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10 Best Websites that Help Make You More Money-Savvy

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10 Best Websites that Help Make You More Money-Savvy

Many people don’t believe me when I say this, but learning about finance can actually be really fun. You might be rolling your eyes at me as you read this, and I don’t blame you. When most of us think of a financial advisor, we envision someone in a suit behind a mahogany desk talking about stocks and a bunch of other things that are hard to understand.

The truth is that these days, you can find out anything you want to about money by just reading some great financial blogs and signing up for unique programs. There are so many websites out there that can teach you about paying off your debts and investing, and they do so in a fun and engaging way. Below are my top ten favorite websites that can help make you smarter with your money and by extension, wealthier than you ever thought possible.

money savvy

    #1 Payoff.com

    Payoff.com_-1024x574

      The first step to becoming 100% financially independent is to pay off your debts. It’s rare these days to find someone that has no debt: between sky-high student loan debts and mortgages, chances are almost everyone you know owes money for something. That’s why Payoff.com is so unique—it’s an encouraging website that joins with social media to help keep you motivated to pay off debts. They give out virtual badges when you reach certain steps, and you can encourage others through their unique community.

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      #2 Mint.com

      mint.com

        Mint.com is a favorite among finance professionals. The tools on their site can help you to live on a tight budget and also see where you money is going every month. It’s completely free to sign up and keeps your information secure.

        #3 LearnVest

        learnvest

          LearnVest is a relatively new company that is earning a lot of praise for their great financial advisors and unique programs. They have an online community where you can go and ask questions as well as tools to track your budget.

          #4 Investopedia

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          Investopedia

            Investopedia is just like it sounds: an encyclopedia for you to educate yourself on anything and everything finance. Learn about investing and check in for the latest news and articles on financial topics.

            #5 GoGirlFinance

            GoGirlFinance

              GoGirlFinance is a great grassroots company that is devoted to helping women gain the confidence to handle their finances. They provide unique blog posts every week on a variety of financial topics from the fiscal cliff to when it’s a good time to have a baby, and they also partner with several talented financial advisors to bring free webinars to the public.

              #6 MyMoney.gov

              MyMoney.gov

                MyMoney.gov is a US government website that exists as a way to educate citizens on finances. You can learn about mortgages and loans and utilize their tools such as debt and mortgage calculators to find out how to best manage your money.

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                #7 WiseBread.com

                wisebread

                  WiseBread.com is one of the top personal finance websites with tons of resources to help you better understand how to manage your money. They have a team of highly accomplished writers who all bring a unique perspective to the site. They also have an invaluable, regularly-updated list of all of the top personal finance blogs.

                  #8 RetailMeNot.com

                  retailmenot

                    One easy way to get smarter with your money is to start learning how to save money on simple things like your grocery bills. Coupons are all the rage, and there’s no shame in carrying a stack of them into the store with you—in fact, before I buy anything, whether it’s a scented candle or a nice computer, I always check RetailMeNot.com to make sure there isn’t a coupon for it that I’ve missed. Simply search the store where you are about to shop just to be sure there isn’t a $5 off coupon or a free shipping code: by doing this you can easily live like a king on a peasant’s income.

                    #9 BankRate.com

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                    bankrate.com

                      I like BankRate.com because it almost acts like an interactive newspaper. You can get updates on the best mortgage rates while enjoying interesting and fun articles and useful tips, and they also provide several calculators that you can use to determine how much you’ll need to spend each month for that new home or car.

                      #10 ManVsDebt.com

                      manvsdebt

                        ManVsDebt.com is a great personal blog belonging to a couple who sold all their belongings and traveled around the world. If you’re looking for inspiration for the goals you can achieve when you save, this is the place to get it. They also offer great tips for smarter ways to save money while simultaneously encouraging you to live a minimalist life.

                        Hopefully, these ten great websites can help you get on track with learning all you can about finance in a way that is enjoyable and fun. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge to make big changes that can lead to a happier and healthier financial life this year.

                        Featured photo credit:  Balancing Time and Money via Shutterstock

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                        Catherine Alford

                        Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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                        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                        Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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                        Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

                        Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

                        Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

                        Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

                        In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

                        Break Free of Your Finances

                        Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

                        When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

                        Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

                        Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

                        To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

                        While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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                        Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

                        1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

                        We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

                        For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

                        To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

                        Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

                        This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

                        2. Plan a Monthly Budget

                        This is a great opportunity to get serious.

                        Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

                        Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

                        3. Cut-up Credit Cards

                        Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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                        If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

                        Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

                        Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

                        4. Increase Savings

                        There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

                        It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

                        Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

                        Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

                        5. Invest Wisely

                        Consider investing in funds.

                        Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

                        To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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                        Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

                        6. Invest in Gold

                        There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

                        You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

                        Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

                        These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

                        With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

                        7. Stash Emergency Funds

                        Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

                        If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

                        Make it hard to get your cash.

                        Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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                        8. Find Fabulous Mentors

                        Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

                        If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

                        There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

                        9. Be Extra Patient

                        Patience is the key of financial success.

                        Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

                        So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

                        Financial Freedom for All

                        Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

                        Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

                        Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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                        Reference

                        [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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