top 135 personal finance posts

The start of the decade had us worrying about the digital bug Y2K. Then the last part had us helplessly watching our 401k’s get slashed into 201k’s. As 2009 comes to a close, 2010 starts a decade filled with much uncertainty. One thing that always remains certain is that to achieve financial success, you have to follow basic personal finance principles. Buying less, saving more, investing some: it will never grow old. Because I believe that good basic personal finance advice doesn’t age, I set out to the web and asked some of the best personal finance bloggers to share their favorite articles they wrote for 2009. What’s good in 2009 should still be good for 2010….and beyond.

There’s a ton of great information here, but don’t be overwhelmed. Bookmark it, save it,  Tweet it, Stumble it- whatever your fancy and finish it another day. And just because I felt these bloggers have even more to share, I included their Twitter handle to make it that much easier for you to follow them. (Aren’t I a nice guy?) Lastly, thanks to Pete from Logos for Websites for creating the graphic above. As usual, terrific work.

Final plug: If you like roundup posts, be sure to check out 107 Things That Make Good Financial Cents -another great roundup of practical personal finance advice.

My Favorite Posts From Good Financial Cents (@jeffrosecfp)

  • Managing Money While Deployed, My Story.  While deployed to Iraq in 2005, I was able to get financially ahead while I witnessed other soldiers return home in worse financial condition than before we left.  Here’s how I did it.
  • How to Prepare for a Storm and/or Emergency. This year we were hit by a mesocyclone that rocked our Mid-western community.  Here’s what I was prepared for and what I wasn’t (but now am).
  • How To Do a Background Check on Your Financial Planner. After the Madoff era you would think more people would do a background check on their soon to be advisor, but amazingly 70% don’t. Find out how easy it is and prevent yourself from being taken advantage of.

Bible Money Matters (@moneymatters)

Ask Liz Weston (@lizweston)

Mint (@mint)

  • Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis. Almost overnight, the talking heads went from perpetuating the euphoria of investors to rushing to pronounce the economy dead. Almost overnight, the talking heads went from perpetuating the euphoria of investors to rushing to pronounce the economy dead
  • Five Ways You’ll Know the Recession is Over. The American economy is resilient, and since the 1960’s economic growth phases have dwarfed periods of recessions. So if you believe in history, what goes down eventually goes up. The big question is when.
  • Five Bizarre Tax Deductions. With tax season upon us, most people are concerned with just one thing: figuring out a way to not pay Uncle Sam any more than they have to. The quest to outwit the government has produced tax deductions, loopholes, and write-offs that boggle the mind, defy common sense and sometimes seem too outrageous to be true – and yet they are.

Wise Bread (@wisebread)

The Digerati Life (@thedigeratilife)

Bargaineering (@bargainr)

  • Be Successful by Learning Delay Gratification – This is a short post about a study by Joachim de Posada, that kids who delayed gratification were far more successful later in life.
  • Regularly Check In On Your Finances – A check in, whether it’s at work or at home, is absolutely crucial whenever you’re working on a team. In the home, it’s important to check in on your finances, whether you’re married or single, because you want to periodically “connect” with your situation.
  • How to Budget – This was one of the first foundation series posts and it details how to start budgeting in, hopefully, the least scary way.

ABC’s of Investing

piggy bank

Cash Money Life (@cashmoneylife)

  • Do You Know How Much Interest You Are Paying Each Month? If someone were to ask you how much interest you pay each month, could you give them an honest answer? Chances are, you don’t know how much of your debt payments go straight to the bank, and how little actually pays down your principal. Do this quick exercise, and be prepared to be amazed at the amount of interest you are paying! The result will change the way you think about debt.
  • How to Open a Roth IRA. Opening an IRA is one of the easiest things you can do to prepare for retirement. This guide waks you through the process.
  • Do it Yourself Debt Consolidation Options. Why pay someone to come up with a debt repayment plan when you can do it yourself without paying anything extra?

Get Rich Slowly (@jdroth)

Budget Are Sexy (@budgetsaresexy)

Man Vs Debt (@manvsdebt)

PT Money (@ptmoney)

Christian Personal Finance (@christianpf)

Free From Broke (@freefrombroke)

Debt Free Adventure (@mattjabs)

Four Pillars (@fourpillars)

Creative Commons License photo credit: donbuciak

JoeTaxpayer (@joetaxpayerblog)

Five Cent Nickel via Matt Jabs (@fcn)

Consumerism Commentary (@flexo)

My Dollar Plan (@mydollarplan)

Being Frugal (@lynnae)

Military Finance Network

Smart Passive Income (@patflynn)

Debt Kid (@debtkid)

Mrs. Micah (@mrsmicah)

Fiscal Geek (@fiscalgeek)

Personal Finance By the Book (@pfbythebook)

  • How You Can Afford To Be a Stay at Home Mom. Some mothers want to stay at home with their children so badly that they simply quit their jobs without considering the financial consequences.  Others may want to stay home, but have preconceived ideas that doing so is just not financially possible.  Neither extreme is the ideal.  This post will help you work through the thinking process of when and how you can afford to be a stay at home mom.
  • Debt Free in One Year…A True Story My son Jeremy and his wife Erin, upon getting married in January of 2009, set a goal of getting out of debt in their first year of marriage.  With $21,500 debt and a very average salary, this was a lofty goal.  This post chronicles their one year journey, bumps and victories alike, on their road to becoming debt free.
  • How to Prosper by Celebrating Your Marital Differences Opposites attract.  This is a scientific fact and a tenet to romance.  It is those differences that attract us to the one we marry.  However, when couples no longer appreciate those differences, trouble arises.  This post will challenge readers to recognize each other’s uniqueness and use their differences to prosper financially.  Guess what?  Celebrating their differences will also rekindle a spark in their marriage.

Roth ira rules 2010

Studenomics (@studenomics)

Lazy Man and Money (@lazymandandmoney)

  • MonaVie Sends a Second Cease & Desist: In 2009, MonaVie, a company who sells $45 wine-bottle-sized fruit juice, twice threatened me with frivilous legal threats. The Consumerist and lawyers from offered to help me, but I simply stated my case in the blog post and asked for the community’s help. I got more of it than I dreamt possible.
  • How To Be Successful: At the end of the 2008, I tried to figure out some of the basic elements of successful people. In early 2009, I put all 21 tips that I came up with in one blog post that you can read in under 10 minutes. I get a couple e-mails each week thanking me for writing it.
  • How Much Does A Dog Cost?: Also early in the year, I did some analysis on how much a dog costs. My wife and I were seriously considering getting a dog. It was one of our biggest financial decisions of the
    year. Over 50 comments from the readers helped guide us to rescuing the right dog for our family.

Jeremy at Gen X Finance (@jeremyvoh)

  • How to Roll Over Your 401k – What should you do with your 401(k) after losing or quitting your job? You have a number of options, but making the wrong move could cost you. Learn about your options and see what it takes to roll over your 401(k).
  • 5 Reasons Why You Will Retire Broke and Unhappy – Unless you’re planning ahead, you will retire broke and unhappy. Nobody gets to retirement with just a Social Security check and is excited about their financial situation. Here are five things that will ensure you retire broke and/or unhappy and what you can do to avoid it.
  • 20 Free Online Finance Courses You Can Take From Home – Ever wish you could take college courses from home? How about taking college courses from home and for free? Well, you can! Here’s a list of 20 free financial courses you can start taking today and they are all 100% free.

No Debt Plan (@nodebtplan)

  • Mortgage Payoff: Lump Sum or Monthly? – There are two ways to payoff your mortgage: slow and steady with additional principal or saving up to pay it off all at once. You’ve got to ask yourself: is it better to have that extra money in cash or equity?
  • 7 Reasons You Are Still Unemployed – The past year has given us unemployment rates that our country hasn’t seen since the Great Depression. Despite the turmoil there are still jobs to be had out there. If you are still struggling to find your next job this is a great list of advice from someone who works in the staffing industry.
  • Avoid Mortgage Acceleration Programs Like the Plague – When you first get a mortgage (or refinance) you will suddenly start receiving marketing letters in the mail offering to set you up on a mortgage acceleration plan. This post sheds some light onto these programs — and why you should avoid them, too.

Money Smart Life (@moneysmart)

Centsible Life (@centsiblelife)

  • Sell it, Give it Away or Donate it?: Whether you are paying off debt, or trying to save up for a savings goal, getting rid of your excess stuff can be a fruitful endeavor. I will show you what’s worth selling, what you should just give away, and what items make a tax deductible donations.
  • Kids and Allowance: If you have kids, part of your job as a parent is to teach them about money management. Here I discuss why an allowance is an important tool, and how you might go about giving your kids an allowance.
  • Budgeting Bi-Weekly Pay: Most conventional budget advice doesn’t apply if you are paid bi-weekly. I discuss how you can budget for bi-weekly pay, and trick yourself into living on less.

Passive Income Now

Darwin’s Finance (@everydayfinance)

  • Net Present Value Explained – You don’t need to work in Finance in order to realize the benefit in utilized NPV calculations in everyday life.  Utilization ranges from picking between various refi options to whether you should invest in an improvement to your home.  NPV analysis will tell you if it’s worth it!
  • How Wall Street Violated the Most Basic Rules of Physics – A fun and science-based corrolary to the stupidity we just witnessed in the formation and handling of the financial crisis.
  • 7 Year-End Tax Tips You Can’t Miss! – A review of 7 actions you can take prior to year-end plus a few you should wait for until next year – all with the intent of optimizing your deductions.

Consumer Boomer (@consumerboomer)

Financial Samurai (@financialsamura)

Creative Commons License photo credit: inked78

Miranda Marquit Freelance Writer (@mmarquit)

Canadian Finance Blog (@canadianfinance)

Redeeming Riches (@redeemingriches)

  • Should You Give Money to a Homeless Person? This is a very fair question because on the one hand we all have an innate sense to help others and on the other hand a lot of us have that feeling that the homeless person will not use the money to buy food, but rather on something he shouldn’t whether it be lottery tickets, drugs or alcohol.  These are legitimate concerns and a question that I think is ok to ask.
  • Do You Make These 4 Common 401k Mistakes? We all make mistakes – some of them are just more costly than others.  When it comes to our retirement savings there’s a host of mistakes that could cost you – find out if you’re making them!
  • How to Save (Potentially) Thousands by Spending $3.99For the price of your favorite grande beverage at your local coffee house you can potentially save thousands of dollars if you put this plan into place.

Amateur Asset Allocator (@kyleAAA)

Some Bonus Additions:

From David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing (@amabie)

From Self-Help Happiness Blog

  • Money, Greed and Happiness: Money can’t buy happiness. But money does come in handy. This post discusses how the 2009 credit-crunch recession relates to happiness.

Art of Manliness (@artofmanliness)

Brett over at Art of Manliness runs an awesome blog and I asked him to contribute his top 3 posts.  They are not personal finance related, but a great addition to round out the top 3 posts for 2009.

  • 100 Must See Movies For Men: The Men’s Essential Movie Library We put together a collection of films that captures what we think epitomizes manliness. From Butch Cassidy to The Great Escape, this list has you covered.
  • 30 Days to a Better Man Wrap-up: In June we did a month long program to help men improve themselves. Each day we provided a task for a man to complete that helped men better their financial status, their fitness level, and their personal life.
  • The Ultimate Pushup Guide: This was a fun post to write up. We show readers 35+ different push-up variations. With this humble exercise you can get a full body workout absolutely free.

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