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Best Money Books for New College Graduates

Mark Kantrowitz

October 07, 2010

Life Lessons

There are also a variety of life skills you need to learn besides financial literacy. The following books address all aspects of life after college, including managing your money.

Life After School, Explained by Jesse Vickey, Andy Ferguson and Nicole Vickey ($13.95, 168 pages, 2002). A humorous guide to living on your own, with good coverage of personal finance issues.

How to Survive the Real World: Life After College Graduation: Advice from 774 Graduates Who Did by Andrea Syrtash ($13.95, 240 pages, 2006). Addresses both the practical and psychological adjustments to living on your own.

What They Don't Teach You in College by James M. Kramon ($12.95, 320 pages, 2006). A basic handbook for 20 and 30-year-olds, covering jobs, money, health, apartments, taxes and automobiles.

Life Skills 101: A Practical Guide to Leaving Home and Living on Your Own by Tina Pestalozzi ($14.95, 208 pages, 2010). A practical how-to guide to consumer savvy, addressing both social skills and financial skills necessary for living on your own. Covers everything from dining to getting organized to getting a job to business etiquette to managing money and financial planning.

So You Graduated College: A Financial Guide to Life After Graduation by Daniel Franklin ($12.95, 151 pages, 2006). Personal finance advice for a younger crowd, with advice targeting their unique issues.

Frugal Living 101

If you want to be wealthy, you need to live frugally and minimize debt. Most people live paycheck to paycheck, regardless of their income level, because their standard of living rises to consume all available income. The key to wealth is to live well below your means and to minimize debt. Never carry a balance on a credit card. If you can’t afford to pay off your credit cards in full at the end of the month, stop spending on things you can’t afford. When interest is factored in, every $100 you spend will ultimately cost you about $200 or more, so stay out of debt.

The best book on this topic is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko ($15.00, 272 pages, 1998). The authors surveyed millionaires to learn their secrets to accumulating wealth and boiled down the results into seven rules. The first and most important rule focuses on frugality and delayed gratification.

Other good books with some of the same wisdom about living frugally, albeit from a different perspective, include Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki ($7.99, 288 pages, 2010, avoid the abridged edition) and Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford ($16.00, 368 pages, 2008).


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