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12 Best Books on Budgeting, Saving Money, Frugal Living, and Climbing Out of Debt

Books on budgeting all seem the same. For the most part these books cover the budgeting basics and beyond...

They discuss the basics of finance:

  • Creating a financial plan.
  • How to make a budget.
  • Becoming debt free.
  • Savings and investment.

All of this is really important stuff. But people who struggle to just get by every single week may find it difficult to make the money they have coming in meet their budget requirements.

That is where these books on saving money and budgeting come into play. The main point about these books is not how to make the budget, although some of the books cover that too, the point of these books is how to make your limited cash flow stretch to reach your budget needs. These are as much books on frugal living as they are personal budgeting and debt relief books. They discuss specifics on "how to save money" not just give you platitudes on spending less money.

That is what makes this collection of books on saving money a bit unique, and very practical.

Even if you have already read some of the best introductory finance books available, these books still have a lot to teach you. If not about the science of budgeting and saving at least about the art of making your income meet your budgetary needs.

If you want to learn how to budget, debt proof living, investing and the 7 money rules for life read the complete money makeover by Dave Ramsey. But if you want to make your dollar stretch further, then read any of these books on frugal living, budgeting, saving money and climbing out of debt.

1. The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams by Trent A. Hamm

Trent Hamm uses this book as a platform to tell about his personal experience with freeing himself from debt slavery, and how the process was able to provide him with some long-lost happiness. This account of how Hamm was successful in doing this and the positive changes it brought to his life helps readers use his ideas to achieve his same success.

This book helps to unclutter people's financial situations and results in a more rewarding life. Going from debt to wealth himself, Hamm is able to prepare the reader for both the expected and the unexpected complexities of personal budgeting in today's economic world.

This book is full of practical tips and tools that the reader can apply to their own life. Its ability to be motivating and empowering helps the reader to proactively create healthier relationships with both money and people.

Using personal anecdotes, Hamm is able to engage the reader throughout the book and keep them focused. He also gets right to the point without adding in a lot of fluff material, so you never feel like you are wasting your time reading through things that are not important.

While a lot of the points in this book are already made on his blog, this is still a great place to put his message together to help readers achieve the financial success that he has.

2. 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money by Trent Hamm

This is certainly a frugal living book. But it also discusses ways to save long-term money. For example, using cold water while washing your clothes can save almost $65 a year, while investing in a deep freezer and buying food in bulk can save on groceries.

Hamm encourages his readers to take a look at their own lives and to realize that there are many ways to live on less. Offering a multitude of ways to cut costs, this book on saving money still makes sure that you are living a lifestyle that is satisfying for you.

While some of the tips in this book have been around for a long time, this is a great place to brush up on some money-saving tricks and see what new things you can learn that might help you save.

This book does a great job in pointing out some of the needless everyday spending that people tend to do. It helps readers identify the extra expenses in their own lives that can be cut for the long-term good.

3. Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More by Kasey Knight Trenum

This is a great book for people who like the idea of couponing, but don't like the idea of spending their time doing it. Trenum is well aware of the fact that people do not want to spend time clipping coupons, but also knows how much money coupons can save families in this tight economy.

This book helps people find coupons for what their family eats, ways to cut down on Internet bills, how to determine sale cycles, and how to make shopping less stressful.

The author shows the reader how easy it is to save money on everyday things so that they can have a bit more financial freedom.

An empowering and honest read, Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More is also humorous, so it is relatable and easy to read. With the author being a wife and mother, she is able to deeply connect with readers who are also in those same roles.

One of the best things about this book is that it is not about extreme couponing—it is about manageable things that people can do while they are shopping to help save money.

4. Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving by Lorilee Craker

What is it about the Amish that has allowed them to not just survive but actually thrive during times of economic turmoil? This book gets to the bottom of that mystery and presents the reader with many tried and true Amish financial habits that can be related to anyone's financial reality. These habits have been used for generations and can help make cash last longer and accumulate wealth.

This book is fun to read in the sense that the author provides catchy phrases to live by, such as "use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without" and "repurpose, recycle, and reuse." The smart money-saving ideas illustrated are practical even for those who do not live a life as sensible as the Amish.

This book on saving is both touching and humorous, while providing an eye-opening account of how the Amish make ends meet. The stories talk about trading for goods and services, bargaining, living with less, staying out of debt, and even stopping the habit of trying to impress others.

This book isn't so much about making money as it is about discipline, family, and redefining what it means to be wealthy. It encourages the reader to see more clearly what is really valuable in life, and helps to inspire people to change their views on life.

This is an easy read that will help anyone minimize their consumerism. While there is not a lot of new advice in here for people who already live frugally, it provides a great look into the lives of a different culture that has been able to be financially successful while others have not.

5. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half With America's Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won't Have to Cut Coupons by Steve Economides and Annette Economides

This is a great book for people who want to save money on their everyday groceries without spending the time that is needed to search for coupons. The authors offer tips that can cut down on your shopping trips to once-a-week or less while eating healthier and saving money. Written by a husband and wife who practice what they preach, this is a relatable book with a lot of realistic tips.

Known as "America's Cheapest Family," the authors present strategies and tricks to save money annually by cutting down on grocery bills. One of the best things about this book is that the tips provided are useful whether you live by yourself or have a family of seven.

This frugal living book is an easy and light read that inspires people to make small changes that can result in large pay-offs. While it may be hard to believe that a family can cut their grocery bill in half, the authors provide step-by-step instructions to do so.

This page-turner has something to learn in each chapter. The reader does not have to finish the entire book before beginning to save money. The money-saving ideas start right away, and the book is easy to jump around in if you want to skip chapters or go back to reread something.

Some of the tips in this book are likely repeats for a lot of people, but they are solid pieces of advice that are worth revisiting. Unlike some other books, this one includes recipes and meal suggestions that are great for people living on a budget .

One of the best frugal living books out there. This book has  so many ways to save, and provides a ton of actionable advice to help families meet their budget needs.

6. 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life by Ruth Soukup

This step-by-step book may be helpful for you if you feel like your budget has gone off track and you can't make it to the end of the month without counting your pennies. The author provides advice on how to do a month of no spending to reset your spending habits and get you back on your feet.

This book offers a month of daily challenges for spending less money, and, in some cases, no money. There are innovative tips on how to gain confidence in planning meals, organizing the home, and becoming more creative without spending money.

With the instant changes that the author provides, readers are motivated to live a month of zero spending while still finding joy in it. There are new ideas on what to do with old food, and even some budget-friendly ways to repurpose things you already have.

With anecdotes from people who have successfully completed this challenge, this book offers encouragement and inspiration to its readers. It includes easy tricks for selling things you own and cutting down on your grocery bill. It helps change the reader's attitude about the things that matter the most in life, and that will bring a new level of joy and togetherness to the household.

This book may not be for you if you live alone and are looking for ways to cut costs, but it is great for families with houses and children who want to save money but don't think they can.

7. Living Well, Spending Less!: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

This book is all about finding balance in a chaotic life and budget. Ruth Soukup knows firsthand how stressful an unorganized life and budget can be. Through her account, the author tells personal stories and provides practical action plans to inspire the reader to make lasting changes to personal finances and goals.

This may be a great savingd book for you if you are looking for encouragement during an overwhelming or stressful time trying to meet tight budget requirements. It is aimed towards mothers who are trying to juggle life's demands with society's pressure to keep up with everyone else.

It is a practical and relatable guide for women who want to get their lives organized but don't know where to start. It provides an inspiring and practical lesson on how to spend money wisely without compromising a great life.

While this book does have a largely autobiographic feel to it, some may find this helpful because the author's personal stories relate to her overall message.

8. The Year Without a Purchase: One Family's Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting by Scott Dannemiller

This book on saving money is an account of one family's quest to change their outlook on life by stopping shopping and starting to connect with each other. It was written by a former missionary who served in Guatemala, and whose family found itself deep in a life of consumption with a never-ending cycle of wanting more but never being satisfied. The family made the drastic change of deciding to not purchase any nonessential items for a whole year.

Readers may begin this book doubting that they could go an entire year without buying clothes or books, but through the humorous wit and poignant conclusions from the author, this book helps readers see their spending in a new light.

Full of interesting research, the book looks at modern America's spending habits, along with the authors’ own experience of highs and lows while dropping out of the consumer culture.

The book does a great job of revealing what is truly important in life—which has nothing to do with gift giving or keeping up with the neighbors. The family discovers and shares truths about human nature and what the secret is to finding joy.

This may be a valuable book for anyone who has ever wanted to reduce the stress in their life by focusing less on material items and living more.

9. The One Week Budget: Learn to Create Your Money Management System in 7 Days or Less! by "The Budgetnista" Tiffany Aliche

The One Week Budget is a workbook for anyone who wants to manage their everyday money without the hassle of figuring out how it is best spent. A fun and empowering read, it shows readers how to make frugal decisions while still living a fabulous life by doing more with less.

This book helps to debunk some common misconceptions about things, such as consolidating credit cards and paying off debt. It presents a clear and simple system for cutting expenses and maximizing savings to meet financial goals.

The methods used in this budgeting book are for people of any age, but the book is geared more towards young adults who are climbing out of debt trying to get on their feet.

10. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck (2nd Edition): A proven path to money mastery in only 15 minutes a week! (Smart Money Blueprint) by Avery Breyer

This timeless bestseller offers the motivation and knowledge that is needed in order to build up a security net of emergency cash, get out of debt, and avoid the 11 most common but worst budget traps.

Breyer offers her readers some of the most important things that need to be done to take control of finances and pay off debt. Unlike some of the other books on saving money that you find in this post. Avery's saving moneyThis book teaches a complete budget system that is even appropriate for young adults who are just getting started—and the methods only take 15 minutes each week to maintain.

This straightforward budget-planning tool helps transform finances to eliminate financial stress. To improve upon the first bestselling book, this edition adds a chapter on money and happiness, which is one of the most important factors when it comes to needless spending.

This might be one of the best budgeting and savings books for you if you find that your emotions are often tied to your bank account and you have started to lose control of your finances.

11. How to Manage Your Money When You Don't Have Any (Second Edition) by Erik Wecks

Unlike other money books, How to Manage Your Money When You Don't Have Any is written specifically for people who struggle each month paying their bills. It talks the reader through a no-nonsense look at the realities of today’s economy and provides an easy path to follow toward financial stability.

Also, unlike other financial authors, Wecks hasn't struck it rich. He is able to offer a first-hand account of living on the money you have during rough times. Instead of teaching people how to create wealth, this book urges readers to do the best they can with the income they already have, no matter its size.

With jargon-free writing, this book saving and budgeting is easy for anyone to pick up, no matter what the financial background. It is opinionated, which may not resonate with all readers, but it also has its moments of humor.

This is a quick read that is relevant to readers, as it is full of current, everyday references. This is an ideal book for the average reader who is just trying to make ends meet.

12. Living a Beautiful Life on Less: The Blissful and Domestic Guide to Food, Fun, and Finances by Danielle Wagasky

Written by someone with first-hand experience, this book shows people how to live happily on a very small amount of money. It includes realistic tips and real-life examples to help the reader relate to what the author has been through, and learn from her experiences.

This book on budgeting is easy to read, as it is written in a casual and conversational tone. It is a funny book while also being encouraging for anyone who needs help navigating their finances and maintaining their budget.

This book is clearly geared more towards women and mothers who are managing the budgets for their households. It can provide hope to a lot of people who are just starting out on their financial journey.

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I hope you enjoyed this list of the 12 best books on budgeting, saving money, frugal living. Hopefully these books will help you stop living paycheck to paycheck and help you climb out of debt. I see these books as a practical means to help you heed the advice from many of the best financial books for beginners.  You may even find one of these books to be complete enough that it is the only budgeting book you’ll ever need.

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If you are struggling to meet your day to day living expenses. Real estate investment may seem like a dream from your far, far future. But it may not be as far as you think. Some of the 16 books below tell you how to start creating an income from real estate investment with little upfront money of your own. Books on budgeting, savings and getting debt free should be first, but real estate investment books may be next on you list.

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