When it comes to personal finance education, representation matters. Black women must have resources relevant to our lives. That’s why I’ve put together a list of five must-read books by Black women in finance. Though relevant to all women, these books were written with Black women in mind. They seek to educate and empower each of us so that we can close the financial literacy gap, build generational wealth, and ultimately live the lives that we desire.
Get Good With Money by Tiffany Aliche
One day, I scrolled through social media and came across an infectious Black woman saying how she went from a 547 credit score to over 800, and that she could help me do it too. I registered for her free webinar and applied her advice. She knows her stuff because she’s lived through what she teaches. So, when her book came out, I was first in line.
I would have loved to have had this book as a teenager — even a college graduate — so I’d have been better prepared financially. It’s thorough and organized — divided into percentages equal to being “100 percent financially whole.” Each section goes into detail from preparing a household budget to building up your net worth to investing effectively.
Aliche is hilarious and the book feels like conversing with a big sister who is helping you learn from her past mistakes. Her advice is simple to understand but powerful. There are also worksheets in the back of the book that you can easily fill out to strengthen your financial literacy and understanding. My favorite concept from the book was how to create a “Noodle Budget.” Game changer!
The 21-day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom by Michelle Singletary
If you struggle with spending, this is the book for you. This book teaches you how to break bad spending habits and create a plan for financial freedom. It combines biblical principles of fasting with personal finance education. During the 3-week fast, Singletary guides you on a path to financial peace.
Habits are made in 21 days, and I definitely learned how to see my finances differently. I read this book about five years ago and incorporated it into my morning routine, which includes prayer and journaling. It helped remind me how important budgeting is in reaching my financial goals.
I was first introduced to the power of Patrice Washington through her weekly podcast, Redefining Wealth. True wealth, she always says, is more than money. Her six pillars to redefining wealth are: 1) Fit Pillar, 2) People Pillar, 3) Space Pillar, 4) Faith Pillar, 5) Work Pillar, and 6) Money Pillar.
Often, as women, we have unrealistic and negative perceptions when it comes to money. It could stem from the way we were raised, or just not having the necessary tools to know better. We think wealth is all about money but Washington breaks it all the way down saying, “Wealth is the condition of well-being or happiness. Money is only one factor in that happiness.
When you take care of those things that make life worthwhile, you become the kind of person who attracts and receives the wealth you desire. Money is a result of understanding. What you want and who you have to become to actually receive it.” I have this highlighted and starred in the book!
The Money Manual: A Practical Money Guide to Help You Succeed on Your Financial Journey by Tonya Rapley
The founder of My Fab Finance and a definite resource to follow on Instagram. The Money Manual covers the gambit of saving, budgeting, credit, and debt. It begins by walking you through a financial assessment, which allows you to see your true financial picture. This assessment is followed by actionable steps to start managing your money better.
This is actually a quick read because the information is relayed in such a straightforward way. There are links to resources, as well as a workbook to record your progress. Rapley has a way of sharing her story and providing real-life examples (and struggles) with money, and how to overcome them in a non-overwhelming way. The activities she sets forth allow you to reflect, while also overcoming your fears. You don’t feel intimidated but empowered.
This was the first personal finance book that I ever read, and it changed my mindset about money. At the time, I was feeling lost when it came to my finances. Bridgforth makes it clear that healthy money management is about getting to the root of why we spend and the emotional and cultural issues that play into unhealthy financial habits.
The seven steps are a holistic approach to identifying your heart’s desires, breaking away from negative spending habits, paying off debt, developing a spending plan, and establishing new wealth. This book has worksheet exercises, affirmations, and inspiring stories of Black women who have found financial peace of mind. It’s a practical book towards healing your bank account and building the financial life you deserve.
These are a couple of gems that I’d like to place in honorable mention:
Girl, Get Your Credit Straight by Glinda Bridgforth is a follow-up to her bestseller discussed above. It has a power-packed plan for paying down credit card debt and repairing your credit score. The book begins with simple exercises that help you get clear on what you owe. It’s a road map for eliminating debt, one step at a time.
Real Money Answers for Every Woman by Patrice Washington is in a question/answer format that is relatable and easy to implement. I like how she shares her past mistakes and challenges and how to take charge of her money.
April is Financial Literacy Month. There’s no better time to add these books to your bookshelf. They all provide valuable and practical tools, resources, and information you need to get your financial life in order.
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Archuleta is an author, poet, blogger, and host of the FearlessINK podcast. Archuleta's work centers Black women, mental health and wellness, and inspiring people to live their fullest potential.