Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month — May 2021

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. This time around, we’ll start with a few articles related to the FIRE movement and its principles. Then, we’ll look at what it means to live frugally — including being a “deadbeat” but not being “stingy.” After that, we’ll explore two posts both involving finding a balance or happy medium. Lastly, we’ll cover the crypto crash, ChexSystems, and more.

As usual, this month’s list includes a couple of 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 May of 2021, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.


Why Coast FIRE Should Be the Goal: An Example Financial Chain Breakers

If you’ve been paying any amount of attention to the financial independence movement, you likely know that there are several flavors of FIRE. Among these is what’s known as Coast FIRE, which suggests that individuals simply “coast to the finish line.” As this post from Financial Chain Breakers explains, this method may have benefits over other versions of FIRE, leading them to refocus their goals.

What Nomadland Taught Me About FIRE — FIRECracker, Millennial Revolution

Back in April, the film Nomadland won several Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture prize. For those unfamiliar, the movie (based on the non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder) follows a woman who lives out of her van as she travels the country working and exploring. While the van living community featured in the film may have some major differences from the FIRE community, FIRECracker details a few ways in which the two groups overlap.

I Don’t Have A FI Number Anymore — Kevin, Financial Panther

One of the first steps in pursuing FIRE is calculating your financial independence number. Put simply, this means determining how much money you’ll need to save and invest in order to never work again yet still have the funds necessary to live. However, Kevin notes that there are a few flaws in the “FI number” goal mindset, which is why he says he no longer has one.

Living Frugal

Why I’m A DeadbeatBudget Life List

To most people, the term “deadbeat” typically means someone who doesn’t pay their bills. Yet, to credit card companies, the term may be used to describe customers who don’t actually turn them any profit. With that in mind, this Budget Life List article shares why being a deadbeat can actually be a great thing.

Living Stingy: The Dark Side of Saving Too MuchOne Frugal Girl

All too often, the words “frugal” and “stingy” are used interchangeably. In reality, there’s a big difference between them. What’s more, as One Frugal Girl explains, being stingy is a financial habit worth breaking.

Striking a Balance

What’s Really Important in Life? How Trade-Offs Help Us DecideNo More Weekdays

At the end of the day, the key to good personal finance isn’t just saving money but getting the most value out of your money. In order to do this, you’ll need to make a few trade-offs and compromises that meet your overall goals. To help you do that, this article from No More Weekends lays out a clever tool for finding the right financial priority balance for you.

The Optimal Amount of Hassle — Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund

Fact: life doesn’t always go right and there will be times you are inconvenienced. However, what matters is how you react in these times and how you handle them. From life to business to investing and more, Morgan looks at the “the optimal amount of hassle” can play a role in your life.

Personal Finance Tips

4 Lessons From the Crypto Crash — Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense

After some tremendous gains, the crypto market took a pretty big hit in May (from which its mostly still recovering). Naturally, this was met with shrugs from some, apocalyptic panic from others, and “I told you so”s from a few more. So what lessons should we really take a from it? Ben shares a few thoughts and suggestions.

Become a Millionaire… With 500 Bucks a Month Darius Foroux

Speaking of crypto, between the Dogecoin rush and memestock explosion, the general public likely has a somewhat warped perspective on what it means to invest. Furthermore, while short term gains may be all the hype, it’s long term gains that really make a difference. In fact, Darius notes how building the habit of investing can make you a millionaire over time.

Checking My ChexSystems Report for the First Time (and How You Can Too) — Kyle Burbank, Money@30

Thanks to numerous free sites, many Americans now have a better idea of how to check and monitor their credit scores. However, did you know that there’s a separate system that some banks use to relay notes about your account status and standing? If you’ve never heard of ChexSystems or checked your file, Kyle shares why it might be a good idea and how you can easily obtain your report.

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

Thanks for the reads about FIRE. Recently, I got more interested in learning about FIRE.

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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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