FYI: This blog is for people who, like me, live within their means, but remain ignorant about money things.
I don’t have debt. Well, rather I didn’t have debt until I married my smarty-pants husband, who owes several thousand for several of his degrees (I’m so glad I married an intellectual 😒). And it is daunting.
Before we got married, we met with Financial Planner Pete to figure out all the things*, and tbh, things are moving slowly. The end will never be in sight. Raise your hand if you agree because after having talked to several people about what they use to keep their money on track, the consensus seems to be the same: Life is fleeting. Debt is eternal.
Okay, yes, that’s dramatic, and Financial Planner Pete says that it’ll be fine as long as we stick to our goals:
- Stick to a budget
- Pay bills AND minimum payments on time
- Create an emergency fund worth three months of living expenses
Number 3 rotates through our “next steps.” For example, when we have the emergency fund complete, we could start saving for a car, house, baby, or pet horse, etc.
The goals we created with Financial Planner Pete factor in where we are in life, our income, our debt, and what we need in the short term and then the long-term. The point of this blog is to show you that it’s not one size fits all. The other point is to give you resources to help you start, stay on track, and get all-around good financial advice.
Here are 5 personal finance blogs worth reading from Kiplinger:
- 20Somethingfinance. “Yes, as the name suggests, this is a great site if you’re just starting out and looking for advice on how to spend less and save more from someone in your age group who’s actually managed to do this. But 20Somethingfinance creator G.E. Miller’s advice is applicable to people of all ages — and his story is inspiring. He dramatically cut his expenses and now saves 85% of his income.”
- Get Rich Slowly. “I’m not alone in naming this one of the top money blogs. Time and Money magazines have also called it one of the best. Creator J.D. Roth’s philosophy that building wealth takes time is similar to ours at Kiplinger’s. He believes in setting goals, spending less than you earn and paying yourself first — and the posts on his blog reflect these beliefs. Most of all, his tales of overcoming $35,000 in debt and achieving financial independence are inspiring.”
- Money Crashers. “Although it’s run by two twentysomethings, Money Crashers provides sensible advice to people of all ages and stages of life. It covers all aspects of personal finance, including investing, credit and debt, careers, family and home, and even small business.”
- The Digerati Life. “This site is a good source of basic investing information, as well as general personal finance advice. The editor, known as Silicon Valley Blogger, also provides a lot of tips for entrepreneurs and the self-employed.”
- Kiplinger. Okay, so they didn’t name themselves on their list, but Kiplinger’s blog is a go-to for me – that’s where I found the rest of these resources. Their topics range from personal finance to world finance, wealth creation, business finance, and quizzes to test your understanding of all of the above.
So get help, do the thing, don’t get discouraged.
But if you are discouraged, read here about seven people who have successfully tackled 80,000 dollars in debt in three years or less.
*Side note: Anyone who is getting married needs to meet with a financial planner type of person. It’s like pre-marital counseling (which I also highly recommend) for your money because you will argue about it. You will disagree about where you are spending money, you will feel like your person isn’t following the budget to the best of their ability, you will fight about it. This might not happen now or in the near future, but they will happen. And when you have a third party aka Financial Planner Pete to talk about this, you will be able to figure it out.**
** P.S. In late 2017, Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in financial education, conducted a study of more than 1,000 U.S. adults to gain an understanding of personal finance behaviors and attitudes, as well as how married couples communicate and relate about money. According to the new survey by Ramsey Solutions, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity.