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16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs

16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs

    It’s one of the most common reasons for arguments and divorce in marriages. It can keep us from achieving our dreams, or it can enable us. It can cultivate the worst in people, and it can cultivate the best. Money is one the most fundamental, crude, material parts of our existence, yet we look at it like some kind of metaphysical, unknowable force.

    If this describes your relationship with money, it might be time to dedicate some time to improving your knowledge of your finances and set about improving them. You could even make a 30-day trial out of getting a grip on your money. From reducing your debt to automating your tax accounting records, there’s something for every reader.

    Get Rich Slowly – JD Roth’s immensely popular blog covers personal finance topics for the everyday individual, by breaking down the world complex and intimidating information so that anyone can understand it. With articles on investing for beginners and money saving tips, Get Rich slowly is also well-known for its reviews of personal finance and money-related books and products. Visit here.

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    The Simple Dollar – Trent Hamm’s blog also focuses on breaking down intimidating personal finance topics for everyday people, but it focuses on those who are in massive debt and need to do a complete 360 degree turnaround. If you’re experiencing serious financial difficulty, check out The Simple Dollar and learn from someone who has been there before and done something about it. Visit here.

    Wise Bread – This community blog features many talented contributors (such as Linsey Knerl, David DeFranza and Andrea Dickson) who share their tips on living frugally. Wise Bread excels at and is best known for providing those handy tips and tricks your grandmother would’ve given you to save a buck—maximizing tight budgets. Frugality is baked into this Wise Bread, and you can check it out here.

    Investopedia – Forbes’ site is useful for those who are interested in, but totally clueless about, the topic of investing, all the way up to the experts. It features articles, tutorials, tools, reports and simulators and will give you all you need to get started. It’s also got a Community section where you can ask advice from other ordinary people who happen to know a bit about investing (no substitute for professional advice, of course). Take a look here.

    AllFinancialMatters – AllFinancialMatters is a blog that covers the gamut of personal finance topics from budgeting to portfolio management. It’s run by a guy called JLP and is a breath of fresh air for me—having spent a lot of time in the blogosphere I know that there aren’t many bloggers who tell it like it is. JLP offers answers to his readers even when they’re not the ones they wanted to hear. Have a read.

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    CNNMoney – Despite belonging to CNN, this subsite is a handy reference for those who need to keep on financial news. Besides, if you’re not keeping up on news at all, this may truly be the one aspect that affects you (unless you’re an athlete or celebrity!) and can give you an upper-hand for financial decision-making. Take a look.

    Five Cent Nickel – Last time I visited Five Cent Nickel, the story on the frontpage was about rotating your car’s tires in order to make them last longer and hence save money. Beneath that? How to save 5% on gas with a credit card. This is really a blog that endeavors to serve up good info on saving the last penny. Check out this frugal living blog here.

    Consumerism Commentary – Consumerism Commentary finds its niche in commentary on financial news (such as whether women find rich men attractive or whether the rich are more stressed) with personal finance tips thrown in between. Take a look here.

    Free Money Finance – This blog’s tagline is Grow Your Net Worth and covers all sorts of useful and practical topics. For instance, recently it has looked at what to do about your financial situation when you’ve been laid off until you’ve got a new job, and how to best manage severance packages. Check it out here.

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    No Credit Needed – the No Credit Needed blog offers more handy advice, and their recent post on the Bills-in-a-Box system for organizing personal finances almost sounded like a Lifehack post. Check it out here.

    The Family Wallet – Are you managing the budget for a family or just for yourself? If it’s just you, you might want to move right along, but the Family Wallet is a fantastic blog for those who want family-specific financial ideas and advice. Check it out.

    Moolanomy – This personal finance blog is oriented towards wealth building and investing (as opposed to debt reduction, a common focus for blogs in this field) and about creating more money for yourself. It does cover topics such as frugal living, but for inspiring ideas on building your income, take a look here.

    Zen Habits – Leo Babauta just posted a big round-up of the best money-related posts he’s written since starting the blog. Get ready for some in-depth link exploration here.

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    Fix My Personal Finance – Here’s another resource on managing your money and fixing your personal finance problems. Take a look here.

    Binary Dollar – This blog has a quirky sense of humor and provides “free money tips for everyone” and seems to have a fetish for link round-up posts. Check it out here.

    Of course, we don’t advocate that you make serious decisions based off nothing more than the advice of a blog, and while these are all useful resources you should certainly check with a professional who you trust before taking action.

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2019

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

    Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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    1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
    2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
    3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
    4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
    5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
    6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
    7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
    8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
    9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
    10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
    11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
    12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
    13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
    14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
    15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
    16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
    17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
    18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
    19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
    20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
    21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
    22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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