When it comes to money, where do you go to get the information you need to make the right decisions?
Do you even know what the right decisions are?
One thing that became clear as part of the Financial Literacy Chronicles I started for Financial Literacy Month this year is that most people are financially illiterate. And may not even realize they are. Or where to go for help.
And our schools are failing us as a society. It’s a sad state of affairs.
Quick, when you think money expert, who do you think of?
Warren Buffet? Dave Ramsey? Bill Gates?
Sure, they’re all rich, but to be rich you have to understand money, or you won’t stay rich for long (lottery, anyone?). In today’s specialist world, we’re trained to look for an expert to give us advice. But how many times have you gone to a specialist and ended up more confused than when you started? Specialists know their specialty, but that knowledge might not include how to communicate it in a way that you can understand, let alone remember.
For the average American, we need someone who can make money interesting. Talk to us in our language, and show us solutions to the problems we’re facing right now. In words we can understand.
Not Kiplinger. Not Forbes. Not Money.
Enter the personal finance blogger.
The Money Websites
But there are so many personal finance blogs out there. How do I choose which ones to read?
Eventually, you will focus on the “personal” side of personal finance. Everyone’s different, facing different money questions in different stages of life. As you explore this list, and others, you will find the writers that resonate best with you and your money experiences, answering your money questions.
But it can be overwhelming.
To help you along, I asked each participant in the Financial Literacy Chronicles to list a few of their personal favorites in their interview.
These are the 8 money websites that came up the most, recommended by people who know money, and people, and great places to start your financial literacy journey.
Budgets Are Sexy
J. Money makes money interesting. As Andrew from Living Rich Cheaply puts it:
“J.Money is down to earth and makes personal finance cool. He has also started a forum about personal finance as well as a community fund to give out $50 gift cards as a random act of kindness to those in our communities in need.”
He’s also founded Rockstar Finance and its sister services mentioned below. Check out Budgets Are Sexy, and see for yourself!
Sam has some of the most unique and in depth content out there. I’m always learning something new and laughing at his injections of humor at the same time. I find Financial Samurai to be super refreshing because his topics are not only timely and written from the heart, he clearly has a level of industry knowledge that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
Do yourself a favor and check out his stuff. I’d start with a personal favorite, Scraping By on $500K a Year.
Mr Money Mustache
MMM doesn’t really need an introduction. As one of the original giants of the Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) world, he’s wild, he’s successful, and he’s living the dream for many money writers. As he says – financial freedom through badassity. About sums it up.
MMM has a way of convincing you the standard consumer-driven culture isn’t the only way. And I think realizing this is one of the first steps to really wanting to take control.
An overwhelming, inspirational, treat.
JD Roth is an all around money dude – been there, done that, got all the T shirts, in all the sizes and colors.
I like how Chelsea of Mama Fish Saves sums it up:
…his core principles of treating your financial life as a business are inspirational. Going through his personal mission statement process drives improvement in my life every time I go through it.
Give it a gander. I’d start with the Money Boss Toolbox – a great selection of guides and tools to get your financial life organized and moving in the right direction.
1500 Days To Freedom
When I first stumbled across 1500 Days, I impressed with his story and his steady progress towards his early retirement goal. His dedication, and humor make for educational and entertaining reading – case in point, give Getting Naked In The CostCo Parking Lot a read. As Brian from Debt Discipline puts it:
Who doesn’t like dinosaurs? And the double comma club? I had the opportunity to meet Mr.1500, just your ordinary family man, millionaire on his way to FIRE.
Another great in the FIRE community, Mad FIentist is an inspiration and help to many pursuing early retirement. Between his writing, interviews with other FIRE enthusiasts like Mr. Money Mustache, and tools to help you reach early retirement, it’s a comprehensive starting point for anyone interested in FIRE.
As Ty from Get Rich Quickish puts it:
…full of so many useful tips and strategies that you can use to save a huge percentage of your income and also how you can access that money in early retirement without being penalized by the government for early withdrawals.
Retire by 40
Joe is an early retiree and stay at home father who writes on Retire By 40 about his experiences as inspiration to help others achieve financial independence. His practical advice shows how anyone can achieve financial independence with the right attitude and focus.
Wes from Pursuit of Happiness sums it up for many early retirement hopefuls:
Reading about Joe’s journey while I was in my miserable job really inspired me to retire early
Last, but far from least, is Rockstar Finance.
While Rockstar Finance itself is a content aggregator highlighting some of the best money advice on the interwebs, it’s so much more. In the words of Amanda from Frugal Confessions:
J. Money rocks at finding the most interesting, make-you-think money articles out there.
Between the Rockstar Directory of money blogs, and the Rockstar Forums where pf bloggers and regular folks can mingle and talk all things money, J$ and his crew have created a vital community of money writers and resources that should be a regular stop for anyone interested in personal finance.
This short list is just the tip of the money iceberg.
There are thousands of money websites, including personal finance blogs, to choose from. If you haven’t already done so, read more of the Financial Literacy Chronicles to see the great money websites that didn’t make the list.
Have a favorite I didn’t mention? Have a recommendation for who I should interview in a future Financial Literacy Chronicle? Let me know in the comments!