I read a lot of blogs every day. I wish I had time to learn more. Here is my list of what I feel are the most influential personal finance blogs.
What makes them influential? It's the quality of the content. Another factor is how long the blogger has been blogging. Though not the most important, longevity in the blogging world is shorter than other fields. There are some newer blogs here that have caught my attention as well.
I'd encourage you to take a quick tour of each of these sites. I'll offer a brief description of their focus and what I like about them.
As usual with my lists, these are not in any particular order by rating or any other criteria. Each blog has it's own unique character and content.
I hope you enjoy checking them out and find a couple you'll visit often.
Mr. Money Mustache
Many consider Mr. Money Mustache to be the father of the modern-day personal finance blogger movement. More specifically, the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community.
The playbook for FIRE isn't complicated. It's to spend less than you make, save and invest the difference, and reduce or eliminate debt (especially high-interest credit cards). Pete, the founder, and author of Mr. Money Mustache retired in 2005 at age 30. HUH? How does someone retire at age 30?
He started the blog in April 2011. He's written over 800 articles since he began. He's legendary for his frugal lifestyle and honest portrayal of consumerism. He says the motivation for starting the blog after six years of retirement was from watching all of his friends spent more than they had and drowned in debt.
He and his wife retired to begin raising a family. The key to their success comes from two disciplines:
- Save 50% or more of their income.
- Cut expenses to reduce the amount necessary to retire
These are simple concepts. They are also hard to execute. You won't find any fluff on Mr. Money Mustache. He tells it as he sees it, which I find refreshing.
Get Rich Slowly
J.D. Roth is the author of Get Rich Slowly. J.D. started his blog in 2006. He describes himself as “a regular guy who has learned about money through the school of hard knocks.”
In other words, many of the things he writes about are lessons he's learned through mistakes. And aren't those the best learning experiences anyway? Unlike recent college grads, J. D. didn't come out of college with student loan debts. He did, however, have over $35,000 in credit card and consumer loan debt. He says he hit rock bottom one night after bouncing another check and sat down to write a three-year plan to get out of debt.
That prompted him to look at managing his life like a business. He changed the way he spent, saved, and invested. He executed his plan and became debt free in December 2007. His story is one of planning, determination, discipline, and perseverance. His articles are practical, well researched and well written.
He's a voracious reader of financial books. He offers a list of those on the blog. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Sam started FinancialSamurai in 2009. He says that after thirteen years in corporate America, “money ceased to be a major driving factor.” In 2012, three years after starting his blog, Sam left corporate American for early retirement and devoted his full-time effort on FinancialSamurai.
How did he do it? Like many early retirees, Sam saved 50% or more of his after-tax paycheck. He knew working 70 hours a week was not sustainable over the long-term. He invested those savings in stocks, bonds, real estate, CDs, and rental properties to build up enough passive income to leave the hectic pace behind. Essentially, he set up his early exit with these saving and investment habits.
The site has hosted over 30 million visitors since starting. Over 1 million visitors come to the site every month. Most bloggers, (including this one) would kill for those numbers. Those are some fantastic statistics. His content categories include free wealth management, top financial products, how to negotiate a severance, and real estate crowdfunding. His corporate and investing experience bring a unique and much-needed voice to the blogosphere. Every post I've read is thoughtful, thorough, and full of great insights and information.
Check it out here – https://www.financialsamurai.com/
Budgets are Sexy
I introduced you to J. Money (J.$)earlier. His current site, Budgets are Sexy, is one of the most read blogs on the web.
J$ started Budgets are Sexy in February 2008. He states his goal for the site is “to get people to stop and *pay attention* to their money.” He's a huge fan of budgets. From his “About” page: Budgets = Confidence = Sexy. Keeping it fun is a part of J.$'s strategy.
He always has numerous comments on every post. He answers every one of these comments. After retiring, J$ takes care of his four young children. He has a vast social media following and is an active participant on Twitter.
Blog categories cover a lot of ground. A partial list includes: “spaving” fund, early retirement, challenge everything, along with popular and favorite articles. You'll find a side hustle series and along with several free budget templates. Many of these templates are Excel budget worksheets to download.
And yes. J.$ does think budgets are sexy. His trademark identity is his long, spiked mohawk. Don't be fooled, though. J. likes to have fun. But this is a serious financial site.
Another pioneer in the personal finance space, J. Money and Budgets are Sexy will both inform and entertain you.
Making Sense of Cents
Michelle Schroeder-Garder is the founder and author of Making Sense of Cents. She graduated from college after 2 1/2 years from what she describes as an expensive private school. She went on to obtain an MBA in finance and secured a job in the financial services industry as an analyst.
Like many of today's Millennials, she graduated with a hefty student loan burden. In her case, it was $38,00. With the debt weighing on her, she decided to put herself on a plan to become debt free, which she accomplished.
She decided to start a blog in August 2011 to write about her experiences. Making Sense of Cents is one of the most financially successful blogs out there. The income she generated from it allowed her to quit her corporate job and work full-time on the blog. She produces over $100,000 a month in revenue (she publishes blog income reports on her site).
She trains other bloggers, offers several courses and covers every imaginable topic.
For three years, she, her husband, and two dogs lived in an RV and traveled the country. They decided to try a new adventure. They sold the RV and now live on a sailboat full-time. You can read all about these journeys on her blog.
John, founder, and author or ESI Money is a fifty-something retiree. Here are his words on the purpose of the site:
“This site is about managing your money so you can become wealthy. I realize that “wealthy” is a moving target, but what you consider to be your “wealthy” is up to you. “
ESI stands for Earn, Save, and Invest. The blog focuses on these three things. There's a Millionaire Interview series in which ESI interviews successful people who, as the name suggest, are millionaires. The interview questions revolve around the three themes of the sit – Earn, Save, Invest. The ways people get to their definition of wealth and financial independence vary greatly. You wee that in the interviews.
Another interview series is the ESI Scale interviews. In these interviews, people answer questions about their success in working the ESI scale. Once again, questions asked come from the earn, save, and invest categories. Participants have the opportunity to ask readers for help in any area they feel they need help. Readers offer their advice in the comments. These are two very informative areas of the site.
ESI also puts out his killer content as well. You'll find it all here.
Retirement Update: 2.75 Years
Think Save Retire
Steve, the founder of ThinkSaveRetire, is another early retiree. Like many early retirees, he's not retired. Steve left his corporate job at the ripe old age of 35. Courtney, his wife, continued to work at her job. The fun part of it?
They both work in their carved out office spaces in a 200 sq. Ft. Airstream Classic. How did they get there?
Once they decided to get out of the corporate hamster wheel, they cut expenses dramatically. To kick-start things, they lived off one salary while saving and investing the other. They sold both houses. Debt got booted. Costs are low enough to allow them to live on $30,000 a year in their new lifestyle.
They started a YouTube Channel, AStreaminLife, to chronicle their journey through the country.
Topics covered on ThinkSaveRetire include Live Differently, Change Your Life, Live Your Dreams, and Early Retirement. You can learn about blogging and travel here as well. Steve is an excellent writer whose posts always leave you thinking.
He's also a talented photographer whose photos often make it to his posts. You won't be disappointed visiting ThinkSaveRetire.
Grant Sabatier is the proprietor of Millennial Money. He's had ten million visitors to his site since 2015! He wrote a book titled, Financial Freedom, A Proven Path to All the Money You'll Ever Need.
Grant tells us that just after college, he was, “…unemployed, living at home with my parents, and had only $2.26 left in my bank account. Five years later I had a net worth of over $1 Million.
You can read the full story of how he did it. He lobbied his boss for a raise, started a consulting business, read everything he could find on personal finance, and began to save and invest.
Topics covered include how to make, save, and invest money, side hustling, best money tools, real estate and house hacking, early retirement, and financial independence. There are numerous articles in all of these categories.
There's a wealth of great content here. And don't think this is just for Millennials. It's not. The principals and tolls Grant offers will help anyone on their journey to financial independence.
Check out this great site. You'll be glad you did.
You might also like:
25 Best Personal Finance Blogs (Why You Should Read)
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.
Good Financial Cents
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.
You will find helpful guides on various topics like rolling over your 401(k), investing guide for newbies, how to make money, and student loans. He has in-depth articles on all kinds of insurance (life, auto, health, etc.), reviews on peer to peer lending, online investment companies, credit cards, and much more.
Jeff also has a vibrant YouTube Channel with dozens of videos on many of his blog topics.
He's been featured on Marketwatch, CNNMoney, CNBC, Inc, Forbes, New York Times, Business Insider, and many other publications.
His articles and videos are open, honest, and transparent. He tells you where he's succeeded and where he has failed. Like many of us, 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.
So there you have it. These are blogs I read every week. New content gets published regularly on all of them, so I always find something interesting to read.
There are lots of ways to define wealth. There are lots of paths to get there; however one defines it.
I chose these because of the quality and variety of content on their sites. They offer a variety of writing and personality styles. The style I enjoy reading may not be yours. I like a mix of humor and seriousness. You may not. Take a quick tour of these ten and see which ones appeal to you.
If you read blogs not represented here that you love, let me know what they are in the comment below. I'm always looking for great content.
Now it's your turn. Do you read personal finance blogs? What do you look for in them? Are there favorites you have not listed here? Do you prefer podcasts over articles?
I look forward to your comments.Follow me on social media