So you just graduated from college, and you have no idea where to start when it comes to managing your personal finances. Or maybe you’re fairly good at budgeting, but you need to know about investing. Either way, this list of resources will more than cover all your financial questions, from budgeting basics to buying a home to landing a great-paying career.

Financial Basics

1. CNNs Money 101

Learn about everything from setting financial priorities to investing in a 401(k) with this basic money guide. It’s divided by topic, so it’s particularly easy to navigate to the financial issue you’re facing today.

2. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman

Suze Orman is famous for giving financial advice to women, but here she answers your biggest financial questions from dealing with a credit card and student loan debt to buying a home.

3. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner Shaw

This book of basics helps you set financial goals, pay down debt, choose the right bank, start investing for retirement, and buy your first home.

4. The Wealthy Barber: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent by David Chilton

If you’re bored stiff by the straightforward style of most personal finance books, this one might keep you awake. It imparts basic financial advice for young adults (and everyone else, really) in the form of a novel.

5. Life After School Explained by The Cap and Compass Team

If you want real-world advice from people who have been there, this guide is for you. Authored by a team of recent graduates, this book explains everything from HMOs to auto insurance with wit and personal stories.

6. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

This guide written for 20-35-year-olds takes the form of a six-week program that will not only teach you about financial concepts but will give you solid direction for building a financial future.

7. Rich By Thirty: A Young Adults Guide to Financial Success by Lesley Scorgie

If you want to build some serious wealth, learn the basics of financial success here. This book features a helpful glossary of money terms, as well as worksheets you can use to get a handle on your finances.

8. Please Send Money, 2E: A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own by Dara Duguay

While some of the other books here focus on wealth building, “Please Send Money” is a bit more about financial survival. Learn about essentials like money management, career preparation, and debt.

9. Debt-Free by 30: Practical Advice for the Young, Broke, and Upwardly Mobile by Jason Anthony and Karl Cluck

Written by two self-proclaimed financial misfits, “Debt-Free by 30″ explores what to do if you’re in financial straits in your 20s. It helps you find ways to save so you can pay down debt early on.


10. The Bogleheads Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf

While this investing book isn’t written solely for young adults, it has a fresher tone than most books in this niche. Also, it starts at the very beginning with finance and investing basics.

11. Generation Earn: The Young Professionals Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back by Kimberly Palmer

This book brings a fresh outlook to young-adult finance because it focuses on the earning and spending power that this generation has like no other generation before it. Of special interest is its section on changing the world by spending green, giving back, and even starting a nonprofit.

12. 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 Maranijian

Yes, it’s written for teens. But that doesn’t mean that this Motley Fool investment guide wouldn’t be helpful for you. If you know next to nothing about investing, this guide is a good place to start.

13. Saving for Retirement (Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery) by Gail Marks-Jarvis

If you know nothing about the basics of saving for retirement, here’s a good place to start.

Related: 8 Ways To Get Your Teens To Start Investing

Budget Living

14. You’re So Money: Live Rich, Even When You’re Not by Farnoosh Torabi

Use this book to learn to live beyond your means without actually living beyond your means. Author Farnoosh Torabi helps you learn to dress and accessorize well, have a social life, and meet financial goals all by spending in the right places.

15. Brass Blog

The Brass Blog, part of brass magazine, is written for high school students. But they also deal with college students and 20-something topics, including credit and debt, budgeting, and career.

16. Wise Bread New Graduate Help Center

Wise Bread is a great go-to site for all things savings and frugal living. Their New Graduate Help Center is replete with articles on saving money, getting a job, creating a budget, and more.

17. Bargaineerings Frugal Living Column

Bargaineering is a great money site in general, but the frugal living section is a fabulous place to learn about various ways to save in your daily life.

Career Decisions

18. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Thirty-something Chris Guillebeau is practicing what he preaches in this interesting book, as he lives a life of adventure traveling around the world. If a non-traditional career path appeals to you, pick up this volume before you start a 9-to-5.

19. Dough Rollers Extra Income Section

It’s never too early (or too late) to start making money on the side. Though it’s not specifically for young adults, this section of the Dough roller site could give you some great information on bringing in a side income as you start your career.

20. Quitter: Closing The Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job by Jon Acuff

If you don’t want to end up in the corporate world forever, this is a good resource to help you take off with your dream job while you keep your day job to support you in the meantime.

21. JobSmarts for Twentysomethings by Bradley G. Richardson

How do you plan for career success in the new world of work? Learn how from this helpful guide.

22. The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures: Internships, Extraordinary Experiences, Seasonal Jobs, Volunteering, and Working Abroad by Michael Landes

Gain more experience or just have some adventure before you settle down while still making money with short-term or seasonal jobs and adventures.

23. From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time by Andy Teach

The title pretty much explains this guide to finding a career, staying organized, office politics, and more.

24. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi

Networking is an ever more important part of the work environment for many of us entrepreneurs and corporate workers alike. Learn networking tips that work from a pro in this bestselling book.

25. Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World by Lindsey Pollak

This beginning career guide starts with basics like understanding who you are and what you want and goes on to teach recent grads about everything from emailing like a professional to creating a resume.


  • Abby Hayes

    Abby is a freelance journalist who writes on everything from personal finance to health and wellness. She spends her spare time bargain hunting and meal planning for her family of three. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and lives with her husband and children in Indianapolis.