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Must Read Getting Debt Free Books for Your Debt Free Journey

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When my husband and I first decided I would leave my job to become a full time stay at home mom, we had to take a good hard look at our finances.

I knew we would have to make some adjustments but I thought we were doing pretty darn good. We were able to make minimum payments on everything and we weren’t coming up short at the end of the month.

During nap time, I started looking online for ways we could cut down our expenses to give ourselves a little more wiggle room. I found an awesome and super active getting debt free board on babycenter (I think this makes me old).

That board was awesome and everyone shared their money saving tips and financial struggles. I learned so many useful tips for managing our expenses better at home and some really awesome tools I still use today, like meal planning.

This is also where I was first introduced to Dave Ramsey and the whole concept of becoming debt free.

It turns out that I had gotten a lot of bad financial advice over the course of my lifetime. And most of that bad advice came from marketers and companies that were selling their “great deals”.

7 personal finance books every adult should read

I also never even considered that having car payments or financing furniture was even debt. No, seriously.

It was like a light switch went off and I realized I needed to relearn how to manage our personal finances.

So, I headed down to the local library and started reading all the personal finance books I could get my hands on.

Friends, I was shocked.

So much of my thinking, and the financial advice I had gotten, were the exact things that were keeping us in debt. I started to hate the fact that we owed other people so much of our paycheck and it was enough to make me seriously commit to becoming debt free.

Armed with the new knowledge from these books, along with an excel spreadsheet and my new financial BFFs over on the debt free board on babycenter, we were able to tackle our debt and create a financial foundation and strategies that we still practice.

Here is a list of the books I read back then, along with some newer ones. When it comes to our personal finances, I’m still learning and growing but I’m confident in the direction we are moving now.  

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

This is the first book I read and it opened my eyes to so many things. In this book, Dave outlines 7 baby steps to becoming completely debt free. This plan outlines exactly what each step entails and provides some serious truth bombs that force you to take a good hard look at yourself and your spending habits. While I took a lot of advice from Dave’s book, I didn’t prescribe to every single thing he suggested. It still worked.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to be Complicated by Helaine Olen & Harold Pollack

The Index Card presents complex personal finance in a simple way. In this easy to read book, you’ll find tips on on saving money, managing debt, maximizing your investments and changing your behaviors to help support a debt free lifestyle!

Clever Girl Finance by Bola Sukonbi

Advice taken from her own financial hardships, in Clever Girl Finance Bola Sokunbi shares tips to empower women to take control of their finances wellness on the road to financial freedom. In this book you’ll find tips for:

  • how to manage your budget
  • how to live well on a modest income
  • how to mange your debt and credits
  • building a nest egg

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin

Your Money or Your Life is a deep dive into how our behavior shapes our relationship with money. Using Robins advice, this book helps us recognize some of our deeply ingrained financial behaviors that make financial independence seem unattainable.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

This is an oldie but a goodie. This book was originally published in the 1920s but so many of the financial lessons in this book hold up today. This is a series of biblical style stories that introduce and explain the concepts of thrift, financial planning and personal wealth. A favorite lesson from this book was that we will all continue to struggle financially no matter what our income is if we continue to spend on our wants rather than simply fulfilling our needs.

I will admit it is a bit hard to read because of the style it’s written in, but the lessons are solid.
The Richest Man in Babylon

Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide To Financial Freedom by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

If you are serious about becoming debt free, this book will motivate, inspire, and give you the push you need in order to reach your financial goal. Lynette Khalfani-Cox shares the exact strategies she used to pay off $100,000 in debt in 3 years. She provides a step-by-step 30 day plan to encourage better personal finance practices. She covers the best ways to pay off debt, how to eliminate student loans, and how to negotiate with credit card companies (among other tips).

Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom 3rd Edition

Maxed Out: Hard Times in the Age of Easy Credit by James Scurlock

I like to think of this one as a personal finance thriller. James Scurlock travels across the country to talk to real people struggling with debt in order to expose our flawed financial system. It’s a real eye opener (and a bit of a sucker punch) about the myth that credit is a good thing.

Maxed Out

On the Road to Becoming Debt Free

Friends, no matter where you are in your debt free journey, it’s always important to continue learning from others and to try new and better strategies to reach your financial goals.

I also have a few other resources that you might find helpful:

Download My Debt Repayment Chart Here to track your success!

31 Simple Ways To Save Money Each Month

5 Simple Steps To Creating Financial Goals

3 Simple Steps To Reach Your Financial Goals

How To Earn Money with Ibotta

If you found this article useful, I would love if you could share it with others.

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Who knows? Maybe you’ll help someone find the tools they need to help them move closer to their goal of becoming debt free!

26 thoughts on “Must Read Getting Debt Free Books for Your Debt Free Journey”

    1. Your welcome Kelly. It really is a great book. Dave Ramsey also has an awesome podcast that I listen to from time to time. It’s very motivating and he answers peoples questions about finance, a lot of which are super relatable.

  1. I haven’t read a financial book in a while, so I am interested in picking one of these up. One I read years ago was Smart Couples Finish Rich…my husband and I still refer to it from time to time.

  2. Hello Jill,

    I am not in debt, but I am very keen on reading Finance related books to improve my knowledge. 🙂

    The Dave Ramsey book looks very interesting! Do you have any favorites related wise investments and learning to save?

    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Angela. The best advice I’ve received about saving is not to save what’s left over at the end of the month, but to save first and make it a priority. We have an automatic transfer every pay period that puts money aside and it is built into our budget. This way saving is not just when we can, but a consistent priority. Hope this helps!

  3. Thank you so much for these resources! I’m excited to dig in. I’ve read ‘The Total Money Makeover’ but this has urged me to read it again, among the others. Thank you!

    1. Hi Waynna, I have re-read it and listened to the audio book as a refresher. I pick up different bits of information depending on the season of life we are in. It’s such a great resource!

  4. Thank you for the recommendations. Thankfully we have always been careful of the debt we have taken on (low rates, long-term, affordable monthly payments).

    I am curious to learn more and would love to read these books, especially Dave Ramsey’s.

    1. I’m happy to hear that you have been so thoughtful with any debt you have taken on. Even if you are not overwhelmed by debt, I believe these books have financial advice that can help anyone manage their personal finance. There is always room for improvement!

  5. This is a great round up. Thank you for sharing. Having financial control makes such a difference in life and these look like fantastic resources to help get there.

    1. You’re so right Britt. Having control and having a plan for your money is so empowering and makes money and budgeting much less burdensome!

  6. I have read and been to a Dave Ramsey mini-training. He has a online course that my high school students are taking. Its a great financial literacy course for anyone.
    I’ll be looking into the other books you have listed – Thanks

    1. Shauna, I think it’s so great that your students are being exposed to his online course. I wish I had gotten some formal instruction on personal finance!

  7. I’m going to be adding a few of these to my library list today. I can’t wait to read them. I recently lost my lovely car in an accident through no fault of my own. Due to some sad unintentionally bad advice from family, it was deemed a salvage by the insurance company and I am now without a vehicle. Everyone worried over me. When will I buy a car? What kind? And with a slew of advice about which and when to buy. But not IF. And I think that was actually an important question that no one even considered. I chose to go carless and I carpool with my boyfriend if I need to run any errands that day. If not, I don’t borrow the car at all or I take a Lyft. Financially, I spend less on Lyft than I would with a car payment and maintenance!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your car! That’s a tough choice to go carless but sometimes the tough choices are the right ones! I hope you find some extra financial inspiration in these books!

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