Five books to help you manage your moola


As South Africa marks National Book week, financial comparison platform compiled a list of five personal finance books to help consumers manage their money better.

JOHANNESBURG – Amid a struggling economy and a massive unemployment rate, many South Africans are struggling with debt and with maintaining a savings culture.

A study by the Financial Services Board published earlier this year, South Africa has a financial literacy rate of 51 percent. While this was on par with a number of developed nations, the figure means that nearly half of South Africans may not know how to become financially stable even amid tough economic times.

As South Africa commemorates National Book Week (September 4-10), financial comparison platform compiled a list of five personal finance books to help consumers manage their money better.

1. The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

This book is a great financial guide, especially for those who wish to get out of debt. The book provides practical advice on several aspects such as how to start an emergency fund, pay off debt, pay off your home early and save for your children’s education. The seven-step approach has sold close to five million copies and earned the book a spot on the New York Times’ Best Seller list for over two years. The book can be purchased online for under R200, a small investment for a lifetime of practical financial change.

2. Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford

Although released in 1992, the book stays relevant today as it does not merely give the general “do this, not that” advice when it comes to personal finance; it goes into the psychology of money, provides insights into why we spend money on things and how to focus on money in terms of life instead of looking at it in terms of material possessions. This realistic approach helps with the guilt that comes with spending, as it looks at necessary and healthy spending based on your personal financial position. The e-book can be purchased for under R185 online.

FILE: A study published by the Financial Services Board found 51 percent of South Africans are financially literate. CREDIT: Supplied (Hippo)

3. I Will Teach You to Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi

This book, released in 2009, is probably one of the simpler books in terms of breaking down practical personal finance tips. It not only provides tips and tools to help manage your finances better, but also provides saving suggestions and ideas on how to make additional money with hobbies and passion projects. Some criticised the book for being a bit too simple, but most preferred it as it provided them with a simple and realistic way of handling their personal finances. You can find the e-book, paperback and summary version online for R224, R193, and R30 respectively.

4. Get a Financial Life, by Beth Kobliner

Whilst most people have learned the tips and tricks of managing their finances by the time they have reached their middle ages, many could have been in better financial positions had they received these tips at a younger age. This book targets the younger adult who has managed to gain some buying power and who is on their way to managing their lives on their own. The book provides tips from dealing with student loan debt, to saving for a home to considering health and other insurance. There are several paperback versions online from about R116.

5. Personal Finance for Dummies, by Eric Tyson

This best-seller by a renowned financial counsellor and author takes you through sound financial advice from complex topics such as investing and taxes to simpler tips on getting out of debt, budgeting and saving. This book is for anyone who wants a better understanding of how financial matters impact their lives and who wants to give their personal finances a complete overhaul. It is the pricier option of all, but nonetheless a great short-term investment that could yield long-term financial benefits.


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