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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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    1 3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively 2 How to Master the Art of Prioritization 3 How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life 4 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 5 11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Results

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

    This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

    Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

    When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

    This is why setting priorities is so important.

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    3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

    There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

    1. Eat a Frog

    There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

    Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

    When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

    2. Move Big Rocks

    Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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    You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

    If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

    For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

    To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

    In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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    3. Covey Quadrants

    If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

    Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

    1. Important and Urgent
    2. Important and Not Urgent
    3. Not Important but Urgent
    4. Not Important and Not Urgent

      The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

      Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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      You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

      Getting to Know You

      Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

      In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

      These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

      More Tips for Effective Prioritization

      Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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