Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

The book I bought the boys for Christmas.

best finance book for young adults

I’ve decided that every year, at least for the next few years while the kids are mostly in their early 20’s, I’ll be buying my sons and nieces a finance book for Christmas.

As written about in this post, Iast year I gave them ‘The Richest Man in Babylon.” Hey, it’s a classic and it’s short. I wanted to start them off easy. Ryan23 read it but wasn’t a fan. He asked for something a bit meatier to read on the train on his commute to uni, so I bought him ‘The Millionaire Next Door’, which he loved. He’s now tackling ‘Your Money or Your Life’, but I don’t think that’s grabbed him as much.

I also bought them ‘The Barefoot Investor’, which is a Dave Ramsey-esque layout of how to organise finances and stay out of debt.

In the middle of October, my mighty intellect realised that Christmas was coming, so I began to think about which book I was going to buy for the kids this year. I put up a few enquires on FB and twitter, bought and downloaded a few to my ipad to test-drive them, but none of them seemed quite right.

I wanted something that had a bit more of a nuts-and-bolts approach about finances and investing, which could teach them about how to deploy the money they’ve (presumably) been accumulating if they’ve taken the Babylon lessons to heart.

I remembered a book I’d read years ago by Noel Whittaker, called ‘Making Money Made Simple’, which has chapters on banking, insurance, investing, the property market, the share market etc. I jumped onto his website to see if it had been updated, (it had), so I sent him an email to ask if the books he was selling on his website were the latest editions.

He wrote back saying yes they were, but then recommended another book he and his son had written, which was aimed at the demographic the kids are from. ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Wealth.’

I bought the kindle version and settled down for a read.

At first, I was a bit ‘ho-hum’ about it. The first part of the book talks about the mindset and attitudes needed to succeed, not just with finances but with life in general. I was thinking, “Yeah yeah, I’ve heard this all before…” when it suddenly struck me. The kids probably haven’t come across this information before, so it would be invaluable.

I kept reading with renewed enthusiasm.

At the end of the day I ordered 6 copies. It’s a well-balanced book, with the first part about positive thinking, being a lifelong learner and basically getting off your behind and getting out there; while the second part is a little like ‘Making Money Made Simple’ with basic information about finances and such.

I think it’s a good ‘next step’ book for them, with the logical next buy being the original book. However, with all of the FI books being released lately, who knows what next year’s book will be?




  1. simplywendi

    what wonderful gifts that will make a meaningful impression on your kids lives. i read all my kids the richest man in babylon and they all enjoyed it and so did i! great post!

    • Frogdancer Jones

      Thanks Wendi. I guess we both want them to get the information earlier than we did. ________________________________

      • simplywendi

        Oh my goodness yes! i am way way way late in the game. love your blog!

  2. Aussie HIFIRE

    I haven’t read any of Noel Whittaker’s books but I occasionally read his columns and am amazed that he is legally allowed to give specific advice this way, same with the Barefoot Investor.

    Anyway putting that aside, the book I always recommend to people is I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. It’s actually written from a US or UK perspective depending on which version you get, but it’s got lots of great stuff about getting the right systems in place. Might be worth a look for next years Christmas presents?

    • Frogdancer Jones

      There are so many good books coming out now, written by millennials for millennials, as well as the ‘tried and true’ books. Thanks for the recommendation – next year I’m not going to leave it till the last minute to decide. I’ll be reading books right through the year. ________________________________

  3. Chris

    Your Money or Your Life changed the way I look at work and life, including motivating me to move my family from a capital city to a regional one — a bit like this blog’s amazing author’s geo-arbitrage move. Anyone can understand “trading life for money” and when you look at it like that, every purchase gets a thorough working over before it’s made. The whole philosophy behind it makes sense and puts the most interesting lens on personal finance I’ve ever come across. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

    • Frogdancer Jones

      I worked out how much money I was taking home after each period of teaching. Even my rudimentary Maths skills could work that out.
      Then, anything I want to buy, I put it through the lens of, “Is it worth teaching 2 periods of 9J to get this??”
      Sometimes it is; sometimes it isn’t.

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