Latest posts by R.J. Weiss, CFP® (see all)
- How To Survive The Next Recession - June 26, 2017
- 17 Passive Income Ideas for 2017 With Little Or No Upfront Investment - June 22, 2017
- 5 Important Money Lessons You Never Want To Learn The Hard Way - June 20, 2017
If you’re looking for practical, insightful and educational blog post on achieving financial freedom you’ve come to the right place.
As you know, there’s no shortage of high quality personal finance bloggers. But I decided to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the absolute cream of the crop.
No matter where you’re at on your journey to financial freedom, the tips, tools, and techniques in the posts below will help.
100 Posts is a lot to sort through, I know. So, I put the posts into categories organized by the stage one may have on their journey to financial freedom.
- Good Reads for the Beginner
- Good Reads For All
- Getting Out of Debt
- Building An Emergency Fund
- Saving & Budgeting
- Retirement Investing
- Building Wealth
- Earning More
- Financial Freedom
How does one go about selecting 100 posts? I reviewed the best posts (as ranked my number of social shares) on around 200 of the top personal finance/investing blogs. After reviewing the top 3-5 posts from the top blogs, I choose the post I found most useful towards achieving financial freedom.
8 Financial Decisions You’ll Never Regret via Wisebread
Excerpt: A new year is here. And even if you’ve already broken the resolutions you made at the end of the holiday season, it’s never too late to make new ones, especially when it comes to your finances. Here are eight financial de cisions you can make now that you’ll never regret. Make the moves on this list soon, and you’ll dramatically increase your odds of a happy financial future.
3 Financial Priorities You Need To Address Now via Boomer and Echo
Excerpt: No one likes to think about his or her own mortality, especially when you have your entire life ahead of you. And besides, who likes paying for something that you’ll only need when disaster strikes?Emergency funds, wills, and life insurance are so easily avoided because we have the mentality that ‘it won’t happen to me’. It’s amazing how much your perceptions change as you get older and start raising a family. Suddenly, there’s a huge feeling of responsibility to get these financial priorities taken care of. I’m glad we did because the peace of mind is priceless.
10 Ways To Screw Up Your Finances Without Even Trying: Common Personal Finance Mistakes via Bible Money Matters
Excerpt: One thing that I’ve seen over the past few years is that while the concepts of personal finance aren’t always rocket science, people still quite often have a hard time grasping them – or they are just willfully ignorant of them. People are very good at finding ways to screw up their finances. Whether it’s maxing out their credit cards, or not being able to make the payments on a car they can’t afford, they make the same mistakes over and over. It it any wonder that the average credit card debt per household with credit card debt is almost $16,000?
Parents Pass (Bad) Money Habits to Kids via Squared Away
Excerpt: When people are asked why they are stressed, money – or the lack of it – is often at the top of the list. Ask psychologists why this is so, and many would point to a deeper explanation: our parents. How and whether our parents talked about money, as well as the emotional tenor of these conversations – or silences – are critical to how we manage money as adults.
10 Money Revelations in My 30’s via A Wealth of Common Sense
Excerpt: A few things I’ve come to realize about money as I recently hit the mid-point of my 30s…A successful financial life comes from increasing your career prospects and saving the difference, but that doesn’t happen with lifestyle creep.
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5 Money Mindsets That Are Keeping You Broke via Stephanie O’Connell
Excerpt: While distilling financial realities and desired outcomes down to numbers is an essential first step – implementing habits and behaviors to support those desired outcomes requires looking at what else comes into play in shaping our financial lives – thoughts, feelings and all the irrationalities that make us human. So today I want to talk about 5 money mindsets that get in the way of savvy financial choices, what you can do to combat them and how you might even flip them to work in your favor.
Ways People Pretend to Have Their Money Sh*t Together via Gen Y Planning
Excerpt: When you’ve got friends who live like the Rich Kids of Instagram, life can feel distorted. Especially if you’ve talked about money with these friends and you know they don’t make more than you do. How can they afford dinners out, travel, and designer clothes? Where did they get the money for that $500,000 condo? And why are you stuck being the broke-yet-responsible one who lives with three roommates and brown-bags your lunches each day? You’re missing a piece of the puzzle. You don’t know how much debt they’re taking on, or how much financial help they’re getting from their families, to project the illusion of wealth and success.
20 Tips to Get Your Finances in Order in Your 20s via Money Mini Blog
Excerpt: Your twenties are an important time for a lot of reasons. It’s usually when you’re finishing college and stepping into adulthood. It’s also when you start to build the foundation for your relationship with money. When you hear stories of people who’ve ruined their credit or are drowning in debt, you’ll usually find that it started in their twenties. On the flip side, the people that end up doing well later on in life had a good foundation to start off on, and it carried on with them for decades. So how do you avoid ruining your finances early on in life? Follow these 20 tips to get your finances in order in your twenties!
19 Lessons on Money and Life for 2016 Graduates via Passive Income Pursuit
Excerpt: I know it’s sometimes hard to take advice, but I wanted to impart a few words of wisdom that I’ve learned over my 30+ years. After all, it’s much better to learn from others’ mistakes instead of repeating them for yourself, although I know it’s tempting to do so.
The Ultimate Personal Finance Checklist for the Recent Grad via Live Like A Student Blog
Excerpt: While graduating college should be an exciting time, a lot of students express that they have mixed feelings when it comes to graduating. You might be feeling overwhelmed or anxious about making the transition from being a student to a ‘real adult,’ and that’s totally normal! Personal finances are typically a major contributor to this mix of emotions students feel post-graduation. You’ve worked hard, spent countless hours in the library, finished projects and took finals –now you’re whisked into adulthood, expected to manage a budget, start saving money and pay your bills on time. All while adjusting to working a new full time job! All of the sudden, taking those finals doesn’t seem so bad… 🙂
Life Insurance for Parents: An Insider’s Guide to Saving Money via Chicago Insurance Agent Blog
Excerpt: In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn:
- How to decide what type of life insurance is best for you
- How to decide how much insurance you need
- How to buy the right type, with the right amount, for the lowest possible price
- 8 Steps to buying life insurance
Six Basic Personal Finance Facts People Should Know (but Constantly Get Wrong) via The Simple Dollar
Excerpt: I get a pretty healthy number of questions from readers each week, many of which find their way into the weekly “reader mailbag” article. While most of the questions are pretty interesting, I do find a lot of patterns in the questions that people ask me. I see a lot of people who struggle with a mountain of student loan and credit card debt in the early years of their professional lives for example, a situation that really hits home for me.
7 Things Enormously Financially Successful People Refuse to Do via Good Financial Cents
Excerpt: What are a few financial goals you’re aspiring to reach? Perhaps you want to pay off debt, save $2 million for retirement, or give more than you ever thought possible. One of the best ways to get where you want to go in life is to look at the lives of those who have arrived. How did they accomplish these goals? What made the difference for them? Are these things you can do, too?
Happiness is the Only Logical Pursuit via Mr. Money Mustache
Ecerpt: As humans, we’re stuck at the top of this pyramid. We have become so complex that the reproduction part is just a footnote in our lives, so we move on to get caught up in interest rate predictions, celebrity magazines, war, philanthropy or fantasy football. We have created all of this complexity, a sloshing sea of ideas and activities completely unrelated to raising babies, and it’s all because of one underlying thing we’re all born with: The Desire to Be Happy.
Excerpt: We’re just not that financially healthy as a Country. 57% of us Americans are struggling financially. Many of us are struggling with debt or poor savings, and living paycheck to paycheck. What if I told you there’s a way out for us all?
How to Rebuild After Escaping Financial Abuse via The Daily Worth
Excerpt: Perhaps you have an image in your mind of what domestic abuse is. Many of us probably think of physical or verbal abuse, but aren’t as aware of financial or economic abuse. In fact, financial abuse goes hand in hand with physical abuse: 98 percent of people in abusive relationships experience financial abuse, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Controlling someone’s money is one of the most effective ways of keeping them trapped and powerless in a relationship, because it leaves them with few resources and little agency. Escaping can be dangerous, even lethal. And rebuilding can be a nearly impossible task, especially since the abusive partner has likely stripped their victim of the building blocks to economic independence.
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Winner of $1.5 billion Powerball Faces Long Odds – But even longer odds of keeping it via Jay Zagorsky’s Research & Blog
Excerpt: Previous research suggests many people quickly spend any unexpected windfalls. A 2001 paper (by economists Guido Imbens and Bruce Sacerdote and statistician Donald Rubin) found that lottery winners saved just 16 cents of every dollar won. Other studies found that instead of getting people out of financial trouble, winning the lottery got people into more trouble, since bankruptcy rates soared for lottery winners three to five years after winning. It is not only winning the lottery that causes people to spend. My own research found that the average person in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s who was given an inheritance or large financial gift quickly lost half the money through spending or poor investments.
Curate Your Life, and the Rest Will Follow via Afford Anything
Excerpt: But there’s a simple corollary that fixes everything: The less we own, the more we enjoy the few items we have…Because here’s the reality: We have space for anything, but not everything…We can fill our lives with whatever we want, until we run out of space. Or money. Or time. That’s why we need to edit the clutter from our homes just as a writer edits words.
7 Important Money Ratios to Remember via WalletHacks
Excerpt: Ratios are everywhere. Have you ever baked a loaf of bread? The recipe always looks complex but it relies on one key ratio: 5 parts flour to 3 parts liquid. Fresh pasta is just 3 parts flour and 2 parts egg. These ratios are important because if you can’t remember the specific recipes, a ratio will save the day. The same can be true of money ratios. These aren’t naturally occurring ratios, like the golden ratio, but man-made rules of thumb that can be extremely valuable starting points.
How Would You “Waste” Money to Improve Your Quality of Life? via Broke Millenial
Excerpt: By the time those student loans, credit cards, personal loans or car payments are handled – will you still be living far enough below your means to enable the spending of $500 to improve your quality of life? Or, if you’ve always been a freak about handling your money and never been in debt (like me), will you be able to get your mind out of the intense frugality headspace in order to justify “wasting money” in order to improve your life.
Inform Kids About College Costs Before Ignorance Becomes Entitlement by Family Finance Favs
Excerpt: 62% of recently surveyed kids ages 8 to 14 expect parents to pay for “whatever college I want to go to.” But… Only 12% of surveyed parents will be able to fully cover the cost of college…Do kids 8-14 have any idea how much college costs, or what a burden it is on their parents? Not unless they’ve been having open discussions with parents about the cost of college. Not unless those talks include a blunt assessment of what the family can reasonably afford.
This is What Happened When I Spent $1,500 on Food via Catherine Alford
Excerpt: Over the past few years, I’ve tried many different ways to reduce my grocery bills. There were times in my life, even recently, where I would try to spend only $250.00 a month on groceries.I wrote posts on how to spend $50 a week on groceries. It was hard, but at that time, I was trying to be extremely frugal and to put it bluntly, just trying to survive while dealing with variable business income. Unfortunately, the past year hasn’t been great for my health.
Financial Psychology Worth Sharing via Femme Frugality
Excerpt: By being aware of this psychological pattern, we can stop ourselves in the moment. We can ask ourselves, “Do I really want to go on a shopping spree right now to buy more things I don’t need and get stuck with a crazy huge credit card bill later? Or do I only want it because I’m not supposed to do it?”
My Philosophy on Money via 1500 Days To Freedom
Excerpt: I want to live in a way where each day is a blank canvas to fill as I choose. There are so many wonderful ways to live and such little time. Life won’t be long enough to fit it all in, but I’ll die trying.
Making Good Financial Decisions via Debt Free Guys
Excerpt: The lesson we learned is that it’s up to each of us to decide what we want and make our lives fit that. Most of us aren’t rich and we need to weigh trade-offs. For us, we need to decide what’s important. We must practice patience, save extra money and ignore what others say. If you want a house full of kids, do it, get earplugs and consider you may give up some things to fulfill this dream. If you want a large, fancy house with no kids, that’s also great, but you’ll have trade-offs, too. If you want something else, don’t let other people’s objectives or dreams influence yours.
The Funnel Of Financial Privilege via Money After Graduation
Excerpt: Privilege is a loaded word, and a concept that is still complicated and misunderstood by many. I won’t do it great justice here, but it’s something worth discussing when it comes to personal finance. I recently stumbled upon an article titled, Millennials Who Are Financially Thriving Have One Thing In Common, and was introduced to the most excellent term: Funnel of privilege.
Success Goes to the Steady, Not the Speedy via Matt About Money
Excerpt: We’re all drawn to stories of people who achieve “overnight success.” They make for great headlines and sell a lot of magazines and books. Problem is, they’re a myth. In the business classic, “Good to Great,” author Jim Collins explored the reasons why some companies break away from their pack of competitors and achieve remarkable, sustained success. While there was usually a point in time when they did, in fact, break away, it was not at all about some new idea that suddenly rocketed them to the top. It was the result of steadily doing the right things over a long period of time.
Excerpt: Is it really possible to generalize about the differences in the way rich people and poor people behave? Let’s explore the “millionaire mindset” by examining habits that foster wealth and success.
Poor Financial Skills Make Life More Expensive via Clever Dude
Excerpt: Having poor financial management skills can lead to a bad financial state that can have an impact on all aspects of life. When you have to pay fees for the most basic financial activities, it could be a spiral that’s hard to recover from as so many of your resources are used paying for the consequences of past mistakes. Once you start digging the hole, it’s hard to stop.
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How to Kick Financial Butt in the New Year via Debt Roundup
Excerpt: In hopes to provide you with some tips on how to work toward financial independence, here’s how to kick financial butt in the new year. You can grab your finances by the horns and do what you want with them. Ever since I’ve gotten out of debt, I use each year to craft a plan to make sure I’m doing what I want. Hopefully you can to.
How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth via Get Out of Debt Guy
Excerpt: As a student of the history of debt, having lived through debt problems myself, and having founded and run a credit counseling organization I have a very unique view from inside and outside the debt world. If there were mistakes and beliefs to be had, I’ve had them. If there perceptions about debt, they’ve floated through my mind, If there moral decisions to be weighed in regards to debt, I’ve wandered across all of those boundaries as well.
3 Things I Wish I Learned About Credit as a Kid via Canadian Finance Blog
Excerpt: A few weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends what they wished they’d been taught about money as kids. The vast majority of responses had to do with wishing they had a better understanding of credit. We live in a society where we don’t have to wait for anything. We don’t have to save for new furniture, a new gadget, a new vehicle or a nice meal in a great restaurant. We don’t even need to build a contingency fund; money is instantly available to us, regardless of how much we actually have in the bank, as long as we have access to credit.
5 Things to Do Before Making Your First Student Loan Payment via Afterword (UVM Blog)
Excerpt: Yes, it’s hard to believe. But, for most of you with student loans, your first payment is probably due this month. How do I know? I was in your exact shoes two years ago. I was on an 8-hour drive for my job (not fun) and in the middle of the 5th radio appearance of Pharrell William’s “Happy” I realized my first loan payment was due that day. I pulled out my crappy, quasi-smart phone and tried to make my payment on the side of the road. After navigating the worst website in history, I managed to click the payment button before my browser crashed — did I make my payment? Only the internet gods knew for sure. When I finally got home and logged on from my laptop, it hit me. I had already signed up for automatic loan payments and my side-of-the-road payment also went through. I made a double payment — not because of my financial acumen — but because of my disorganization.
Excerpt: Have you ever wondered who you’re borrowing money from when you go into debt? If you think you’re being given money by a bank or credit card company, think again. In this piece I’ll explain in one sentence who is really lending you money when you borrow. The rest of the article will explain why it costs you more than you might think to take it.
How Paying Off All My Debt Changed My Life via Fast Company
Excerpt: Four years ago, my husband and I were $200,000 in debt, with $25,000 on credit cards, $21,000 in auto loans, and a mortgage of $154,000. But on October 16, 2015, we wrote a check for $6,292, the balance of our mortgage and our last remaining loan, and became officially 100% debt-free. We joined a minority of Americans—about 20%—who don’t owe anyone anything. It’s an exclusive club, but there’s hope that it’s growing. About half of Americans indicate that being debt-free is within reach, and 25% say it’s the new American Dream, according to a Credit.com survey.
The First Step to Take When Paying Off Debt via Hope+Cents
Excerpt: A common question in regards to paying off debt is, “Where do I begin?” It can be overwhelming figuring out what to do first. You’ve gained the inspiration you needed and figured out your “why”. You’ve made the tough and mature decision to begin paying off debt. Now, what do you do first? The number one thing I recommend you do will set the stage for your debt-free journey and will give you a sense of peace in regards to your debt and your finances in general.
How Does a Broke Single Mom Pay off $15k in 7 Months? via MoneyPeach
Excerpt: Jessica is one of my awesome financial coaching students with another amazing story. She came to me in July 2015 needing a little help handling her monthly budget. She came right out and let me know she was a single mother of two boys, she worked two jobs, and she was tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Who could blame her, right?
You Weren’t Born to Pay Off Debt and Die by Cait Flanders
Excerpt: I’ve seen this picture float around the internet that says, “you weren’t born to pay bills and die”. I can see the point it’s trying to make: life is about more than working and paying bills. But, not to burst the picture’s bubble, the simple fact is that there will always be bills to pay. Unless you become the man who quit money, you are always going to have to pay for something, like utilities or a phone service. So, while I agree that you weren’t born to pay them, you will, in fact, probably always have to.
How MJ Paid off Over $39,000 of Debt in 21 Months via FinanciallyFit and Fab
Excerpt: Recently I sat down with a friend, MJ Bridges, who paid off over $39,000 of consumer debt in 21 months and started the site Young and Debt Free…So MJ, I have to ask. How did you accumulate over $39,000 of consumer debt? That is $39,000 of debt not including your student loans!..”Honestly, I was trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Looking at people on social media with new cars, furniture, and designer clothes.”
A Bunch of Things I Did To Get Out Of Debt via The Minimalists
Excerpt: Minimalism isn’t deprivation, but sometimes temporarily depriving yourself creates a path toward financial freedom. That was certainly true for me: I had six figures in debt—nearly half-a-million dollars if you include my mortgage—but today I’m debt-free…You see, I didn’t simply go without—I replaced expenses with alternatives, which made my momentary forfeiture feel less like a sacrifice.
10 Tips to Get Your Adult Financial Life in Order via Natalie Bacon
Excerpt: When I graduated from all my schooling and took one look at my student loans, I immediately thought “how did I make it to a 25 year old attorney and know nothing about personal finance?!”. I felt completely blind-sided and began a quest to understanding personal finance – something I managed to avoid for a solid 25 years. After listening to Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey, I became addicted. Fast-forward five years, and I’ve learned a lot about money. Here are ten little nuggets of wisdom that I would’ve liked to know five years ago.
Excerpt: Until recently when I needed to take a short-term mortgage until my old home sold (FYI, it was a nightmare process), I hadn’t had a mortgage in 18 years (FYI, I don’t have one now either as I paid off the recent mortgage earlier this month.). Yep, we completely paid it off over a decade and a half ago and haven’t looked back for a second (we haven’t had debt of any kind over this time). What do I consider the keys to doing this (and to buying a house in general)? Here are my suggestions:
Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Paying Off $42,800 of Debt in One Year via Dream Beyond Debt
Excerpt: In 2015, I set an intention to pay off as much of my student loan debt as possible. I kept the goal vague because I didn’t want to set the bar too high and fail. Instead of emphatically stating that I wanted to pay off all $47,554 of debt that I carried, I considered the possibility of paying off in one year. I wondered what it would look like. What would it take? I got curious. Then, I got to work. As of December 14, 2015, I paid off $42,851. In one year, I paid off almost $43,000 in student loan debt. (In January, 2016, I’ll pay off approximately $2,800 more.) I’ve learned a lot of lessons from the experience. For instance…
5 Financial Truths You Need to Face Up to NOW via The Frugal Farmer
Excerpt: I’m going to be honest in this post. Really honest. Not because I’m mean that way, but because I really want you to stop living a life of financial hell. A life where you’re calm one minute because you can make the minimum payments on your debt and still have a small bit of breathing room, and off-your-rocker stressed the next minute because the da*n furnace just went out and you don’t have the cash to get it fixed. Oh goodie, more debt.
How to Pay Off Debt Quickly and Get on with Your Life via Financial Best Life
Excerpt: Nearly a year ago (in April 2015) I published this piece on how I paid off over $8,000 in credit card debt in 90 days. It’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve ever done, and I was happy to have my debt payoff story featured on big name websites like Business Insider, The Penny Hoarder, The Well Kept Wallet (and others.) Recognition is super cool. Internet trolls are not. A lot of people commented that what I’d done was impossible, that I must’ve been “stripping on the side” in order to pull down that kind of cash to pay off all that debt.
How To Keep Debt From Causing A Marriage Crisis via Canadian Budget Binder
Excerpt: I received this email from a blog reader named Derek who is seemingly stuck in a marriage where his wife is calling the shots and they’ve both used money as a coping mechanism which is only driving them further apart. Let’s read their story and see if we can offer them any tips to find their love, reconnect and solve their now debt problems that has caused a marriage crisis.
What I Learned Paying Off My $400K Mortgage In 6.5 Years via Money Smart Guides
Excerpt: This isn’t a scammy, get rich quick scheme that only works for the people on top or the 0.0001% of people that “make it”. This result was achieved through specific, repeatable actions which you can do too and the results are achievable for everyone, even if you’re on a single income, even if you’ve got children. Heck, even if you are BOTH those things there are winners out there using this knowledge and getting ahead.
Top Personal Finance Experts Reveal Their #1 Stay Out of Debt Advice via A Debt Free Stress Free Life
Excerpt: You’ve written that final bill to your last credit card company. Maybe you did the dance of joy and had a celebratory glass of champagne. Congratulations! You’ve accomplished something less than 23% of the population can do by paying off your debt. You’re debt free, and although that is an incredible accomplishment, you’re probably wondering what you should do now. You’d be right in wondering how to move forward. The last thing you want to do is to revert to your old ways.
29 Ways to Build your Emergency Fund out of Thin Air via Get Rich Slowly
Excerpt: Building an emergency fund is an essential part of financial security. One constant is that you will face unexpected expenses throughout your adult life and many Americans are unprepared to face them. According to a 2015 study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, 60% of Americans experienced a “financial shock” in the past 12 months and the average cost was $2,000.
6 Emergency Fund Myths You Should Stop Believing via Wisebread
Excerpt: Starting an emergency fund can feel like a daunting prospect. On top of saving for retirement and key financial goals — not to mention just covering the daily necessities — putting money away for a rainy day can seem overwhelming. But don’t let negative thinking or unfounded myths prevent you from securing your financial future. Here are six common (and completely useless) myths you’ll encounter on your way to building an emergency fund.
9 Side Job Sites to Build Your Emergency Fund via Work From Home Happiness
Excerpt: I do random side jobs whenever I can. And instead of spending the money on something frivolous (read, fun), I put it away for a rainy day. In the last five years, it’s become even easier to pad my emergency fund thanks to all the online side job sites available today. Ready to build your own emergency fund with online side job sites?
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How To Know If You Are Financially On Track via Wealth Pilgrim
Excerpt: How do you know if you are on the right path financially or not? There are so many metrics and benchmarks to consider; income, net worth, home equity, spending, investment balances and on and on. In fact, there is so much data at your disposal these days you can easily get lost in the thicket. If you do, you run the real risk of focusing on the wrong things.
How To Save Your First $100,000 by Money Under 30
Excerpt: The first $100,000 is the hardest to save. That’s a common mantra on wealth-building blogs and investor forums. In fact, saving your first $100,000 can be quite simple. If you’re willing to make some sacrifices early on, you’ll have that kind of money (or more) in no time. In this article, I’ll show you a step-by-step process for saving your first $100,000 in as little as five years. While it won’t be easy, it also doesn’t have to be complicated. Let me show you what I mean.
Secrets for Living on One Income (From Someone Who Has Done It) via Penny Pinching Mom
Excerpt: Living on one income is a dream of many. However, they think it is impossible. You can do it – you just need to know how to make it a reality. Before my husband I even got married, we talked about children and family. We both agreed that we were willing to make sacrifices so that I could stay a home with them. That meant changing things and living on one income.
10 Money Saving Challenges to Try via Saving Advice
Excerpt: It seems that social media has blown up with “challenges” in recent years. “Like and comment this many times and I’ll do 50 pushups” or year-long savings challenges seem to be all over sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Some of these challenges, however, can really help your wallet. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best savings challenges on the Web:
7 Tips for Newlyweds Combining Finances via Everything Finance
Excerpt: My younger brother and his girlfriend of 7+ years are finally getting married.While they’ve spent a large chunk of their lives together, they’ve never lived together and are only recently starting to delve into each other’s finances….Here are some pieces of wisdom that I shared with my brother and will now share with you for newlyweds looking to combine finances.
Real Life 101: Signing a Lease via Bowdoin University
Excerpt: If you are thinking of signing a lease, then you obviously have found a place that you’d be willing to live in for an extended period of time. You probably understand what rent is going to cost you and you probably have a plan for how you are going to pay for it. Before you sign this legally binding document, however, here are a few questions you need answers to.
30+ Ways To Save Money Each Month via Making Sense of Cents
Excerpt: To start the new year off right, I thought it would be the perfect time to include one big roundup post of different ways to save money every month and throughout the year. While you may already be taking part in some of the many ways to save money below, you may find something new that will help you cut back on your spending. Or, perhaps, all you need is a reminder! Doing one or all of the below may allow you to change your life for the better.
5 Things That Happen When You Spend Only Cash via Enemy of Debt
Excerpt: As happens in life, we got lazy and began to let our structure slide in favor of the convenience of just swiping our debit card. The result was that we found ourselves overspending, which impacted our ability to reach our future financial goals. We wanted to regain that firm grip on our finances, so we decided to back to the system that worked well for us.
How to Budget when you don’t make enough money via Lauren Gretman
Excerpt: Many people have been trying to answer the question of How to Budget when you don’t make enough money. It’s a difficult place to be in for sure. But just because you don’t make enough money to cover your expenses right now doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands in defeat. you can get through this! Here’s how to budget in this situation.
Money got you stuck? Don’t Miss This One Hidden Step via Jen Hemphill
Excerpt: In order to save more and spend less you need to have a plan. In order to have a plan you need to know what you are working with. You need to know your bottomline–how much money is truly left over after all expenses are taken care of. It would make sense to think if you spend less, save more, track your expenses, and do a budget that it would solve all your problems. WRONG! Now it helps most definitely, but IT DOESN’T STOP THERE.
Be Honest: Are You Really Saving Enough for Retirement? via MoneyNing
Excerpt: One of the most important things you can do is to save enough for retirement. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t saving anything for their future. According to a recent survey from GoBankingRates.com, it looks as though about one in three Americans has absolutely nothing in their nest egg. This is a concerning number since it indicates that many people aren’t preparing for their financial future.
Your Employer’s 401k Match is Not a Suggestion (or Maximum) via 20 Something Finance
Excerpt: So, you have a 401K. Congratulations! (many don’t) What’s next? You have to decide how much you would like to contribute, of course. And this crucial stage is where I fear that many people get tripped up. Many employers with a 401K plan offer a match. And it seems natural that many employees will look at that matching percentage as a suggestion. Or worse, a maximum.
Invest In My 401k Or Save For A House Downpayment? by Financial Samurai
Excerpt: Over the years, many people have inquired whether they should invest more or save for a downpayment. A home, after all, is usually the most expensive asset someone will buy in their lifetimes. Coming up with the downpayment is one of the biggest financial hurdles anybody can overcome. Furthermore, nobody wants to remain in a rental if they know they plan to live in an area for an extended period of time e.g. five years or more. I’ll share with you my framework on how to figure out whether to invest or save for a downpayment.
The Dirty Dozen Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid via Financial Mentor
Excerpt: Retirement planning is one of the most important financial goals you’ll undertake – and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Do it right and your golden years can be filled with independence, joy, and freedom. Conversely, make one of these 12 mistakes and you could face a life of poverty, dependence, and penny pinching. The key to success is getting it right the first time because there’s no second chance once you hit retirement.
8 Brutal Truths About Retirement via Random Roger
Excerpt: For many years I have been saying that retirement has evolved into something much different than it used to be, at least for most people. With the time horizon that more and more people will have at 60 or 65, retirement can really be thought of as the start of something not the end of something. As such there is a lot of work to do as far as how to spend your time, assessing your finances (even if you have an advisor), becoming your own health and fitness advocate and there’s probably more and all of them are multi-faceted in their scope. While I hope that no one wishes away their life to get to retirement, once you get there it is an opportunity for many things if you have the right perspective.
7 Steps to an Awesome 401(k) via Finance and Flip Flops
Excerpt: With so much riding on the success or failure of your 401(k), one would think that every saver would take the time to know the rules. However, many employees continue to take less than full advantage of their employer-sponsored plan. Some may not know enough to make an informed decision, while others simply choose to go in another direction. That being said, for those seeking more information on how to best make use of their 401(k), here are several things you may want to consider.
Three reasons people retire broke via Retire Happy
Excerpt: I’ve spent over 20 years working with people and their money and reading all kinds of financial material and I’m stunned by that finding. Anyone who can’t cover even a small bill is almost certainly going to be in the large group of Canadians who will fall short of their retirement goals. We have these dreams for life after work but we rarely achieve them. If you want to retire well with more money than you can outlive, you’ve got to take control of the behaviors that are destructive to building the wealth required to retire comfortably and worry free.
Harvard Endowment Returns vs Passive Index Fund Investing – Which Approach is the Best? via Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance
Excerpt: Attempting to time the markets, using strategic asset allocation may work some years, but over the long term, most investors are wise to choose an asset allocation that reflects their personal time horizon, goals and risk tolerance. You won’t beat the market, but if history is any guide-your investment returns will beat inflation and create long term wealth.
Setting a Financial Finish Line via Sound Mind Investing
Excerpt: At first glance, it may seem that setting a financial finish line is a tangible way of rejecting the quest for more. But Mohns says that’s not quite right. He’s highly motivated by the pursuit of more—just a different type.
Excerpt: Millennials are plagued with a lot of financial pitfalls – student loan debt, low paying jobs, low prospects for career advancement and more. But millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have a huge advantage when it comes to money as they have time on their side. The financial circumstances facing this generation might appear bleak but they don’t have to be. Millennials can dodge a financially troubling retirement by avoiding these common retirement mistakes.
Best Investing Books of All Time: As Voted By 24 Top Investors & Institutions via The Ways To Wealth*
Excerpt: But what books are the greatest investors of our generation recommending? Or, that books are the institutions recommending teaching the next Warren Buffett? Today you’re in for a treat. Over the past 45 days, I curated a total of 24 reading lists. I sought out the favorite books of investors such as Warren Buffett, Nassim Taleb, Seth Klarman, and Howard Marks. Tracked down the reading lists from top finance programs such as Columbia, MIT, Florida, and New York University. Found the recommended reading for new security analysts at investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. All in all I curated a total of 24 books lists, which produced a total of over 575 book recommendations. I combined every single one of those recommendations into excel. Then, sorted by count. What I got was a list of the books ranked by the number of recommendations received. Which to my surprise, was much different than most media publications, 20 books investors must read. Here’s the top 14 books on that list (in parentheses are the number of recommendations the book received).
*blatant self promotion
6 Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value via Money Talks News
Excerpt: If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s a good idea to know what property features are important to homebuyers, especially if you’re expecting top dollar for your house. At 31 percent, millennials now represent the largest segment of homebuyers in the United States, according to the National Association of Realtors. Today’s young buyers have a “must-have” list that helps determine how much money they’re willing to fork over to get their dream house. Based on shifts in the current housing market and a nationally representative survey of young homebuyers, Consumer Reports says these are the top six ways you can improve your home and its value.
A house is an asset not an investment via Abnormal Returns
Excerpt: A couple weeks ago Jason Zweig at WSJ wrote a personal and moving piece on selling the home where he was raised and where his mother had lived until recently. His experience is at-odds with the thinking of many Millennials who do not want to be weighed down by the cost and responsibility of owning a home.
How to Become a Millionaire – 3 Real Life Stories via Dough Roller
Excerpt: Millionaire status. It has a nice ring, doesn’t it? Yeah, a million dollars won’t get you what it used to, but it’s still the benchmark that every middle class person shoots for. Becoming a millionaire means you’ve officially graduated from the middle class and are now one of the “wealthy elites” that you dreamed about becoming. You’ve made it.
Politics and Investing Don’t Mix via The Oblivious Investor
Excerpt: Fear is a powerful sales tool. A sales technique that I’ve seen more and more of recently is the exploitation of a person’s political views in order to instill fear and, ultimately, sell undesirable financial products.
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Simple vs Complex via Reformed Broker
Excerpt: It’s been said that everyone has the right to have that one topic that they are utterly unreasonable about. That one subject where no matter what anyone says, they are so sure they’re right that it’s a waste of time even trying to talk them out of it. You can’t be like that about everything, but you can be like that about one thing. A study of great businesspeople and investors confirms it – not only are you allowed to have that one subject, it turns out that you actually should. I have mine: No one on earth will ever convince me that complexity is better than simplicity when it comes to investing. No one.
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The Great Myths of Investing via Above the Market
Excerpt: As the great Mark Twain (may have) said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” That’s particularly true in the investment world because we know, to a mathematical certainty, that avoiding errors provides more bang for the buck than making correct calls and generating outperformance. Fixing what we “know for sure that just ain’t so” provides a remarkable opportunity for investment success.
It’s Never A Perfect Time To Invest In Stocks via FMD Capital Management Blog
Excerpt: The stock market never looks perfect. There is always something to worry about. That is why they call it climbing the “wall of worry”. If you are waiting on a specific point of certainty in order to invest, you are going to be the last guy or girl holding the bag before the wheels really come off. There are always going to be wars, elections, corruption, debt cycles, stock upheaval, commodity insecurity, and a whole lot of people who are bigger, faster, and smarter than you are in the market. In addition, there are shifting cross currents that offer little in the way of predictable patterns.
Are Fees Eroding Your Wealth? via Canadian Finance Blog
Excerpt: When you think about what’s holding you back when it comes to wealth, you probably don’t think too much about the small things, like fees. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook fees. They seem rather small, and it doesn’t seem as though they will have a big impact on your finances. The reality, though, is that fees can have an impact on your finances. Over time fees can add up, eroding your wealth and even resulting in missed opportunities.
Excerpt: You have a better chance of getting hit by lightning in a frog thunderstorm than you do winning the Powerball, but hey, it’s always fun to play billionaire. If you were to win (and you won’t), there are a few things you should to do to protect and optimize your winnings.
Bob Ferrel’s Illustrated 10 Investing Rules via Real Investing Advice
Excerpt: Farrell obtained his master’s degree from Columbia Business School and started as a technical analyst at Merrill Lynch in 1957. Even though Farrell studied fundamental analysis under Gramm and Dodd, he turned to technical analysis after realizing there was more to stock prices than balance sheets and income statements. Farrell became a pioneer in sentiment studies and market psychology. His 10 rules on investing stem from personal experience with dull markets, bull markets, bear markets, crashes, and bubbles. In short, Farrell has seen it all and lived to tell about it.
Aren’t the banks the investing experts? via Michael James on Money
Excerpt: It’s not just the banks that focus mainly on pumping up their assets under management. Much of the mutual fund industry is the same. But there are exceptions. The challenge is that you need to learn on your own to be able to distinguish a good investment approach from a poor one. You also need to to be knowledgeable to distinguish a good financial advisor from a poor one. I don’t know any shortcuts to finding a good way to invest your savings.
5 Things Wealthy People Do Differently via SeedTime
Excerpt: When it comes to the wealthy, there’s often a belief that they’re rich because they were born into money. While that’s certainly true for many, it isn’t the case across the board. Many of the wealthy have had to work their way up to being rich and to do so they’ve had to adopt a different set of habits from most other people. We can learn a lot from the wealthy, at least those among them who had to create the wealth they now enjoy. More precisely, it’s the habits that got them to where they are that we need to focus on and learn from.
How to crush your performance improvement plan via I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Excerpt: There are two types of people who stumble onto this page. Either you love your job and hope to crush your performance improvement plan, so you can rise through the ranks of your company.Or you really don’t love your job. You’d rather do something else you’re passionate about — where you’re respected, appreciated, and paid better. But for right now, you’ve got to focus on passing your performance improvement plan, since next month’s bills won’t pay themselves. No matter which boat you’re in, this post can help.
7 Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month via MoneyCrashers
Excerpt: When money is tight, an extra $1,000 a month could be life-changing. Although an additional $12,000 a year might not sound like a ton of money, for a single-income home, or for a family with a hefty car payment or medical bills, it could make all the difference.
50 Side Jobs to Help You Make an Extra $500 or More This Month via The Penny Hoarder
Excerpt: Ready to fatten your bank account? We’ve found 50 ways to make a little extra this month! This post is LONG, so I recommend you bookmark it and knock out five to 10 of them a day. We’ll keep it updated throughout the month and remove/replace any that stop working. So, go challenge yourself. How much can you add to you bank account this month? $500? $1,000? Maybe even $5,000?
The Sharing Economy: 200+ Ways to Make Extra Money in Your Spare Time via Side Hustle Nation
Excerpt: Call it the sharing economy, call it peer-to-peer commerce, call it collaborative consumption, but no matter what you call it, it’s having a massive impact on how we do business and disrupting established industries at a breakneck pace. I’m talking about the renaissance of people doing business with people — instead of giant companies — a movement facilitated by an ever-growing array of marketplaces and apps.
How I Tripled My Side Hustle Income via Yes, I Am Cheap
Excerpt: I started freelancing and made $4,000 my first year which was a nice chunk of change to have. Money is addicting, that may sound shallow but it’s true. As I saw how much money was out there to be made I wanted more. In 2013 I made $11,000 and in 2014 I earned $14,000 from my side hustle. Then I decided to take my part time job to the next level and in 2015 I earned $28,000 from freelance writing and social media consulting. This year I took it one step further and created a legitimate business from my side hustle, I stopped calling myself a freelance writer and gave myself a new title…Owner of Well Said Content.
50 Legitimate Ways to Make Money from Home via Scott Allan Turner
Excerpt: I know you want to find some legitimate work from home jobs that are not rip-offs. So, I have scoured through hundreds of ways to work at home, and came up with the 50 legitimate ways to make money from home. Some will just make you a few bucks a month, but others can become powerful moneymakers depending on the time you have to invest in them. Read on to find out about some of the exciting ways to make money from home. You may even find something you’ve never heard of before.
Make Extra Money: 100+ Genius Ways to Increase Your Income by Breaking the One Percent
Excerpt: A big reason why Ben and I started Breaking The One Percent was to help people learn about different ways to make extra money. We talk a lot about all of the different ways to make extra money, from just simple gigs on the side, to launching full blown startups (and everything in between).
Obviously, earning extra money is something that can really change your life. Money can buy you freedom in more ways than one, despite what people may say.
Excerpt: On August 8th, I started writing an article to you guys titled, “The Future of Budgets Are Sexy.” In it I was to tell you why, after several months of soul searching, I had decided to accept an offer to sell both my sites, BudgetsAreSexy.com and RockstarFinance.com, and in return receive a nice stack of cash and a cushy salary.
Excerpt: If you are into podcasts and enjoy long conversations about higher-level personal finance topics (put that in your dating profile!), check out the Radical Personal Finance podcast. I’ve only listened to a few, but I enjoyed Episode 181 on The Impact of Your Savings Rate on Your Time to Financial Independence. If you make $50,000 a year and spend $40,000, then your savings rate is 20%.
How NOT To Pursue Financial Independence via Frugal Woods
Excerpt: You wouldn’t think there’s a right or wrong way to pursue financial independence (FI), but I definitely did it wrong. Hopefully you can learn from my story and not make the same mistakes I did…As I became increasingly obsessed with optimizing my path to financial independence, I started sacrificing my happiness in order to bring my FI date closer.
Excerpt: Let’s face it, the more choices we have in life, the richer and more rewarding it becomes. Fortunately, I’m currently in that coveted sweet spot where I can do pretty much whatever the heck I please, whenever I want. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in a position to buy whatever I want, but I am able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities in life that are typically out of reach for the financially undisciplined crowd. So, financially speaking, I’m in a pretty good place right now.
Why I Became A Financially Independent Woman via Reach Financial Independence
Excerpt: When I was a kid, I overheard my aunt telling my mom her stomach churned every time she asked my uncle for money. As a stay at home mom in the 1970s, she didn’t have her own money, and back then it wasn’t as simple as getting her own credit card. So before bedtime, she would tell my uncle she needed $20 for groceries the next day. Luckily, my uncle never said no, and she would find what she asked for on the kitchen table the next morning, generally with a little extra, saving her the humiliation of being handed the money patronizingly. And she was able to save a little here and there to buy her things.
F-You Money: John Goodman v. jlcollinsnh via JL Collinsnh
Excerpt: No excerpt needed. Just watch the video. Funny and educational. . (:
5 Things You Can do to Become Financially Independent via DINKS Finance
Excerpt: If you’re reading this site I know one of your goals may be to become financially independent. According to Bankrate, financial independence is a term that is used to describe the state of having sufficient personal wealth and to live without having to work actively for your basic necessities. There are several things that you can do to help you become financially independent. In today’s post, I will go over five of them.
Did I Miss Anything?
No matter where you’re at on your journey to financial freedom, I hope these blog posts can help you get there faster.
And now it’s time to hear from you.
What was our favorite personal finance post of 2016?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.