Your Life

15 of the best money books to give to your mates (and yourself!)

- December 7, 2021 5 MIN READ
The best money books to give to a mate

Books make the best gifts, always. The right one can change a life. So think of this ‘best money books’ list as being a gift for both your friend and yourself.

What do you buy people as presents? I try to buy books! Books are excellent gifts because they’re a ‘thing’, but also an experience. Reading a good one can also change the way you think about yourself and the world (as all of the money books on this list will do for those who are lucky enough to receive them).

Go on, be generous, buy each book for a friend who deserves it – and then you’ll be next-in-line to read.

Click on the title of the book to find out more about each book. Happy browsing!

1. Kochie’s 11-Step Money Plan for a Better Life by David Koch

Of course I’m starting with this one! He’s the boss! He’s also a bloody straight-shooting, kind, super-smart money dude with common sense oozing from his balding head. Whoops, I probably shouldn’t point out the boss’s dome, should I? But, like I said, he’s kind. And smart. So, grab this insightful money plan for your friend and pave the way for them to have a very a good 2022. You should probably pick up a copy of Money Basics for Tough Times while you’re there, because based on many predictions, you’re going to need it… sorry.

2. The Snowball by Alice Schroder

The king of investing’s biography by Alice Schroder is very aptly named. The stats abound about how Buffet made 95 gazillion dollars after the age of 65. Now that’s a giant snowball indeed. Schroder was given unprecedented access to Buffet and with those closest to his work to document his opinions, struggles, triumphs, and wisdom.

3. The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape

Does this Australian bible need an introduction? Didn’t think so! But if by chance your mate has not heard of the Barefoot Investor nor bought his book, then boy are you going to earn some massive brownie points this Christmas.

4. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason

A classic that was first published in 1926, but it’s lost none of its shine. This tome on financial planning and living thriftfully has millions of avid followers who enthusiastically holler it ‘changed my life’ from the rooftops. If that doesn’t make it one of the best money books to give your loved ones this Christmas, I don’t know what would.

5. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley and William D Danko

This book outlines the seven characteristics of millionaires and step-by-steps you through how to build those traits in yourself. The main point is proving that ‘millionaires’ are not necessarily the people swanning about in designer clothes and cars. Rather, most wealthy people are probably quietly living next door to – you? A warning to your friend that the book does bang on a bit, but hey, these lessons are important stuff.

6. Making Money Made Simple! by Noel Whittaker

Noel Whitaker is one of the pioneers of Australian financial commentary and his wisdom knows no bounds. This is one of those books that keeps getting reprinted year after year because people keep buying it. They keep buying it because Whittaker’s method is simple, achievable and very well-proven by now. It’s easily one of the most accessible and best books about money you’ll ever read. Also don’t miss: Retirement Made Simple  and The Beginner’s Guide to Wealth.

7. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

A FIRE favourite, if not the FIRE favourite. After all, it’s co-author was none other than Mr Money Mustache himself. Don’t worry if your friend is already over the age of 5 – at a pinch, it’s still not too late to start investing to retire as early as possible. I joke, but really, the sooner you read this book, the better.

8. Get Started Investing by Alec Renehan and Bryce Leske

Mighty proud to say that the boys from Equity Mates are contributors here at YMYL – both on the show and here. We love them because they translate really complex investor-speak into do-able action plans. This book shows off exactly what I mean – it will have your mate buying shares, ETFs and probably even equities within days (actually probably not equities, but you get the idea).

A wow-moment from Equity Mates: Behold the mighty power of compounding

9. Ditch the Debt, Get Rich by Effie Zahos

A fab read if your friend is just starting out, but they’re really starting from behind due to debt. It focuses a lot on money mindset, which is very helpful for anyone who’s up to their eyeballs. Zahos has been a long-time finance writer who has heard plenty of good news stories which she shares in the book.

10. Sort Your Money Out and Get Invested by Glen James

Glen’s another excellent money man from the YMYL contributor family. He’s also the founder of My Millennial Money, so consider this the book Gen Z has been waiting for. He covers absolutely everything from salary to savings to super to investing, investing, investing. His podcast is well-worth a listen if you’re into listening to your info.

Here’s one from Glen: How to be a money minimalist

11. She’s On the Money by Victoria Devine

What a sensation Victoria Devine is. She’s the social media-savvy financial planner who’s guiding younger women to make smarter financial decisions. Join her Facebook group, follow her Instagram and buy your hip mate this book. It’s one of the best money books for those who prefer their financial advice delivered with personality. I promise you will love this.

12. The Joy of Money by Kate McCallum and Julia Newbould

Kate is another approachable, friendly financial adviser who talks normal-people language instead of jargon. It’s actually so nice to see the word ‘joy’ in the title of a book about money. It says to me that Kate is less about ‘fixing women’s issues’ and more about ‘helping women’ live a good life. She does that by emphasising the security, wellbeing and most of all choice that money affords. This is the book to give to a friend who needs a friend to help them sort their shit out.

13. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

I heard Morgan Housel talk about his book on an Art of Manliness podcast (hush now, manliness podcasts are for women too) and I was hooked. I immediately bought the book and, yes, it ‘changed my life’. You have to say that about the best books about money, or they might not qualify. But really, it changed the way I think about money and wealth so much that I reckon this book should be on every curriculum in high school.

14. A Surfer’s Guide to Property Investing by Paul Glassop

Paul Glassop is living the dream, so of course we want to know his secrets. Who wouldn’t want to be able to leave corporate and live off the rent money from their many investment properties? At 33? Us! All of us! As you’d expect from a surfie dude originally from Sydney’s Liverpool, Glassop’s book is enthusiastically approachable and packed with ‘been there, tried that, do this instead’ advice. It’s basically a really good read and the ideal gift for your laid-back mates who reckon investing is for boring old men in suits.

15. The Art of Frugal Headonism by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb

Now, this one is a bit left-of-centre for a ‘best books about money’ list, but hear me out. I read it when I was WWOOFing on a farm earlier this year (as you do), and the authors had so much fantastic life advice that I’m recommending the book everywhere I go. As the name suggests, it’s mostly full of tips about living frugally, but that means it’s really a book about values, wellbeing and being kind to the planet, yourself and others. Go on, get it for your friend this Christmas because inside this book is a lot of love to share.