In these tough economic times, not being financial literate can cost thousands of dollars and a lifetime of savings. Most of us never learnt about personal finance in high school—few or no courses are taught on the subject, though it’s equally as important as learning reading, writing, and math. Most of us learn personal finance through trial and error. Many people avoid the subject all together and live simply from pay check to pay check.
But thanks to the Internet, there are several outstanding, information-filled personal finance blog sites that can help you become more conscious of your spending habits and what it will take to get you financially in shape.
Of course, some of these personal finance sites have ebooks and other resources for sale, but I suggest you start with all the free information about the basics of budgeting, saving, and investing that you can actually read and put into practice before you pay for a financial course or some get rich scheme.
I also suggest that you actually subscribe to one or more of these blog sites. The key to becoming financially literate is to study the subject like you watch your favorite television program. Subscribe to the newsletters and RSS feeds of these and other similar sites, and I guarantee you that in a few weeks time you’ll start thinking differently about your finances.
Trent Hamm’s The Simple Dollar personal finance blog site emerged out his personal experiences of a “financial meltdown” starting back in April of 2006. He started his blog “to tell the world about what [he] had learned and help people to who were struggling with the same things.“
Hamm, the authorThe Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams, writes about an extremely wide range of topics, from cooking recipes that keep you from wasting money on going out to eat, to 25 Revised Rules to Grow Rich By. Other subjects on the site include bad spending habits, dealing with debt, living frugally, grocery shopping, and organizing your money.
Bob Lotich’s The Christian Personal Finance features a large collection of daily posts about budgeting, banking, jobs and careers, debt elimination, insurance, investing, making and saving money, and free stuff.
His site is geared towards people of the Christian faith, but I think it can appeal to anyone. Some of his popular articles include, How to Pay Your Mortgage Off Early, 20 Best Ways to Save Money, Get Out of Debt, 25 Top Paying Jobs Without Degree, 15 Ways to Cut Your Expenses, 250 Bible Verses About Money, and Why You Need an Emergency Fund.
I’ve recommended Mint.com‘s online financial management system as an effective way to develop and monitor your personal financial budget. Mint.com also includes a much re-tweeted blog site called MintLife.
Recent MintLife articles include When Does It Make Sense to Refinance?, Support Your Local Business—Invest in It, Impulse Savings: Use Your Shopping Habit to Feather Your Nest Egg, and Investing 101: Understanding Core Earnings. MintiLife is definitely worth subscribing to or at least having on your Twitter follow list.
GetRich Slowly has been selected as one of Time Magazine’s best blogs of 2011. The site features daily personal finance information on maintaining a savings account, CD rates, home and mortgage, dealing with credit cards, insurance, and getting out of debt.
When you subscribe to the sites email newsletter you will receive a copy of his free ebook, Learn Hot to Make Your Money Work Harder for You.
Spending a weekend reading articles from this and other sites will provide you with the personal finance education that you never received in school.
New York Times bestselling author, Ramit Sethi takes a slightly different approach to personal finance.
Sethi, whose site hosts 250,000 readers per month, doesn’t focus on small frugal ways to get financially in shape; instead, his approach is for you to spend money consciously and invest in things that will make you money—so you’re not trying to build a nest egg simply by skipping those Starbuck lattes you’re hooked on.
Sethi uses a mixture of blog posts and self-made videos to provide tips and financial insight on categories including earning money, buying a home, credit card perks, how to negotiate deals, automating your finances, starting a business, and the psychology of money. You definitely want to have Sethi’s site on your RSS feed.
Other worthy mentions for good personal fiance sites include: The Digerati Life, a site for digital and technological savvy readers that provides information and tips about credit cards, best brokers, savings, mortgage, and refinancing rates.
FinanceDad is produced by Mark, an Accounting Manager for a large company in St. Louis, MO.
His site focuses on frugal living, retirement planning, and investing, and it contains hundred articles on money saving tips and strategies.
If your income is very limited, you will definitely want to subscribe to the The Frugal Life which features hundred of tips on living within your means. The site contains articles on practical topics such as auto savings, getting rid of clutter, do-it-yourself how-tos, home business ideas, and saving on your utilities.
The sites listed above are among my personal finds; I‘m sure there are others that should be on the list. Let us know which personal finance sites you subscribe to.
For other MUO articles on personal finance, start with these posts:
- Personal Finance Data page
- The 3 Best Free Personal Finance Managers For iPhone
- BudgetTracker: Personal Finance Calculator and Budget Tracking
- 10 Financial Websites That Help You Stay On Top Of The Market
- 15 Cool Tools for easy Expense Tracking and Budgeting
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