Most of us cringe when we hear “personal finance”, but there’s no reason to fear it. If you want to get ahead in life, personal finance is a necessary skill no matter who you are. Wouldn’t it be great if you had greater financial security?
We’ve covered several noteworthy personal finance blogs in the past, and we still recommend them if you’re a layman who trembles at the mere mention of budgets and numbers. These financial planning websites are incredibly useful as well.
But if you’re looking for highly-focused, to-the-point resources that only take a few minutes to consume, then you’ll love these free ebook pamphlets. Learning to manage your money has never been easier.
The notion of a credit score is one of the most important financial aspects of the American middle class. In short, your credit score is an estimation of how risky it would be to loan you money (in terms of how likely you would be to pay back that loan).
There are several different factors that are involved in calculating your credit score, and each credit bureau has its own way of calculating said scores, but they’re similar enough that scores rarely differ by more than a few points. The important thing here is that scores are derived from your credit report.
Building a Better Credit Report, published by the Federal Trade Commission, is an introductory guide to all things concerning your credit report. Why should you care? What determines “good credit”? How do you correct errors? All of it, and more, is covered within.
Itching to find out your credit score? We recommend using CreditKarma, which is free, easy to use, and awesome.
Pathways to Getting Ahead [No Longer Available]
Assuming you keep living like you’re living now, where do you see yourself in five, ten, or twenty years? Where would you like to be at those same milestones? And most importantly, what kind of changes will you have to make to make your financial dream a reality?
Nobody can perfectly foresee their future, but that doesn’t mean we’re helpless. With a bit of effort and smart decision making, we can forge our own paths toward financial stability. It won’t be easy, mind you, but Pathways to Getting Ahead shows that it’s certainly possible.
What is the right path for you? How do you get started on that path? And what can you do when external forces try to knock you off that path? Read and find out!
Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future [No Longer Available]
Money habits are a just that: habits. You need to work them like muscles. Your financial discipline may be weak right now, but you can train yourself to be more diligent. Keep at it and, over time, you’ll see that money management becomes easier and easier.
And just like with personal health and fitness, exercising your “money muscle” requires more than sheer willpower. Change has to start from within. Willpower is nothing without knowledge and belief. That’s where this ebook comes in.
Savings Fitness provides the mental nutrition that’s necessary not only to understand what smart personal finance means, but to believe that you can do it too. Your savings account is empty and you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and you feel like you’re drowning — but you can get out of it.
Financial fitness isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s a strong step forward. Don’t skip out on this one.
Do you know the power of compound interest? Essentially, it means that the money you earn through interest ends up making even more money through interest. The more money you have, the more interest you earn, and the cycle speeds up over time.
That’s why saving and investing are crucial to healthy personal finance. It’s a scary topic, I know, but it’s really not that hard. You just have to take the plunge and believe that you’ll come out better on the other side.
Saving and Investing, which was published by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is an easy introduction to both of these topics. Not only does it show you how to save more money, but also how to make more money using the money that you’ve saved.
Investments are an intermediate topic, but don’t let that scare you away from this ebook. Everyone should read it at least once, and the sooner the better.
Do you constantly wonder where all of your money goes? Then this is the perfect ebook for you.
Income and wealth are not the same thing. To put it simply, income is how much money comes in while wealth is how much money you have right now. A high-income earner can have negative wealth. A low-income earner can be quite wealthy.
Our current generation — if you’ll allow me to paint with broad strokes — chases after income but neglects the importance of wealth. We throw away our money with unsound lifestyle habits and have nothing left over.
Fortunately, we have resources like Building Wealth to show us the error of our ways. It covers everything from setting financial goals to making personal budgets, from managing debts to investing surpluses.
Financial debt is a huge mental drain and a big motivation killer, which is why most of us prefer to shut our brains off rather than deal with the issue. Unfortunately, this just postpones the pain and gives it ample opportunity to grow even worse.
Managing Debt to Improve Your Mental Wealth is exactly as it says: a wake-up call that pleads with you to stop running from your debt. It may be stressful in the short term, but taking control of your financial situation is one of the best ways to free up mental anxiety.
This ebook is a must-read for anyone who feels overwhelmed by any kind of debt — student loans, credit cards, car payments, medical bills, etc. We also recommend checking out our own guide to killing debt.
We often think of personal finance as a topic for adults only, but ideally financial training should start at a young age. After all, if money management is a habit — and it is — then shouldn’t we start building those habits as early as we can?
To be clear, I’m not advocating that we teach children about mortgages and loan consolidation (then again, why not?). Rather, there’s always something to learn about money management no matter what age we are.
That’s what Money Matters for All Ages is about. It starts with financial strategies for infants and young children, then ramps up through every decade of life, ending with financial concepts for those who are in retirement.
The topic of insurance is a sore spot for many, but life insurance is particularly difficult. Not everyone needs it, and for those who do get it, picking the right policy isn’t easy. You have to be careful too as some policies border on scam territory.
What You Should Know About Buying Life Insurance is a wonderful resource to help you navigate these choppy waters. It was published by the American Council of Life Insurers and thus contains a good deal of expert advice on when to get life insurance and what kind of policy is right when you do.
ID Theft: What It’s All About [No Longer Available]
Identity theft is a tangential subject to personal finance, but important enough that we feel it deserves to be covered.
We’ve explored warning signs of digital identity theft already, but ID Theft: What It’s All About is a more in-depth look at what you should look out for and how to proceed if you fall victim.
Published by the Federal Trade Commission way back in 2005, there are aspects of this pamphlet that are out of date (or at least not caught up with some forms of modern identity theft), but it’s still worth reading.
Personal Finance Is for Everyone
We hope you find these free ebooks helpful. Personal finance isn’t easy, but it’s something from which everyone can benefit, so we encourage you to set aside any fears or reservations and just dive right in. Future You will thank you for it.
Know of any other free personal finance ebooks worth mentioning? How has personal finance helped you with your own life? Share with us in the comments below!