The straightforward money advice you need now

Apr 4, 2016 at 3:15 p.m. ET
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This post is curated by one of Amazon’s editors, Erin Kodicek. See her profile on Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog, and check her out on LinkedIn.

Tax Day is upon us, and you are likely tired of talking money, but what better time to come up with a plan to get your financial house in order? If you're like me, however, this is a daunting prospect. I once sat down with a dear friend who is savvy about this sort of thing. He pored over my financials and made helpful suggestions... I think.

Trouble was, I had no idea what he was talking about. So I just nodded and smiled, then went home in search of resources that would explain things in a language I could understand. Sound familiar? Then these books might be helpful to you too.

1. How to Make Your Money Last by Jane Bryant Quinn

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Did you get a refund? Good for you! But before you blow it all on a trip to San Gimignano and a couple dozen Negronis (though, doesn't that sound good!), you might want to pause for a moment and take the advice Jane Bryant Quinn offers in her latest book, How to Make Your Money Last. It's never too soon to start thinking about and preparing for retirement. It can, however, easily be too late.

2. Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin

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Rich Bitch is penned by a financial expert that "you don't need a dictionary to understand." My kind of money maven! And I would wager that Nicole Lapin is not a bitch either (though placing bets is probably not a sound financial decision). In any case, she breaks down all the mumbo jumbo language of finance into easily digestible advice. And Ms. Lapin is not shy about divulging the mistakes she has made along the way so you can learn from them and... make different ones.

3. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman

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This book has been a best-seller in its category since it was first published in 2005. How could its counsel still be relevant over a decade later? Well, because that counsel is coming from force of nature Suze Orman — the woman USA Today called a "one-woman financial advice powerhouse." Don't know what to do about all that credit card debt? Student loans? Your crappy credit score? Suze does. She used to make the media rounds frequently but seems to have dropped off the planet as of late. Where did she go? She's probably in San Gimignano, drinking a couple dozen Negronis, because she managed her money so wisely. Take note.

4. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner

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Get a Financial Life offers similar advice to Suze Orman's book while also addressing the very pressing need to protect yourself from identity theft. It’s definitely geared toward the millennial set, but this 40-year-old found plenty of worthwhile advice as well, and Kobliner casts a wide net; no matter how much money you make, whether you're single or married, financially canny or no, there is something useful in this book for everyone.

Next: More must-read personal finance books

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