The One Hour Project: Dig Into A Personal Finance Blog

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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:

Get Rich Slowly has an about page and has a wonderful single page archive to get you started.

Money, Matter, and More Musings has an about page, a page of the most popular posts, and also a single page of extensive archives.

Generation X Finance has an “about” page and a extensive, well organized archive.

Any of the other sites listed in the sidebar here are also worth digging into.

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6 thoughts on “The One Hour Project: Dig Into A Personal Finance Blog

  1. Hi Trent,
    You are right about complimenting the bloggers. As one can see (your site is an evidence), it is truly a labor of love. I appreciate what you do(an excellent job) for lot of the people who are in difficult situations. I do enjoy your articles, I do send people to your site.

    It is true a lot of people in this country are in difficult situations, but I will tell you one thing, one can always realize their dream as long as they are willing to work(This is Still the America that I immigrated fifteen years ago!). I am very indebted to this country as I am to India(that is where I am from).

    God bless you and your family for what you do. Here is a quote from JCPenney himself ” A merchant who is willing to serve the public with the good intentions has nothing to fear from the competition!”

    Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to comment on your blog.
    Venkat.

  2. One thing I would like to add is to see if the blog has a forum. getrichslowy for instance has a great forum.

    I spend more time going through the forums then reading the articles. With a forum you get feedback and a lively conversation with those who can bring a different perspective, and I believe that alone is invaluable.

  3. Similarly to cciesquare, I’d add digging into the comments. The comments section is the real “value addded” of blogs over print articles, and where you get the additional suggestions, corrections, alternate views, devils advocate positions, issues in different countries to the poster, etc. I don’t even bother visiting sites without comments sections any more.

  4. Regarding church/synagogue donations….”getting my house in order” starts with a minimum 10% tithing. As promised, the Lord is bound to bless us as we follow in obedience. And the blessings are worth any sacrifice to cut expenses elsewhere when needed!

    Sherri

  5. I agree with this article, especially the notion that blogs of this nature are often “a labor of love.”

    A great finance blog to look at is http://wsjiggetts.wordpress.com – the blog is called “Simple, Not Easy”…an easy to understand perspective on personal finance.

  6. now with stocks the only sure way to make money is investing in gold and other precious metals like silver. I dumped all my stocks so that I may make money off of gold. I hope to be rich soon. The precious metal market is looking good. The dollar keeps declining. Great work on your post.

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