8 best money management books
Getting to grips with your finances can be a daunting, get clued up on how to be spending-savvy with these books that cover the basics
The post-summer blues often bring financial woes too. Whether you’re still paying off that last week in the sun or are already dreading the Christmas spending; we could all do with a helping hand to get to grips with our money this month.
However, it’s easier said than done and lots of the resources out there can be confusing – full of lingo we can’t understand and aimed at those with stock portfolios and a very healthy bank balance.
But what about the rest of us? Luckily, there are some books out there that are targeted at helping beginners with money management.
Whether you’re looking to slash your spending, get thrifty in the kitchen, understand what’s going on with your bank account or finally start a savings account, these books promise to finally make you financially savvy.
Over the last month, we’ve dedicated ourselves to trawling through a stack of money management books to find our top eight for beginners.
The Meaningful Money Handbook By Pete Matthew: £9.35, Amazon
Written by personal finance expert Pete Matthews, The Meaningful Money Handbook manages to cram everything you need to know about making sense of your finances into one practical guide.
Clearly structured by three rules (spend less than you earn; insure against disaster and build up your savings), Pete tackles all of the questions we keep helplessly Googling late at night.
There’s a lot of information in this book but Matthews breaks everything down, from debunking finance terminology to breaking down how investments actually work. He shares personal anecdotes and illustrates points with graphs and charts.
If you’re looking to get a grasp on all things finances, this truly is a must-read.
The Year of Less By Cait Flanders: £15.99, Waterstones
Struggling to decide the difference between what purchases you want and what you actually need? If your spare room is overflowing with junk, it might be time to take drastic action. That’s what Cait Flanders, author of The Year of Less, decided to do.
Cait embarked on a strict no-shopping ban for 12 months and chronicles her journey and relationship with money along the way. The thought of not shopping for a year might bring us to breaking out in a cold sweat, but Flanders’ style is so endearing that we rooted for her the whole way through.
What is an incredible personal journey, is also a stark reminder at how materialistic many of us have become. The Year of Less will certainly change your perspective on how you spend your money.
The DIY Investor By Andy Bell: £17.99, Harriman House
Investing is a difficult topic to digest at the best of times, so at first, the thought of reading a whole book on the topic didn’t fill us with excitement.
However, Andy Bell, the founder of one of the UK’s largest investment platforms, is well aware of the barriers that prevent many getting involved in the investing world and offers an easy to digest, useful guide packed with everything you need to know about investing.
Beginners don't need to worry, Bell structures the book clearly by four parts; an introduction; different products; different types of investments and how to put it all together. He doesn’t forget to cover the basics such as the different types of ISAs, tracker funds, how to invest in the stock market and corporate bonds.
If you can’t handle too much information at once, it’s worth dipping in and out of the extremely useful charts littered throughout the book. Books on investment are never going to be light reading but Bell does offer the closest thing to your very own investment advisor in one handy paperback.
Secrets to Saving: The Ultimate Couponing Guide by Jordon Cox: £10, Amazon
If you find yourself wincing at the cost of your weekly shop, it’s time to get coupon savvy.
Enter Jordan Cox, aka money saving expert/writer and “The Coupon Kid.” After being hooked on money saving since 15 year old, Jordan claims to have saved thousands on his six-year cost-cutting mission and his new self-published book promises to help you do the same.
The lightweight paperback shares Jordan’s own experiences of couponing but more importantly, a plethora of tips to help you get started too.
From sourcing coupons, to maximising their benefits and using online codes and cashback apps; this book is full of ideas to save you a fortune on your grocery shopping.
Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe: £15.99, artonabootstrap.bigcartel.com
Cooking on a budget often conjures up thoughts of bland and repetitive meals, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Whilst most cookery books leave us baffled with their long list of expensive, difficult to source ingredients; Cooking on a Bootstrap does the exact opposite.
After struggling as a single mother, Monroe set out to share cheap yet nutritious recipes. From the types of ingredients to how to prepare the food, she is well aware her audience might need some hand-holding.
Forget the usual formal set of instructions; Monroe instructs us to remove a pan from the heat when "dipping a tentative finger should elicit an ahh" and to "shake it all about like you’re Tom Cruise" when preparing a salad dressing.
Alongside the chatty writing style and humour, a range of practical and cheap recipes will not only help you save money, but will also introduce new cooking staples.
Young and Mighty by Henry Patterson: £12.99, Harriman House
Who says money books should just be for adults? Young and Mighty’s author is just thirteen years old but has already started his own children’s brand and met entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson.
In this book, Henry shares his words of wisdom for young money-makers; including how to come up with business ideas, ways to earn money and how to budget.
As you’d expect from a book catering to a young audience, everything is interactive, with prompts to jot down ideas, circle key words, make lists and draw people who inspire you.
What’s more, the last chapter is dedicated to interviewing famous entrepreneurs (such as Dragon's Den's Theo Paphitis and co-founder of Instagram Mike Krieger) for their words of wisdom and money tips.
Spare Change by Iona Bain: £8.99, oneworldshop.co.uk
This colourful, compact hardback is ideal for anyone looking for an introductory read to money they can dip in and out of. Written by money blogger Iona Bain, Spare Change is full of bite-sized nuggets of financial wisdom.
Whether you’re looking to plan out your budget, learn more about your relationship with money or set clear financial goals, Spare Change’s brightly coloured and beautiful illustrated pages offer you a solution.
Those with a short attention span shoudn't despair, Spare Change is extremely engaging with audits to complete and quizzes to take. And despite its size, it manages to whizz through a range of topics too.
Whilst it might not be as in-depth as some of the others on our list, Spare Change is still a fantastic beginner’s read.
Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent Women by Mrs Moneypenny and Heather McGregor: £9.99, Amazon
Written by TV presenter and Financial Times columnist "Mrs Moneypenny" (otherwise known as Heather J McGregor), each chapter centres around practical aspects of everyday finances, such as deciding whether to rent versus buy, simple cost-cutting tips for those with children and getting a handle on debt and credit ratings.
As well as sharing her own personal experiences on these topics, the writer also offers snippets of other women’s journeys, interesting historical facts about women and the financial sphere and even "homework tasks" to ensure you act on advice.
It manages to cover a range of topic but the chatty style makes it look easy and provides plenty of inspiration that good money management is something that should be accessible to everyone.
Whilst this guide was published several years ago, the facts remain indispensable to many women struggling to get their head around finances.
Verdict: Best Money Management Books
The Meaningful Money Handbook is the perfect all-rounder and our top pick for those looking to get to grips with all things finance.
Thrifty folk will love Jack Monroe’s Cooking on A Bootstrap whilst Cait Flanders' The Year of Spending Less is ideal for those who really want to reflect on their relationship with money.
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