I hear quite often from readers that they check The Simple Dollar faithfully each day, and recently one of them asked whether I read any personal finance blogs and, if so, which ones do I read every day. The truth is that I subscribe to about ninety blogs of various types using Google Reader. It enables me to keep up with a lot of different goings-on that interest me. About half of those are sites in some way connected to personal finance.
However, there are three sites that I make a special point to visit every day. I suppose I might view them as the competition, but the truth is that I read them because they make me think in different ways. Here they are – I strongly encourage you to visit them and browse through their archives.
If there’s another site out there on the internet that’s similar to The Simple Dollar, it would have to be Get Rich Slowly. There are times where J.D. (the author) writes something and I honestly believe I would have written it the exact same way. He comes from a somewhat different station in life – he’s about ten years older, lives on a coast, and doesn’t have children – but we share many similar interests and a reasonably similar writing style.
Here are five of my favorite posts from Get Rich Slowly:
How To Start A Roth IRA And Where To Do It This is one of the newest entries there and I linked to it in the rather recent past, but it is one of the best personal finance “how to” articles I’ve ever read. If you’ve ever even thought about getting started with a Roth IRA, this article is a must-read.
Extra Weight, Higher Costs A very strong analysis of the financial costs of carrying around too much weight. It’s practically a financial call to arms to start a diet – if you’re overweight and read this, you’ll almost be sickened by the amount of money you’re wasting.
How To Get Out Of Debt This single post combines most of the useful stuff you need to know about personal finance into one place.
Why Frugality Is An Important Part Of Personal Finance When I make a frugality post at The Simple Dollar, I usually get a very sarcastic comment or two from people who basically believe that thinking about frugality is a complete waste of time. “Big deal,” they say, “you saved $0.25 on your laundry load.” My response to them is usually a less-eloquent version of what J.D. says here.
Is Eating Out Cheaper Than Eating In? J.D. addresses another pet issue of mine. I post about food regularly on The Simple Dollar as my little attempt to turn the tide, but J.D. dove in and actually found that not only is it cheaper to eat at home, it takes less time, too.
Almost every day, I find some reason to utilize one of the many useful calculators at Bankrate.com. I use Excel for a lot of the recording and maintenance of my personal finance situation, but for running various scenarios for The Simple Dollar and also looking at different options for my own purchases, the set of calculators available there simply takes care of me.
In particular, I found the mortgage calculator to be incredibly useful, perhaps the most useful tool I’ve found on the web. As we move through the home-buying process, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this calculator for evaluating any number of scenarios, from seeing what our payment plans would look like with different houses as we looked for one to different possibilities with the house we chose. I’ve run all sorts of advance payment plans through it to see when it would be paid off, and it’s aided us substantially in figuring out whether it made sense to pay points or not (generally, it was).
I’ve also extensively used and recommended the debt management calculator when I’ve helped people work through some of the more frightening debt issues that they’ve written me about. I’ve found the calculator incredibly useful for estimating how quickly people can be debt free.
I’ve both lauded and railed against various Yahoo! Finance columnists, but every day I read the latest columns posted there. They’re almost always thought-provoking – either they make me think, make me nod my head in agreement, or make me fume at their idiocy (I’m generally referring to different writers here).
I particularly recommend following the essays by Ben Stein. I’ve discussed his essays in the past, but just flipping through the archives again reminds me of why I enjoy his pieces so much. The columns of Harold Maass are also stellar, plus they’re daily – his frequency and quality of writing is something I try to match here at The Simple Dollar, but I don’t believe I quite make the cut.