This isn’t a personal finance blog. I’m not going to give you lots of advice that is already available on other blogs written by much better experts. Because they know what they are doing so much better than I do. Case in point: our nearly $30k in debt, about half of which is student loans, and half is consumer debt. We’ve made dumb money choices in the past. We’re trying to do so much better now (and my husband is usually better at this than I am.) We have some concrete plans and goals that will help (like wanting to pay cash for land and a house that we design and build ourselves) and we have a baby on the way. And we just really, really want to get out of debt. Because owing people money stinks.
And so today’s Top Resources is all about Money Management – the resources that we are finding super helpful and would recommend to our best friends and to family. If you’ve found something that has helped you get rid of debt or to handle your finances more like a responsible adult and less like a carefree teenager, then please do share in the comments.
1. Dave Ramsey
If you’ve even thought about starting a debt free journey, chances are you’ve either a.) heard/read about Dave Ramsey or b.) you’ve seen about 100 different blog posts on the “Snowball” method or the “Baby Steps.” You may not agree 100% with everything he says, or want to follow his plan down to the letter. And honestly, if you join the forums on his Total Money Makeover website, you’ll see that even those who are “on the plan” are just like that, or have had to modify it to fit a unique situation. But his advice is solid, and it’s the foundation of our current financial plan. Each of the resources listed below is highly recommended.
- The Total Money Makeover (book)
- MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com (found the forums to be so very helpful and absolutely worth the $10/month of membership)
- The Dave Ramsey Show (radio) -stream it live online or find out which local station carries it
2. Money Saving Mom by Crystal Paine
So this is mostly a coupon and deals website. Which can be really helpful when you are trying to keep certain areas of the budget under control (like clothing and food.) But she also has an entire section dedicated to money management, which I have found quite helpful particularly as I started planning for the arrival of Baby. She had a whole series on how to have a baby on a budget, which helped to keep me focused on what the baby really needs vs. “oh my goodness that is so cool/cute I want one for the baby!!!” Yep. Also, her “We Paid Cash” series is very inspirational and helps you realize that the dream of paying cash for ____ isn’t so weird or hard to do after all. http://moneysavingmom.com/
3. Making Sense of Cents by Michelle
Yes, Michelle was featured yesterday. But she is has so much more advice than just how to make some good side income. There is advice on budgets, energy costs, real estate, credit cards, travel – just about everything. Her style is engaging and I look forward to every single post that shows up in my Bloglovin’ feed. http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/
4. Millennial Money Man
Add this to the growing list of blogs I discovered more recently. What I love is that he particularly targets Millennials and the dumb money choices we are prone to make. He is also aware of how much Millennials sometimes don’t know about money management, and writes great informational posts to fill in those gaps. http://millennialmoneyman.com/
5. Mr. Money Mustache
Disclaimer: Mr. Money Mustache doesn’t mind using strong language. If that is something you can’t stand, you won’t enjoy his site very much. His focus is more on saving money and a frugal lifestyle. I don’t visit often (because of the language) but he has some good product recommendations and interesting posts that cause me to visit from time to time. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
6. All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam (book)
This isn’t a financial management book per se. It is a book on money and happiness, and is quite thought provoking. I’m almost through reading it, and I’ve loved it. She has affirmed some of the perspectives that my husband and I have on money (such as: sometimes its worth splurging on little things rather than cut back on so much that you are just miserable.) A great read to give you a tempered perspective against some of the die hard Dave Ramsey fans and their viewpoints (which you will come across quite often in the forums.) http://www.amazon.com/All-Money-World-Happiest-People/dp/1591846250
7. The Simple Dollar
Sound, simple financial advice on practically every area – credit cards, insurance, education, children, banking, etc. A worthwhile daily read, kind of like a financial newspaper. http://www.thesimpledollar.com/