25 Best Personal Finance Articles of 2020
Every month here on Dyer News, we compile the Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month. These lists consist of blog entries and posts that we appreciated or found interesting and that we felt deserved some additional recognition. Well, with 2021 having arrived, we decided to look back over the previous year to assemble the 25 Best Personal Finance Articles of 2020!
Below are some of the articles that caught our 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. So without further adieu here are the best personal finance articles from 2020.
The Top 25 Best Personal Finance Posts of 2020
Hidden 401(k) Fees No One Talks About — Andrea Joy, Saving Joyfully
If you’re saving for retirement, there’s a strong chance that you’re using a 401(k). These plans — often sponsored by employers — certainly have their benefits, which is part of what makes them so popular. However, as Andrea points out, 401(k)s can also come with fees that it seems few actually discuss.
Good Enough Is Pretty Great — Perpetual Money Machine
In the world of personal finance, you can find all kinds of hard and fast rules that “gurus” say you should stick to. Meanwhile others offer more nuance, instead suggesting different options and allowing individuals to decide for themselves. Who’s right in these scenarios? Perpetual Money Machine takes a closer look at some of these disagreements and explains why “good enough” may ultimately be the way to go.
When you spend money, do you purchase items that give you instant gratification? Or do you place your money in long-term investments that won’t provide satisfaction for several more years? For many of us, there seems to be a constant tug of war between immediate and delayed gratification — as Jerry discusses in this piece.
What I Learned from Tracking Every Penny I Spent for a Month — The Luxe Strategist
Even if you’re not a strict budgeter, it can still be important to keep a watchful eye on your spending. But what happens when you monitor every cent you spend for an entire month? Find out as this post from The Luxe Strategist shares their personal takeaways from such an experiment.
It’s Okay to Be in Debt, Just Not Okay to Stay in Debt — Financial Pilgrimage
The first thing you learn about personal finance is that debt is bad, right? In reality, it’s not actually that cut and dry. There are situations where taking on debt for a short time can be beneficial — or at least not world-ending. As this article from Financial Pilgrimage suggests, it’s only the staying in debt part that’s really the issue.
A Month Without: Finding Happiness by Being Miserable — Burrito Bowl Diaries
In past editions of the monthly roundups, we’ve looked at articles that show that budgeting and being frugal isn’t really about sacrifice. Yet, what if you did manage to use (temporary) deprivation as a tool? This Burrito Bowl Diaries entry looks at the potential benefits of certain “month without” challenges.
In These Crazy Times, Just Control What You Can Control — EAT Money
If you felt like things were out of control this past year, you certainly weren’t alone. During such times, it can be difficult to keep up and weather the blows as they come. Thus, as this post from EAT Money advises, it’s often best to just focus on controlling what you can control.
Recession, Coronavirus and the Future of FIRE — Tanja Hester, Our Next Life
Amid the flood of news earlier in 2020, you may have seen some schadenfreude about the FIRE movement and ponderings regarding what early retirees were doing during this crisis. So, how are the financially independent managing? Tanja takes a look at what’s going on and how the FIRE community can learn from this moment.
Predicting 5 Ways the Coronavirus Will Change Money Habit — Jake, Money by Jake
If it wasn’t clear earlier this year, there’s now little doubt that the current pandemic will change the ways we live our lives for the next several years if not forever. The same scenario seems likely when it comes to our finances. On that note, Jake looks at five potential ways that COVID-19 will impact the public’s money habits from now on.
Unpopular Opinion: Why Automating Your Savings is Overrated — Rachel Scott, Teachers Talk Money
In the minds of some personal finance experts, automation is a “silver bullet” that can really transform your money situation. That said, the strategy isn’t without its drawbacks nor is it right for every person. As Rachel explains, the practice of putting your savings on autopilot may ultimately be overrated.
Does Frugal Have A New Normal? — Mr. Tako Escapes
All year long, there’s been a lot of talk about the “new normal” we’re all set to experience. From wearing masks to avoiding crowds and canceling travel plans, there’s been plenty of change taking place around us. So what will this mean for frugality? That’s what this post from Mr. Tako Escapes explores.
Affordable Grocery Shopping — A Dime Saved
Throughout this year (but especially in the early days of the pandemic), the simple act of going grocery shopping evolved tremendously. And yet, there are still plenty of ways to save money while stocking up on essentials. If you’re looking for new ideas for saving at the store, this article from A Dime Saved offers up a few of them.
Make Your Obsession With Money Temporary — Steven, Trip of a Lifestyle
There’s no doubt that getting a grasp on your finances and making strides to get ahead are objectively good things. But is it possible to take things too far and focus too much energy on money? Steven shares why your finances don’t need to be a constant project and why your obsession with cash should be temporary.
Personal Finance is Political — Melanie Allen, Partners in Fire
Among the many important discussions that took place this summer, one involved whether or not the personal finance community should strive to remain apolitical. Is talking about politics turning off half of your audience or is not addressing certain matters doing readers a disservice? As Melanie points out, in many ways, personal finance by its very nature is political.
My Superpower to Help You Save Money — Mr. Jamie Griffin
In most cases (with the possible exception of a pandemic), saving money isn’t exactly easy. Therefore, the ability to reduce your spending could be viewed as a sort of superpower by some. Luckily, there may be a solution that anyone can follow to gain this super saving ability — and one that Jamie shares in this post.
Mindful Spending: What it is and Why it’s a Game-Changer — Melody, Cash for Tacos
An oft-cited reason for why people struggle with saving is because they dislike budgeting. However, the truth is that strict budgeting may not be right for everyone in the first place. Instead, Melody takes a look at the concept of mindful spending and highlights why it could be a more effective strategy for some.
What’s the Hourly Wage at Which Someone Deserves Nice Things? — Miranda Marquit
The way many Americans talk about the poor can be extremely judgemental. Even if they don’t mean to be, sometimes suggestions about what those without much money should be spending their funds on can be overly critical — and occasionally hypocritical. Thus, based on a recent experience, Miranda asks why those with lower incomes can’t have nice things as well.
Our “New Normal” Is Revealing the Rot In Traditional Finance Advice — Elyssa, Brave Saver
The unprecedented impacts of the pandemic have shown us that situations can change very quickly. Yet, in many cases, the financial advice that people offer remains the same and fails to adapt to a shifting reality. With that in mind, Elyssa shares some of the ways in which “traditional” financial tropes have worn out their welcome and why the way we discuss money should change.
How To Be Happy With What You Have — The Wallet Moth
Often times, we are led to believe that having more will make us happier. But what if, instead, we simply learn to be happy with what you already have? That’s one of the basic ideas of minimalism and is what this article from the Wallet Moth explores.
“Won’t You be Bored?” Why Creatives Thrive in Financial Independence — Adam, Minafi
To be sure, early retirement isn’t for everyone. Beyond the financial requirement that may put it out of reach for some, there are those who see the practice as pointless since they’d simply grow bored of not doing anything. Perhaps that’s why the concept of financial independence often appeals to creative types. Adam explores this connection and more in his article for Minafi.
Why You Should Try Thinking Like a Millennial — Financial Chain Breakers
Even in today’s society, Millennials still get a bad rap. Yet, for all the accusations of the generation being entitled and lazy, they may have something to teach those of other ages. Thus, this post from Financial Chain Breakers looks at why you may just want to start thinking like a Millennial after all.
Creating Better Money Habits: How to Adjust Your Environment to Support Your Financial Goals — Rox, Finance Rox
Sometimes making small changes can help you work toward much larger goals. Additionally, adjusting your environment can make a bigger impact than you may realize. Rox shares some personal experiences that show how changes can help create better financial habits and offers some tips for those looking to do the same.
Enjoy the Small Things in Life (Avoid the Connoisseur Effect) — Chris, TicTocLife
Just as small savings can add up to much more, making seemingly minor adjustments and “upgrades” to your lifestyle can end up costing you a big way. As you start allowing yourself little luxuries, suddenly the simple things you used to love may no longer do the trick. This is what Chris calls the “Connoisseur Effect” — which, as he explains, should be avoided at all costs.
Basic Money Milestones to Achieve by 40 — Kyle Burbank, Money@30
When you’re young, it can be difficult to know things such as how much you should have saved for retirement, how much to have in savings, etc. However, as you approach age 40, it’s probably a good idea to assess your standings and have a few money milestones under your belt. To help you accomplish that goal, Kyle highlights five tasks you should strive to complete by the time you turn 40 (if not sooner).
How to Successfully Budget and Win the Mental Battle of Saving — Albert Fang, FangWallet
Finally, as recent months have shown us, the ability to save money and set it aside is imperative. Yet, that doesn’t make it easy to do. For his post, Albert looks at a few tips for saving money and staying on budget.
Thanks for checking out our top 25 personal finance articles published in 2020 and a huge “thank you” to all of the bloggers who have continued to put out great content all year long — in spite of everything else. Here’s to a hopeful and happy 2021.