A few days ago, I released The Get Rich Slowly Guide to Roth IRAs as a free e-book. Readers who are interested in opening a retirement account can download this short book — which draws from a series of articles I wrote two years ago — and use it as a reference as they work through the process.

Though this is my first e-book (it won’t be my last), there are a variety of other great personal-finance e-books available for free download. You can pick up others for just a couple of bucks — or by subscribing to an e-mail newsletter. Here’s a quick overview of some I’ve found lately.

Free e-books about money
First up, Robert Pagliarini is offering his Plan Z: How to Survive the Financial Crisis as a free download. Pagliarini is a certified financial planner and the author of The Six-Day Financial Makeover. Plan Z is his guide to preparing for — and living through — the worst. If you’re struggling with your personal finances, this free download may help you gain some ground.

On a similar note, my friend Leo from Zen Habits has created a free e-book entitled Thriving on Less in a Tough Economy. This book is all about taking charge of your life, exercising power over the things you can control. By cutting back and focusing on the essentials, by making small changes, you can actually live a very rich life.

Next, Money Management International has a free e-book at their financial literacy website. Tips for Change contains “tips submitted by financially savvy consumers”, including this one from yours truly:

Here’s one excellent way to begin your retirement savings: When you’ve finished paying off your debt, take the amount you were using for this each month and, instead of spending it, stick it into a retirement account. You’ve already developed the habit of using the money to improve your financial life; this is just another way to do it!

Mike Piper, The Oblivious Investor, has temporarily made his latest book available for download. Mike writes a series of books that are like CliffsNotes for financial topics. His latest volume is called Investing Made Simple, and covers topics like:

  • asset allocation
  • how to pick mutual funds
  • the difference between Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, and 401(k)s
  • how to avoid frequent mistakes

This isn’t really an e-book — it’s literally the PDF version of his latest book, and will only be available during the month of September. If you’re interested in this, download it today!

NCN at No Credit Needed has a short-and-sweet 8-page guide to getting out of debt available as a free download. If you’re in that first stage of personal finance, check out the No Credit Needed Debt Reduction Guide.

Finally, the United States Federal Citizen Information Center offers many free and inexpensive books and pamphlets. Here’s their list of money-related publications. You can use this form to order print versions of each item, but also note that many of these items are available for free download. There are publications on building credit, buying life insurance, investing in mutual funds, and more. I highly recommend bookmarking this site for future reference.

Tip: As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite FCIC money publication is the annual Consumer Action Handbook. This 182-page book is well worth ordering, but you can also download the most recent version for free. Or you can download specific sections, as needed.


E-books with a cost (or a catch)
While preparing this post, I also found a handful of worthwhile e-books that can be had for a small cost — or a small catch.

For example, Trent at The Simple Dollar has created a number of e-books built from the content on his site. These books aren’t free — but they’re nearly so. For just two bucks each, you can download the following:

Over at Squawkfox, Kerry has put together The Insider’s Guide to Frugal Food and Fitness. This polished package is filled with tips and tricks not just for saving money, but also for getting in shape.

Finally, Jim from Bargaineering has created a couple of e-books. The first is his College Grad Money Guide, which you can obtain for free by subscribing to his RSS feed. The second highlights 100 Easy Ways to Save Money, which is free when you subscribe to his e-mail newsletter.

Have you found any worthwhile personal-finance e-books? How much did you pay? Where did you get them?

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