A page of alllll my favorite financial resources out there. The best blogs, books, apps, services, and other great sites I’ve come to be obsessed with over time…
We’ll start with my favorite blogs, then work our way down to the best $$$ books and apps and then other financial resources around town. Hope this helps!!
Last updated 5/30/22
Favorite Personal Finance Blogs:
- My Money Blog (first blog I ever read!)
- Mad Fientist (early retirement hacks / FIRE tools)
- 1500 Days (early retirement / humorous)
- Humble Dollar (essays on money and retirement)
- Financial Panther (hustling / self-employment)
- Bitches Get Riches (finance, feminism, entertainment!)
- jlcollinsnh (index investing / early retirement)
- Wallet Hacks (quick tips)
- Afford Anything (fun / real estate focused)
- Get Rich Slowly (financial nuggets in story form)
- Mr. Money Mustache (when you need a good ass kicking!)
- A Wealth of Common Sense (stocks stocks stocks)
- The Irrelevant Investor (alternative investing insight)
- Of Dollars and Data (personal finance through data analysis)
- Early Retirement Extreme (feisty and frugal)
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich (feisty and funny (and knows his $hit))
- Apex Money (curation of the best financial articles in the space)
- Personal Finance Blogs (another great financial curation site)
Non-Money Blogs I Follow:
- 5am Joel (daily doses of positivity)
- Derek Sivers (life and business hacks)
- Raptitude (experiments in being human)
- The Minimalists (quick wins around minimalism)
- Zero Waste Home (founder of the Zero Waste movement!)
- Becoming Minimalist (great storytelling around minimalism)
Other Projects by J. Money
- Coin Thrill (my coin collecting blog)
- PF Swagger (curation of the hottest merch in finance)
- Why You’re Poor (I wonder why?)
Favorite Financial Books:
|I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi — Hands down one of the BEST books out there for the younger gen. It’s funny, educational, and just downright FUN to read – though it is a bit “bro” like at times. If I were to write a book, I’d imagine it would look a lot like this so you actually enjoy learning about money and not wanting to throw yourself out the window… Ramit’s also got a ridiculously popular money blog too: IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com|
|The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko — An OG book in the space and of my all-time favorites!! A bit dry & statistical at times, but it’s the first book that really SHOOK ME and made me realize being a millionaire isn’t about spending millions, but actually saving it! Imagine that! ;) They deep dive in what the average millionaire is actually all about (and it’s quite surprising at times!) and helps you get into the right mindset for your own financial journey. Highly recommend.|
|The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach — This is my 3rd favorite financial book, and one I refused to read for quite some time. Just seemed too fluffy and “look how easy it is to do!” type deal. But after being bored one day and sucking it up, I was VERY glad I did :) It’s kinda basic and on the lighter side, but if you’re one who needs someone to tell you exactly what to do in detail – and you’re going to listen! – you’d be on the fast track to wealth in no time. Perfect for a beginner.|
|The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason — Oh baby, a classic! This thing was written in like the 1920’s or so, and have sold in the MILLIONS so far – pretty crazy. Well, not crazy cuz it’s a GREAT book, but you get it… This is another quick read and really differentiates itself by teaching financial principals through story telling – aka a fable. Takes place thousands of years ago way before the World Wide Web and/or Mr. Dave Ramsey ;)|
|The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins — A more modern book, this is one of the best out there on FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early. Perfect for getting your *mind* right about how to think about money and using it to set up your ideal lifestyle. Covering F-U Money, how the stock market works and how to invest in it (index funds playing a huge role here), killing debt, and how to build and preserve wealth over time. Fun easy read, by fellow blogger, and community-anointed Godfather of FIRE, JL Collins.|
|The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel — A fun newer book that dissects just what makes the financial decisions in our lives, and surprisingly it’s much more emotional than rational! In his clever, well-written, way, Morgan shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and how to use this to make better decisions of our own. One of my favorite writers I follow on Twitter as well: @MorganHousel|
|The Power of Less by Leo Babauta — One of my favorite minimalism books! I ready this over 10 years ago and it completely shifted my mindset to be more conscious about what I bring into my home, what I keep, and ultimately what I release back into the world for the best balance of “stuff”/freedom. Lots of practical advice here, as well as the more *mental* aspects of minimalism too since it all resides in our HEADS just as much as the physical world. Gotta clear up all areas of our lives to make room for the stuff we love the most! Leo also runs a fantastic OG blog on the same matter at ZenHabits.net|
|Essentialism by Greg McKeown— One of my favorite books in the entire world, this was the one that drastically changed my work/life balance and got me towards my dream lifestyle!! While businessy in nature, it focuses more on taking control of your LIFE and what you care about (and don’t), and helping you find a much more efficient way to manage everything important to you, like jobs/passions/family/projects/dreams/etc. Keep what is absolutely essential, then eliminate the rest! Highly enjoyable read. You can see my write up on it here.|
|A Guide Book of US Coins 2023 by R.S. Yeoman— AKA “The Red Book” for coin collectors that’s basically our bible for looking up coins and how much they’re worth ;) I know this book doesn’t fit in here, but maybe it gets ONE of you to take up this beautiful hobby of the kings and join me in the fun!! Or at least consider this as a gift to a young person in your life that expresses an interest in our nation’s coinage 👍
(For more coin loving, check out my blog – CoinThrill.com – or hit me up if you ever need help valuing or inventorying or liquidating a coin collection.)
Favorite Financial Apps & Services:
|USAA Bank — My favorite financial institution ever!! Been a member for close to 20 years now and absolutely love having ALL my banking accounts under one main roof with them. Great products, great customer service, and always ahead of the pack tech-wise too (they were the first bank to come up with depositing checks via phone!). Only downside is that you need a military connection to use their products.|
|Vanguard — My favorite place to stash all my investments!! My Roth, Traditional, SEP IRA, and brokerage accounts all live here and are 100% invested in their index funds, mainly VTSAX. You can read my story of conversion to Vanguard here and here, but it’s a cult favorite of our community and for good reason ;) All my banking is at USAA, and all my investing is done here at Vanguard.|
|Mint (FREE) — A great budgeting app for anyone new to tracking their money! Or old too, lots of great features and technology built in over the years (they’re one of the ORIGINAL budgeting apps in the world!), and with everything being automated thees days there’s really no excuse NOT to keep track of it all. Cheap easy to use app in the space. (Free for basic, fees for more advanced)|
|Personal Capital (FREE) — If you’re looking for a more robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go. They’re like Mint but on steroids, and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. Most personal finance bloggers are obsessed with them due to their automatic snapshots which we then like to plaster all over our sites 😂 You can see an in-depth review we did on PC here from a FIREee in the space who checks it every single day.|
|You Need a Budget (YNAB) (FREE Trial, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, built by one of the most genuine people in the space (Jesse Mecham). This software is based around 4 key principles: giving every dollar a job, saving for a rainy day, rolling with the punches, and living on last month’s income. New YNAB users save $600 their first two months on avg., and more than $6,000 their first year! Great product, with a cult following. Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪|
|Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This service has exploded on the scene and automatically helps you save money without lifting a finger!! I was hooked from the second I tried them (and even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much!) and have since saved over $4,000, averaging about $200/mo. Highly recommend if you suck at saving! You can see my full review on Digit here.|
|Acorns ($3-$5/mo)– Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money vs savings by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then dropping it right in for you – don’t even have to think about it! You sign up once, connect your accounts, and it takes it from there. It stashed $400 for me while trying it in only a short amount of time – works well. My full review of Acorns can be found here.|
|Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there!! Any time I’m about to check out and buy something online, I click the Honey button in my browser and it automatically scours the ‘net for all coupons and applies the *best* one immediately to save me the most money. It literally takes seconds and I never have to Google for them anymore :) (Though it doesn’t always find any coupons). You can see my write up on them here.|
|Credit Karma (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND credit report! Super easy to stay on top of it all, and plenty of calculators and simulators to help you get your score higher over time. You can see my full review of this financial resource here.|
|BigScoots Hosting — The company I use to host this blog! Super fast and reliable, and their customer service/tech support system is insane. They’ve got 24/7 staff around the clock and will even migrate your blog FOR YOU! I use their VPS package, but I trust all their levels are fantastic.|
Hope this was useful!
If there’s any products, books, blogs or services you swear by, pass them along and I’ll check them out! I’ll try and keep this page better updated over the years too 👍
*Some of the resources above are affiliate links and I’ll get paid a little if you sign up, and others (a majority) are not. I only ever pimp the stuff I’m obsessed about though or doesn’t make the list!
I will dare to add a securities broker, I guess you use USAA for that?
I’m also a fan of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and YNAB budget software.
@Irving – Ooooh, good call! Yes, I do use USAA cuz I love having everything in one spot like that, BUT if I weren’t with them then I’d totally be with E*Trade. I have a soft spot for them having worked there many many years ago, and even then their stuff was top of the line. I can’t even imagine how awesome it is now! So thanks for the tip – I’ll go and add them up now :)
@Christina Owen – Yes, both very awesome products too! I’ve never peaked into either of them, but I know they both have some pretty hardcore fans :) Maybe I’ll add a “Products other people recommend” section at the end? Thanks for the tips.
Awesome set of resources here, J$. I recently found Outright and I agree, it’s excellent software for business accounting.
I love Mint, my only vice is that I can’t integrate my Ontario student loan with it–the work around is super lame!
Since conquering my student debt is like the magnum opus of my financial life, this is a deal breaker!
I’ll second YNAB. We’ve only been using it a month, but it’s totally changed the way we budget.
@Carrie – Careful Cents – Glad you like it too! It’s my new best friend right now, I can’t even say how much happiness it’s brought in my life so far, haha…
@Frugal Fries – Ahhh, good to know! I wonder if it’s just a matter of time until that one’s approved like the rest too? Or if it’s a lost cause? Either way sorry to hear :(
@Ryan – Yeah? I think they have some hardcore fans… maybe I’ll poke around it more and consider adding it up if I fall for them. Thx for the info :)
Surprised you didn’t add Rich Dad/Poor Dad — that and the Millionaire Next Door seem to be the only two poles that all personal finance orbit around (the world boils down to either “save a lot and amass decent wealth by the time you die” or “develop other income streams that don’t require your time and effort”).
More practically, I just did a 401k rollover through a site I read about on another blog — FiPath.com. I thought that their comparison tool was awesome, and I ended up moving my 401k to Zecco and saving a ton–a firm I didn’t even know about until using the FiPath tool. Worth taking a look at if you haven’t done so already.
I think YNAB has a 30 or more day free trial if you want to check it out.
@J – Yeah, indeed! Before, we didn’t have a budget (fo’ shame), unless you consider flying by the seat of your pants and hopefully the timing of paychecks works out well “a budget”.
So after researching, (I actually found the YNAB link here on B.A.$.) the one month buffer idea is what really sold me. How cool is it to have all the money you need to pay your bills the month before they are due?
You truly don’t need the software to do this method (it does make it much easier to track), but the YNAB folks have a free pdf book on their site that explains how the process works. So if you’re good at excel you could probably whip out your own template.
@Rick – HAH! Rich Dad Poor Dad was actually the very first book I read on business/money yearrrrrrs ago before I even knew what blogging was :) I actually did enjoy it, but I remember not knowing exactly what to do next? And then of course it was all on real estate and we know what happened there, so it would be interesting to go back and read it again with a fresh perspective… but prob. still won’t add it up here ;)
RE: FiPath — Yeah! Great team over there too – I actually talked w/ one of their biz guys a couple of weeks ago, very friendly and seem to really have a good product there. They’re pretty unique in what they’re doing, and they’ve spent a TON of time researching and making sure they have a quality product. I bet they’re very successful and help a lot of people – glad you got something out of it!
@Christina Owen – For sure, I’ll have to do that :) Probably got a lot better since I first heard of them 3+ years ago too.
@Ryan – Hah! Isn’t that funny – I do remember linking to them a while back (maybe in my budget spreadsheets page?) so that’s awesome you found them and even better you like ’em! Glad you’re up and rollin’ now bro!
Great list…thanks! I agree with the list completely but with extra emphasis on how amazing USAA is. The customer service is stupid awesome and I try to find excuses to call them to talk about my finances. Its like a financial therapy session and its hard not to feel great afterward. The only thing they don’t absolutely kick butt at is there stock trading setup. It’s gotten better over the last couple years but I bet they could really rock like etrade if they wanted to.
Thanks again for the list and keep the great posts comin’!
These are great recommendations and a great idea to show us a glimpse behind the BudgetsAreSexy curtain how you make the empire run. Thanks to you….I tried out Outright. Awesome service! I’m definitely digging it! Thanks!
@Captain Mike – Glad you enjoy them! Loving your use of adjectives too, haha… USAA *is* pretty stupid awesome ;) Damn glad they’re around for us.
@Hank – AWESOME!! I’m so glad, bro! I check Outright like twice a week now and it’s soooo easy to stay on top of and just SEE where all your money is coming and going. Which is great when you have all kinds of expenses and revenues streaming in from online projects – it was getting hard as hell for me to track, haha… let me know what you think about their weekly reports they email too – I love ’em. They’ll tell tell you how much you’ve earned (or gone down!) on a weekly basis – pretty motivating either way ;)
Hmmm I’ve been thinking about some kind of PF book to get started with.. I Will Teach You to Be Rich #1 eh? Might have to get it a shot.
hey quick question on wordpress, what offline software do you use that’s compatible with wordpress, if any? You know, if the internet is down for 2 seconds, I melt if I can’t work on my blog.
@Tyler S. – Go for it! It’s pretty entertaining too :)
@Kathryn C – Haha… I actually don’t use any offline software w/ WordPress that I know of anyways. If my internet is down, I just write everything up in Word or do my 1001 emails/etc until it’s back up again. Or I hit up my iPhone ;) If you wanna shoot over specific stuff you think would be helpful, I can ask around and see if I can find and answer for you? And you hitting up FINCON 2 in Denver by chance? Hope so! :)
50+ URLs!? What do you use all of those for?
Some of them are other sites I own and manage, others are 50% completed and waiting for me to do something on, and then the rest are ideas I have brewing 24/7 ;) It’s an expensive hobby to stay on top of, but ya never know which will take off an more than make up for it all, eh?
I read the millionaire next door and I will teach you to be rich. Thank you for the recommendations!
I loved the millionaire next door it is truly an eye opener. I loved that it was a 20 year study.
I was not greatly impressed with I will teach you to be rich. The author does not practice what he preaches (he is an entrepreneur but he recommends others having salary jobs).
Thanks again! Another great one is The Truth About Money 4th Edition by Ric Edelman.
Glad you liked (most) of them! :) Not gonna put words in Ramit’s mouth, but I’d imagine it’s because most people can’t succeed being entrepreneurs nor do they want to be which is why he’s talking to the general masses in my opinion… I could be wrong though. Either way the book really stood out to me. I’ll have to check out The Truth About Money – haven’t heard of it yet, so thanks!
He who has the highest credit bureau score does not win. 788 in your case may be awesome look at the FICO chart on how a score is tabulated. It is kinda NOT something to be proud of. I am in foreclosure area of banking and I can tell you that the score differnce between someone who is fine on their mortgage and another who is about to loose their home can be less than 20 points, like in the 700s and still loosing their home. Also consider that once you are debt free, pay cash for everything and have $1 million in the bank in liquidity….who cares what your credit bureau score is?
True indeed, my friend. It’s only important when you want to borrow a crap ton of money ;) You should check out this post we recently did if you like the whole credit score debate – I bet you’ll fit right in there: Does Your Credit Score Matter If You Don’t Do Debt?
Thanks for feeding this year’s reading list with some good picks. Read ’em. Loved ’em.
Thanks for the kind words – glad you’re enjoying them!
I like the Outright (now GoDaddy) interface, but without the ability to reconcile, I can’t rely on it for my bookkeeping. Unfortunately, I’ll have to continue using Quickbooks. Any thoughts?
Sorry, I just use outright mainly :(
A comment on Outright.. I don’t know how you get it for free but the site states that it costs $9.99 per month. I’ve had it in the past and Yes, that is what they charged me. I feel their service went down hill since they sold out to Go Daddy. that’s been a couple of years ago and that’s when they started charging for the service.
Good catch! I hadn’t updated this page in a while so I made the adjustment… I still love and use them personally, but I agree I haven’t seen any new improvements or anything these past cple of years… Though I just use the bare bones of what they offer anyways – my business stuff is pretty clear cut :)
USAA is for veterans and eligible family members. Anyone else you’d recommend for checking/savings, etc.?
I’ve heard great things about Simple.com and also Ally.com – check them out :)
My husband and I have been on a personal venture to find creative ways, sometimes uncomfortable ways to pay off debt. We have a lot of student loans but recently paid off every credit card, started an emergency fund, 3-6 month fund, and then crap, January 1 he lost his job. So thankful for that emergency fund but truly want to get on with things to begin massively paying on that student loan debt. Ugh. Faithful we’ll be able to take off once a job offer has occurred as previous to applying it we would have received an F for effort and knowledge. We too love Dave Ramsey (though many of his following have proven to be crazy nuts, he no as I’ve met him and agree with his values) and your blog. We love your honest transparency and on fire approach. I’m certain many have been blessed by this venture you’ve created.
Awww, well thanks for stopping by and letting me know – it helps me keep going with it :) And sorry to hear about your husband, but what a great out look! And bad ass you paid off all those debts and have a solid foundation now! Hard to argue that Dave is helping a lot more people in this world than most. Would be cool to meet him in person one day :)
I sent the following to my children and then thought – I should send it to you also! Right up your alley!
Another goody by a favorite author! Why didn’t I know this stuff 20 or 30 years ago??? But you have a chance to learn it while you’re still young enough to benefit so take some time to read and digest. The reading isn’t hard; the learning to do it maybe something else.
BTW, David Van Knapp has laid out some free lessons also.
Your oldest fan,
Hey friend! Will check it out – thanks :) I’m more of an index fan than a dividend one, but something tells me the lessons apply no matter your strategy. Thx for thinking of me!
What do you think about Sharebuilder (now called Capital One Investing, but, you know, it will always be Sharebuilder to me)? Everyone always mentions E*Trade or Scott Trade or something like that but never Sharebuilder. I seem to be the only person using it. What do you guys know that I don’t?
Hah! I don’t know much about them to be honest with you, but a ton of new places are coming onto the scene that are super cheap, or even free: robinhood.com and loyal3.com come to mind first. I’ve long stopped buying up individual stocks myself now that I’m an index guy… Shout out to Vanguard! ;)
What is the best checking account site that you recommend that does not require you to be a member of the military like USAA?
I like what Simple is doing a lot – that’s where I’d be if i weren’t with USAA.
Here’s our review of them: https://budgetsaresexy.com/2015/11/simple-bank-review/
People also say great things about Ally bank too (https://www.ally.com/) as well as Capital One 360 because of their “sub accounts” you can open up to help save/organize better: https://home.capitalone360.com/
Really depends on how comfortable you are going the online route vs traditional banking :)
I’m a bit of an alternative money maker myself. I left school at the age of 14 but have traveled in over 20 countries and lived in about 5. I used to get paid to help guys overcome their fear of approaching and meeting women. The most I was paid per hour was 150 pounds or about about $218 an hour. The average I earned for one to one coaching was about 70 pounds an hour or $100 an hour. There are many good guys out there who have made great fortunes who lack the knowledge/experience to be able to approach and build attraction with attractive strangers. I’m so glad I found this blog. It is the best and most genuine and informative one about making money. As a natural charismatic, enthusiastic people liking person I’ve realized that sales is my best bet. Have you any info on selling financial services as that is what I would really like to get into. Thanks for any pointers. R
Hah – nice! It’s true that us men need some help in that department, haha…
As for selling financial services, I mean, if you’re super passionate and genuinely *care* about helping people with it, sure – that’s a great avenue to go down and you can make some BANK at it! Unfortunately many people just follow the $$ though and then start doing sketchy stuff because it usually pays the most :( Particularly in the insurance/investment side of things.. I don’t have any articles that go into it all if that’s what you’re looking for, but you can def. find stuff online. Plenty of ways to make decent money in the financial world.
Robinhood is a great new investment app that it’s completely free to trade. No transaction fees = more money to invest!
Yup! Def. a good one…
And you can’t go wrong when Snoop Dogg is a backer of it either ;)
Great recommendations, I have used mint.com and personal capital for a while, but some other great resources here. A few good book recommendations as well. Thanks for all the advice. WF
Glad you find it helpful, Warren :)
Hi–like to add a book read -finance related—–MARGIN OF SAFETY—-BY; SETH KLARMAN.
Thanks for the addition :) Never heard of before, but sounds like an investing one, eh? I tend to stick to my “boring” index funds and don’t even dare try timing or hacking the market, haha…
I was interested in looking at Mint and knew I’d find what I needed at Budgets are Sexy. Thanks J and extra thanks to you for the book recommendations. Three of the four are top ones for me and I am adding the 4th to my audible list :) Can’t get enough of those finance books!!
Hey – very cool!! You’ll have to let me know what you think about it :)
Another I keep meaning to add to the list is “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. Not really a finance book, per se, but one that would definitely change your life/career/money for the better if you follow the overall tone of it :)
Here’s a mini-review I did on it last year if you wanna check it out – it really affected my life!
Hey J. Money What would you recomend if you didn’t qualify for USAA ? My father served but did not join USAA.
Thanks you rock!
Is he still alive? He can hook you up if so! If not, there are other online banks doing some pretty cool stuff out there. Check out Simple Bank and Chime – they’re relatively new in the online space and are using technology to make the banking experience much easier/better for people. I’ve never used them personally since I’m with USAA, but they’ve got pretty solid fan bases.
If you like being able to walk into banks, I’d hit up your local credit union and see what they offer. Most of them are pretty good since they’re not-for-profit organizations and specifically set up to help the community :) Just depends on what you’re really looking for.
Here are some books to help you save money:
The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczan
Cut your Grocery Bill in Half! by Steve and Annette Economides
Make a Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, and Madeline Westover
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer by Susie Martinez, Banda Howell and Bonnie Garcia.(Also, Don’t Panic, More Dinner’s in the Freezer)
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey–This book was a life-changer for us. We will be completely debt free, including our mortgage in one month. (Actually paid off house in 2017.We are paying off a car)I can’t wait! Now, we didn’t give up credit, because that was never a problem for us, but his book gave us easy steps to take to ditch debt. We are both 51 and working hard at getting those retirement accounts loaded.
Some of these books may be out of print. Just go to your library or Ebay.
YES YES YES!!! Many excellent ones in there! Congrats on almost being debt-free! And even doing it in opposite order there, haha… Baller.
Wonderful selections. I particularly loved I will teach you to be rich. Well written and with actionable ideas
That was one of my very first books I read on $$$ and good thing too as it kept my attention the whole time telling me that this stuff doesn’t have to be so boring!! it can be fun and carefree if done right!