It’s time again for my favorite feature here on Dyer News: a look at my top 10 personal finance articles of the month. With the holiday shopping season upon us, it’s no surprise that this edition includes plenty of posts on how to save, earn, or avoid wasting money while shopping. Additionally a trio of smartphone and app-related articles caught my attention this month along with a few evergreen entries.
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 November of 2017, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.
Holiday Shopping and Spending
Deferred Interest Credit Cards: Don’t Fall For This Trick Over The Holidays — Lindsay VanSomeren, Wisebread
When it comes to holiday shopping, no money down financing offers can often look appealing. Unfortunately they can also be sinister and potentially more damaging than they may appear at first glance. As Lindsay points out, signing up for a deferred interest credit card offer this holiday season could actually be a lump of coal you’ll want to avoid.
Went Overboard on Black Friday? Four Ways to Fix Things — Donna Freedman, The Simple Dollar
November traditionally marks the start of the holiday shopping season, kicking off with the infamous Black Friday. Known for offering deals, the retail event is also known to lead some ill-advised purchases. If you overdid things between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Donna has a few tips for surviving the rest of the season and getting your finances back on track.
How to Make Some Extra Cash Over the Holidays — Leigh Anderson, TwoCents
By now, you hopefully have your holiday budget all mapped out. But, if you’re looking to boost that budget a bit and/or have some extra savings for the new year, there are a few ways you can make some quick cash. In this piece, Leigh highlights a few different ideas including picking up some seasonal work or renting out a room to holiday travelers.
This is What You Should Do with Any Cash You Get for Christmas — Mike Brassfield, The Penny Hoarder
While we all want to be thoughtful about the gifts we give and expect the same in return, sometimes it’s nice to just get cash. Of course, although you could easily earmark this found money for a number of fun things, there are in fact some smarter options. As for Mike, he suggests placing those gifted funds in a high-yield savings account.
Smartphones and Apps
Should You Buy, Lease, or Finance Your Next Smartphone? —Kyle Burbank, Money@30
One popular item sure to be on the lists of many this holiday season is a new smartphone. Moreover, considering that new models like the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 were recently released, there’s a good chance you have your eye on a new phone for yourself as well. This can lead to a growing dilemma: should you buy, lease, or finance your new device? Kyle explores the pros and cons of each option so that you choose which path makes the most sense for you.
Google’s New Data-Tracking App Could Save Money on Your Mobile Bill —Michael Simon, PCWorld
Part of selecting a new phone plan is considering how much data you plan on consuming. For many, this can actually be a pretty tall task as few of us truly have a grasp on how using our favorite apps and visiting various sites affects our data allotment. Well, as Micheal reports, Google has a new app out that will help you better understand your data plan and hopefully allow you to save money.
9 Smartphone Apps That Can Help You Manage Money Easier— Kelan & Brittany, The Savvy Couple
While the new Google app mentioned above has the potential to help you save, there are a number of other apps expressly built for that purpose. From applications that help you build and stick to a budget to those aimed at earning you cash back, you might be surprised at how many great, free apps are out there. To start you off, Kelan and Brittany recommend nine of their favorites.
Personal Finance Tips
It’s Time to Build a Better Emergency Fund — Miranda Marquit, The Balance
Emergency funds are a perpetual topic in these monthly roundups — and for good reason. With new statistics on how few Americans can cover small, unexpected expenses seemingly being released all the time, a reminder to prepare yourself is always welcome. But one thing we don’t talk about as often is how you can use your emergency fund in a way that allows it to grow while still being there if you need it. With that in mind, Miranda lays out her plan for a better emergency fund.
My Healthy Money Habits —Jenn Piccolo-Dabal, The Piccy Penny
Having an emergency fund is just one of several money habits that can help protect you from unexpected setbacks and prepare you for the future. It’s also important to understand and maintain your credit, create a budget, and live within your means. In this piece, Jenn (who incidentally is new to finance blogging after having been recently laid off) takes a look at few other healthy money habits as well as some tools to help you adopt them yourself.
Small Business Taxes: A Primer — Jonathan Heller, CNET
Speaking of starting a new gig, one of the biggest challenges for small business owners or the self-employed is navigating the world of business taxes. As the end of the year approaches, this topic becomes an even larger concern with quarterly taxes due in January and yearly returns due in April. To help make sense of it all, Jonathan provides a primer that includes everything from understanding the self-employment tax to what you can legally write off.
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 DyerNews.com.