Uggh, the internet! It’s a fantastic resource, but the web is also a tangled free-for-all that can frustrate even the calmest of people. Enter “personal finance” into Google and you get back 59,700,000 results. Who has the time to go through even 1% of those results?
Because an internet search can be a bit overwhelming, I tend to seek out the top results — the ones I find to be the most accurate and reliable. Once I have that targeted list of resources, I make them my “go to” websites.
When it came to finding reliable online resources for personal finance, I wanted to narrow it down to a handful that I could trust, so I started checking out some of the better known ones. Over time I developed a fine-tuned bookmark library of resources I know I could trust. To help make it a bit easier for you, we’ve complied that list and share it so you can check out these resources for all things money — from budgeting and saving, to investing, credit cards and banking.
Great resources for all things personal finance:
Wise Bread refers to itself as “personal finance and frugal living forums,” so if you want to learn how to save money from regular folk, this is the place to go to find solid advice on the everyday challenges of spending less and saving more. As the folks at Wise Bread put it, “Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to sacrifice your financial independence to enjoy life.”
Kiplinger features a broad range of topics from investing to real estate to business and economic forecasting; information is presented clearly and in an easy-to-understand fashion. If you’re looking to keep on top of the latest investing news, Kiplinger is an excellent resource.
Nerd Wallet is an excellent resource for comparisons on credit and debit cards, mortgages, investment accounts, and banks, to name just a few — it’s ideal for finding the best credit cards, CD rates, savings and checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Each year they pick the best for each category and feature that on their site as well. One big advantage is that they can help you find the highest-yield savings account to store your money.
Investopedia. Not sure what some of those acronyms or terms means in finance? Join the club. Luckily, Investopedia’s dictionary is a great resource for finding easy-to-understand, comprehensive definitions of financial terms or concepts. Investopedia also provides tutorials on everything from income taxes to becoming a landlord, as well as guides for nationally administered finance exams.
“Sharper Insight. Smarter Investing.” Investopedia is the world’s leading source of financial content on the web, with more than 20 million unique visitors and 60 million page views each month.”
Get Rich Slowly is devoted to sensible personal finance and was named a best blog by Time magazine and most inspiring money blog by Money magazine.
“You will not find any get-rich-quick schemes here. Nor will you find multi-level-marketing fads or hot stock tips. Instead, you’ll find unbiased, carefully researched information about personal finance and related topics. We focus on helping you get the most out of the financial products and services that you use every day — bank accounts, investment accounts, mortgages, credit cards, insurance — as well as a range of educational resources on budgeting, saving for college, and living well on less.”
The Simple Dollar is a site for those of us who need both cents and sense: people fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds – we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money.
The Penny Hoarder is one of the largest personal finance websites and helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.
“We believe personal finance shouldn’t be taboo. We get people talking about earning and saving money by creating compelling, engaging multimedia content that makes the topic fun, accessible and shareable. Our goal is to improve the lives of everyday folks by helping them spend less time worrying about their finances and more time enjoying their lives.”
Help with specific goals on budgeting and savings
Feed the Pig helps you do just that — feed your piggy bank. Here, you’ll find helpful tools, articles, tons of tips and other resources to help you on your path to financial stability. Feed the Pig can help you think through your spending and saving habits, identify ways you can start saving and commit to making changes that will reduce your debt and grow your savings.
All this great stuff is part of a national public service campaign sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Advertising Council. The goal of the campaign is to encourage and help Americans aged 25 to 34 to take control of their personal finances.”
You Need a Budget. Created by husband and wife team, the founders of “You Need a Budget” wanted to create something useful, which they have, and, they’ve boiled it down into four simple, effective rules derived from their personal experiences.
“Today, YNAB is driven by a small (but growing!), passionate team. We are building the best budgeting software out there. We hear reports every day of lives being changed: debt paid off, marriages saved, opportunities seized, stress eliminated and sleep rediscovered! When you gain control of your money, you gain control of your life and it feels great.”
Good Budget. More than a handful of times, couples have told the folks at Goodbudget that they saved their marriage. There are also thousands of people who tell Goodbudget that for the first time, they are actually sticking to a budget that works, and it’s all thanks to them.
“Over the years, in the process of talking with you about your budgets and living with our own budgets as well, we discovered what we believe about budgeting (and saving and spending and giving). We formed our philosophy about money. We call it The Goodbudget Way. It’s our beliefs, values, and approach for managing personal finances in the real world.”
SavingAdvice.com is a personal finance website that attempts to inspire and teach different ways of saving money and offers a little bit of everything from financial articles, discussion forums, blogs (you can even create your own), newsletters, calculators and various other financial related tools. They’ve been covered in the Washington Post, Budget Living Magazine, The Street and Digg.
Big picture finance, stock market, investing resources
MarketWatch, published by Dow Jones & Co., tracks the pulse of markets for engaged investors with more than 16 million visitors per month. The site is a leading innovator in business news, personal finance information, real-time commentary and investment tools and data, with dedicated journalists generating hundreds of headlines, stories, videos and market briefs a day from bureaus in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In addition, MarketWatch offers subscription products for investors, including Retirement Weekly and ETF Trader. MarketWatch is part of Dow Jones Media Group, which includes Barrons.com, Financial News London, Moneyish and Mansion Global.
Yahoo Finance provides financial news, data and commentary including stock quotes, press releases, financial reports, and original programming. It also offers some online tools for personal finance management.
One of the most recognizable financial website, CNN Money is great because like their primary business, ‘news,’ the Money section gives you breaking news as it relates to money and the financial markets — they also answer questions as to how current events directly apply to your finances. CNN Money also has a comprehensive personal finance section, so overall, they offer a lot.
“CNNMoney is the No. 1 destination site among its competitors as well as the most comprehensive, covering all types of business – from personal business, to small business to big business. The site provides a rich interactive experience, including exclusive videos, blogs and editorial franchises, as well as breaking news and original content from each magazine.”
The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool is dedicated to helping the world invest — better. Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through their website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, mutual funds, and premium investing services.
GO Banking Rates
GO Banking Rates is a national website dedicated to connecting readers with the best interest rates on financial services nationwide, as well as informative personal finance content, news and tools. GOBankingRates collects interest rate information from thousands of U.S. banks, credit unions and lenders. With more than one million interest rate records in their database, they’re the only online rates aggregator with the ability to provide the most comprehensive and authentic local interest rate information.
Apps: Good Finance and Budgeting Apps
Like CNN Money, CNBC is a recognized leader in financial reporting, news and analysis. Downloading the CNBC app on your smartphone (it has iOS and Android compatibility) gives you quick access to breaking finance information, streaming programming, interactive stock market watch lists and more.
RetailMeNot bills itself as “the ultimate savings destination,” and gives you mobile access to thousands of searchable promo codes, discounts and coupons — you can also check out which deals are currently trending and bookmark your favorite retail locations through RetailMeNot.com.
everydollar is an easy-to-use budget app based on a proven plan that helps you focus your money on what matters. Why is EveryDollar so passionate about you budgeting? It’s because people who create an EveryDollar budget save 18% more money and pay off 19% more debt than those who don’t. So, what makes an EveryDollar budget different? With an EveryDollar budget, you tell every dollar you earn what to do! If you are ready to tell your money what to do and achieve your financial goals, it’s time to budget. We’ll show you how every step of the way. Learn more about everydollar.
While there is a cost associated with using a LearnVest financial planner, the articles on their website are free. They provide personal stories about money and advice from financial planners, as well as a wide-range of tools, such as: calculators, videos, checklists for major life milestones, and a budgeting tool that also comes in the form of an app.
iPhone and iPad owners who want a user-friendly personal finance mobile portal can download the app version of the popular LearnVest website. You’ll get the articles and content LearnVest is known for, but also interactive features like programs to organize and maximize your funds, track your assets, see your debt and net worth, and work toward savings goals.
Looking to save more money?
Digit is an app that does just that, without you even realizing it. After you link Digit to your checking account, it studies and analyzes your spending and income history to predict your cash flow situation. Digit then sets aside money that you really don’t require for your day-to-day expenses and sends you a weekly update as to how much you’ve saved. Want it back? Not to worry, if you let them know, it’s back in your checking account by the next business day.
The acorns in this mobile investment app are pieces of spare change that can sprout into fruitful finances. Use it to link your debit or credit card and Acorns will round each transaction you make up to the next dollar amount and deposit the change into your index fund of choice. Acorns will even automatically balance and manage your portfolio for you.
Are you looking to cut spending?
Mint is a free app that makes budgeting very simple. Plug in all the accounts, cards and bills that you want to track, and Mint gives you a big-picture version of what you make and what you spend. Mint tracks your spending patterns and automatically creates monthly budgets in easy-to-understand categories (e.g. groceries, coffee and clothing, etc.) They’ll send you an alert if you’re about to max out in any given category and there is also a very helpful “trends” tab that shows you where you spend the most month after month. The app can also email you when bills are coming due or if you’re approaching your credit limit. The app also recognizes when you’ve transferred funds, closed an account or opened a new one.
Looking to pay off debt?
If you want to figure out a workable repayment plan for some of your debts, ReadyForZero is designed to do just that. You can link your accounts (student loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc.) and the app will create a tailored payoff plan for you. The app also helps you track account changes, payment due dates and money savings, and can even keep an eye on your credit score to make sure nothing goes awry.
Take some time to check these resources out to see if they meet your needs and expectations. If not, keep looking until you find the one (s) that do, since you need to fee comfortable with where you get your information on personal finance issues.
More information: 41 Ways to Boost Your Money Management Skills