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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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    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on July 9, 2019

    How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

    How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

    It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

    So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

    1. Find the Good Reasons

    Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

    You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

    If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

    Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

    Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

    • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
    • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
    • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
    • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

    2. Make It Fun

    When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

    Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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    Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

    They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

    Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

    A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

    • How can I enjoy this task?
    • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
    • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

    As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

    Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

    However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

    3. Take a Different Approach

    When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

    You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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    That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

    If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

    Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

    My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

    4. Recognize Your Progress

    Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

    We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

    Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

    Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

    For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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    You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

    Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

    For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

    5. Reward Yourself

    This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

    Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

    Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

    For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

    For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

    For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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    Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

    The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

    Mix and Match

    Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

    Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

    Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

    Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

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    Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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