Forum: Adults / Money Matters

Money Matters
Personal Finance Resources (karma: 2)
By pharmadancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3459, member since Tue Mar 16, 2004
On Wed May 07, 2014 11:18 AM
Edited by pharmadancer (87219) on 2014-05-07 11:20:50

I thought this might be a helpful resource for people looking for money management resources. I obviously can't list every single financial resource available - that would be insane. But I have done my own fair share of research, and thought it would be useful to share it with the dance.net community. What I'm going to be listing here is a series of personal recommendations, as well as some of the most popular resources out there, as a start for those looking to start out or learn more about personal financial management.

Websites and Blogs

There are some websites that do a great job at providing tutorials, tools, and tests in order to assess or build your skills in money management. Most banks also provide some of these tools to their customers through online banking or their websites.

Investopedia.com
CNN Money
Wise Bread
MyMoney.Gov is a US government website dedicated to teaching basics of personal finance.
Your Financial Toolkit is a Canadian resource designed by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. The toolkit provides lots of tools and information about the Canadian financial system.
Smart About Money is a US-based website filled with tools, blog posts and tips for smart money management.

Books

Within this category, there are some very commonly heard names and perhaps some not so common ones. I'm also categorizing them into country-specific sections, because savings/investment regulations are so regionally specific (RRSPs in Canada, 401(k)/IRA in US, etc). That's not to say that people in Canada can't or shouldn't read the books listed in the USA section. Each of these books provides advice and a specific type of voice. Some people may resonate more with one voice versus another, so it is a good idea to check out a variety of books (at the library, etc) to see who you identify with the most.

*Recommendations are welcome for books from other global regions - will edit this post as needed!*

Canada

The Wealthy Barber Returns (David Chilton) - This is a GREAT entry into the world of money management. Building on and updating his previous best seller, The Wealthy Barber (1989), this 2012 book is a very good overview of the world of money, investing, and smart money management skills. An easy and light read, with a lot of humour thrown in, it's a great read for those in Canada wanting to beef up their money management know-how, especially those just entering the work force (he stresses the importance of compound interest and investing early).

Debt Free Forever (Gail Vaz-Oxlade) - Canadians will probably recognize Gail Vaz-Oxlade from her TV shows - Til Debt Do Us Part and Princess. She's a no-nonsense financial writer and her website and blog are definitely worth checking out. There are lots of budgeting tools and tips available for free!

Smart Couples Finish Rich (David Bach)

Money Smart Mom: Financially Fit Parenting (Sarah Deveau)

USA

Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsay) - website also provides access to a subscription-based budgeting software

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke (Suze Orman)

I Will Teach You to be Rich (Ramit Sethi)

The Millionaire Next Door (Thomas J. Stanley)

Budgeting Websites & Software

There are a lot of budgeting websites and software available out there. Some of them have more features than others, and it may take you several tries to find a good fit with the type of information you need to access. Don't be afraid to try different software - information is usually easily transferable between programs using exporting/importing functions. There are pros and cons between having your management program web-based, app-based, or desktop-based. Keep in mind, also, that many banks are now installing budgeting software into their online banking websites, so you might be able to get a trial run of this type of program through your current online banking.

Free

mint.com - Most popular website, also has mobile apps

Buxfer.com - US-based website

OnTrees.com - UK based app

YodleeMoneyCenter.com - US based website

MoneyDashboard.com - UK based app

For a Fee

The following software programs are all for a fee (between $33 and $60). The one big difference between the four following programs are their ability to provide personal investing information/tracking - AceMoney and MoneyDance do, but Quicken and YNAB don't. In general, free software doesn't provide this type of info/tracking ability, either.

AceMoney - only desktop based (my preferred software)

Quicken - only desktop

You Need a Budget - app based

Moneydance.com - desktop and free mobile app available

Miscellaneous

In my research, I've found other tools and such that have been useful for my own personal finance management. Here are a few of the best ones:

Personal Rate of Return Spreadsheet - This is a great tool for calculating your personal rate of return with your investments. This article explains why it's so important to calculate correctly your actual rate of return, and this handy spreadsheet helps you keep track. I use it to calculate a yearly and lifetime rate of return for each of my investments.

Interactive Budget Worksheet from Gail Vaz-Oxlade's website is perfect for showing you just how easy it is to plug numbers into a budget (getting it to balance is the tricky part) and shows you where your money is going.

1 Replies to Personal Finance Resources

re: Personal Finance Resources
By Live_on_Broadway Comments: 2538, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Thu Jun 05, 2014 08:32 PM
Awesome post! I started learning more about personal finance a few years ago when I started paying off my student loans, and I was so surprised at how much I didn't know. But it's so important to take control of your money -- the younger, the better. So.. +1 for this post. :)

While I'm here, here are some of my favourite personal finance blogs/websites (I think most are Canada-centric):
www.moneyaftergraduation.com
www.saltmoney.org . . .
www.gailvazoxlade.com . . .
www.squawkfox.com
www.savespendsplurge.com
www.krystalatwork.com

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