From birth, we are told that it is essential to make money and save it. This is why our parents often open up savings accounts in our name when we are born, why we have a piggy bank for our coins, and why we do part-time jobs after school and at the weekend (running your media distribution empire, a.k.a. a paper route). Even after school and college, it never ends, with having to pay off student loans, taking out a mortgage, a bank loan….Our entire lives are ruled by money, whether we like it or not.
The Internet has many websites on every conceivable subject, and finance is definitely not an exception. Here are 8 websites you could take a look at that’ll help you improve your bank balance or wipe out your overdraft.
Investopedia, as the name suggests, covers all aspects of investing, but it also has a section on personal finance. Everything from credit and loans, to insurance, taxes, retirement, and many more, make this a good website to bookmark and peruse through.
One area which I particularly like the Stock Market simulator, where you are given $100,000 in virtual cash, and you have to see whether or not you can gain more or lose your shirt. I lost the shirt – as well as the trousers, pants, and socks.
MSN being Microsoft, there will all of the Microsoft haters and bashers who will not like this page. But MSN does a surprisingly good finance page, which delves into more than just stocks and shares. They also cover personal finance, real estate, a currency converter, and a broker center. And lots more.
The articles are all aggregated from other sites, and by no means are they dry and boring. They also have quirky interesting articles such as 10 Notorious Tax Cheats [No longer available], and “rich people watching [the movie] Furious 7″.
Just like MSN, Yahoo also has their own finance page. I think the Yahoo design is more pleasing to the eye, and well designed. Although again, just like MSN, the vast majority of articles on the Yahoo Finance page are sourced from other places.
The article categories tick all the right boxes, but Yahoo Personal Finance also has two other categories – Career & Education, and Health & Lifestyle. You can also customize the page, depending on what stock quotes you want to see displayed.
“Get Rich Slowly” is one of my favourite reads, and is no stranger to MakeUseOf. This is a site with completely unique content, excellent writers, and a vibrant active community of readers. As well as discussing the important financial issues such as taxes, retirement accounts, interest rates, and so on, they also discuss other kinds of useful stuff, like how to prepare for an unexpected tax bill, and how to make yourself look employable to a prospective employer.
With the tagline “Living Large On a Small Budget” (sounds good to me), Wisebread dives right in and analyzes financial subjects such as Cars & Transportation, Debt Management, Insurance, Investments, and much more.
One section which particularly appeals to me, being Scottish, is Frugal Living. After all, nothing appeals to Scots more, than being frugal with “oor pennies”. Subjects include 15 Things To Put In a Blender, and 47 Cheap Fun Things To Do At The Weekend (apart from counting our pennies).
As well as the great content, the title of the site itself is enough to get my attention at least. The site describes its purpose as “to keep personal finance fun”, and with 200,000+ subscribers, it has positioned itself as a great site to read if you want to improve your financial situation.
If I thought that “Budgets Are Sexy” was the best title ever for a personal finance blog, then I was recently mistaken. During my research travels I found a site called “Punch Debt In The Face” (how could you not love a site called that?!), and with little stick figures explaining stuff, it was if XKCD had suddenly jumped onto another site.
This is a site that doesn’t take itself too seriously, as the language and tone is very informal and laid back. Some of you will appreciate the change in tone, while some of you will think the stick figures are a bit juvenile. Each to their own tastes.
“The Muse” is actually a career advice website, but it has a very good finance section as well. It features articles and advice for people leaving education, and about to enter the marketplace for the first time. This can include What To Do When Someone Asks You To Work For Free, and “Which US Universities Produce The Best Paid Grads?” (a good article for budding headhunters).
Are you an avid reader of any of the sites we listed? Which is your favourite? Do you have a website that you swear by when planning your finances? We’d love to hear from you – leave us your tips and feedback in the comments section below.