The following is a list of products, forums, personal finance blogs that I use, read, or something Fairly Frugal Fella personally recommends. These are things that I have used to help me get where I am today. Although, there’s still a long road to go, I found these invaluable and would like to share them with everyone. Check ’em out and let me know if they help!
Disclaimer: Some of the following are affiliate links. If you sign up with a product I may receive a commission at no cost to you.
YouNeedaBudget: You Need A Budget is a great budgeting tool to get started. My girlfriend uses this and loves it. You can link your bank account (or enter your income/expenses manually, if you choose to do so) and designate each dollar to a category of your choice (Ex. Groceries, transportation, rent). For instance, you have $500. You then assign that $500 to certain “jobs” or spending categories such as food, fun, or bills. Then input how much you spent into what category. If you set the fun category for $100 and you spent $75, you can see at a glance that you have $25 for that category. My girlfriend does it all manually. This helps see where you’re spending your money. There is a trial period and then it’s a $50/year subscription.
Mint: Mint was one of the first budgeting apps I downloaded. You sync all of your accounts together (bank, credit cards, etc.) and you can set certain categories for spending. When you use your card, it’ll categorize certain items and see how you’re meeting the budget goals. You’ll have to manually categorize some transactions because Mint doesn’t always get them correct. It’s a pretty easy interface to use. The best part is, it’s free. I love free.
Personal Capital: Most often, I use Personal Capital to track my Net Worth. It’s a wealth management app and it’s free. It also does a great job of tracking your spending, your cash flow, and also analyzes your portfolio. You link all of your accounts including investment accounts and it gives you a total break down between assets and liabilities. It provides you with an easy way to check on your Net Worth to see if you’re meeting your goals.
Cutting The Cord:
Roku: I use Roku in my living room which allows me to use all of my favorite apps such as Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, and Amazon. There are several other apps that you may be interested in to help curb your personal appetite for regular old cable. I chose this Roku model because of the price (obviously) and its small and discrete size which makes it easy to place out of eye’s view. It comes with an adhesive bottom that you can attach to just about anything in your entertainment area.
SlingTv: Sling has allowed me to get my cable TV shows like The Walking Dead on AMC for a super affordable price starting at $20/month. As long as you have an internet connection, you can stream channels live. There are two different packages to choose from depending on the networks you want. They also have certain additions such as premium channels (HBO) for a few bucks extra a month.
Personal Finance Resources:
r/PersonalFinance: I visit this subReddit almost daily. There is a lot of great information here including questions for particular financial situations people may be in with a lot of sound advice. The sidebar is fantastic for all the basic PF needs and where to get started. Best of all, if you want a question answered, create an account and ask away!
BogleHeads: Great forum for investing. It’s inspired by John Bogle’s investing philosophy. Bogle’s was that index fund investing would outperform actively managed portfolios. If you have portfolio questions and want to know more, feel free to soak it all up. They’re avid Vanguard advocates, which is where I initially got the itch to open an account with Vanguard to begin with.
Rockstar Finance Directory: A fantastic compilation of personal finance bloggers talking about everything from investing and real estate to general finance topics. This list is insane. Check it out and give these other great bloggers a read.
Personal Finance Bloggers:
Retireby40: Retireby40 is operated by a guy named Joe Udo. Udo retired early from his engineering career a little earlier than 40. He’s now a stay at home dad/blogger and his wife is working and planning to retire early. There’s a lot of great information on his blog about what he did to retire early and also includes his passive income streams and blogging income. I’m a huge fan of his monthly reports.
Mrfreeat33: Jason Fieber runs this blog. His first blog, Dividend Mantra is the very first personal finance blog that I came across. Dividend Mantra detailed his journey to early retirement through Dividend Investing, which he achieved at 33. Fieber posts a lot of great content on lifestyle and how he’s managing his new early retirement life.
DoesThatMakeCents: Jack Parkerson is the man behind this new blog. I encountered Parkerson’s blog while I was on Reddit reading about blogging. His approach on things is a refreshing flip on conventional finance wisdom from a point of pure mathematics. He reached financial independence (meaning his passive income covers his expenses) at 22 years old through real estate investing and other passive income streams.
BlueHost: When I first had the idea to start a blog, I wasn’t sure how to even begin. I read a lot of other bloggers had good experiences with BlueHost, so I decided to try it out. It’s really affordable, so I purchased a plan for the year and it came with a free domain name (www.fairlyfrugalfella.com). Once I was all signed up, I simply clicked the install WordPress button on the BlueHost page and began to create my very own self-hosted WordPress blog. BlueHost’s customer service is great, which is always a plus when you dive into something new.
*This page will continually be updated as new things come to my attention