This post is part of The One Hour Project, in which you can spend just one hour to put your finances in a better place without a big lifestyle change, through frugality or other financial choices.
One of the most valuable things that a person can do when learning about personal finance issues is to get a diversity of perspectives and ideas. The more ideas you learn about and the more perspectives you get, the better your undersanding of personal finance will be and the more likely you are to make strong choices.
The advent of blogging has made this much easier than before – it used to be that you would have to read lots of personal finance books and magazines to get a variety of perspectives. Now, with just a mouse click or two, you can read lots of different perspectives and ideas for free from the convenience of your own computer.
I encourage you to spend an hour digging into the archives of a personal finance blog so you can really begin to learn the basic perspectives of a particular site. Here are some things you can do, using The Simple Dollar as an example at first, then giving you some pointers to other sites if you want to look for excellent ideas and opinions elsewhere.
Read the “About” page. Find out what kind of perspective the blogger is offering. Quite often, this will clue you in to some of the assumptions of the writing on the site.
Sample some of the “best” posts. Look for a “best of” section and, if you find it, sample a few of those articles. This will give you some very tasty morsels to start off with.
Dig into the archives. Most sites provide an archive of some sort that’s easy to browse through; on The Simple Dollar, the best place to start is probably the one page chronology of all posts. I usually find it best to start from the beginning with a site, not necessarily reading everything, but focusing on those articles that are interesting to me.
Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or directly contact a blog if you have questions. I strongly urge you to be complimentary if you write to someone, though – if you look through a blog’s archives, recognize that all of the writing is a labor of love by a single person (or a small group) and they’re basically giving the material away for free for you to read, paying for the server space where that information is stored.
Here are a few blogs that are worth digging into that I particularly enjoy:
Any of the other sites listed in the sidebar here are also worth digging into.