LAST REVIEWED Apr 05 2019 11 MIN READ
By Damian Davila
There are a lot of personal finance blogs, forums, and comment sections out there with many “armchair financial experts” giving advice. This is fine for reading anecdotes and commiserating with fellow savers and investors, but for big or high-risk personal finance decision research, make sure that you’re consuming information from sources that are edited and created by credentialed, experienced experts.
What personal finance blogs can be good for is giving you some motivation and general guidance. Instead of watching yet another piano-playing cat video or trying out the twelfth Snapchat filter of the day, put your time online to good use by learning from the best personal finance blogs and achieving your financial goals faster. Pick a few from this curated list and subscribe to them or bookmark them for easy reference. Feedly and Pocket are great tools for this!
Blogs for beginner investors
Gyutae Park and Andrew Schrage created Money Crashers based on 11 indispensable principles, including “get out of debt and stay out of debt”, “avoid scams and financial predators”, and “if you have a spouse or partner, treat this person as a teammate!”. If these principles don’t seem like rocket science to you, it’s because they aren’t. The content at Money Crashers is designed to be down-to-earth and down-to-business. Their marriage section is very informative for newlyweds and long-time partners alike.
Money Under 30
One of the key ways to reach financial independence or early retirement is to start saving and investing early. To help young adults make better financial decisions with confidence, David Weliver founded Money Under 30 in 2006. He focuses on the unique money issues that we face during our first two decades as adults.
The Simple Dollar
Trent Hamm is another personal finance author who started out sharing his own experiences as he was drowning in consumer debt and working in a job he didn’t like. After escaping that debt and building a successful career, Trent created the Simple Dollar to help others achieve the same goals through practical tips, tools, and lessons. For a sample, read Trent’s article on 100 Great Ways to Save Money.
Blogs for intermediate and advanced investors
Budgets Are Sexy
When a financial adviser recommends a target nest egg of one million dollars, many retirement savers tend to say that’s just not possible. By accumulating over half a million dollars in just 8 years, blogger J. Money has proved that it’s very possible. According to his calculations, his retirement accounts should reach millionaire status by age 46 (in approximately 11 years!). At his blog, Budgets Are Sexy, you’ll learn how to rock out budget planning, retirement planning, credit card management, and 401(k) management.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich
With a name like that for his site, Ramit Sethi set a high bar for himself. Still, he delivered, becoming a New York Times bestselling author and creating I Will Teach You To Be Rich, which gets more than a million visitors. This is site for individuals who aren’t looking to learn how to save $3 on lattes but instead want to focus on the Big Wins worth hundreds of thousand of dollars.
Money Talks News
If there were a prize for the personal finance author with the most credentials, it would probably go to Stacy Johnson, CEO and Founder of Money Talks News. He’s a CPA and has also been licensed in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate. With more than 4,000 personal finance stories under his belt, Stacy and his team of writers continue to churn out quality print and video on how to achieve financial freedom.
Coupon & bargain-hunting blogs
Indiana resident and mom of four, Briana Carter was so good at couponing (she has a Master’s Degree in Accounting, after all!) that she received constant questions from her family and friends about her bargain hunts. So, in 2008 she started Bargain Briana to share with more people about her saving techniques. Today, Bargain Briana focuses also on other ways to curb spending, including budget-friendly recipes, DIY projects, money saving ideas, and frugal living tips.
Every month about two to four million people visit Consumerist. And for good reason: it’s an independent source of consumer news published by a nonprofit subsidiary of Consumer Reports. At Consumerist, you’ll find news about price trends (the average price of Thanksgiving dinner is down in 2016!), warnings about shady practices from businesses, and changes to fees for a wide range of goods and services.
Hey, It’s Free!
Some people say there’s no such thing as a free meal. Hey, It’s Free! is on a mission to prove those naysayers that there are plenty of legitimate freebies on the Internet. Most of these freebies tend to be small, sample-sized items but Hey, It’s Free! Founder Ryan Eubanks is able to find some well-hidden gems every now and then. Ryan suggests creating a separate email account for your freebies because most companies require you to sign up for their newsletter in exchange for the freebie.
Money Saving Mom
Mom does know best. Especially, when mom can keep a grocery and household product budget to $35 a week! Drawing from her personal experience and list of lessons from her own mother, Crystal Paine created Money Saving Mom to help people in their own frugal journeys. And many are listening, Crystal’s personal finance site has more than 132,000 and 870,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.
Better known as the “$5 Dinner Mom”, Erin Chase is on a mission to help you discover what it takes to swing a $5 meal. Through her blog $5 Dinners, she provides a step-by-step guide not only on how to save money on groceries through couponing but also (and more importantly!) on how to use recipes and cooking tutorials to make delicious meals with those groceries. Bookmark on your browser the “31 Days of” series for ideas on slow cooker meals, skillet dinner recipes, and more.
The Krazy Coupon Lady
If you’re a fan of the Extreme Couponing show on cable TV, you’ll love the money saving strategies from Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer. Tired of spending $500 per month in groceries, they learned how to “stack” coupons, sales, and promos and walk out the store with bags of free groceries. At the Krazy Coupon Lady, you’ll learn where to find high-value coupons, how to stack coupons, and when to use them for the best overall savings.
General personal finance lifestyle blogs
Get Rich Slowly
Named a best blog Time magazine and most inspiring money blog by Money Magazine, Get Rich Slowly focuses on actionable small steps to trick ourselves into making the right choices, and eventually turning those choices into second nature. J.D. Roth, the blog’s founder, became inspired to share what he learned by digging himself out of $35,000 in debt from various consumer and home-equity loans. Now that’s “personal finance that makes cents”!
Following its mission “to live large on a small budget”, the founders of Wise Bread strongly believe that the road to financial independence isn’t a ramen-eating, vacation-skipping, fun-depriving journey. The main draw to this personal finance site is its eclectic mix of writers: one can warn you about Social Security myths, another will tell you about money lessons you can learn from J.K. Rowling, and another one may surprise you with a list of great wines under $10!
Voted as Canada’s Top Money Blogger by The Globe and Mail, Kerry Taylor is really great at playing devil’s advocate and making you think about though personal finance questions. For example, at her blog Squawkfox, Kerry shows you how to negotiate a lower credit card interest rate. Her posts can spark lengthy conversations, such as this post on whether or not a $700 winter jacket is really worth the money (340 comments!).
Would you recommend that we add a personal finance blog to this list? Tweet us your suggestions at @Human Interest.
Image credit: Luis Llerena
Damian Davila is a Honolulu-based writer with an MBA from the University of Hawaii. He enjoys helping people save money and writes about retirement, taxes, debt, and more.