If you’re anything like us, your personal finances leave a bit to be desired. We throw money at $10 green juices on the regular, buy stuff we don’t need (but, it was on sale!) and frequently drop anywhere between $50 and $100 on dinner and drinks with girlfriends. At the same time, we barely know if we have a 401(k), let alone if there’s any money in it, aren’t sure if we’ll ever be out from under our student loan debt, and our investments are paltry, if existent at all. Well, ladies, enough is enough—it’s 2017, and we are smart, successful women who should have $$$$ in the bank. Let’s figure this out together, shall we? Here, eight books that will improve your financial outlook considerably (or, at least, increase the guilt-factor around ordering that third glass of Bordeaux tonight).
"Why Didn't They Teach Me This In School?" by Cary Siegel
We don't know about you, but in college, we were required to take courses like "Oceanography 101" and "Los Angeles and the American Dream" instead of anything having to do with any information we would actually need, ever. This book is basically a 101-style class for personal finance, so if you've no idea where to start, pick up this one first. It breaks eight lessons into 99 easy-to-digest principles that will change the way you think about money forever.
"The Law Of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles" by Marianne Williamson
We make no secret of our love for Marianne Williamson. Her spiritual approach to money might not be for everyone, but for those looking for a less structured attitude toward manifesting prosperity, this book offers plenty of inspiration (without losing site of the "perspiration" part of the equation). "Your calling is what you would do whether you were paid to do it or not," she says. "Your calling is what you have to do in order to be happy." So, Netflix and wine are what make us happy—here's hoping this book will help us figure out how to turn those passions into dollar bills.
"The 50th Law" by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
If you have a lot of fear around your career and money, you may be able to overcome it with the help of this book's unlikely teacher—rapper 50 Cent. While The 50th Law may be a little one-note, it's a good one to hammer into your head: The idea is to release yourself of whatever's scaring you away from success, and become more authentically "you" in the process.
The 50th Law, $12
"Power: Why Some People Have It—And Others Don't" by Jeffrey Pfeffer
According to this book, brown-nosing your boss is more critical to success than hard work or actually being exceptionally good at your job. Beyond this, the author posits that powerful people have seven qualities in common: ambition, energy, focus, self-knowledge, confidence, empathy with others and capacity to tolerate conflict. If you think about the most powerful people you know, this is probably a pretty accurate list of their traits. We suggest buying the book if you're feeling small and ineffective in your workplace, and if you want to gain strength in any of these areas.
"Your Money Or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez And Vicki Robin
The premise of this NYT-bestselling book is basically the same as the old adage, "Do what you love and the money will come." It asserts that you have a choice to make—whether you trade your time for money to buy things that don't bring you joy, or you look for another way. Some people, the author says, are happy commuting to the office, earning money, and using it to buy things. Others may value their time more than they value the money or the things. Which are you? Read this book to find out, and then use it as a guide to make the best use of your most valuable commodity.
"The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of America's Wealthy" by Thomas J. Stanley And William D. Danko
This book was written in 1996, but the habits of the wealthy it outlines (many of which we reiterate here) are just as relevant as they were then. The one thing that has changed in the interim is how difficult it is for many of us to adopt these behaviors in the social media age, when keeping up with Joneses has become a whole new beast. This book will make you think twice about booking a pricey trip just to boast about it on Instagram, or buying a home you can't afford to compete with 19-year-old, three-time-home-owner Kylie Jenner. That can only be a good thing.
"Outliers: The Story Of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell
Unlike the rest of the books on this list, Outliers won't prescribe a means or method by which you can increase your success or fortune. In fact, its author purports that most of what you achieve is based on luck, which is why we're including it on this list—we want you to feel better about not being Oprah, Bill Gates or Beyoncé, but we also want you to look around for the luck-based opportunities you might be missing.
Outliers: The Story Of Success, $10
"The Behavior Gap" by Carl Richards
Please, someone, teach us how to stop doing dumb things with money! The aim of this book is to illuminate why we make the mistakes we do (human nature), and teach us how to rethink priorities in order to optimize our finances for greater happiness.