There is still a large number of South Africans who lack basic financial literacy, which is also part of the reason that many struggle to get rid of debt, become financially stable and develop a savings culture.
In celebration of National Book Week, taking place from 5 — 12 September, online insurance and financial comparison platform, Hippo.co.za, selected their top five personal finance books to help consumers save money.
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 5 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.
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.
For those who want some quick reads and tips particularly in relation to insurance, personal finance and saving, also consider reading some of the articles at http://www.hippo.co.za/blog/.