5 of the best personal finance books out there

5 of the best personal finance books out there

My name is Ema and I’m a self-confessed book-a-holic.

Phew! It feels good to get that off my chest. I absolutely love reading and more often than not, reading is what I do to relax and unwind at the end of a busy work day.

This, combined with my love of saving money and blogging made this post something of a no-brainer for me to write. I’ve read a great deal of books about money, saving and personal finance over the last few years. Here are five of my absolute favourites. Hopefully you’ll love them too and learn something in the process.

Book #1 – Anne Boden, The Money Revolution

If you’ve not heard of Anne Boden, then I can tell you she is the CEO of Starling Bank – so she is clearly incredibly well informed when it comes to money.

This book comes at finance from a ‘fintech‘ angle and provides lots of tips on saving and borrowing money in this digital age. It works to teach readers new financial behaviours and also smashes misconceptions many have about money.

Written in short, easy to digest. chapters – this book is very easy to pick up, but extremely difficult to put down. Cliche I know.

Book #2 – Laura Whateley, Money: A User’s Guide

This book is aimed at readers who are maybe not as literate as they would like when it comes to money. As such, it is written without jargon, and deals with topics such as pensions and improving your credit score.

Even for those that are maybe slightly better versed in the world of finance, I am sure that there will be something new to be learned and I find that every time I pick up this book, I take away a little tidbit that I didn’t know before.

No wonder this was a Sunday Times bestseller!

Book #3 – Erin Lowry, Broke Millennial

Disclaimer upfront – this book is written by an American and, as one would expect, largely discusses finance from an American standpoint. Some topics, therefore, are not necessarily the same over here in the UK (student loans for instance).

But that is not to say that Erin Lowry’s book is not useful. Indeed it is a treasure-trove of useful guidance and information about managing your money better.

Erin also has a bunch of awesome YouTube videos – so if you’re not sure whether this book is for you or not, how about watching a few of those first.

Book #4 – Alice Tapper, Go Fund Yourself

Alice Tapper’s book approaches money from a ‘real world’ perspective. In the real world, we all go out occasionally and splurge on things we perhaps shouldn’t, we buy takeaways and pumpkin lattes and we don’t always batch cook and freeze our meals.

This book understands that and doesn’t seek to shame the reader for any of these perfectly normal, perfectly human traits. This is what makes it such a refreshing read, when all around us, frugalistas are telling us that we need to cut back, cut down and remove all joy from our lives 🙂

Book #5 – Emilie Bellet, You’re Not Broke You’re Pre-rich

Last but not least, You’re Not Broke You’re Pre-rich – by Emilie Bellet.

This isn’t necessarily a book that you need to read from front to back either. Indeed, it is easy to pick this book up, jump to a chapter that is of current relevance or interest to you, and to start reading without winding up confused or out of the loop. Great for reading during a commute or on the loo.

This book is effortlessly practical, avoiding any waffle to get straight down to some actionable tips to help you start getting your financial situation in order.

So there you have it. 5 of my faves. If you have any great suggestions that I haven’t covered here – please feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Is my credit score affected by my student loan debt? Myths debunked

Is my credit score affected by my student loan debt? Myths debunked

After years of working your ass off and studying hard, you’ve earnt your degree and are moving into the ‘real-world’. Soon you’ll no doubt be thinking about things such as buying a car to commute to a new job, or even getting a mortgage for your first home.

But if like most, you have tens of thousands of pounds of debt hanging over your head from your student loan, it is completely understandable if you are getting a little concerned about your credit rating and any prospective lenders view of your finances. Indeed – according to a recent study, 80% of students worry about their finances.

Well let’s debunk some myths about student debt shall we?

Will my credit score be damaged by my student loan?

In a word – no. Student loan debt isn’t viewed in the same way as other debts – for example from credit cards. The fact that you have a lot of money to repay on your student loan won’t automatically mean you have a poor credit score.

Student loan debt is also repaid differently to other kinds of debt. Firstly, you will only be required to start repaying your student loan when you earn over 18,935 p.a.

Secondly, repayments are automatically taken out of your pre-tax salary via the PAYE system. This means it is almost impossible for you to miss a repayment. Compare this with a credit card debt, where you are required to manage the repayments yourself, and any missed repayments could negatively impact your credit score.

So will my student loan debt stop prevent me from getting a mortgage?

This is a bit of a different question. When you apply for a mortgage, the prospective lender will look at your overall ability to afford the repayments.

Purely having a certain level of student debt won’t directly impact any decision to approve your mortgage. But (assuming you are earning above the minimum threshold) you will be sacrificing a portion of your income towards repaying your student loan. This obviously reduces your overall take-home pay and if this, combined with all of the other outgoings you may have – such as mobile phone bills, energy bills, repayments on no guarantor loans, car finance payments etc. etc. – pushes your expendable income below the levels of affordability for the mortgage you are applying for – then your mortgage application could indeed be declined.

However – the likelihood is that it isn’t your student loan repayments that pushed you into being unable to afford the mortgage repayments. Chances are that it is actually your other outgoings and cost of living that is the culprit – so it may be better for you to focus your attention on reducing your outgoings in these areas.

A student loan is just about the most affordable credit you will ever get in your life. So don’t let the burden of prospective debt put you off getting that degree.