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16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs

16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs

    It’s one of the most common reasons for arguments and divorce in marriages. It can keep us from achieving our dreams, or it can enable us. It can cultivate the worst in people, and it can cultivate the best. Money is one the most fundamental, crude, material parts of our existence, yet we look at it like some kind of metaphysical, unknowable force.

    If this describes your relationship with money, it might be time to dedicate some time to improving your knowledge of your finances and set about improving them. You could even make a 30-day trial out of getting a grip on your money. From reducing your debt to automating your tax accounting records, there’s something for every reader.

    Get Rich Slowly – JD Roth’s immensely popular blog covers personal finance topics for the everyday individual, by breaking down the world complex and intimidating information so that anyone can understand it. With articles on investing for beginners and money saving tips, Get Rich slowly is also well-known for its reviews of personal finance and money-related books and products. Visit here.

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    The Simple Dollar – Trent Hamm’s blog also focuses on breaking down intimidating personal finance topics for everyday people, but it focuses on those who are in massive debt and need to do a complete 360 degree turnaround. If you’re experiencing serious financial difficulty, check out The Simple Dollar and learn from someone who has been there before and done something about it. Visit here.

    Wise Bread – This community blog features many talented contributors (such as Linsey Knerl, David DeFranza and Andrea Dickson) who share their tips on living frugally. Wise Bread excels at and is best known for providing those handy tips and tricks your grandmother would’ve given you to save a buck—maximizing tight budgets. Frugality is baked into this Wise Bread, and you can check it out here.

    Investopedia – Forbes’ site is useful for those who are interested in, but totally clueless about, the topic of investing, all the way up to the experts. It features articles, tutorials, tools, reports and simulators and will give you all you need to get started. It’s also got a Community section where you can ask advice from other ordinary people who happen to know a bit about investing (no substitute for professional advice, of course). Take a look here.

    AllFinancialMatters – AllFinancialMatters is a blog that covers the gamut of personal finance topics from budgeting to portfolio management. It’s run by a guy called JLP and is a breath of fresh air for me—having spent a lot of time in the blogosphere I know that there aren’t many bloggers who tell it like it is. JLP offers answers to his readers even when they’re not the ones they wanted to hear. Have a read.

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    CNNMoney – Despite belonging to CNN, this subsite is a handy reference for those who need to keep on financial news. Besides, if you’re not keeping up on news at all, this may truly be the one aspect that affects you (unless you’re an athlete or celebrity!) and can give you an upper-hand for financial decision-making. Take a look.

    Five Cent Nickel – Last time I visited Five Cent Nickel, the story on the frontpage was about rotating your car’s tires in order to make them last longer and hence save money. Beneath that? How to save 5% on gas with a credit card. This is really a blog that endeavors to serve up good info on saving the last penny. Check out this frugal living blog here.

    Consumerism Commentary – Consumerism Commentary finds its niche in commentary on financial news (such as whether women find rich men attractive or whether the rich are more stressed) with personal finance tips thrown in between. Take a look here.

    Free Money Finance – This blog’s tagline is Grow Your Net Worth and covers all sorts of useful and practical topics. For instance, recently it has looked at what to do about your financial situation when you’ve been laid off until you’ve got a new job, and how to best manage severance packages. Check it out here.

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    No Credit Needed – the No Credit Needed blog offers more handy advice, and their recent post on the Bills-in-a-Box system for organizing personal finances almost sounded like a Lifehack post. Check it out here.

    The Family Wallet – Are you managing the budget for a family or just for yourself? If it’s just you, you might want to move right along, but the Family Wallet is a fantastic blog for those who want family-specific financial ideas and advice. Check it out.

    Moolanomy – This personal finance blog is oriented towards wealth building and investing (as opposed to debt reduction, a common focus for blogs in this field) and about creating more money for yourself. It does cover topics such as frugal living, but for inspiring ideas on building your income, take a look here.

    Zen Habits – Leo Babauta just posted a big round-up of the best money-related posts he’s written since starting the blog. Get ready for some in-depth link exploration here.

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    Fix My Personal Finance – Here’s another resource on managing your money and fixing your personal finance problems. Take a look here.

    Binary Dollar – This blog has a quirky sense of humor and provides “free money tips for everyone” and seems to have a fetish for link round-up posts. Check it out here.

    Of course, we don’t advocate that you make serious decisions based off nothing more than the advice of a blog, and while these are all useful resources you should certainly check with a professional who you trust before taking action.

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    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why We Procrastinate After All?

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    Is Procrastination Bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How Bad Procrastination Can Be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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    Procrastination, a Technical Failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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