Advertising
Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      #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

          Advertising

          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.

                Advertising

                #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

                    Advertising

                    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

                        More by this author

                        Catherine Alford

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

                        11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams How to Make Money Right Now How to Have a Successful Garage Sale 30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage 42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

                        Trending in Money

                        1 How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way) 2 How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years 3 Top 5 Spending Tracker Apps to Manage Your Budget Smart in 2019 4 How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt 5 How to Use Debt Snowball to Get out from a Financial Avalanche

                        Read Next

                        Advertising
                        Advertising
                        Advertising

                        Published on May 7, 2019

                        How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                        How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                        When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

                        Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

                        Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

                        You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

                        Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

                        1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

                        Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

                        But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

                        • Will you spend more time with your family?
                        • What does retirement mean to you?
                        • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

                        Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

                        Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

                        2. Figure out When to Invest

                        “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

                        It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

                        The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

                        Advertising

                        A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

                        Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

                        3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

                        Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

                        Why?

                        Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

                        Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

                        Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

                        Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

                        4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

                        Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

                        If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

                        You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

                        1. Vanguard
                        2. TD Ameritrade
                        3. Charles Schwab

                        5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

                        Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

                        Advertising

                        Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

                        That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

                        Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

                        A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

                        6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

                        The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

                        Robo Advisors

                        Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

                        Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

                        Bonds

                        Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

                        Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

                        Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

                        1. Treasury bonds
                        2. Government bonds
                        3. Corporate bonds
                        4. Foreign bonds
                        5. Mortgage-backed bonds
                        6. Municipal bonds

                        Mutual Funds

                        Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

                        One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

                        Advertising

                        Real Estate

                        Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

                        Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

                        This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

                        But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

                        Savings Accounts

                        Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

                        7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

                        Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

                        So how can you master delayed gratification?

                        By building your discipline.

                        Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

                        Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

                        8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

                        I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

                        It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

                        Advertising

                        More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

                        But, how can you invest yourself?

                        Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

                        Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

                        But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

                        Retire Happy with Excess Money

                        The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

                        It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

                        I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

                        Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

                        One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

                        More Articles About Making Wise Investment

                        Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next