Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month — October 2018

It’s time again for my favorite feature here on Dyer News: a look at my top 10 personal finance articles of the month. Despite those who decry that October is too early to talk about Christmas, holiday shopping tips proved popular this month. Elsewhere the topics of FIRE and financial freedom were touched on by several bloggers (post-FinCon motivation, perhaps?). Speaking of FinCon, a recap of the event also made this month’s list along with posts on homebuying, extreme frugality, and “money leaks.”

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 October of 2018, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.

Holiday Shopping and Budgeting

5 Financial Blunders to Avoid This Holiday Season — Patrick Zulueta, Dumb Little Man

We all know that trying to get all of your holiday shopping completed and make it through the season unscathed can be quite a challenge. Sadly far too many of us will fall victim to some classic mistakes that only cause us financial pain during what’s supposed to be such a joyous time. However, if you’re ready to turn this around this year, Patrick points out a few blunders to avoid during the 2018 holiday season.

Will the 4 Gift Rule Work for Your Family This Christmas? — Catherine Alford, Frugal Rules

While it may be easy enough to draw the gift-giving line when it comes to friends, co-workers, and other adults, the same can rarely be said for children. So how can you give your kids a Merry Christmas without breaking your budget? Catherine presents the clever “4 Gift Rule” for everyone from toddlers to teens.

Freeing Your Finances

Handcuffs and Hustles: Why Income Streams are Crucial — Jim Wang, Wallet Hacks

First of all, you may be wondering about the headline for this one. Without spoiling anything, those first two terms refer to a cause of and solution to the financial servitude that many of us face. Furthermore Jim looks at how building different streams of income can help you gain greater freedom when it comes to your finances.

Finding Freedom and Happiness in a Materialistic World —Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Making Sense of Cents

You’ve probably heard it said that the things you own can end up owning you. Not only can materialism be a drag on your finances but can also hold you back from doing what you want to do. For her piece, Michelle dives into the topic of materialism and how freeing yourself from it can improve both your finances and your life.

Barista FIRE: Bridging The Benefits Gap — Bob, The Frugal Fellow

In recent years the FIRE movement (typically short for Financial Independence, Retire Early) has gained notoriety, with many bloggers taking sides on the matter and others coming up with their own spins on the concept. At the heart of any of these different FIRE models is the idea that setting yourself up financially can help you achieve greater freedom in your life. With that in mind, Bob takes a look at one twist on the FIRE trend: Barista FIRE.

Are You Saving Enough for Retirement? — Jessica Friedrichs, Faithful Budgeting

Regardless of whether you’re pursuing FIRE or not, there’s no doubt that you’ll someday want to be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately the actions you take (or don’t take) today could negatively impact that possibility. That’s why Jessica has to ask, “are you saving enough for retirement?”

Personal Finance Tips

How to Save For a House: A Step-by-Step Guide — R.J. Weiss, The Ways to Wealth

For most people, buying a house will be the largest purchase they ever make. Moreover, with expert opinion suggesting you put at least 20% down, just saving up to buy a house can be a major challenge. If you’re considering joining the ranks of homeowners, R.J. offers a handy guide to help you achieve that goal.

Overlooked Money Leaks That Can Steal Your Cash — Debt & Cupcakes

If you don’t have a tightly controlled budget, odds are that you probably have a few “money leaks” affecting your finances. Ranging from unnecessary memberships to seemingly small splurges, these “dollar here, dollar there” expenses can add up to more than you realize. Debt & Cupcakes takes a closer look at some of these money leaks and how you can put a stop to them.

Why Extreme Frugality Is Bad — Middle Age Money Man

When it comes to being frugal, can you ever take things too far? After all, the more you can save, the better, right? Not so fast says the Middle Age Money Man, who explains why extreme frugality can end up being a bad thing.

The 5 Biggest Things I Learned at #FinCon18 —Kyle Burbank, Money@30

Finally this month, I have to say I’ve grown pretty jealous after reading several FinCon recaps that have come out over the past few weeks. Looking on the bright side, I appreciate how much knowledge these bloggers have passed on through their articles. So while I’ll hopefully get around to attending for myself one of these years, in the meantime, Kyle shares his experience at FinCon 2018 and what he learned from the experience.

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

I have to special mention “Why Extreme Frugality is Bad” as my favorite for this list. Thanks for sharing.

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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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