When I first got involved in the personal finance blogosphere I was binge reading blog posts. I couldn’t get enough of it all. I started with tips to pay down debt, and success stories of people who had reached debt freedom. I found MMM. I was introduced to a whole new world, and I couldn’t get enough.
From my binge reading, I picked up ways that I could pay down my student loan debt. I learned about the difference in Roth and Traditional IRA’s. My binge reading was binge learning, without me even realizing it. I simply absorbed a lot of information that has been hugely helpful to me.
Not everyone learns that way though. It can be very overwhelming to Google ‘pay off student loans’ and get 3,360,000 results. There are a million articles on a million topics out there on the interwebs. It can overload and confuse people to no end.
For someone who is looking to expand their financial knowledge but doesn’t know where to start, let this be your financial guide to our blogosphere.
Now, you’ll have to figure out what your financial goals are on your own. I can’t tell you if FIRE is right for you, or what kind of taxable invests you should be nurturing. But if you’re one of the millions of people out there who don’t really understand what a 401K is, or are trying to climb out from under a pile of debt, I can send you in a few helpful directions. Read on for my very informal financial guide!
The MMM forum– While Mr. Money Mustache is certainly a polarizing figure, the forum he created on his website is a beautiful thing. It’s like what it must be to wake up to Will Smith’s face every day: stunning.
Searching through the forum yields in-depth conversations on any money topic you can imagine. From where to start investing, to which type of mortgage to get, to which index funds specifically you should be buying, to ways to cut costs- it’s all there. I mean, it is ALL there.
Create a username and jump on in. People are hardcore in the MMM circle, but pick and choose what works for you.
Money School with Jane– New kid on the block Jane Hwangbo has started her own website and money management course. Full disclosure here: I did work with Jane on the debt payoff part of her course, so you’ll see my smiling face in one of the videos!
I chose to work with Jane for a few reasons, but what I really responded to was her honesty. We talked on the phone, and she said to me that she was having a hard time writing the debt payoff part because she’d never dealt with real debt. I really liked that she was able to say ‘This is an area I don’t have experience with, and I want someone to write it who does.’ Not a lot of people do stuff like that!
As a debt connoisseur, I was more than happy to share my experience paying off my debt with her future students. Her course also covers a bunch of other important money topics, so for people needing an overall money course, this is the way to go!
Twitter– A little untraditional, but I believe a key part of the financial guide. If you follow people in the finance world you will learn so very much. Learning through osmosis people- get into it! I follow a ton of people, some of whom have very different interests and skills than I do, some who are in the same world as me. I feel like I learn something new every day, and I’m kept up to date on a million little things going on in the finance world. I know everyone is about Snapchat and Instagram these days, but Twitter is a financial goldmine.
Personal Faves- There are some people that I just can’t get enough of. I still read all their posts, and I’m still learning so much! Here are some of my absolute favorite finance blogs out there. They cover early retirement, investing, minimalism, debt payoff and frugal living.
As for more traditional publications, I like Fast Company and Forbes. I personally try to take a really big and really small approach to finance. I like to know what’s going on generally in the US in terms of finance and politics (which deeply affect finances), but I really get into the stuff that affects my day to day.
For example, I keep abreast of general car prices, but I’ve read a lot about how to minimize my driving needs and save on wear and tear. I won’t need a new car for a good few more years hopefully, but I like to know what the trends and prices are now.
I’d love to hear from y’all about which blogs and publications you love! Any resources you find supremely helpful?
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.
15 Replies to “A Financial Guide to the Wild Personal Finance Blogosphere”
Thanks for including me! I’m really digging The Yachtless and Millennial Boss as well.
Melanie, you’ve been so helpful to me since the very beginning! I think my Dear Debt letter was the second piece of writing I ever sent out. Sarah from the Yatchless is such a gem! I’ll have to check out Millennial Boss.
I love the concept for this post, but I think you got the link to Our Next Life a bit wrong. It actually links to your Twitter account. 🙂
I like FastCompany as well. Their web site design is second to none. 🙂
Oh no! Good catch Steve. I’ve fixed it. FC is so, so good. One of the few print magazines I occasionally still buy!
Thanks for looking out for us, Steve! 😉
Hi Kara, I already read most of those posts for exactly the reasons you mention. There’s a couple of new ones to check out though so thanks for highlighting them. I’ll head over and check them out. And one day, hopefully my own humbly FIRE blog will be worthy of your endorsement. It’s something for me to strive for. Have a great weekend everyone.
Hi Kara, I already read most of those posts for exactly the reasons you mention. There’s a couple of new ones to check out though so thanks for highlighting them. I’ll head over and check them out. And one day, hopefully my own humbly FIRE blog will be worthy of your endorsement. It’s something for me to strive for. Have a great weekend everyone..
There’s a ton of stuff out there, so read whatever you want! Something for everyone. 🙂
Kara I gotta say this is an excellent guide. Especially good for those who as you said can quickly be overwhelmed with the vast amount of information out there. My first encounter with the personal finance blogosphere was probably about 6 months ago when I wanted to understand where in the world those 401k contributions were really going and how to invest in things other than individual stocks. Just like you, my binge reading helped me learn so much without even realizing it.
Thanks! I love that there’s so much, but you have to have a plan for what you’re looking for. I started with debt pay off blogs, then moved to frugal living blogs. There’s such a wealth of knowledge out there!
It means a ton to know that we’ve helped influence you, even if it was in tiny ways! We definitely didn’t set out to be seen as a source on anything — we just wanted to document our journey — but there is something magical about the PF blog community, and it definitely inspires us to keep going with the blog. But big thanks for the shout out here and on Twitter, and of course for reading! 😀 I love this guide — a great intro to topics that can definitely be overwhelming, as you said, and also ones where there is so much BAD info out there. All the stuff about loan consolidation, deliberately walking away from mortgages, investing in high fee funds… it’s easy to get led astray!
Your blog is the best! One of my favorite things about our world is that it shows how much power there is in simply sharing our own stories. You don’t have to have a goal of inspiration, you just have to open up. Inspiration comes naturally. That’s been my experience with all these wonderful blogs.
If I woke up next to Will Smith’s face every day I would be freaked out, personally. Like all the links!
Hahaha, the way this sounds is as though he’s just a face, and not a complete body. Which would be freaky! But a stunning sort of freaky…????
So many good blogs out there…too few hours to read them all!