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Books About Finances and our relationship with money

The following is a list of recommended books that provide a background for financial psychotherapy, including those that have a philosophical, psychological and/or spiritual perspective, those about couples and money, and those that give practical advice and/or information about financial planning and investing. They are in alphabetical order by category.

Money Psychology, Philosophy and/or Spirituality

The Richest Man in Babylon

By George S. Clason, 2007.
This famous classic uses informative “Babylonian parables” to provide inspiration and guidance on the subject of thrift and personal wealth.

Your Money Personality: What It Is and How You Can Profit from It

By Kathleen Gurney, 1988.
Identifies nine money personalities (entrepreneur, hunter, high roller, safety player, achiever, perfectionist, money master, producer and optimist) and helps the reader use this knowledge to gain better control of how to earn, spend, save and invest — with the goal of coming close to each person’s vision of how they would like to be with money.

It’s Not About the Money: Unlock Your Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance

By Brent Kessel, 2008.
An excellent, groundbreaking book by a top financial advisor who examines the challenges of money from a psychological, spiritual and financial perspective. Offers a helpful typology of eight financial archetypes, the potentials and pitfalls of each, and how each type can best maximize their potential.

The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life

By George Kinder, 2000.
An excellent, “must read” book filled with inspiration and wisdom that explores the “close interdependence between our personal and financial maturity” and describes the journey in the context of timeless spiritual themes. A unique accomplishment in the way it combines philosophy and psychology with practical information and advice.

Money and the Meaning of Life

By Jacob Needleman, 1991.
A philosophy professor takes on the relationship between money and spirituality based upon his own search for a middle ground.

The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment

By Maria Nemeth, 2000.
Provides numerous exercises to help the reader identify counterproductive beliefs and habits, free up financial energy and find and maintain a personal path to abundance.

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence

By Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, 2008.
A New York Times bestseller that focuses on how to “take back your life by changing the way you relate to money”. Shows the how to get out of debt, save, “reorder material priorities and live well for less”, “resolve inner conflicts between values and lifestyle”, “convert problems into opportunities to learn new skills”, etc, It has been described as “the seminal guide to the new morality of personal money management”.

Overcoming Under Earning: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life

By Barbara Stanny, 2007. “Underearners” are defined as “self-saboteurs who don’t live up to their earnings potential”, who tend to live paycheck to paycheck, are often in debt and may still work very hard. Outlines five steps to financial independence and provides exercises and messages of empowerment, including case studies of underearners who overcame old patterns.

The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources

By Lynne Twist, 2003.
A global activist and fundraiser challenges the consumer culture and the “appetite for more” as a measure of self-worth and suggests instead that we find a new “freedom, truth and joy” in our relationship with money. This work can be the “pathway to personal and financial freedom”.

Couples and Money

Financial Planning for Couples: How to Work Together to Build Security and Success

By Adriane G. Berg, 1993.
An attorney and estate and marital counselor takes couples on a journey, starting with identifying each person’s money type, reviewing the most common “money syndromes” found in couples, discussing conflict resolution strategies, and offering a 10-step financial-planning method that includes record keeping, goal setting, cash flow, budgeting, investment planning, etc.

Couples and Money

By Victoria F. Collins, 1997.
A financial planner and psychologist describes how emotions can interfere with a couples ability to communicate about money and work well together. She offers practical advice, including an alternative to using budgets.

You Paid How Much for That?!: How to Win at Money Without Losing at Love

By Natalie Jenkins, Scott Stanley, William Bailey and Howard Markman, 2002.
A comprehensive book about money and relationships that offers many tools to help couples uncover the “hidden meanings” of money and resolve the problems that money raises in relationships. Includes a section on money management that provides tips for couples on assessing worth, smart borrowing, insurance, taxes, how to save and control spending, and investing.

Conscious Spending for Couples: Seven Skills for Financial Harmony

By Deborah Knuckey, 2003.
A money coach who also has an MBA outlines seven skills for financial harmony, including planning together, creating a simple structure, getting into good habits, communicating through conflict, investing for strong returns, creating a safety net for two, and getting help when you need it.

Overcoming Overspending: A Winning Plan for Spenders and Their Partners

By Olivia Mellan, 1997
A psychotherapist in the field of money conflict resolution provides quizzes and exercises to identify the causes of overspending and how to control it. Gives suggestions for how couples can communicate about money conflicts when one is a “spender”.

Money Harmony: Resolving Money Conflicts in Your Life and Relationships

By Olivia Mellan, 1997.
A psychotherapist presents exercises, dialogues and communication techniques that she has used to help individuals and couples address counterproductive, hidden feelings about money and resolve their money conflicts.

Love and Money: A Life Guide for Financial Success

By Jeff D. Opdyke, 2004.
A book based on Jeff Opdyke’s Wall Street Journal Sunday column explores in a down to earth way some of the trickiest financial challenges in relationships, with a focus on communication as the ultimate solution. Also provides thoughtful advice.

The Couples Guide to Love and Money

By Jonathan Rich, 2003.
A self-help workbook that gives quizzes, exercises and techniques to identify your “money personality”, understand your partner’s expectations, address goals,  plan together, and negotiate “money hotspots”.

Personal Finance

The Wealthy Barber: Everyone’s Common Sense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent

By David Chilton, 2002.
Highly readable book on the basics of good personal-finance habits that can lead to financial independence. For people without financial backgrounds who want to take control of their personal financial lives.

Just Give Me the Answers: Expert Advisors Address Your Most Pressing Financial Questions

By Sheryl Garrett, 2004.
A book written by a certified financial planner that addresses the most pressing financial questions relating to insurance, property ownership, education funding, retirement planning, life transitions, investing, tax issues and estate planning.

How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously

By Jerrold Mundis, 2003.
A step by step guide to getting out of debt based upon the principles of the Debtors Anonymous program. Includes “warning signs”, how to negotiate with creditors, how to design a pay-back schedule, how to identify your blind spots, how to cope with the anxiety of owing money, and how to stay out of debt forever.

Personal Finance for Dummies

By Eric Tyson, 2006.
A Wall Street Journal bestseller that provides easy to understand personal financial information and advice geared to middle income Americans. Includes chapters on establishing and achieving goals, spending less, taxes, wise investing, using insurance, where to go for help, etc.

All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan

By Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi, 2005.
In this New York Times bestseller, a mother (Harvard Law School professor) and daughter provide a step-by-step plan to get your money “in balance”. Intended for anyone who ever worries about their money and wants to take control and build wealth. The goal is to always have enough to pay bills, have some fun, and still save for your dreams-- and not have to worry about it.

Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction

By Bert Whitehead, 2007.
One of the top-money-management advisors in the country (who also is a tax attorney) offers valuable words of wisdom on the behavioral challenges of financial planning — including detailed advice on real estate investing. He helps the reader identify their “money personality”, define goals and values, locate where they are on the “financial life cycle”, structure their investment portfolios, evaluate debt, etc.

Investing

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

By John C. Bogle, 2007.
The founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group makes his case for using low-cost index funds and maintaining a buy and hold strategy.

The Unbeatable Market: Taking the Indexing Path of Financial Peace of Mind

By Ron Ross, 2002.
A Certified Financial Planner and former economics professor discusses the research and reasoning behind his belief that investors should use index funds, stop trying to beat the market, and stop paying for active management.

The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You’ll Ever Need: The Good, the Flawed, the Bad, and the Ugly

By Larry E. Swedroe, 2008.
For the more sophisticated reader. Analyses the range of investment options other than U.S. equities, bonds and cash and tells which to consider and which to avoid. A timely resource that covers REITs, international real estate, inflation-protected securities, commodities, international equities and bonds, annuities, stable-value funds, junk bonds, private equity, covered calls, precious metals equities, preferred stocks, convertible bonds, hedge funds, leveraged buyouts, structured investment products, leveraged funds, and more.

The Terrible Truth About Investing: How to be a Savvy Investor

By Bruce J. Temkin, 1999.
An accessible roadmap that outlines basic investment principles that the author believes that investors should know before making investment decisions, including some focus on investor emotions and how they influence behavior.

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

By Andrew Tobias, 2005.
Considered a classic, this down to earth, entertaining investment guide covers a range of topics, including how to save, the various investment instruments, tax strategies, dealing with brokers, family planning issues, and more.