Too many useless books are written each year under pretenses of teaching readers to manage their money. Still, if you're in the market for solid advice, here are two worthwhile publications:

· Budgeting at Your Finger Tips, a 16-page booklet by certified public accountant Eric Gelb, makes a nice start: for an investment of $2 and about 30 minutes, readers can learn how and why to develop a spending or savings plan. To order, send $2 per copy in a postpaid envelope to Career Advancement Center, P.O. Box 436, Woodmere, NY 11598-0436.

· Your Commonsense Guide to Personal Financial Planning (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 800-251-4000, $9.99), by Charles Ross, an investment manager, covers everything from tax planning and college savings to investments. Ignore the superficial final chapter -- "Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?" -- and focus instead on the useful tips and charts.

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