Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month — February 2020

It’s time again for one of my favorite features here on Dyer News: a look at the top 10 personal finance articles of the month. To start things off, we’ll look at posts related to debt and spending. Then it’s on to investing — including mistakes, strategies, and numbers to know. Finally we’ll talk about background checking yourself, what the meaning of having money really is, and why going a month without something can be helpful.

As usual, this month’s list includes a couple Dyer News Top 10 mainstays as well as a few first-timers. Without further ado, below is my list of the top 10 personal finance articles published in February of 2020, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.

Debt and Spending

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.

Dear Debt, Kick Rocks; How Being Debt Free has Changed My Life — Rox, Finance Rox

Even if taking on debt isn’t always such a bad thing, getting out of it can be a great feeling. Moreover, as time goes on, you can reflect on the impact that being debt-free has had. That’s what Rox does in this post celebrating more than five years of living a debt-free life.

Purchasing a Vehicle: Buying New vs. Leasing. vs. Buying Used — Kyle Burbank, Money@30

For many people, having a reliable vehicle is essential. On top of that, car purchases are typically among the largest dollar decisions consumers will make in their lifetime (second to a home). When it comes to buying, cultural norms might suggest that getting a new car is a must, while conventional wisdom would argue that buying used makes the best financial sense — and then there’s the option to lease instead! So which is it? As Kyle explains, the answer depends on a few different factors you’ll want to consider.

What I Learned from Tracking Every Penny I Spent for a MonthThe 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.


What Happens When You Buy the Dip? — Michael Batnick, The Irrelevant Investor

The recent market volatility that’s come amid the COVID-19 has also brought back a popular phrase: “buy the dip.” This strategy suggests you pour more money into stocks on days when things take a tumble, allowing you to profit when things turn back around. However, as Michael shows, a normal dollar cost averaging approach may actually perform better in the long run.

My 4 Worst Investments And How You Can Learn From My Mistakes — Financial Freedom Countdown

When it comes to investing, even the most seasoned veterans can make a mistake. The good news is that, when you do find yourself holding a loser, there may be a lesson to learn. With that in mind, Financial Freedom Countdown highlights some of their bad investments and what others can take away from those errors.

What is Yield on Cost?Lazy Man and Money

Although some people might assume that there’s only one way to invest in the stock market and that buyers are all looking for the same thing in a good stock, that’s far from the truth. For example, while some investors prefer stocks that will grow at a rapid rate, others are more interested in the dividends that some stocks pay out. As Lazy Man and Money explains, those latter investors may not know what “yield on cost” is and what it means for them.

Personal Finance Tips

How to Background Check Your Specialty Consumer Reports — Jim Wang, Wallet Hacks

At this point, the majority of consumers know how to check their credit. However credit bureaus aren’t the only ones that collect your financial data. If you’re interested on seeing what other types of reports companies have on you, Jim shares a list of places you might want to look.

It’s Not About the Money A Dime Saved

Why do people want to be rich? It may seem like a strange question as we usually associate having a lot of money with happiness. But, as this post from A Dime Saved reminds us, it’s not really about the money itself but what it helps you accomplish.

A Month Without: Finding Happiness by Being Miserable Burrito Bowl Diaries

In past editions of this roundup, 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.

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

Also published on Medium.

Looking forward every month for the new list of our favorite as well as newly featured blogs.

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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.

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