Too much of the advice about personal finance today is biased. Whether it comes from the financial media or from voices representing companies who manufacture products they hope to sell, it's hard to discern the truth. With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to publish my list of the 25 best personal finance blogs you should follow.
Collectively, these blogs cover most, if not all, areas that make up personal finance. You will see articles on banking, investing, retirement, estate planning, insurance, mortgages, budgeting, saving, and much more. All of these winning blogs provide detailed analysis and reviews of the topics they cover.
The order of the list that follows does not imply it is from best to worst. All are excellent and worthy to be considered for your list of top personal finance blogs.
With that in mind, let's get started.
#1 The Simple Dollar
Trent Hamm, who started The Simple Dollar, says the mission of the site is “providing well researched, useful content that empowers our readers to make smart financial decisions.” The site is a virtual marketplace of information about everything personal finance. You can find reviews on credit cards, loans, insurance, investing, and banking.
Clicking on any of these categories brings up a menu of “best of” for the various offerings in that category. Each one has a detailed comparison and review. Their blog covers a wide variety of personal finance topics to help you get educated before you shop for products or services. Check them out at the link below. You won't be disappointed.
Check it out here – https://thesimpledollar.com
#2 Mr. Money Mustache
Don't let the name distract you. Mr. Money Mustache is a credible personal finance website. It's written by a guy who was tired of the rat race of the corporate life he and his wife were living. They wanted to start a family, so they decided to retire. What? Retire to start a family?
Yes! That's what makes this site so valuable. Pete, which is the only name I could find for the author, retired at age 30. He started this blog in 2005 at age 36. Pete says he made it because he “lived a lifestyle 50% below his peers.” He saved a lot more than most. Not earth-shattering, but very difficult to implement.
You can read his entire journey to financial freedom starting with his first article, written on April 6, 2011. He tells his own story and challenges readers to think about their own lives and how to affect change to move toward financial freedom.
There are multiple articles and recommended resources, a page called, MMM Classics, representing selections chosen by Mr. Mustache. It's a fun site, but chock-full of great material to help you manage your finances.
Check it out here – http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
#3 Get Rich Slowly
Like many successful personal finance sites, Get Rich Slowly highlights the story of the struggles of the founder, J.D. Roth. In his bio, he says he started in 2006 to document his efforts to get out of debt. These are compelling articles that are not hypothetical situations. Instead, they represent his real-life struggles to learn how to manage his finances.
What struck me when I read J.D.'s story was the mentality he adopted to take control of his money. That is, he decided to look at his personal life as a business. He looked for ways to lower expenses, increase revenue, and pay down debt. He created a spreadsheet with a goal to be debt free in 3 years. That goal became a reality. J.D. offers principals he learned that readers could adapt to their own lives.
Readers will also see featured articles from other writers and publications to further assist in the quest to get control of their finances. The style is relaxed, while the content is rich.
Check it out here – https://www.getrichslowly.org/
#4 Budgets Are Sexy
J. Money started Budgets are Sexy in February 2008. J. states that his goal for the site is “to get people to stop and *pay attention* to their money.” As the title of the blog suggests, he's a huge fan of budgets. From his “About” page: Budgets = Confidence = Sexy. Visitors will find Excel budget worksheets they can download. Keeping it fun is a part of J.'s strategy. Looking at one of the category links, “Spaving” is a perfect example. “Spaving” represents spending and saving strategies. Good stuff!
In 2013, J. started a second site, Rockstar Finance. Here visitors will find curated articles from what researchers believe to be the best content from blogs and websites around the web. Articles cover just about every personal finance topic you can imagine. J. recently sold Rockstar Finance to ESI Money.
Check out Budgets are Sexy here – http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/
#5 Money Crashers
Andrew Schrage and Gyuta Park (as he says, try pronouncing that) created and manage Money Crashers. These are a couple of very bright, engaging young entrepreneurs. They lay out their vision of helping people become financially independent by applying their eleven essential principles of Money Crashers. You can read those principals on their About Page.
Like many of the more successful personal finance sites, there are reviews and offers from a variety of categories, including banking and credit cards. Topics covered include careers, credit and debt, economic and policy, family and home, investing, lifestyle, and more. Clicking on any of the topic categories take visitors to some easily accessible articles written by a variety of authors.
Check it out here – https://www.moneycrashers.com/
#6 Good Financial Cents
Jeff Rose, CFP is the author and founder of Good Financial Cents. Jeff is an Iraqi war veteran who wrote a book titled Soldiers of Finance.
His stated mission is to help people take charge of their money and make “cents” of their financial future. Readers will find articles on just about every topic imaginable in personal finance. Jeff also has a vibrant YouTube Channel with dozens of videos on many of his blog topics.
His articles and videos are open, honest, and transparent. He tells you where he's succeeded and where he has failed. Jeff would say that his failures taught him more than any of his successes.
Jeff's primary goal is to educate. This site does that very well.
Check it out here – https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/
#7 Money Ning
Founded by David Ning in July 2007, Money Ning is one of the most straightforward websites to navigate. He has a fresh menu with limited categories (Frugal Living, Investing 101, Money Management, Beyond Money). Click on one of the titles, and you will find subtopics with multiple articles on each. David writes most, if not all of the content on the site. They are succinct, free of industry jargon, and cover each topic thoroughly.
Here's what David says about MoneyNing.
MoneyNing is all about:
- Helping You Become Debt Free
- Showing You How to Build Wealth Through Time
- Letting You See For Yourself How Financial Choices Impact Your Life
MoneyNing has multiple offers on products and services including banking, internet, mortgages, and travel. Reviews of each are thorough and detailed. Debt reduction and elimination strategies are a big part of the focus.
Check it out here – http://moneyning.com/
#8 Investment Zen
Cool name, huh!
InvestmentZen, as the name suggests has a focus on how to invest your money. That said, there is content from a variety of other topics as well, including real estate, mortgages, credit cards, saving money and early retirement. There are multiple writers and contributors to the content. Because of this, visitors get views from different experts in various fields.
The investing area is one of the most comprehensive. For those looking to get started or considering changing current relationships, this site will help. The investment tab includes a list of robo (or digital) investment platforms, brokerages, investment apps, and calculators. There are also articles that compare various options in a category to others — for example, comparing Acorn to Betterment, or Betterment to Vanguard. Similar comparisons are available in the other topic areas.
To them, the “zen of making money” is to spend less, earn more, and invest the difference. Pretty simple in theory, though often hard to execute.
Check it out here – http://www.investmentzen.com/
#9 Financial Samurai
Sam Dogen started FinancialSamurai in 2009. He says that after thirteen years in corporate America, “money ceased to be a major driving factor.” In 20121, three years after starting his blog, Sam left corporate American for early retirement and full-time effort on FinancialSamurai.
How did he do it? Like many early retirees, Sam saved 50% or more of his after-tax paycheck. He knew to work 70 hours a week was not sustainable over the long-term. He invested those savings in stocks, bonds, real estate, CDs, and rental properties to build up enough passive income to leave the hectic pace behind. Essentially, he set up his early exit with these saving and investment habits.
The site has hosted over 30 million visitors since starting. Over 1 million visitors come to the site every month. That's an amazing number of visitors. His content categories include free wealth management, top financial products, how to negotiate a severance, and real estate crowdfunding. His corporate and investing experience bring a unique and much-needed voice to the blogosphere. Every post I've read is thoughtful, thorough, and full of great insights and information.
Check it out here – https://www.financialsamurai.com/
#10 Making Sense of Cents
Michelle Schroeder-Garder describes herself as a young adult. She graduated college after 2 1/2 years (one smart lady!) from what she describes as an expensive private school. She moved on from there to obtain an MBA in finance and secured a job in the financial services industry as an analyst. Her over $38,00 in student debt weighing on her, she decided to put herself on a plan to become debt free.
Having achieved that goal, she thought it would be helpful to write about her experience (sound familiar) and started Making Sense of Cents. The blog became so successful that she left her corporate job and began blogging full time. She, her husband, and their two dogs now travel the country managing Making Sense of Cents from an RV (NICE!) They purchased the RV with the revenue generated from her blog.
As for personal finance content, there is plenty. Clicking on the category tab opens up multiple topics related to personal finance with several article choices for each. Visitors will find a category for how to save money and how to make extra money. There is also a travel tab (which she knows something about).
Want to learn how to start a blog? She has a course offering for that. Want to learn how to monetize that blog? She has a course for that too. There is something for everyone at Making Sense of Cents.
Check it out here – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/
#11 My Money Blog
The author of My Money Blog is Jonathan Ping. He says he's been “sharing about money” since 2004. Unlike many of the sites on my list, Jonathan keeps his topics pretty limited. He has four menu categories – early retirement, investing guide, money-saving tips, and credit card rewards. The early retirement page offers four articles with four lessons – Savings Rate, Earn More vs. Spend Less, Home-Buying and Mortgages, and How Much Can I Afford.
There are numerous additional categories on the right-hand column of the page. Some examples include annuities, book reviews, behavioral economics, funny, frugal living, inspirational, giving back, insurance, recipes, time management, and taxes.
Check it out here – http://www.mymoneyblog.com/
#12 Your Money Geek
Michael Dinich over at Your Money Geek is one of the most prolific writers on the web. There's a new article on his blog every day. And he covers a wide variety of topics.
In another business, Michael offers advice and help with estate and tax planning. His articles cover areas that most blogs don't. Two recent posts are good examples.
How to Maximize Your Child Tax Credit covers the details of how it works and offers a process to see if you qualify and, if so, how to maximize your credit.
Another example is Tax Credits, Savings ThousandsNot Just for the Rich. Here Michael covers a myriad of tax saving ideas like the saver's credit, the premium tax credit, investment, and many others.
He's also kind of a geek (self-described). In describing what he writes about he says:
” I often write about Finance, Taxes, Renewable Energy and Geek Culture. Providing clients with the confidence and security to enjoy retirement is my life’s mission.”
That's a pretty darned good mission, wouldn't you say?
He's interviewed numerous celebrities from movies or series he loves. Not sure how he connects with all these folks, but he does it. Like many others on my top ten list, Michael makes finance fun. And who couldn't use a little more fun in their life, right?
Your Money Geek is a unique, informative, and yes, fun site.
Check it out here – https://yourmoneygeek.com/
#13 Frugal Rules
John Schmoll is the founder and author of Frugal Rules. His struggles are what prompted him to start Frugal Rules. When he came out of college, he had around $25,00 in credit card debt. As the name suggests, one of the keys to financial freedom is living within your means and being debt free. John uses his personal story as a means to help others.
The tagline of the site is Freedom Through Frugality. As you would expect, then, there is a significant section of the website focusing on frugality. Like many of the sites on my list, John emphasizes the formulas for success as keeping expenses low, saving more, and eliminating debt. That's how he obtained financial freedom. That's what he recommends for his readers.
In addition to the lessons on frugality, John offers advice and recommendations on investing, debt, best credit cards, and online brokerage. The resources tab provides short reviews and special offers on many items.
Check it out here – https://www.frugalrules.com/
Introducing themselves as the Frugalwoods, Nate and Liz live on a 66-acre homestead in Central Vermont. Like many of the younger bloggers, Nate and Liz quit their corporate jobs in Cambridge, MA by living the life of “extreme frugality” and saving 71% of their income. That 71%, she says, is after their 401(k) contributions. Pretty impressive!
The site has a month by month archive of their articles on the left side of the page. The right side contains links to numerous and varied categories. Categories include the traditional financial topics. These get supplemented by creative personalized topics like Frugal City Living, Frugal Hound Sniffs, Frugalwoods Philosophy, and Frugalwoods Reviews.
Additional non-financial topics include kids, epic treks, food, clothes, cars, and entertainment. “Reader Case Studies” highlight readers stories submitted to Frugalwoods and retold on the blog. Also, there is a Reader Suggests section where Mrs. Frugalwoods offers her top choices from reader discussion groups, comments, and forums. It is a very clever, informative and unique site.
Check it out here – http://www.frugalwoods.com/
#15 PT Money
Philip Taylor (the PT in PT Money) started and is the proprietor of PT Money. Philip is passionate about helping people gain financial freedom. In addition to traditional articles, PT has a podcast called Masters of Money. Visitors can subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Play.
His blog covers savings and investing as the two primary topics. Subtopics under savings include auto savings apps, best budgeting apps, and savings and checking accounts. The investing category offers reviews of robo advisors and stock brokers. The +More link provides links to offers for life insurance, free credit score, mortgages, student loan refi and a new addition that includes retirement calculators.
PT's also know for founding FinCon, a conference for anyone involved in the personal finance space. FinCon is held annually at a variety of locations. Last year it was Orlando, FL. I attended for the first time. It was an amazing event with over 2,000 participants from the finance community including bloggers, media, podcasters, authors, and even academia. If you're involved in personal finance, I highly recommend this event. I'm super excited for this year's event in Washington, DC, not far from my Northern Virginia home.
Check it out here – https://ptmoney.com/
WiseBread is a virtual clearinghouse for all things financial. Founded by Will Chen, Lynn Truong, and Gregory Go in 2006, they describe themselves as “a community of bloggers here to help you live on a small budget.” Killer House Media publishes the site in West Covina, CA.
Visitors will see some of the more common categories (credit cards, personal finance, frugal living, career, etc.) on their menu. What's different, is the number of subcategories under each. Because they are a community of bloggers, they pick the best of the articles in each of the subcategories. For example, clicking on the Personal Finance>Debt Reduction tabs, you will see numerous articles on various aspects of debt reduction. Readers can choose the titles that best fit their situation.
In addition to the community writers, WiseBrad also has staff writers. I like the combination. It makes it easy for readers to find the content that will help them the best.
Check it out here – http://www.wisebread.com/
#17 Bible Money Matters
Bible Money Matters is a unique site. Started and managed by Peter Anderson, they focus on managing personal finance from a Biblical perspective.
Peter says his three primary topics for the site are “- finances, faith, and family – while sprinkling in a fair dose of just about everything else.” As you see from the logo, his tagline is Give More, Save More, Live More. The two main categories – Making Money, Saving Money -match this tagline.
If you're not a Christian, you should still check out this site. Yes, many articles reference Biblically based personal finance. In reality, these principals are sound for anyone. The common themes throughout are pretty straightforward and similar – save more, spend less, live within your means, invest wisely. These are also Biblically sound financial principals.
Being debt free, another of Peter's themes provides the best financial freedom there is.
Readers will also see some unique articles. One example is 10 Weird and Unconventional Ways to Make Money. Weird and unconventional are appropriate terms for what's in this article.
So, don't let the name discourage you if you aren't a Christian. This site is full of valuable content and special offers.
Check it out here – https://www.biblemoneymatters.com/
#18 Mad Fientist
The Mad Fientist is a website focused almost entirely on helping people leave their jobs and retire early. I'm not talking about early, as in their 60's. Brandon (who for privacy reasons only uses his first name) is the man behind Mad Fientist. He left his job as a software engineer and retired at the age of 34! That's right – age 34.
Brandon, however, isn't exactly retired. As he describes on the site, his goal was not retirement. Instead, it was to achieve financial independence. He wanted to be free from corporate bosses, commuting, and the like. So he developed a plan. He built spreadsheets to track and monitor his progress, which allowed him to achieve the financial independence he sought. Brandon is now devoted to helping those who want to do the same.
His podcast, as of this writing, has 41 episodes. He dedicates the podcast to interviewing experts in the field of financial independence. Several of the podcasts include interviews with the founders of sites on my list, Mr. Money Mustache, JL Collins NH, the Frugalwoods, Budgets Are Sexy, and Get Rich Slowly.
If you're serious about early financial independence, you should spend some time here.
Check it out here – https://www.madfientist.com/
#19 The Simple Path to Wealth
As the name suggests, JL Collins is the founder and chief writer of JLCollinsNH. The Simple Path to Wealth is the title of JL's book. The forward of the book is written by Mr. Money Mustache (he gets around).
On his About page, JL says, “Around here we discuss: Money – Life – Travel – Busines.” And that's an accurate description. There is a menu link to a stock series that currently has 22 articles in it.
His manifesto tab lays out his thoughts on how to successfully build wealth. Here's what JL says are the keys to financial independence: “spend less than you earn – invest the surplus – avoid debt.” Sound familiar?
Articles are serious, honest thoughts on The Simple Path to Wealth.
Check it out here – http://jlcollinsnh.com/
The founder of ThinkSaveRetire introduces himself as Steve. He says he retired early. Very early, I might add.
The principles of how he accomplished this are familiar – save, spend less, invest, avoid debt.
Many people find their purpose in their work. As such, they will always be slaves to their jobs. And let's be clear, finding meaning in your work doesn't mean you're happy. It likely says you haven't found passion outside of that job or skill.
Steve busts the myth of the standard picture of retirement. You know, the one where you're in your 60s, living off your company pension (if anyone other than government employees still has one), and Social Security while playing with your grandchildren. No, retirement for Steve and his wife meant adventure. They are currently traveling the country in their Airstream Classic travel trailer.
You will learn how they did it, including the details of the planning, how they quit their jobs, and how they live on a much smaller amount of income. It's a fascinating journey that will keep you reading. Oh, and along the way, you'll learn valuable lessons to help you on your journey to financial independence.
Be sure to visit their YouTube Channel – AStreaminLife.
Check it out here – https://thinksaveretire.com/
Larry Ludwig started Investor Junkie to help people become better investors. He has a small staff of three that includes an editor, a managing editor and a VP of sales and marketing. He also has a stable of freelance writers and bloggers who contribute content. The site is very well designed, easy to navigate, and full of terrific content focused around investing.
The first link on the menu (Start Investing) introduces a 9 step “getting started” course to help you do just that. Each stage has a detailed article to explain the topic and how to implement it. The course is well designed, and the step by step process easy to follow.
The site also offers reviews and comparisons of investing and planning tools to help you choose the ones that are right for you. Some categories include robo advisors, stockbrokers, micro savers, accounting, and personal finance. There are also tools for investing in real estate, doing financial research, and more.
We can always learn something new about topics we think we know. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned investor, you will find something here that can help you.
Check it out here –https://investorjunkie.com/
#22 Wealth Well Done
Wealth Well Done is one of the more unique of my top 25 best personal finance blogs. Why? Billy B., the founder of the site, went to prison for ten years when he was 21 years old. He was convicted of “Reckless homicide by delivery of a controlled substance” after one of his good friends he had partied with overdosed and died in his sleep.
I first heard Bill's story when I read it on ThinkSaveRetire. I reached out to him and we did an interview on my blog titled How to Persevere When You've Hit Rock Bottom. It's an inspiring story of triumph in the midst of overwhelmingly bad odds. When I went to the site, I was even more impressed. While in prison, Bill focused on transforming his mind and learning to write. Wealth Well Done is the culmination of those efforts.
Bill and Amanda, whom he married in 2015, focus on three principles for their site.
- Escape Your Prison
- Compound Your Cash
- Pursue Your Purpose.
Escaping your prison means letting go of the things you regret. Whether that's a bad marriage, bad financial decisions, addiction, or something else, the key to freedom is to release yourself from your mental prison.
Bill's history makes this one of the most inspiring sites on the list.
Check it out here – https://www.wealthwelldone.com/
#23 Can I Retire Yet?
The founder of Can I Retire Yet? is Darrow Kirkpatrick. Darrow earned a degree in Civil Engineering, discovering personal computers in the process. He started his own software company which he eventually sold.
Darren retired at age 50. Unlike some of the previous winners on my list, Can I Retire Yet? is geared more toward the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964).
The site includes many of the topics seen on the other personal finance blogs, including Saving, Investing, Retiring, and Income. Two of the unique menu choices are the Roadmap and Blueprint tabs.
The roadmap tab walks visitors through the process of answering the question Can I Retire Yet?. Other subtopics in the roadmap include advice on where to put your savings, steps for investing success, and discussions about diversification, asset allocation, and rebalancing. Each page has a list of actions items to help people put this into practice.
The Blueprint tab has handwritten images or “blueprints” outlining things like paying for college, building wealth, and retirement health care. It's a different yet beneficial approach to complicated topics.
Check it out here – https://www.caniretireyet.com/
#24 The Finance Buff
Harry Sit started The Finance Buff in 2006. Harry says that he and his wife are immigrants who “came to the US in our 20’s with only a few hundred dollars in our pockets and no other family members in the country. Today, we are on track to be able to retire in our 40’s.”
He wrote a book called Explore Tips to educate investors on an often overlooked investment, Treasury InflationProtected Securities (TIPS). As the name suggests, these bonds protect investors from the negative impact inflation has on the value of their money.
His most recent articles appear on the homepage. Check out “The Best Of” tab that links to a page listing his most popular articles. They appear in groups under headings like, Saving for Retirement, Saving for College, Stock-Based Compensation, Investing, and many others.
Harry will also help you find an advisor. For a fee of $200, he will screen advisors in your area and come back with a list of 3 for you to consider. There is a separate page that explains his selection criteria, what he expects, and what you can expect. It seems like a beneficial service.
Check it out here – https://thefinancebuff.com/
#25 The Penny Hoarder
Kyle Taylor is Founder and CEO of The Penny Hoarder. According to their About Page, The Penny Hoarder “was named the fastest-growing private media company by Inc. 500/5000 two years in a row.”
You will find articles on how to make money, find deals on food, groceries, and even recipes. There's a section on how to get money out of class action lawsuits. The smart money section has the usual personal finance topics like debt, budgeting, bank accounts, retirement, and taxes. There's also a section to alert us to the various scams thieves use to try and separate us from our money.
The Penny Hoarder has a great staff of writers. They feature content from freelance and other writers who are experts in their topics. You can spend a lot of time on this site and never see the same thing twice. I highly recommend you visit them.
Check it out here – https://www.thepennyhoarder.com
Thanks for taking the time to review with me. It was hard narrowing the list down to the top 25. With almost 2100 blogs listed in the Rockstar Finance directory, there is a lot to choose from. The list could very easily have been the top 100. The
Now it's your turn. Where do you go for financial education? What blogs/websites are your go-to resources? Let me know in the comments below.
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