. Perhaps the detail that sets this book apart is that it delves into touchy subjects like how to discuss money with friends and how lifestyle aspects like your diet relate to your financial mindset.

This book has already been hailed by Refinery29 as the "Best Book of 2018" and Real Simple has included it as one of the “Most Inspiring Books for Graduates.” Those are pretty reliable seals of approval.

What do you recommend?

Have any other recommendations for books that will help graduates find financial freedom? Let us know in the comments.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The content here reflects the author's opinion alone, and is not endorsed or sponsored by a bank, credit card issuer, rewards program or other entity.

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Alexa's picture

I'd recommend Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam and I Will Teach You To be Rich by Remit Sethi. Best 2 finance books I've read so far.

May 08, 2019 @ 7:28 pm
Alexa's picture

Oops *Ramit

May 08, 2019 @ 7:29 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Alexa,

These are great recommendations! I especially love Ramit's work – even his blog is great.

Thanks for your comment :)

May 09, 2019 @ 9:57 am
fbgcai's picture

I certainly would NOT recommend anything by Suze Orman.

May 08, 2019 @ 11:31 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

You're right, I think this list needs more Canadian representation anyway!

We'll be updating shortly.

May 09, 2019 @ 12:30 pm
John Arnold
John Arnold's picture

I would also suggest Larry Bates book 'Beat the Bank'. It's Canadian and it's very good.

May 09, 2019 @ 7:58 pm

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