Last Minute Gift Ideas: Books about Money, Honey!


Deck the halls with savvy savings, fa la la la la, la la la la financial books! ‘Tis the season for spending smartly, giving gifts generously, and thinking a little bit about the budget. Yes, the budget. Sigh. Buying a smart book is a pretty inexpensive gift though, and there’s still lots of time to hit the bookstores or to order online. Yay!

Since I’m big fan of financial literacy and have always LOVED the gift of knowledge, perhaps consider giving the gift of financial literacy to those on your list this year. Yes, that Twilight saga series is a lot of fun — but learning how to manage money is an essential lifelong skill, whether you’re an ancient vampire or a young human. 😀

I’ve had a few readers ask for my favorite financial resources for kids, newbie investors, and financially-minded folks — so I’ve compiled this list of some of the best personal finance books around!

Personal Finance Books for Everyone

Maybe you need some gifts for him, gifts for her, gifts for dad, or gifts for mom. Whoever is on Santa’s List this year, there is something here for everyone.

General Money Matters

  1. Personal Finance For Dummies | by Eric Tyson

    Sound and practical advice for those who want to get control over their personal financial lives.

  1. The Millionaire Next Door | by Thomas J. Stanley

    Follow these seven simple rules and become the next “millionaire next door.”

  1. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness | by Dave Ramsey

    The very popular Dave Ramsey offers a comprehensive plan to get out of debt and achieve financial fitness.

  1. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything | by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

    The authors make economics fun, especially in the chapter: Why Drug Dealers Live With Their Mothers.

  1. The Complete Tightwad Gazette | by Amy Dacyczyn

    For the frugalist on your list. Lots of fun tips!

  1. One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances | by Regina Leeds

    The organized way to get organized: a week-by-week plan to forever streamline all aspects of your life, including your finances.

Books about Investing

  1. The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio | by William J. Bernstein

    Gives investors the tools to build top-returning portfolios­­ without the help of a financial adviser.

  1. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing | by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf

    One of my personal favorites — the authors take beginners and advanced readers alike through the paces of investing.

  1. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing (Revised Edition) | by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig, Warren E. Buffett

    A classic investment book. With Warren E. Buffett credited as an author it’s hard to go wrong here.

Money Books for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults

Got a kiddo on your list? Perhaps a teen needing some financial direction in life? Or how about someone in their 20s or 30s?

Gifts for Kids

  1. Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday (ages 4-8) | by Judith Viorst

    Want to laugh at your own mistakes while teaching your kids about saving and spending? Then meet Alexander!

  1. Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids (grades 4-8) | by Gail Karlitz

    Clear explanation of the theory behind investing and compound interest, for kids!

  1. A Smart Girl’s Guide to Money: How to Make It, Save It, And Spend It (ages 9-12) | by Nancy Holyoke

    From the American Girl’s A Smart Girl’s Guide series, this smart read offers advice on earning, saving, and spending money. Topics such as feelings about money, launching a business, becoming a smart shopper, and investing are also covered.

Gifts for Teens

  1. The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens: 8 Steps to Having More Money Than Your Parents Ever Dreamed Of | by David Gardner, Tom Gardner, and Selena Maranjian

    From the publishers: “The editors of the Motley Fool website offer sound advice on everything from finding a job, investing in the stock market and avoiding financial pitfalls.” Ages 12-up.

Gifts for Young Adults

  1. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties | by Beth Kobliner

    This updated version can help youngish adults in their 20’s and 30’s get a grip on their finances.

  1. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke | by Suze Orman

    Media personality Suze Orman has written a lot of books. This one is aimed at “Generation Broke” — those in their 20s and 30s looking to break free from student debt, credit card bills, and then find the path to investing in Roth IRAs and 401(k)s.

Books by Personal Finance Bloggers

Who hasn’t stumbled upon a fab personal finance blog in the last while? Smile. If you love money blogs, then maybe someone on your holiday gift list will love a tome by these big bloggers.

  1. 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget | by The Writers of Wise Bread

    The bloggers at the personal finance blog Wise Bread offer thousands of ways to spend less while still enjoying life! Plus, they’re really really super nice people. 🙂

  1. The 4-Hour Workweek Expanded and Updated | by Timothy Ferriss

    Want to escape the 9-5 rat race? Looking to live anywhere? Take a peek at this massive bestseller to get a grip on Timothy Ferriss’s “lifestyle design” principles — or read his blog, The Four Hour Workweek.

  1. I Will Teach You To Be Rich | by Ramit Sethi

    A 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds written by Ramit Sethi, the blogger behind I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Ok, Ok I wrote a book this year tooo and since I have a blog, here’s my contribution: 397 Ways to Save Money!

Money Books for Canadians

If you’re living above the 49th parallel then you probably don’t care too much for Roth IRAs and 401(k)s. So if RRSPs, RESPs, and TFSAs are where you store your toonies, then you may go loonie for my favOURite Canadian personal finance authors!

  1. The Wealthy Barber: The Common Sense Guide to Successful Financial Planning | by David Chilton

    Chilton’s common-sense approach to investing and money management is timeless — and with over 1.5 million copies sold, The Wealthy Barber is the best-selling book ever of any kind in Canada.

  1. Debt Free Forever | by Gail Vaz-Oxlade

    Gail Vaz-Oxlade, host of Slice Network’s Til Debt Do Us Part and financial guru, has just published Debt-Free Forever. I’m told that it’s filled with Gail’s brand of sensible but hard-hitting advice that everyone can use. I can’t wait to review Gail’s book in the new year.

  1. How to Pay Less and Save More For Yourself | by Rob Carrick

    As the personal finance columnist for The Globe and Mail, Rob Carrick is one of Canada’s most trusted and widely read financial experts. I loved his book and will be reviewing it in the new year.

  1. Personal Finance For Canadians For Dummies | by Eric Tyson, Tony Martin

    Sound and practical advice for those Canadians who want to get control over their personal financial lives. A must read.

  1. Findependence Day | by Jonathan Chevreau (also available here)

    Jonathan Chevreau is one busy fellow. He’s a financial columnist at the National Post, the blogger behind The Wealthy Boomer, and author of the fabulous Findependence Day. From the book: “Findependence Day chronicles a young debt-ridden couple’s long journey to financial independence. After being humiliated about their credit card debts on a national TV show, Jamie Morelli vows his personal Financial Independence Day will be the day he turns 50.” I can’t wait to review Chevreau’s book in the new year.

  1. 397 Ways to Save Money Spend Smarter & Live Well on Less | by Kerry K. Taylor (that’s me!)

    I’m really just a little guy when compared to these BIG Canadian authors! But my first book has been on the Amazon Canada Top 100 Bestseller’s List a few times. Not bad for a newbie! It’s a fun read for anyone looking to save some cash. Promise.

Money and Giving

Sometimes the best books about money are those about giving of yourself.

Your Two Cents: Got a favorite financial read I missed on this list?


  1. A. McDowell December 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Your Money, Day One by Michael Wagner is an excellent resource for young adults. It is available in print form on or as an audio download at and Itunes for teens and college students who’d rather listen than read.

  2. Mia Bella Candles December 17, 2009 at 2:42 am

    These would make a great gift to someone looking to revamp their financial situation.

  3. aria December 17, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Money and Giving:

    Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by Bill Clinton

  4. Regina Leeds December 17, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I am so honored to see “One Year to an Organized Life” included here. Thank you so much! I would like to send you a review copy of my new release “One Year to an Organized Financial Life.” From one’s introduction to money through a lifetime of needs, wants, desires and building necessary financial acumen, we end with making sure your estate is left to those you designate. It’s a wonderful financial primer written with financial planner Russell Wild. All I need is an address!

    Regina Leeds

  5. Jean-Louis December 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Thanks for the great list ! It’s exacly what I’m going to buy for those last minute gift.

    I love your book by the way!

  6. Ruth Kewin December 17, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Many thanks for the list and your book which is going to a number of young adults on my Christmas list.
    A great book for 10-15 year olds and their parents “Centsibility: The Planet Girls Guide to Money” (yes that is how it is spelled with a C) by Stacey Roderick & Ellen Warwick.
    Kids Can Press 2008.
    Happy Holidays!

  7. […] Squawk Fox has some last minute gift ideas: books on money. […]

  8. Monique December 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I have a book too- ebook on website and looking for someone to buy the copyright.

  9. Gail December 18, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Thanks Kerry. Talk to you soon, and hope you have a Happy Ho Ho Ho!

  10. […] where Kerry offers up her own last-minute gift suggestions with over two dozen personal finance books.  Not on her list:  My latest book How to Make Oodles of Truly Convincing Counterfeit Money with […]

  11. mchan December 21, 2009 at 6:40 am

    is “get a financial life” a canadian-based book?

  12. Doctor Stock December 21, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Nice…thanks for the list.

  13. Walter December 24, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I see that you have covered it all here. Thanks for the list, it’s time saving. 🙂

  14. […] – Kerry… offers up her own last-minute gift suggestions with over two dozen personal finance books.  Not on her list:  My latest book How to Make Oodles of Truly Convincing Counterfeit Money with […]

  15. […] – Kerry… offers up her own last-minute gift suggestions with over two dozen personal finance books.  Not on her list:  My latest book How to Make Oodles of Truly Convincing Counterfeit Money with […]

Leave A Comment