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30 Money Sites to Check Out in 2009

30 Money Sites to Check Out in 2009

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    There are so many personal finance resources online that it’s hard to know where to start. There are blogs, web applications, news sites and more. This list is a beginning — if you take a look at the sites included here, I know you’ll find something new for 2009. Some of these sites are brand new, some are the online presence of organizations that have been around for decades. But all of them look like they’ll have great things happening in the next year: these sites have the information that we all need (no matter our current financial situation) to get a great start on 2009.

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    Blogs

    1. Get Rich Slowly: I never fail to be impressed by the posts on GRS — this blog started as a personal financial journey, but has grown into so much more.
    2. I Will Teach You To Be Rich: While most personal finance blogs focus on cutting costs, I Will Teach You… pushes readers to increase their income, instead. It’s an approach that I think is ignored all too often but is absolutely important.
    3. WiseBread: There are plenty of money blogs that focus on one person’s journey: it’s a useful view point, but there’s just as much value in seeing what a community of people come up with. WiseBread offers an amazing community of writers.
    4. Yielding Wealth: When it comes to keep track of news in the personal finance sector, Yielding Wealth is always on the spot with the facts.
    5. The Simple Dollar: Of all the great content on TSD, I recommend the book reviews. There are plenty of great books on personal finance out there and I typically find them through TSD.
    6. Mrs. Micah: Another ‘speaking from experience’ blog, Mrs. Micah is more detail-oriented: her posts offer great tips on how to handle specific situations.
    7. No Limits Ladies: If you’re interested in focusing more on the money-making side of personal finance, NLL talks about everything from real estate to building a business. While the blog is geared towards ladies, I don’t think that they’d mind if guys stop by.
    8. The Frugal Duchess: The Frugal Duchess herself released a book earlier this year, and her blog is full of the same level of advice she dispenses at the Miami Herald.
    9. Five Cent Nickel: Full of practical advice and great deals, Five Cent Nickel offers a quick clue-in on all sorts of personal finance topics.
    10. The Color of Money: While not properly a blog — The Color of Money is the Washington Post’s regular column about personal finance — you’ll find tons of great information that doesn’t always make it through the rest of the personal finance blogosphere.

    Web Applications

    1. Mint.com: Probably the most popular money management application online, Mint.com is continuing to evolve. Most recently, the application became available on the iPhone.
    2. Wesabe: Another popular money management application, Wesabe is community-oriented. You can get lots of help and advice with any financial situation you encounter.
    3. Shoeboxed: My favorite financial tool of the last year is Shoeboxed: for a small fee, they’ll take care of sorting and scanning all of your receipts.
    4. QuickenOnline: You can take advantage of the full power of Quicken online — and for free. It’s a solid money management tool, based on Intuit’s years of work in the field.
    5. Thrive: If you’re in your 20s or 30s, Thrive offers all sorts of personal finance help targeted just at you.
    6. BillShrink: BillShrink helps you compare your cell phone plan and credit cards to make sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.
    7. Rudder: When visiting several sites to manage your money is too much, Rudder provides a solution — it delivers all of your personal finance information straight to your email inbox, allowing you to control your money there.
    8. SmartyPig: SmartyPig offers a head start on savings, allowing you to put money out of reach while you work towards a goal.
    9. Billster: Sharing expenses among a group — like splitting the rent with your roommates — got a lot easier with Billster. The site tracks shared bills and payments.
    10. Xpenser: For an easy way to track expenses, consider Xpenser. It works through email, an iPhone app, SMS, IM and Twitter.

    Resources

    1. Consumer Reports: While Consumer Reports has gotten into blogging in a big way lately, the whole site is very useful even if you aren’t a member.
    2. Bankrate: No matter what kind of financial information you’re looking for, Bankrate can lead you to it: loans, credit scores and taxes are just a sample of this website’s resources.
    3. The Motley Fool: The Motley Fool’s main focus is investments, although it does provide resources for other financial topics.
    4. Investopedia: Another site focused primarily on investing, the tutorials availbale on Investopedia provide a great education in a variety of topics.
    5. CNN’s Money101: For a complete guide to your financial life, Money101 can’t be beat. It’s full of step by step lessons that walk you through all sorts of financial projects.
    6. Tip’d: Tip’d launched this year — it’s sort of a Digg for money news. It’s full of great articles if you’ve got some time to spend reading.
    7. Inner8: If you’ve been looking for a place to discuss investments with other investors, check out Inner8. This new site provides tools to a large investment community.
    8. AnnualCreditReport.com: No matter what all those TV commercials say, the only place you can get all three of your credit reports for free is through ACR. It was established as to legislative requirements and protect consumers.
    9. PayScale: For financial information about your salary, check out PayScale. The site provides information about just where your salary should be.
    10. Kiplinger: Kiplinger offers solid personal finance advice on all sorts of topics, as well as current financial news.

    Have any more websites you’d like to add? Tell us about them in the comments!

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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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