★ Rockstar Giveaway: The Only Five Money Books You’ll Need


book palace

This is part of our weekly Giveaway series.
To see our previous giveaways, and who won them, click above!

Hey hey! This week we partner back up with ESIMoney.com who kindly offers up another great giveaway for us: “the only five money books you’ll ever need” (according to him).

We’ve only reviewed three out of the five so far here in our Rockstar Book Review series, but considering we’ve given each of them 4 1/2 or 5 stars each out of 5, we’re inclined to think he’s on the right track :) The other two books are in our queue to be shared in the future, too!

Here are the five books, along with ESI’s ranking and thoughts on them:

5 best money books

#5. How Much Money Do I Need to Retire? — The best book I’ve ever read on retirement. But if I have to rank them, it’s just not general enough to rank higher.

#4. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing — Same as above — not general enough. But investing is vital and comes before retirement, so this gets listed a notch higher.

#3. Your Money or Your Life — It’s a bit philosophical and less practical than the other two remaining. I prefer straight-to-the-point no-nonsense books. Many people like this book because it’s a bit more touchy feely. (You can read our Rockstar review of it here – we gave it 5 stars.)

#2. The Millionaire Next Door — This is my personal favorite and the book that made the most difference in my life. I think it can do the same for others too. But the other book edges it out for most people IMO. (Rockstar review here – we gave it 4 1/2 stars.)

#1. The Richest Man in Babylon — Short read, told as a story (easy read), very practical, and inexpensive. That’s what makes this book the top choice in my opinion. (Rockstar review here – we gave it 5 stars.)

Only one person will win this package of books, but everyone else is welcome to the booby prize his awesome new ebook he’s currently giving out for free ;) “Three Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

3 steps financial independence

It’s about the few essential steps anyone needs to become financially independent, and you can download it for free here.

Want this package of 5 great $$$ books?

Tell us one of YOUR favorite books, financially related or not (in fact, let’s go with NOT so we can expand our horizons more! ;)) and we’ll randomly select the winner a week from today.

I’ll go first: My favorite book lately is Essentialism by Greg McKeown which is all about focusing on the stuff that matters and getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t. Partly minimalism-focused, partly career/life self-help :) The link above goes right to our review of it here on the site.

Your turn!

*GIVEAWAY OVER* Congrats to msrob0t for winning! Whose favorite book is The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle because “It reminds me that there is only this very moment and to live it to the fullest. I would recommend it to everyone struggling with anxiety.”


PS: To see who won last week’s giveaway, click here.

PPS: All links to books above are Amazon affiliate links

Last modified: April 26, 2017

75 Responses to :
★ Rockstar Giveaway: The Only Five Money Books You’ll Need

  1. Jean says:

    My favorite book lately is The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. It really makes you look at the world differently – you’ll suddenly understand why people bicker so much about politics and just seem to talk past each other.

  2. Chris says:

    Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton was a life changer for me back in the day, closely followed by Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough. But by far the greatest book I ever read was one I made myself… I printed off every blog post Mr Money Mustache ever wrote on recycled office paper, clipped it all together and highlighted the shit out of it. Sits by my bedside to this day and hardly a day goes by without at least a glance. I credit that ‘book’ with turning my finances, parenting style and career on their heads. Would take an awesome collection of 5 books to knock this one off its perch!

    1. J. Money says:

      A helluva testimonial right there! I’m going to make sure he sees this :)

      1. J. Money says:

        His response:

        “Hahahahaha! That is hilarious. Must have been quite the big stack of paper.”


  3. geckovision says:

    My favorite book is “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. Awesome book for any old school gamer or for people that love 80’s references.

    favorite $ book is “The Millionaire Next Door.” a lot of “ah ha” moments from that book and even more “well duh! why didn’t i realize that?!”

  4. Collier says:

    The Great Depression: A Diary, by Benjamin Roth. One man’s journal entries from the late 1920s through the 1930s. An amazing real-time look at the greatest financial disaster of the past 200 years. He gives his observations on the changes taking place in his town, what the politicians and policy-makers were doing to try and remedy the problems, and the lessons he was learning for the future. Highly recommended!

    1. J. Money says:

      Sounds fascinating!

  5. Melissa says:

    My favourite book is Smart Cookies. It is a financial book written by 5 women and the steps they took to each get out of serious debt. It was a great book for me as I was trying to make ends meet and had decided one day to take a hard look at my finances. It was an easy read as I had never really read a financial book before. The Smart Cookies also had a website that went hand in hand with the book. It was the start of my trying to evolve financially.

  6. Sherri says:

    Hey there all you Rockstars! Long time reader, first time commenter!

    I’m an avid reader and I love many books, but here are two that are among my absolute favorites.

    Non Fiction: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This book was life-changing for me. It was an a-ha moment in terms of learning how to replace bad habits with good ones and seeing how even just one positive habit can change your whole life for the better.

    Fiction: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’m a big fan of sci-fi and speculative fiction, and this book is one of the classics of the genre. The Handmaid’s Tale came out in 1985–the year I was born–and yet it continues to be relevant (and a bit ominous) today. I am pumped for the Hulu miniseries as well!

    1. J. Money says:

      Glad we got you out commenting today :)

  7. Adam says:

    I’m a big fan of “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.” It fills in the story of Jesus between his adolescence and his crucifixion. It’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

    I have to admit I only read half of Millionaire Next Door before I had to return it to the library. I’d love to own a copy. But my favorite finance book is probably “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.” Lots of practical advice and an easy read.

    1. J. Money says:

      Funniest you’ve ever read?? Haha… did not see that one coming.

  8. Brandi Baysinger says:

    If you really love to read. I prefer fiction, crime, mystery series and right now my favorite author is Ann Charles who writes a series about a quirky single mom who battles demons in Deadwood, SD. When it comes to financial books, I have not read very many but I enjoy the way Dave Ramsey and his team spell things out in an easy to understand and comfortable manner. The “Total Money Makeover” is definitely and easy to read and follow plan.

  9. Jennifer Mensah says:

    I love The Tipping Point. I also just read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult- it was amazing.

  10. Jen M says:

    I’m a librarian, so that is not an easy question to answer. One of my favorite authors is Louise Penny, and I also just read A Man Called Ove, which I loved. Both reflect deeply on the power of friendship and community.

  11. christina says:

    My favorite book lately is The Fran Lebowitz Reader by Fran Lebowitz. I enjoy her sardonic wit and descriptions of life in NYC

  12. Lindsey the Goat says:

    One of my new favorite books is Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt. Part ghost story, part family saga (both the families we choose and the families we’re born into), and part rumination on magic and motherhood. The prose is nothing short of thrilling – it’s at once so bizarre and evocative.

    (Long time reader, first time commenter) :)

    1. J. Money says:

      Sounds interesting :)

  13. Matt says:

    I really like, “Hand to Mouth,” by Linda Tirado. The author shares her real life account of surviving as a member of America’s working poor. This is an eye opening and very moving piece of how tough life is for a huge population of our society. Even though the book tackles a depressing subject, Tirado does so in a voice that is often times funny, and keeps the pages moving.

  14. Dave Mitchell says:

    Pick a favorite book? Impossible. Unthinkable. So here are two of the best books I’ve read in the last year:

    Fiction: “Gates of Fire” by Steven Pressfield. It’s a fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae (depicted in the movie “300”). This book is masterfully written and an incredible ride.

    Non-fiction: “Biggest Brother” by Larry Alexander. This is a biography of Major Dick Winters (the main character from the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers”). The book gives a great picture of the imperfect but noble man behind the “legend.” You begin to understand how good leadership is often just trying to do the right thing, consistently, as well as you can. Winters’ story is a story worth revisiting, and this book was a great way to do that.

  15. Dori says:

    While I love my finance books, I’m a suckered for the while anything by College Hoover.

  16. Great giveaway idea!!!

    Here are my 5 favourite non-fiction pics that have some “live your best life” advice that tends to teach us about money whether we like it or not, 3 of which we’ve reviewed on this very site:
    1. Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning
    2. Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture”
    3. Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir’s “Scarcity
    4. Greg McKeown’s “Essentialism” (mentioned above by J$)
    5. Alain de Botton’s “Status Anxiety” (mentioned above by Chris)

    1. J. Money says:

      I was hoping you’d chime in :)

  17. Paul Goode says:

    So, not being able to pick a financial book, I would have to say the most entertaining book I have read lately is “Behind the Curtain” by Dave Berg. It is a behind the scene look at Jay Leno and to show everyone how unbiased I am, I never watched the Leno show once. It was just a very interesting read.

    1. J. Money says:

      Really?? Never?? That’s pretty impressive..

      Have you watched it now that you’ve read the book? :)

  18. My favorite is Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by Hammond, Keeney, Raiffa. It was a book we used in my doctoral program and the lessons can be used anywhere in life! Guess I’m “touchy feely” too and would go with the 5 star Your Money or Your Life as my #1 financial book! And she’s got a great first name too ;)

  19. Corey says:

    Hands down it is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I wish everyone would read this book. When you stop being selfish and try to help others achieve their goals, you ultimately win (not that life is about winning)!

  20. MStephens says:

    Bible and Book of Mormon.
    Deep, stirring, challenging, inspiring. Seems like they always have something new to say to me no matter how many times I’ve read them.

    PF people would appreciate what Proverbs has to say about the need for hustle, or “diligence.”

    1. J. Money says:

      Hah – indeed! Lots of passages on greed and money too ;)

  21. Danielle says:

    One of my favorite authors is Anne Bishop and I really love her The Others series (1st bok – Written in Red).
    My favorite non-fiction book is Quiet by Susan Cain and I just finished reading the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrond.

  22. Landon says:

    I tend to read non-fictions sooo…”Empire of the Summer Moon” – non-fiction on the rise and fall of the Comanches. “Turning the Mind into an Ally” – if you ever had any interest in meditation…

  23. msrob0t says:

    My favorite book is The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle. I re-read it pretty often when I’m stressing about the past or future. It reminds me that there is only this very moment and to live it to the fullest. I would recommend it to everyone struggling with anxiety. Good luck all!!

    1. J. Money says:

      Thanks!! Passing over that recommendation right now to my wife :)

  24. Mike M says:

    I just read the Elon Musk biography by Ashlee Vance and really enjoyed it. Nice to see some of the things that Elon was aspiring towards actually happening!

    The Millionaire Next Door is actually in my “To Read” queue. I haven’t read the others either.

  25. ElleKC says:

    Gone with the Wind, of all things, is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it every 5 years or so, and get more out of it every time. The financial story of Scarlett and the other characters resonates to the current day. When I first read it as a twelve-year-old, it woke me up to the potential of financial danger and the limits it could place on anyone. Plus, like Scarlet, I’m the adult child of an alcoholic, and can relate to the impacts on personality and behavior.
    Of course, in the reading, you have to be very aware of the racial politics in the novel and analyze those elements accordingly.
    If you can make it past those issues, you can gain insight into financial issues and be entertained at the same time.

    1. J. Money says:

      How interesting! I had no idea there were $$ elements to it… Although, now that I think about it I don’t even know that I’ve ever seen the movie?

  26. Dee says:

    Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn by John Maxwell is at the top of my favorites list. It helps me to remember to learn from my successes and failures; and why some become stuck after failure (i.e. job loss).

  27. Shawn says:

    I am new to this site and love it. So much useful information. I am looking at retiring September 30, 2018 at the age of 47, so I will definitely have this site bookmarked.

    My favorite, which I thought was not financially related, was “The Tortoise and the Hare” which is one of Aesop’s Fables.

    It taught me that whenever I was facing an obstacle where it looked like I would never succeed, you have to try, and sometimes I have amazed myself. Also, in my experience, slow and steady always wins the race, because there are no shortcuts in life.

    1. J. Money says:

      Rock on! Congrats on your upcoming early retirement – so glad you’re enjoying the site so far :)

  28. Laura Norden says:

    My favorite book is The More of Less by Joshua Becker. Super motivating to value time over possessions.

  29. Brian says:

    The Millionaire Next Door and The Total Money Makeover are my two favorites. They are the two I often recommend and gift. Just great straight forward information to get you on the right financial path.

  30. Nolan says:

    For fiction, I’d second the comment about A Man Called Ove – a great book about multi-generational friendships.

    As for non-fiction, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver changed the way we ate and as such hanged our lives financially for the better long before we have heard of FIRE.

  31. Bam says:

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad. My father gave me this book when I graduated college. I took it to heart and saved a ton in my early years. My father declared bankruptcy in his early 40s due to a failed business venture.
    He struggled to retire at 62, though he desperately wanted to. He entered and exited the workforce a few times to earn enough to maintain the lifestyle he wanted. He is now 77 years old and fully retired. He spends 6 months a year traveling abroad. He is my inspiration, as is the aptly titled book.

    1. J. Money says:

      Glad he made it to his desired path at the end!

  32. Jamie says:

    My favorite book is The Expanse series. It’s truly fantastic sci fi. The tv show is good, the books are out of this world!

  33. Amber says:

    I’ll cheat a little…my favorite book is not a single book, but a graphic novel series called “The Sandman” by Neil Gaiman. Who wouldn’t want to read (and look at incredible artwork) about The Endless (Dream, Death, Destiny, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirum–who was once Delight).

    It’s a genius work of comparative mythology.

  34. Wayne says:

    “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson or “Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America” by John Charles Chasteen. Amazing reads that give great insight to where things began and how we have gotten to the place we are.

  35. lindy says:

    Another librarian here so one favorite is just not enough. However, the non-financial book I want every parent to read is “How to Raise a Wild Child” by Scott D. Sampson. It validates my need to have an active outdoor child who is not sitting around all day long.
    And a picture book to teach a young child the concept of compounding interest would be the wonderful book “One Grain of Rice” by the incomparable Demi. It is currently out of print. I keep hoping it will be reissued. In the meantime, go check it out of your library. :-)

    1. J. Money says:

      Thank you kindly :)

  36. Lisa says:

    One of my favorite books is The Alchemist. It’s a short read and incredibly eye-opening, especially for someone who was going through a quarter-life crises at the time.

  37. Bela says:

    It’s an oldie, The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition by Sheldon Margen M.D. – a great reference book with info that matters to me.

  38. Carlos Camacho says:

    Two books, “A Bull in China” by Jim Rogers and “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen improved my life in meaningful ways. The first led me to become a Water Resources Engineer and the second made me realize I had an ear (or eye) for subtle dry wit and humor.

  39. Can I say my own book? :)

    My strategy to retire early, by Benjamin Davis: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJ86PTR/

    The reason why it is my favourite is because it has a lot of sweat and tears into it. I have definitely gave all of me to write it. Writing a book can be a very emotional process to, at least it was for me.

    If my own book is not allowed, I’d go with “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

    1. J. Money says:

      Haha… sure, why not – we all need to be better about self-promotion, right?

  40. Liz says:

    I love fantasy. My favourite books are the Harry Potter collection by J.K. Rowling.

    It would be great to start a Money Book collection. ;)

  41. Ricardo Batista says:

    My favourite book is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s mind and business changing.

  42. Carly says:

    My favourite book is Pride & Prejudice actually. An absolute classic that I probably read once a year. My favourite financial book is actually “Debt Free Forever” because it was the first financial book I ever read and it got me on the path I am on now.

  43. Woon says:

    My favourite book is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I read this book for the same reason most people read this book: I am an introvert. This book will validate you and make you feel you’re not a freak. You don’t need “to come out of your shell.” There’s a real pleasure in recognition. Hearing about yourself, finding out you’re not alone, it can be a huge relief and release. And this somehow resembles my not-so-mainstream journey to financial independence :)

  44. Danny says:

    At the recommendation of Jim Collins, my favorite book is now “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” by Harry Browne. For me, it seems to validate a lot of the core fundamentals of the FI community, and, for the most part, just how live life in general.

  45. Brian says:

    Deep Work, by Cal Newport. Cal explores the idea that to accomplish a lot, you must shut out everything else, and focus on only one thing. What does this mean for work? Family? Finances? You’ll have to read it to find out!

  46. Arun says:

    My favorite is an old novel titled “Not a Penny more, not a Penny less” from Jeffrey Archer. I found it very relevant coz everyone at some point in their lives commit a financial mistake or get deceived, but the best part is that you can redeem all of it, if you decide to.

  47. Jeremy says:

    My favorite book is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It is a great book about a boy overcoming adversary and becoming a leader.

  48. Margaret Gibb says:

    My favorite book is the first book in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I have always loved his books and have been reading them for over 20 years. The dichotomy between good and evil is the best aspect of his stories by far. Thanks for the chance!

    1. J. Money says:

      I used to love Dean Koontz!!! Man…. I totally forgot about him.

  49. Luke Evans says:

    Kevin Dutton and Andy McNab’s ‘The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success’.

    A really interesting read, in a fairly conversational style, that highlights where we ‘normal’ folk we can learn a few lessons from those whose brains are wired differently, to develop the coolness under pressure and self-confidence to succeed.

  50. Nicky says:

    My favorite book is Ordinary People Extraordinary Wealth by Ric Edelman. My dad had me read it when I was 18, and I was very lucky to have started investing so early.

  51. Tracy says:

    Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach. By the time we woke up to the facts about savings, we were already in our 30s. Moving home and selling our cars etc (managing the large expenses) was going to be tough on our brood of 5 kids. So we focussed on small amounts and areas to save. I know the Latte Factor isn’t always popular, but it has helped us save a reasonable nest egg over the past 6 years.

  52. Scott Harmon says:

    The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Michael Starbird and Edward Burger. I first bought this on Audible then I bought it in hardback to take notes and make it required reading for my kids.

  53. Michael Wilson says:

    Been loving Hélène’s reviews.

    Reading Sapiens.

    Know thy self.

    1. J. Money says:

      Glad you’re enjoying them – she will be happy to hear :)

  54. Rob says:

    It is cliche, but Thinking Fast and Slow is popular for a reason. Good to step back and think about how you think about things.

  55. A says:

    Gulliver’s Travels is surprisingly reflective.

  56. Maitry says:

    My favorite book is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Not the happiest of books but this book is very well written and captures the details of a gruesome quadruple murder in Kansas.

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