Young people face unprecedented financial challenges: rising student debt, stiff competition for jobs, barriers to home ownership, dwindling state benefits and prospects of a longer working life. Today, students need financial knowledge and skills more than ever before, not just to build their own financial security, but to create the new generation of advisers that can help all citizens navigate the complex world of personal finance.

Essential Personal Finance is a guide to all the key areas of personal finance: budgeting, managing debt, savings and investments, insurance, securing a home and laying the foundations for retirement. It also provides an introduction to some of the essential foundations of a modern undergraduate finance qualification, including:

  • The nature of financial institutions, markets and economic policy that shape the opportunities and decisions that individuals face.
  • The range of financial assets available to households, the risk-return trade-off, basics of portfolio construction and impact of tax.
  • The importance of the efficient market hypothesis and modern portfolio theory in shaping investment strategies and the limitations of these approaches.
  • Behavioural finance as a key to understanding factors influencing individual and market perceptions and actions.
  • Using financial data to inform investment selection and to create financial management tools that can aid decision-making.

  • A comprehensive companion website accompanies the text to enhance students' learning and includes answers to the end-of-chapter questions.

Written by authors who contribute experience as financial advisers, practitioners and academics, Essential Personal Finance examines the motivations, methods and theories that underpin financial decision-making, as well as offering useful tips and guidance on money management and financial planning. The result is a compelling combination of an undergraduate textbook aimed at students on personal finance and financial services courses, and a practical guide for young people in building their own financial strength and capability.

chapter |2 pages


part 1|88 pages

Have a vision and a plan

chapter 1|25 pages

The necessity of private wealth

chapter 3|15 pages

Money and happiness

chapter 4|25 pages

Plan your future

part 2|54 pages

Build a secure foundation

chapter 5|27 pages

The pillars of wealth

Budgeting and saving

chapter 6|25 pages

Insuring risks

part 3|109 pages

Multiply your wealth

chapter 7|21 pages

Residual income

chapter 8|20 pages

A place to live

chapter 9|26 pages

Make wise investments

chapter 10|19 pages

Saving for later life

chapter 11|21 pages

Help from your family

part 4|13 pages

The next steps

chapter 12|11 pages

Take action