When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
- People in debt may experience a variety of emotions, including shame, guilt, and stress.
- Knowing more about your mindset about money can help you get out of debt.
- We spoke to financial experts about the best books for understanding debt and managing your money.
It’s easy to spend more than you earn, especially if you don’t track all expenses or have unexpected expenses. It’s also a very common problem: according to a 2021 study CNBC Study, the average American has $90,400 in debt, which can come from student loans, mortgages, or credit cards. And yet, money management is something that is rarely (if ever) taught in school.
Books can be a great, affordable resource for learning how financial systems work and providing actionable steps to start saving money.
Reading financial books “has made me much more comfortable than in a classroom,” says Markia Brown, a certified financial education trainer who shares her teachings through Money taking. “It allowed me to personalize my financial diary, which allowed me to be more transparent and open in my process.”
Additionally, books—which sometimes feature authors’ personal stories—can help readers feel less alone or less self-critical. “Money is emotional, and when we look at past spending, it’s a story of our lives, our values, and our mistakes,” says Andrea Ferrero, financial coach and co-founder and executive director of Change of pockets, a financial education platform. As a result, “debt often sounds like a horror story; it brings guilt, shame, self-recrimination and stress.” The books remind us that even the most financially stable people might have been in debt at some point in their lives.
Tackling debt isn’t easy, so it can be helpful to read a few different books to get a fuller picture. “When we learn about the different types of debt and the financial systems behind them, then we can take steps to manage debt in a way that suits our lives and our goals,” says Ferrero.
To help you, we’ve rounded up the best books on paying off debt, from beginner’s money-saving guides to in-depth reviews on how to build wealth.