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)
- Ways To Watch TV Without Paying An Arm And A Leg For Cable Or Satellite : People are trying to find ways to cut back. This post talks about a cheaper alternative to paying for cable TV.
- Should There Be Mandatory Personal Finance Classes In High Schools?: Our country is going through tough economic times, and people need all the help they can get with their finances. Is it time that we have mandatory personal finance classes in high school?
- How To Get A Deal And Save Money When You’re Buying Electronics Or Other High Ticket Items: When you're buying a high ticket item you want to make sure that you're getting the best deal. Here's how.
Ask Liz Weston (@lizweston)
- How to Avoid Paying Cash For the Holidays. I’m all for restraining spending and avoiding debt, but cash has quite a few disadvantages. Here are a few.
- FICO: “Never” doesn’t actually mean “not ever”. “Closing accounts can never help your credit score, and may hurt it.” I’ve written that sentence over and over in the decade I’ve been covering credit scoring and the answer seems to be elusive.
- 5 Questions You Need to Ask Your Parents. Knowing some details about your parents’ arrangements and finances can help enormously when the time comes that they die or you need to take over for them.
- 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)
- 30 Articles to Help You Find a Job in 2010: Whether you're unemployed or just looking for a way to upgrade your current career, these 30+ articles will help you find the job you deserve in the new year.
- 40 College Resources For Parents and Students: Preparing to send your child off to college is an exciting time, but can also be filled with stress and anxiety as you try to navigate through the admissions and financial aid process, not to mention all the other things that come once accepted. Here are 42 resources to the rescue.
- 40 Awesome Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune: Traveling doesn't have to break the bank (in fact, you can travel for free), and there are plenty of places that'll help you find the best vacation for your budget. Get discounts and the insider scoop with these great resources.
The Digerati Life (@thedigeratilife)
- How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt: A Success Story. This post offers helpful tips on how to pay down your credit card debt, including an inspiring story of someone who's succeeded in doing this.
- Stock Market Tips For Beginners: How To Build Investing Experience. This article covers basic investing tips that may help someone new to stock market investments.
- Lower Your Car Insurance Rates! How To Cut Insurance Premiums In Half. Here's a post that offers some tips and resources for cutting down on one's auto insurance costs.
- 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
- If you have any bonds in your investment portfolio – have you ever wondered about the relationship between bond prices and interest rates?
- A key aspect to financial planning is a basic understanding of inflation and how it is calculated.
- Stock dividends can be reinvested or paid out as cash. Find out what the difference is.
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)
- The razor's edge: Lessons in true wealth — My best friend died in January. In this memorial, I share what he taught me about wealth and money.
- How to build confidence and destroy fear — Literally a year in the making, this post shares what I've learned about facing my fears head on (financial and otherwise).
- Understanding the federal budget and The truth about taxes make up a two-part post in which I try to cut through the hot air and learn for myself how much Americans really pay in taxes (and how it compares to other countries and to our own past).
Budget Are Sexy (@budgetsaresexy)
- Living the minimalist lifestyle – is it possible? – Fewer things to worry about, less clutter in the house, less maintenance costs, less less less! This is the start of my minimalist journey.
- The $100 Scratch Off Lottery Project – One day decided to play a game that was ridiculously stupid, but also fun, exciting, and rewarding all mixed into one. I bought 100 scratchers and documented my findings – the good, the bad, and the ugly!
- Do you need a “story” to be respected as a blogger? – In particular, a personal finance blogger? Or can any Joe Schmo do it? *coughs*
Man Vs Debt (@manvsdebt)
- Tyler Durden's Guide to Personal Finance: A unique guide to personal finance in the words of Tyler Durden, himself! Over 17 of Tyler's most famous quotes and how we can apply them to improve our finances.
- How NOT to Suck at Blogging: On my 6 month blogging anniversary, I reflect on how far I've come in a short amount of time and pay homage to those who inspired and mentored me.
- 42 Ways to Radically Simplify Your Financial Life: The more you simplify your financial life, the easier it is to dominate it. Here is a massive list of 42 ways to do just that!
PT Money (@ptmoney)
- 10 Reasons to Get Off Your Butt and Start a Roth IRA: If you ever wanted some motivation to start a Roth IRA, then this is the article to read. There's a good reason for everyone to get going with a Roth IRA for retirement.
- The Long Road to Buying Life Insurance: In this article I discuss the 7 hurdles you have to jump though to get term life insurance. It's easy once you know the steps. It still takes a long time though.
- 52 Ways to Make Extra Money: Practical and proven ideas for bringing in extra income. One for each week of the year!
Christian Personal Finance (@christianpf)
- How to make money with a blog – This was a monster article (6000+ words) I wrote about how I grew my blog to a point where I could make a full-time income from it.
- 7 free printable budgeting worksheets – For those who still like the paper and pencil, these are a bunch of budgeting worksheets that you can print out and fill in with a pencil.
- 23 ways for teens to make money (and maybe adults) – These are 23 ways to make a few extra bucks, while the article is geared towards teenagers, many of them could be done by adults looking for some additional income as well.
Free From Broke (@freefrombroke)
- 9 Reasons You Need An Online Savings Account Having an online savings account is a great way to set yourself up on a pathway to saving!
- 25 Traits Of The Not So Well To Do There's a reason you aren't wealthy or rich like you see some people – You resemble too many traits of the Not So Well To Do!
- Credit Cards Don't Suck, You Suck! Quit blaming your credit card problems on your card. Take a look at yourself and take responsibility for your debt!
Debt Free Adventure (@mattjabs)
- Credit Card Debt Reduction – A How To Handbook for getting out of credit card debt. Before you do something you regret… read this article.
- Lending Club – My Review of Peer to Peer Lending – Whether you're looking to borrow or invest, Lending Club is the best thing since sliced bread. In this article I outline my experience as a Lending Club borrower and offer up insight from several successful and happy investors.
- More Reasons to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Four Pillars (@fourpillars)
- Sometimes people make the mistake of trying to make a business from a hobby. Sometimes this can work but keep in mind that just because you like to do it, doesn't make it a good business idea.
- If you are a new investor and want some quick tips then check out some beginning investment strategies to consider.
- Are you one of those people in debt who justifies an expenditure by saying “I saved the cash for this purchase”? Remember that spending cash is the same as borrowing if you have debts.
- Roth Mania! a discussion of why the Roth account is not for everyone
- Inheriting or Bequeathing an IRA explaining the rules to properly handle the details of the IRA before and after one passes
- Funding Matched 401(k) addresses the “pay debt or invest” debate when the investment choice is a 401(k) with employer match.
Five Cent Nickel via Matt Jabs (@fcn)
- Is Personal Responsibility Dead? – It is high time we all started taking responsibility for our own actions once again. Period.
- Is it Possible to Live Without Credit Cards? – Sure… it's possible, I've been doing it for several months now – so can you.
- Borrowing From Big Banks – A Moral Issue?
Consumerism Commentary (@flexo)
- “What Works For You” Can Be a Trap: The advice of “do what works for you” allows us to feel comfortable about our financial choices, but it can be dangerous philosophy for your finances.
- Seven Zen Principles to Guide Your Money and Your Life: The concept of “zen” has gained popularity, but we can look at these Japanese aesthetic concepts for real insight into our finances.
- Ten Things I Will Teach My Children About Money: Whether they knew it or not, my parents helped prepare me for financial competency, even if it took me a while to realize it. Here is what I hope to pass on once I have children.
My Dollar Plan (@mydollarplan)
- How Long Do We Really Need to Keep Those Papers? Cleaning out your papers for the new year, here's what you need to keep and for how long.
- Roth IRA Conversion Strategy to Avoid Taxes. How to stretch your 2010 Roth conversion dollars even further.
- $6,500 Home Buyer Tax Credit for Existing Homeowners. Finally, the tax credit we've all been waiting for… extended to existing homeowners!
Being Frugal (@lynnae)
- Don't Get Hacked or Scammed What I learned when my Facebook account was hacked. Don't let it happen to you.
- Is your escrow money safe? Maybe not. In this day and age, when banks and mortgage companies are going under, you really need to watch your money.
- How to Get Out of Debt You've racked up the debt. Now you want to get out from under it. Here's how.
Military Finance Network
- Should You Rollover Your TSP Account Into an IRA?. IF=f you have a Thrift Savings Plan account and have separated rom the military or government service, then you should read this article to find out the pros and cons of rolling over a TSP into an IRA.
- Choosing Between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA. Roth and Traditional IRAs are both great retirement plan options. Find out how they are different and which is best for you.
- GI Bill Transfer Rules. The new GI Bill allows current military members to transfer their GI BIll to family members under certain conditions.
Smart Passive Income (@patflynn)
More from GFC, Below
- THE Blogger's Guide to Facebook: The ultimate resource for anyone who wants to utilize a Facebook Page for their blog or online business, hands down.
- Passive Income Streams 101: Pat shows us in a sweet video, the basics behind creating an automated, passive income business model that allows one to earn a full time income, on just a few hours a week.
- One Year After Getting Laid Off – My Annual Passive Income Report: This is one of the most inspiring and uplifting blog posts you'll ever read. Not only does it go through Pat's success story after getting laid off, but he also breaks down exactly where his $203,219.04 came from.
Debt Kid (@debtkid)
- What Puking After A Workout Taught Me About Money It's amazing the revelations that come to you when hunched over the toilet.
- Top 11 Money Mistakes That Make Me Crazy – Two words. Ghetto Wheels.
- Get Stuck or Diet Trying – Sometimes being stuck in a bad situation forces you to succeed
Mrs. Micah (@mrsmicah)
- How to Save and Store Critical Financial Information For Your Family. – If something happens to you, will your family know how to handle finances without you? This post includes a handy worksheet and information on where to store it safely.
- Why I'm Glad I Didn't Kill Myself. Depression can hit anyone, no matter how rich or poor you are, no matter how well-educated or under-educated, employed or unemployed. But you can make it through.
- Is Any Kind of Work Beneath You? With the rise of unemployment during this recession, one question many workers must ask is whether they're above any kind of work that can feed them and their families.
Fiscal Geek (@fiscalgeek)
- Why My Kids Will Drive a Piece of Crap. A treatise on the positive benefits of putting your kids in a junker for their first car.
- How to Make your Own Homemade Air Conditioner. Air Conditioners too expensive? Make your own with an aquarium pump, a cooler and some ice.
- The A-Team talks about 401k's vs Roth 401k's. Who better to explain the differences between a traditional or Roth 401k than a crack commando unit wrongly imprisoned.
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.
- The Ultimate Home Buying Guide — Buying vs Renting Detailed Comparison. The only resource you will need to read to help you decide on whether you should buy a home or rent. A 3,000 word post with over 15 valuable links.
- Benefits of a Online Savings Account — And Why You Should Get One. A simple, yet effective post opening up the idea of a online savings account to early-twenty-somethings.
- Overcoming The Fear of Failure. There is no better time that RIGHT NOW to overcome your fear of failing at something. We are often so afraid of what will happen that we give up before we realize our true potential.
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
Citizens.org 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)
- Top Tax Credits for Your Federal Tax Return Tax time is almost here again, check out these tax credits to see if you qualify and can cut your taxes.
- Insurance Claim Tips for Filing a Property or Auto Claim Ever worry that your insurance claim won't be paid out? Here are some tips on helping get what you're owed from an insurance claim.
- Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 BankruptcyFiling for bankruptcy is a major financial decision, here's a comparison of the implications of Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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
- Introduction to Making Money Online. A general introduction to the world of making money online. If you want to earn a few dollars on the internet in your spare time then this is the blog for you.
- The Paradox Of Choice For Passive Income. When it comes to passive income there is a plethora of options. How does one decide which route to take?
- Roth IRA Compared To 401k. An important tool for investors as tax season slowly approaches and decides need to be made.
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)
- Identity Theft: Capital One Save Me! When I discovered I was a victim of identity theft, it left me sick. I soon was feeling much better when I talked to the people at Capital One.
- How to Tap Your 401k with No Penalty. If you need some cash and worried about paying a penalty if you touch your 401k, here's what you need to know to tap your 401k penalty free.
- My Pella Storm Door Warranty Claim. Are Pella storms doors really the best of the best? This is what boomer thinks.
Financial Samurai (@financialsamura)
- You're Rejected! How I Use Rejection to Motivate Me Every Single Day, we discuss strategies that allow you to harness the power of rejection to your advantage.
- We”re Ignorant Idiots, Please Tell Us Why A Flat Tax Isn't Fair we lay out a very simple example as to why the flat tax is not only fair, but the right tax policy for America.
- Someone Has To Give Birth, Women Shouldn't Be Penalized For Being Moms, we discuss the prejudice against a women, from another woman's perspective, and why we feel all women in the work place should get as much slack as possible.
Miranda Marquit Freelance Writer (@mmarquit)
- One of biggest impacts on personal finances this year was the Credit CARD Act. How it affects individual personal finances is Big News, and it might have long-last effect, especially for those who happen to be carrying a balance.
- During a recession, you have to be smarter with your money. Here are 6 smart moves for a recession. They're even smart money moves for good economic times.
- Even Good Debt Can Be Bad Debt. We always hear about how some debt is “good.” But you can always have too much of a good thing. And that means even “good” debt can go bad.
Canadian Finance Blog (@canadianfinance)
- The Psychological Effects Of Risk: If we understand the positive effects of investing in stocks over other safer investments, then why do we choose to invest in less risky products?
- Where To Find Other Sources Of Income: After you've cut as many expenses as you can to free up money from your current income, the next step to saving more could be to look for other sources of income.
- Is The Current Market A Return To Normal?: A look at interesting research on business cycles and how it applies to our current economic situation.
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)
- 401k Plans Suck And Must Die – 401k plans were a good idea, but they just don't work in practice.
- How To Find A High Interest CD Online – How to use the internet to find the highest possible CD rates.
- Outfit A Complete Home Gym For Less Than The Cost Of A Year At The Gym – While nice, gym memberships are completely unnecessary. Here's all the equipment you need to get in the best shape of your life, all from the comfort of your own home.
Some Bonus Additions:
From David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing (@amabie)
- SEO Strategies for Financial Websites: An overview of strategies that financial websites can use to increase their visibility and traffic.
- Twitter Success for SOHO Small Business: Twitter is known as a great networking tool for consultants and global businesses. Here are some tips that local small businesses can use to make Twitter work for them, too.
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.