The 5 Books You Need To Read If Your Finances Are A Total Mess

by Kerri Jarema

I think it's time we all admit it: money is hard. And as millennials dealing with untraditional job structures, an ecoconomy that doesn't allow for a ton of stability, and general misinformation about money matters — well, it can go from hard to debilitating. Add to that the fact that women are still so often left out of the personal finance conversation, and something as commonplace as filing your own taxes can fill even the most confident person with total dread. But there are actually tons of resources — including books about money — out there for anyone who wants to learn more about controlling their money, asking for a raise, spending wisely, and just figuring out what the heck a 401k even is.

From the simplistic to the advanced, the five books below were all written by influential women in the industry who understand exactly where you're coming from, and they'll definitely help you on the path to financial mastery — even if you feel like you're starting from square one. Forget your fears over doing math, or trying to define obscure financial words: these books bring finance to you, helping you become savvy in everything you'll ever need to know to make money moves.

'Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms' by Amanda Steinberg

From the founder of — a financial site for women —Worth It shows women how to view money as a source of personal power and freedom and live life on their terms. Outlining the essential financial information women need, Steinberg gets to the bottom of why women are stressed and anxious when it comes to their finances and teaches them to stay away from strict budgeting and other harsh austerity practices. Instead, she makes money relatable, while sharing strategies she uses herself to build confidence and ease in her own financial life.

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'Your Money Or Your Life' by Vicki Robin

For more than 25 years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. This fully revised and updated edition for 2018 covers modern topics like investing in index funds, managing revenue streams like side hustles and freelancing, tracking your finances online, and having difficult conversations about money. This is the book to read if you already have a little bit of knowledge about finances, and you're looking to take it to the next level.

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'Own It: The Power of Women at Work' by Sallie Krawcheck

Former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business to show how women elevate their careers: from getting the raise, to new takes on networking and mentoring, to navigating career breaks and curveballs, to avoiding the biggest career mistake that most women don't know they are making. Krawcheck also encourages women to play a more significant role in shaping their companies into places they want to work by initiating courageous conversations about true flexibility and diversity in the workplace, forging non-traditional career paths, and more.

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'On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance' by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar

Whatever your current financial status, whether you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, you're trying to make a down payment on an apartment, or you're just planning for a comfortable retirement, On My Own Two Feet will teach you how to balance your desire to live well today with the need to save and invest for tomorrow. If you're looking for a lively guide that explains how to save your income, avoid credit card debt, or simply create a livable budget, this book is it.

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'Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together' by Erin Lowry

If you're a cash-strapped 20- or 30-something, it's easy to get freaked out by finances. But you're not doomed to spend your life drowning in debt or mystified by money. Broke Millennial is a step-by-step how-to on transforming from flat-broke to financial badass. Expert Erin Lowry goes beyond the basics to tackle tricky money matters and situations most of us face IRL, including managing student loans without having a full-on panic attack and what to do when you're out with your crew and can't afford to split the bill evenly.

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