5 Personal Finance Books to Read to Thrive in a Recession

Money can be a taboo topic, especially for women. We often feel more comfortable talking about other areas of wellness, like fitness or mental health, because it’s more socially acceptable.

Yet, wise money management is an integral part of overall wellbeing. Taking ownership of our financial futures allows us to make informed decisions to create wealth, build assets, and eliminate unnecessary debt. With inflation at over 8% and world bank leaders predicting an impending recession, there is no time like the present to improve your money management skills so you can prepare for – and thrive – in the upcoming economic downturn.

I am not a financial coach or money expert, but I am passionate about self-care – which, in my opinion, includes proper money management. Today I want to share with you 5 books (and a YouTube channel) that have been essential to my journey of becoming more financially educated. Applying what I’ve learned from these resources has helped me to achieve several financial goals. I hope these books help you to reach your goals as well.

5 Must-Read Books for Financial Literacy

I’ve categorized the books under money management (logistics of how to save, what percentage to save, how to create a budget, etc.) and money mindset (believing you are worthy to be debt-free and achieve your financial goals). To me, both aspects are equally important to overall financial wellbeing.

Please note: when you purchase using the links below, I may earn a small affiliate commission – about enough to buy a chai tea latte – at no extra cost to you. ☕️☺️

Money Management Books

  1. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Paperback x Audiobook x Kindle


This is the book that taught me how to use my credit card the right way, automate my savings, and create a budget. I didn’t know what a 401(k) or a Roth IRA was until I cracked open this book.

Ramit Sethi is a no-nonsense teacher, and his advice in this book is very direct. If you like teachers who tell it like it is, this is the book for you.

My savings account would not be nearly as robust as it is now if it weren’t thanks to reading this book by Sethi and learning how to automate my savings into different buckets.


2. Clever Girl Finance: Learn How Investing Works, Grow Your Money by Bola Sokunbi

Paperback x Audiobook x Kindle


Y’all. Investing is so damn confusing. 😭 I’m pretty sure that this is the reason why more people don’t invest. Apart from my retirement accounts, I never felt compelled to open a brokerage account until I read this line in Bola Sokunbi’s book:

“If you’re wondering how the truly rich get and stay rich, investing is the answer.”

Investing is a critical component of wealth building.

You cannot become rich by saving your money. I’ll prove it to you. Log into your savings account. Now, look at what your interest rate is. Chances are, it’s probably around 0.05% to 2%. The money in your savings account is probably accumulating a few pennies (or if you’re lucky, dollars) per year.

By contrast, the average stock market return is about 10% per year. You will see much greater returns if you invest your money. Of course, you’ll want to have savings for a rainy day, but investing is essential once you’re ready to move beyond saving and start growing your money.

If you want a thorough beginner’s guide on learning how to invest, this book is for you! Sokunbi teaches you everything from index funds to compound interest and how to work with a financial advisor.


3. A Beginner’s Guide to Win with Money by Christina Edel

Paperback x Kindle


Did you know that the average American has $90,460 in debt? If you’re in debt, know that you are not alone. We are all up to our necks in it – and many of us have multiple loans.

In this book, Christina Edel teaches about the importance of prioritizing. Tina is a great financial coach (in fact, I’m a client of hers!) and owner of the business Picture it Personal Finance. One thing I’ve learned through reading her book and working with her is how quickly progress happens when you focus on making extra payments on one debt at a time (while still making the minimum payments on other debts, of course).

One of the lines in her book that I’ve made a mantra for myself is this:

“It’s okay to want something and not have it.”

In America, we live in a culture that idolizes immediate gratification – ubiquitous services like AfterPay and Affirm allow you to “Buy Now, Pay Later” for everything from designer jeans to electronics. It can be hard to exercise discipline and say “no” when advertising is screaming “Say yes!!! You deserve that YSL bag!!” But the more you flex that discipline muscle, the stronger it gets.


Money Mindset Books

4. We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers

Hardback x Audiobook x Kindle


America’s first self-made woman millionaire was born to former slaves, had three months of formal education, was orphaned at a young age, and lived in an unsafe neighborhood. She had every excuse not to become a millionaire – and yet, Madame CJ Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) did just that.

I love this book by Rachel Rodgers (which my bestie gifted me for my birthday last year ☺️). Rodgers really digs in deep about setting boundaries, beating imposter syndrome, valuing the unpaid labor many women do within their households, and replacing what she calls “broke ass thoughts” with “million dollar thoughts.”

This is an essential book if you want to shift to an abundant money mindset. Even if you’re not aiming to be a millionaire, it can only help to shoot high. Rodgers really digs in deep and focuses on replacing feelings of failure and unworthiness around money with a new story – your Million Dollar Story.

“Demands require capital. It takes money to lobby Congress. It takes money to support protestors who march in the streets. It takes money to bail out activists and fund research that provides evidence of the need for change. So it’s time for us, as women, to turn toward our money. To begin focusing on our earning potential and our ability to generate wealth.”


5. Rich As F*ck: More Money Than You Know What to Do With by Amanda Frances

Hardcover x Paperback x Audiobook x Kindle


“Money is not bad. It’s required. And you are worthy of the amount you decide to be worthy of…And you can certainly choose to be a wealthy f*cking woman.”

Amanda Frances has a superpower, and that superpower is totally transforming your mindset to believing you are worthy of achieving the money goals that you set.

At the end of every chapter, Amanda shares powerful journaling prompts to challenge any unproductive beliefs you have about money and establish new beliefs that support your money goals. I love this “homework,” and I usually write out my response to at least one or two prompts on a biweekly basis. I uncovered a lot of blocks that I had about money through reading this book, journaling, and reflecting on what I wrote.

Some may classify this book as falling into the woo-woo category; but, for me, it is a powerful read nonetheless. If you find yourself making the same money mistakes over and over again, you may find great value in this book.

Minority Mindset YouTube Channel & Newsletter


The Minority Mindset YouTube Channel is run by Jaspreet Singh, a serial entrepreneur and licensed attorney on a mission to spread financial education.

His team also sends out a daily info-packed finance & business newsletter called Market Briefs that I’m subscribed to, which is great if you’re an investor. You can subscribe here to the newsletter.

To me, it’s clear that Singh is fiercely passionate about spreading free financial education far and wide. I am in awe of how many YouTube videos he churns out in a 24-hour span – and they’re all quality content. I started watching him sometime in 2017/2018. The cover art on his YouTube videos can be a little cheesy, but don’t let that turn you off. There are gems of wisdom in each video. Things that I’ve learned from him are:

  • If you can’t buy 5 of them, you can’t afford 1 of them. This is his mantra to avoid overspending. To apply this to a real-world example, if you want to buy a $1,000 laptop and you don’t have $5,000 in your checking and savings accounts, you can’t afford that laptop.

  • When stock prices fall, don’t panic and start selling your investments. Think of it as the stock market being on sale. During a bear market like we’re in now, stock prices have fallen. Now is the perfect time to buy. Because in the future, when the economy bounces back (which it always does), the value of the stocks/funds you buy now will likely be worth much more.

  • There are exchange traded funds (ETFs) that pay dividends! And when you purchase the ETF, you can select the option for your brokerage to automatically reinvest those dividends.

What are some personal finance books that you’ve read and loved? Share them with me in the comments below! I love reading about money management and continually expanding my knowledge in this area. I look forward to hearing your recommendations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *