Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month — December 2016

Last month I kicked off a new feature here on Dyer News where I highlighted some of my favorite articles I came across in the month prior. Today I’m pleased to continue that series and share a few posts I think are well worth your time. This month’s compilation brings us some familiar authors and sites as well as a few first-timers — a trend I hope will continue as the months roll on.

Without further ado, below is my list of the top 10 personal finance articles published in December of 2016, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.

Saving Money

8 Little Things to Always Remember When You’re Shopping — Trent Hamm, The Simple Dollar

Even if you consider yourself a savvy shopper there are likely times when you let down your guard or simply let your impulses get the better of you. Furthermore even the most critical thinking brains can fall prey to fallacies that can ultimately affect our finances. That’s why, in this article, Trent exposes a few tricks retailers use to fool our frugal brains, offers tips for getting the best prices, and provides some handy tricks for avoiding potential e-commerce scams.

How Much Can You Save By Not Eating Out? — Kevin Mercadante, Out of Your Rut

Dining out is one of the top ways that many Americans choose to spend their disposable income. Even though we know there are cheaper options, we often like to treat ourselves to everything from fast food to fine dining. Interestingly Kevin points out that what that what many of us might really be spending on isn’t great food but a cure for our boredom. As a result he offers some alternatives that could add up to major savings.

10 Ways Today’s College Students Can Lower Their Student Debt — Joanna Nesbit, Mother Nature Network

With another semester set to start in the coming days, many students are likely thinking about the debt they’re piling up while furthering their education. Meanwhile others who have long since graduated are probably wishing they had done things a little differently to help avoid the burden they now endure. In her piece Joanna suggests a number of ways current and future students can save money and keep their tuition debt to a minimum, ranging from community college options to hunting for the best student loans available. 

5 Reasons Gift Cards are Perfect — Miranda Marquit, MoneyNing

During this holiday season there’s a good chance you were presented with at least one gift card from a friend of family member. While popular, it seems that gift cards are a polarizing phenomenon in today’s culture that some people flat out hate. Despite that growing opinion, Miranda explains why gift cards are actually perfect for both the giving and receiving parties. 

Credit Questions

How Long Do Hard Pulls Stay on Your Credit Report? — Rebecca Lake, MyBankTracker

You’re likely aware that certain credit inquiries known as “hard pulls” can ding your credit score. However what often goes unanswered is how long those negative effects last. Rebecca not only looks at that burning question in her article but also takes an in-depth look at what constitutes a hard pull and how they can affect your credit scores overall.

Debunking Credit Card Myths: Does Your Income Impact Your Credit Score? — Nick Ewan, The Points Guy

Because the credit scoring system used by FICO contains many different factors and has a few notable quirks, there are several misconceptions about what actually does goes into your scores. Perhaps one of the most popular questions about the system is how your income is accounted for and represented in your scores. That’s why, as Nick discusses in this article, many would likely be surprised to learn that your income actually has no bearing on your credit scores — but several other things do.

Personal Finance Tips 

5 Financial Moves Now That You’ll Regret When You Retire  Matt Bell, Wisebread

Often times younger adults put saving and planning for retirement on the back burner as they worry about their more immediate financial needs. Unfortunately this can lead to some costly mistakes that will likely be met with regret down the road. As Matt discusses, actions such as making early withdrawals from your 401(k) or inactions like ignoring inflation may come back to haunt you once you hit retirement age.

How Judging Other People’s Money Habits Can Affect Your Own — Kristin Wong, Two Cents

We all make judgments about other people’s finances based on several different factors. In many cases we also do the same thing with our peers, assuming we know things like how much they make, how much they save, and what they spend their money on. This, in turn, could influence the way we choose to save and spend ourselves, which Kristin points out could be setting us up for a dose of harsh reality.

6 Ways to Foolproof Your Budget — Jeff Rose, Good Financial Cents

Creating a budget is one thing but, as we all know, sticking to it is quite another. Whether due to our own faults or those of others, there are many things that can get in the way of your carefully crafted budget. With that in mind Jeff highlights a few ways to help “foolproof” your budget and help keep you in line.

Should I Repair or Replace a Broken Appliance? Here’s How to Decide — Amy Livingston, Money Crashers

Is it time you got some new stuff? This is a question many of us ask ourselves often as fight planned obsolescence in an effort to squeeze every dollar out of our appliances. Thankfully Amy is here to help advise you on what to consider when making the decision to repair or replace your big-ticket items.

Making Plans for 2017

A Guide to Making 2017 Your Best Financial Year Yet – Jonathan Dyer, Dyers News

Just in case you missed it check out my guide to personal finances in 2017. I cover a variety of topics, including planning a budget, approaches for paying off your debts, and how to maximize your money. Follow these tips and make the most of your finances in 2017.

Thanks for checking out my top 10 personal finance articles published last month and congratulations to all of the bloggers who made the list. To find more of these great articles on a daily basis, be sure to follow me on Twitter @jondyer9 and of course visit


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Apple Begins Rolling Out BNPL Platform Apple Pay Later

More than nine months after initially announcing plans to offer its own "buy now, pay later option, Apple has begun rolling out its new platform. With Apple Pay Later, customers will be able to finance purchases by paying them off over the course of six weeks. These short-term loans come with no fees or interest. Currently, the company is inviting certain (randomly selected) users to access the platform. Like with...

Credit-Building Tool StellarFi Raises $15 Million

A credit-building platform is adding to its coffers, announcing a fresh injection of funding. This week, StellarFi (previously known simply as Stellar) announced that it had closed a $15 million round. The Series A was led by Acrew Capital, while ATX Venture Partners, Trust Ventures, Dream Ventures, Interplay, Accomplice Ventures, Vera Equity, FJ Labs, Fiat Ventures, Gaingels, Kelmhurst, Oyster Funds, Hilltop Ventures, Permit Ventures, Kindergarten Ventures, J2 Capital, Socially Financed...

Rocket Companies Introduces Rocket Visa Card for Homebuyers

Rocket Companies — the parent company of Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes, Rocket Loans and Rocket Money — is now adding a branded credit card to the mix. This week, Rocket introduced the Rocket Visa Signature Card. Not only will the new offering integrate with Rocket Money but will allow cardholders to earn up to 5% back. With the Rocket Card, customers can earn 5 Rocket Rewards on every purchase they make....