8/20/2012 2:15 PM ET|
The 102 best money websites
Need information or help with a money matter? Chances are good you'll find what you need at one of these sites, which rank among the best on the Web.
This is an incredibly personal list.
There are many other worthy sites out there, sites that, like these, are all about money: making it, spending it, saving it, investing it, protecting it.
But this is my list. These are the sites I like, the ones I consistently turn to for good information, solid advice, unique perspectives, really cool tools and, in at least a few cases, good laughs. They're sites that consistently offer something their competitors don't, which makes them worth investing my scarcest resources: time and attention.
If sites you love aren't on this list, sorry. But check these out anyway. I think you'll find some new favorites, too.
Big media sites (5)
What distinguishes these sites: resources. Professional journalists interview experts in various fields to offer uncommon insight and analysis.
Bucks: The New York Times' Bucks blog covers "consumer tactics" regarding money, which means an array of articles and posts about things that affect your wallet. High-quality reporting from Times columnist Ron Lieber and personal-finance reporter Tara Siegel Bernard make this blog a daily must-read.
Kiplinger Personal Finance: The oldest (and best) personal-finance magazine covers the gamut of money topics, from budgeting to travel, in an accessible way.
Planet Money: National Public Radio's economics team does a phenomenal job of explaining the often-complex and sometimes-obscure world of money in ways that real people can actually understand. Their podcasts about the financial crises, both here and in Europe, are required listening.
SmartMoney: The Wall Street Journal's personal-finance magazine offers a wealth of helpful tools as well as money news and advice.
Smart Spending: Yeah, it's cross-promotion, but MSN Money's Smart Spending blog is still one of my favorite places to check for savings tips, commentaries on frugality and a roundup of good deals around the Web.
Money bloggers (10)
Many of these sites started out as one-person operations. Some are still that way, while others have expanded with guest writers and staff bloggers to offer a wider array of content. Either way, they're worth reading.
: Jim Wang's blog offers plenty of good personal-finance content along with reviews of banks, credit card offers, books and products.
Consumerism Commentary: "Flexo," aka Luke Landes, started a trend by posting his assets and liabilities for everybody to see. He used the public exposure to hold himself accountable for learning more about money and reaching his financial goals. Now that he's blogged his way to solvency, he has staff writers and a regular podcast that covers the gamut of money topics.
Daily Worth: A site co-founded by my friend and former MSN Money colleague MP Dunleavey, Daily Worth describes itself as "a community of women who talk money." Its short, pithy articles offer a fresh take on financial matters of particular relevance to women.
The Dollar Stretcher: This granddaddy of frugal-living sites offers an enormous library of articles and tips that's constantly refreshed with new ideas. Even black-belt frugality experts will find new information here.
Financial Integrity: This is the site run by the New Road Map Foundation and Vicki Robin, a co-author of the seminal voluntary-simplicity guidebook "Your Money or Your Life." Learn the steps to create financial freedom and align your financial life with your personal values.
Get Rich Slowly: Blogger J.D. Roth dug his way out of debt and tells you how you can, too, with the help of a team of writers. An active community of readers provides additional insights and commentary.
PT Money: Philip Taylor finally hit the big time earlier this year when he attracted the notice of none other than Suze Orman, the queen bee of personal finance. She called him an "idiot." (Orman flipped out on Twitter after bloggers, including Taylor, criticized her new Approved prepaid card.) She later apologized. She really got this one wrong, since Taylor is a thoughtful personal-finance blogger who offers helpful reviews of financial products and services.
The Simple Dollar: Like Roth, Trent Hamm has experienced and conquered debt. He grew up in poverty and understands how early deprivation can lead to later disasters with money.
Surviving and Thriving: Donna Freedman is a contributor to MSN Money and Get Rich Slowly. She's also a good friend; we met and bonded at the Anchorage Daily News many moons ago. So I can tell you with confidence that she's one remarkable lady. Donna grew up poor, was a single mom for a while and was thrown back near the poverty line by her divorce. Her resilience, compassion and frugal chops are unmatched -- plus, she's wickedly funny.
Wise Bread: A variety of voices enlivens Wise Bread, a site devoted to "living large on a small budget." In addition to personal finance and frugal living, Wise Bread provides commentary on careers and "life hacks." Check out its list of 100-plus most popular personal-finance blogs for even more great sites to visit.
My favorite loudmouths (2)
I love reading original thinkers who challenge conventional wisdom and crowd-think, even if I don't always agree with what they say. I'm sad that two of my favorite loudmouths, the anonymous posters behind Pop Economics and Bad Money Advice, aren't updating their sites anymore. But a few other sites are still very much alive.
Freakonomics: What's that smell? The guys at Freakonomics must be roasting sacred cow again. Typical posts: "Never follow your dreams" (an interview with Mark Cuban that's well worth reading) and "If all the economists were laid end to end, would they reach a conclusion?" which posits that economists agree more often than you might think.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich: OK, Ramit Sethi sometimes goes overboard bashing frugality, and he seems to be selling a lot of stuff on his site. He's walking his talk, which is that the way to financial freedom is making more money. If you're young, well-educated and healthy, you could learn a lot from Sethi's site and best-selling book by the same.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
paid (as low as $0.015 cents per visitor) ways to do this and of course has automated software to make the process easier. It seems like a good deal and may be worth investigating further at the website http://www.freeaffiliatesoftware.info
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