25 Best Personal Finance Articles of 2019
Every month here on Dyer News, I compile my Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month. These lists consist of blog entries and posts that I appreciated or found interesting and that I felt deserved some additional recognition. Well, with the new year mere hours away at this point, I found it fit to feature some of these articles once again, assembling the 25 Best Personal Finance Articles of 2019!
Below are some of the articles that caught my eye over this past year along with the authors behind them and the site on which they originally appeared. By the way, since ranking all of this great content would certainly prove a daunting task, they are instead presented in no particular order:
How to Make the Most Out of Your Emergency Fund — Brittany Kline, The Savvy Couple
One piece of solid advice that comes up repeatedly in our monthly money article round-ups is that having an emergency fund is key to avoiding financial disaster. At the same time the way you treat your emergency fund may mean that you’re giving up opportunities to earn. That’s why Brittany takes a look at some strategies for getting more from your funds, including some of the pros and cons for each option.
31 Signs You’re Financially Stable— John Schmoll, Frugal Rules
Most people likely know what it’s like to worry about their finances. As a result feeling secure about your money situation can be a strange new experience. Moreover realizing that you’ve reached a good money place may not actually be as simple as you’d assume. To help, John looks at 31 signs that your finances are stable and you can breathe a small sigh of relief.
Slow FI: The Real YOLO — Jessica, The Fioneers
As you’ll discover from some of the other articles on this list, there are now several flavors of FI. These include Fat FI, Skinny FI, Barista FI, and many more. So what is Slow FI? In this piece, Jessica not only defines the idea but explains why this path is the one that’s right for her.
5 Ways to Automate Your Finances — Natalie, Go From Broke
Surely you’ve heard it said that one of the best ways to start saving is to automate your finances. That’s because it suddenly takes the act of moving your money out of your hands. While that concept may sound simple enough, there may be more great ways to accomplish this than you realize. Enter Natalie with her list of five easy ways to automate your finances and, ironically, take control of them in the process.
How to Budget When You Want ALL the Things — Jenna Griffin, Mr. Jamie Griffin
No one ever said that sticking to a budget was easy. Of course it can be even harder when you’re a certified “wanter” of all things. But, as a self-proclaimed wanter herself, Jenna offers a few tips for building a budget, learning to say “no” to yourself, and more.
The 3 Different Types of Income (And How They Can Change Your Financial Future) — The Land of Milk and Money
When most people think about income, they likely only consider the paychecks they bring home from their day jobs. Yet there are actually a few different types of incomes aside from this. In fact, as “Money Bee” explains, knowing about other income types like passive and portfolio income can actually change the way you think about finance.
The ‘No Budget’ Budgeting Method — Sarah, Smile & Conquer
For as much as some bloggers and experts swear by their budgets, there are some — along with many readers — who simply find the idea unappealing. If that sounds like you, perhaps a “no budget” budget could be just the thing. While the principals are largely the same, this less-structured approach attempts to make the task simpler and less “hardcore” than other, more traditional methods. In this post, Smile & Conquer takes a closer look at the “no budget” budgeting method and why it’s worked for them.
Best Strategy to Successfully Start a Savings Account or Emergency Fund — Andrea Joy, Saving Joyfully
Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is to start by making a few small changes. Of course finding a way to make these changes fun certainly can’t hurt either. That’s what Andrea discovered when she first tried money savings challenges. Now she explains why these challenges were so effective for helping her build an emergency fund and other savings.
7 Ways to Manage Money Anxiety— Abigail Perry, I Pick Up Pennies
Ignorance may be bliss but we all know that paying attention to your finances is always better overall. Nevertheless this doesn’t mean that managing your money will be easy and there may be times when financial anxiety kicks in. Luckily Abigail has some suggestions for curbing such panic and staying the course.
I Haven’t Sacrificed Anything On The Road To Financial Independence — A Purple Life
As the “FIRE” movement has gained more mainstream attention, it’s fair to say there have been mixed reactions from those just being exposed to it for the first time. For one it seems that there’s been a large focus placed on the sacrifices that come with pursuing financial independence. However, as this post from A Purple Life shares, seeking FI doesn’t really mean you have to sacrifice anything you actually want — it just requires defining what that means.
#FinHealthMatters: The Biggest Financial Lessons I’ve Learned —Kyle Burbank, Money@30
Each April, the Fin Health Network celebrates the appropriately named #FinHealthMatters Day focusing on the importance of financial education and literacy. To mark the occasion, Kyle highlighted a few of the most important financial lessons he’s learned in recent years and how they’ve helped him grow into a more money-minded adult.
Pros and Cons of Downsizing Your Home — EducatorFI
Everybody wants a big house. After all, who doesn’t love having some extra room? While having a large home may be worth it for some, others may actually see the benefit in downsizing instead. But, as EducatorFI discusses, the decision may not be so simple as there can be pros and cons to downsizing your home.
When (and When Not) to Max Out Your 401(k) — Just Start Investing
One of the most popular retirement savings/investing tools is the 401(k). With their comparatively high annual contribution limits, it may seem like maxing out your 401(k) is a goal you should meet whenever possible. In actuality, Just Start Investing notes a few exceptions to this rule and what other goals might take precedence.
7 Reasons You Need to Consider Index Fund Investing Today — Todd, Invested Wallet
There are clearly several different ways that one can invest your money, with each option bringing along its own pros and cons. For example, while some may want to try to beat the market to increase their gains, investors can end up paying heftily for funds that attempt to do that. Instead, as Todd writes, index fund investing may be a better route for many.
Become a Superstar Investor: 6 Basic Steps on How to Invest Your Money (The Smart Way) — Dale, My Best Friend the Money Guy
Speaking of making your money grow, by now you surely know that it’s not enough to merely save your money — you need to invest it. Of course that proposition can often be intimidating to people who may not have any idea where to start. That’s why Dale lays out some of the basics of investing and walks through a few steps you should take beforehand.
Your Full-Time Job Is Often the Best Side Hustle — Theodora Evans, Camp FIRE Finance
The 2010s may well go down as the decade of the side hustle, with many commenters reminding us that we all need one. This would obviously imply that you should find some other way to make money outside of your regular profession. Contrary to that common advice, Theodora explains why concentrating on your full-time job can actually be more lucrative than splitting your focus.
Ways to Combat Overspending on Impulse Buys and Save More Money — Simple Life Compass
It’s easy to say you want to save more money but we all know that to actually do it takes a bit more work. Moreover one of the biggest budget enemies is the dreaded “impulse buy.” To help you overcome these ill-advised purchases, Mr. Simple Life looks at a few tips for avoiding temptation and resist overspending.
How to Travel When You’re Saving for Financial Goals — Laurie, The Three Year Experiment
Looking ahead to the new year, one wish that many Americans have is to get to travel more. Sadly that might not always seem financially feasible. But what if you could travel more than once per year while still working toward your financial goals? As Laurie shares, this type of life is possible if you learn how to properly prioritize (and employ a few money-saving techniques).
3 Common Mistakes Made by First-Time Investors — Michael Dinich, Your Money Geek
Funny enough, for as much as we’re told about the importance of investing, it’s not often clear how to go about that. As a result some newbie investors may fall victim to some common mistakes. Michael highlights some of these first-timer errors and, more importantly, how to fix them.
What is Frugalism? — Money Saved is Money Earned
Frugality is an often misunderstood term that can even carry some negative connotations. However being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap but actually amounts to much more. In this post from Money Saved is Money Earned, you’ll learn what frugalism is really all about and why shifting from a consumerist to frugalist mindset can make a big difference in your financial life.
Everything is Temporary; Nearly Everything is Reversible— David, CityFrugal
While we’re talking frugality, regardless of how savvy you may pride yourself on being, there may be some life changes that intimidate you even if they are better for you financially. While this is natural, letting these roadblocks halt your progress could be doing you a disservice. That’s why, in this post, David points out that these changes can often be reversed and, thus, don’t need to be as scary as you think
4 Types of Insurance You Need (and 3 Types To Avoid!) — Dave, Wealthlenial
Insurance can make you feel great.. or let you down. While many see value in health insurance and other types of coverage, other policies have proven to be more controversial. So what’s worth it and what’s not? That’s the question Dave looks to answer in this post.
Separate But Shared: Our Journey Towards Financial Harmony — Melody, Cash for Tacos
When it comes to managing money, no two couples are exactly alike. Despite this there’s often something that those struggling to merge their financial lives can learn from others. On that note, this post from Melody details the money decisions she and Mr. Taco made that’s allowed them to handle their joint finances in harmony.
The Simple Magic of Investing in a Three-Fund Portfolio — Jim Wang, Wallet Hacks
Once again, for the uninitiated, investing can seem incredibly complicated. While diversification is important, sometimes the need to focus on so many aspects of your portfolio can be overwhelming. That’s why Jim recommends the three-fund portfolio and explains the “simple magic” it offers.
The New FI: Forget Financial Independence, Achieve Financial Improvement First — Mad Money Monster
Finally, as you’ve likely garnered from this list, there are now several blogs dedicated to pursuing financial independence and exploring different routes. That may seem like a promising trend but could it be causing some new devotees to miss the forest for the trees? As Mad Money Monster points out, in some cases individuals may become so enamored with the idea of reaching FI that they don’t think to focus on small financial improvements instead.
Thanks for checking out my top 25 personal finance articles published in 2019 and a huge “thank you” to all of the bloggers who have continued to put out great content all year long — here’s to much more in 2020!
Also published on Medium.