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10 Best Websites that Help Make You More Money-Savvy

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 March 4, 2019

                        How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

                        How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

                        Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

                        I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

                        Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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                        Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

                        Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

                        Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

                        I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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                        I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

                        If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

                        Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

                        The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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                        Using Credit Cards with Rewards

                        Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

                        You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

                        I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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                        So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

                        What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

                        Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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