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Top 10 Highly Useful Websites to Learn About Personal Finance for Free

Top 10 Highly Useful Websites to Learn About Personal Finance for Free

Understanding how to manage your personal finances like a pro is essential for paying bills, building savings, amassing wealth, and enjoying a long and comfortable retirement. Although banks and financial advisors sometimes charge clients hundreds or thousands of dollars for personal finance advice, the Internet provides a vast array of free resources for individuals who seek to increase their financial literacy without making a huge dent in their pocketbooks.

Below are 10 highly valuable personal finance websites that offer resources and information to help you reach an array of goals, from living frugally to choosing the right credit products and investing wisely.

1. WiseBread.com

Wise Bread is an extremely popular personal finance community that includes bloggers and experts in its membership. As they like to say, “You don’t have to sacrifice your financial independence to enjoy life.” That’s the driving force behind what they do, and their goal is to help people live well. The most popular areas of the site are the “Personal Finance” and “Frugal Living” sections. It also offers a “Life Hacks” area that covers everything from technology tips to managing an organization.

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Top 10 Highly Useful Websites to Learn about Personal Finance for Free 1

    2. Kiplinger.com

    Kiplinger takes a much different approach, but it’s valuable in its own way. This site is only one of many distribution channels for this D.C.-based publisher, but it’s definitely one of the most popular. In addition to personal finance tips and tricks, Kiplinger gives you solid and accurate business forecasts. It’s seen as a trusted thought leader. One of the greatest benefits of Kiplinger is the variety of content available to the visitor. It has slide shows, videos, quizzes, news columns, special reports, blogs, and more.

    Kiplinger

      3. TheMilitaryWallet.com

      For families in the military, The Military Wallet is a unique and specially tailored personal finance site. The site’s goal is to assist the military community in becoming fiscally smart and informed about the variety of benefits and programs available to it. Financial topics such as investing, insurance, and retirement are covered in detail, as are subjects like military discounts and post-military money management.

      The Military Wallet

        4. BankingSense.com

        Banking Sense is one of the most valuable and instructive resources on this list. It has a unique way of presenting valuable financial news, tips, and advice without using highly technical jargon or phrasing that’s difficult to understand. The site covers such topics as credit cards, insurance, small-business finance, personal finance, taxes, and more. Part of what makes Banking Sense so useful is its community aspect. Readers are encouraged to interact and comment with the content, so they can learn from one another.

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        Banking Sense

          5. CashMoneyLife.com

          Having been featured on top media websites like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and more, Cash Money Life stands out as a reliable source of advice on personal finance and small business. Set up in a typical blog format without all the bells and whistles that make other sites so confusing, readers can come here to get clear information. One of the most popular sections is the “Free Money” page, which provides information about referral bonuses, free trials, and the like.

          Cash Money Life

            6. Bankrate.com

            One of the most knowledgeable and respected sites on this list is Bankrate. Launched in the pre-Internet area, way back in 1976, this former newsletter has transformed itself into one of the most respected websites in the personal finance arena. As its name implies, Bankrate supplies plenty of information on bank rates, mortgages, and credit cards, but it’s also a source of personal finance advice in such areas as financial planning, retirement, and investments.

            Bankrate

              7. ModestMoney.com

              Modest Money readers appreciate this site for its honest and unassuming approach. Started by an “average guy,” this blog provides an unbiased and simplified look at financial product reviews, credit card deals, and other finance blogs.

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              Modest Money

                8. MyMoney.gov

                The only government-operated website on the list, MyMoney.gov offers its own unique spin on personal finance. It has information about earning, borrowing, saving, investing, spending, and protecting your money. Other popular pages include financial tools and money quizzes.

                My Money

                  9. CreditCardForum.com

                  If you’re really into personal interaction and online communities, check out the Credit Card Forum. The New York Times says it’s “for people who love credit. Its posters are a fount of tips and tricks for acquiring cards.” As you may have gathered, the personal finance information found here focuses on credit card offers and how to use them wisely.

                  Credit Card Forum

                    10. DoughRoller.net

                    The last site on our list is Dough Roller. This blog gives information, resources, and tips on how to make, donate, save, and spend money in fiscally smart ways. People who regularly read Dough Roller are intensely loyal because they appreciate the broad variety of content. Whether you like blogs, podcasts, newsletters, or anything in between, Dough Roller has something for you.

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                    Dough Roller

                      If you’re looking for reputable resources and solid information on personal finance, start with these 10 sites. You won’t be disappointed, and best of all, they’re free!

                      Featured photo credit: photopin via photopin.com

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                      Published on November 8, 2018

                      How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

                      How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

                      After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

                      But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

                      Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

                      Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

                      Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

                      Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

                      The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

                      1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

                      Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

                      With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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                      Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

                      Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

                      For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

                      Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

                      It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

                      2. Set your own boundaries

                      Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

                      Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

                      Here are some important traits to consider:

                      • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
                      • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
                      • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

                      These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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                      3. Continuously invest in yourself

                      Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

                      You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

                      Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

                      Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

                      Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

                      It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

                      4. Document the value you bring

                      Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

                      To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

                      A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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                      Here are some ideas:

                      • joesmith.com
                      • joeasmith.com
                      • joesmithprojects.com

                      Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

                      During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

                      5. Hide your salary requirements

                      Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

                      But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

                      The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

                      Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

                      6. Do just enough research

                      Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

                      Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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                      Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

                      Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

                      7. Get compensated by your value

                      Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

                      Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

                      Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

                      You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

                      The bottom line

                      You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

                      You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

                      Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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