Free Education For All! (The best blogs on the planet!)

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The world of personal finance education is an amazing, and exciting place (or, maybe I’m just a Nerd).   In recent years, there has been an explosion of high quality information, from some of the best minds in the world.  Today, I’ll lead you to the “Best Of The Best”.  If you want to learn more about personal finance, today’s article is for you!

Free Education For All!

You don’t have to wait for Bernie Sanders to get a free education.  It’s available now.

I’m talking legitimate, high quality, “I want to learn about finance” options that won’t cost you a dime.  The choices are incredible, and often overwhelming.

Today, I’ll give you suggestions on how to get started.

Consider this your “Easy” Button.

All you have to do is point and click.

The Best Education Available, For Free

Today, I’m going to summarize the best personal finance bloggers I’ve come to know, and I’ll “steer you straight”.  If they’re on the list, I personally read them.  Review the list below, pick a few that tweak your interest, and have a look.

As I said, “Easy”.  And Free.

Let’s get started….

The Best Personal Finance Blogs

Blogs are as unique as the individuals who write them.  From the mega-legends to the up-and-comers, each of the blogs cited below bring a unique perspective and the highest quality content.  I’ve broken my recommended list into “The Big Hitters” and “Up & Comers”.  Have a look, explore, and learn.

The Big Hitters

These blogs are the “big guns”, with years of experience and tens of thousands of readers.  You don’t get that big without being great, and these are the “best of the best”.

JL Collins:  One of the most popular set of articles ever written on investing is JL Collin’s “Stock Series”.  It’s a “Must Read” for anyone wanting to learn about investing.  Written to explain investing to his daughter, the series does an exceptional job in explaining all things finance in the simplest of terms.  If you want to learn about investing, take the time to read this series!

Mr Money Mustache – If you’ve never read this guy, you’ve never lived.  Trust me.  Probably the biggest financial blogger on the planet today, for good reason.  A true legend, with a flock of diehard followers (“Mustachians”).

Budgets Are Sexy – written by the legendary “Rockstar”, Joe Money, this is the #1 Ranked blog by ModestMoney’s ranking, which is a really big deal.  Joe’s crushing it with his unique voice on this site, definately worth a visit.

MoneyBo$S – written by legendary J.D. Roth, with a different tone than most.  JD “assumes you’re the boss” of your own life, and leads his readers through steps to take accountability for their own financial situation.

Financial Samurai – With over 20 Million visitors to the site, “Sam” is hitting home with a lot of folks.  A 13 year Corporate America finance whiz, he writes in a style unique, and enjoyable.  Real estate whiz, with Hawaii in his sites.

Rockstar Finance:  If you want folks to do the heavy lifting for you, simply sign up for this awesome site, they’ll send you the best 3 articles from the personal finance blogosphere every day.  It’s a no brainer.  I read it every day, and the quality of the articles they share is second to none.  Sign up!

The Up & Comers

While “The Big Guns” are the proven best in the biz, I prefer some of the smaller blogs.  They’re running on the same track as The Retirement Manifesto, and I consider many of them friends.  If you like The Retirement Manifesto, you’ll LOVE these folks!

I read every one of the blogs in this list, and more.  Apologies in advance to my friends who aren’t included on the list, as I had to draw a line somewhere to keep this manageable.  All of these blogs below are exceptional, and written by some very interesting people.  Explore, and enjoy!

ThinkSaveRetire:  Steve is crushing it, and just retired in December at the Age of 35.  He’s getting ready to hit the road in his (blinding) Airstream, join him on the adventure.  A great writer, and walking the talk.  Nice pics, too.

FreedomIsGroovy A groovy husband/wife team, Mr. & Mrs. Groovy are hilarious!  Using sarcastic hippie lingo, they write like no one else you’ll ever witness.  An incredible team, and they just retired in their mid-50’s.  Join them on their next phase of life, you won’t regret it.  Make sure you have some Grateful Dead pumping through your ear bids when you read their groovy tracks.

MissMazuma:  A fresh perspective from a flight attendant who lives to travel, and has exploded in popularity since her launch in June.  She’s the new kid on the block, but she’s quickly on her way to the big leagues.  She got crushed in the real estate crash, and has dug herself out of a major hole. Read a few posts, you’ll be hooked.

TJ PridonoffTJ’s a relative youngster, but that’s not stopping him from taking off in March 2017 on an extended road trip.  This blog is dedicated to documenting his year off work for his “Great American Road Trip.”   We may all dream about doing it, but he’s pulling the trigger.  Join him for the ride.

Physician On Fire:  “Doc” is an anesthesiologist who just donated $100k to charity, and achieved financial independence at the age of 39.  He writes to help other high income earners better manage their money, and donates half of his site’s earnings to charity.  A generous guy, and a great writer.

KeepThrifty:  Chris is a young family man focused on becoming debt free by 2020.  He’s one of the best new writers out there, and covers an impressive breadth of topics related to personal finance and living life.

The Green SwamIn contrast to a “Black Swan” (bad event), the “Green Swan” is a metaphor for a deliberate approach to managing money, and working harder and smarter for Financial Independence.  They’re living it, and teaching others to do the same.  Huge following, and growing.  These folks are going to be big.

CentsiblyRich:  Amanda was drowning in debt, but decided to change her life.  She’s paid off $100k in debt while raising a young family, and uses her psychology background to help you better manage your money.

EarlyRetirementNow:  A married couple with a young daughter, the “ERNS” are on track for an early retirement in 2018.   One of the best bloggers on explaining theory with strong analytical work (their “Withdrawal Rate” series was the best I’ve seen).  Given that he’s a Ph.D. in economics and a CFA working for a large asset management firm, you can expect SOLID analysis from this site!

MontanaMoneyAdventures:  Ms. Montana is currently taking a 1 year sabbatical from work, and writing about family life in Montana.  She’s an awesome writer, and I love living vicariously through her words.  Head West!

ESI Money:  The founder recently retired at Age 52, and helps readers learn how to do the same through his Earn-Save-Invest process (ESI, get it?!).  If you like “us old guys” talking about walking the talk, he’s worth a look.

Northern Expenditure:  “Maggie” writes in from Alaska, sharing how a “normal” family can maintain balance, yet still set themselves up for a great retirement.  If you love Alaska and Personal Finance, there’s no better blog on earth.

 

Conclusion

There you have it, my favorite 18 blogs.  Pick a few, and have some fun.  These are some really intelligent folks, and I think you’ll like what they each have to say.  Pursue some free learning as we start 2017, the rest of your life will benefit from the investment of your time today.

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38 comments

  1. Thanks for putting together this great list. There are a couple on there I haven’t come across, always great to hear a new perspective and learn something.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Awww – I am so honored!! First to be mentioned, but to be mentioned among these awesome bloggers (!) by an awesome blogger?!! Seriously – just made my day. I am home under the weather and was lacking motivation to write. You’ve just lit my fire! Thank you, Cuz!!

  3. Awesome, Fritz! I’m happy to be a part of the personal finance blogging community, and am equally glad to have you as a member and friend on a similar timeline. I look forward to meeting you and many others on this list in October @ FinCon17.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

  4. Oh, Fritz! You made my week. Thank you so much for including me on your list! I’m honored to be mentioned and I’m in great company. I love the pf community and can’t wait to meet you and everyone else in person.

  5. Awesome, thanks to Bernie, uhm, Fritz for putting this together. I am very honored to get a shout-out here and be included in the list. Now, that’s a nice start to the week!!!
    And just to confirm, everything you read on the ERN blog is totally free of charge. 🙂
    Have a great week everybody!

  6. Thanks for including Mr. Groovy and me, Fritz. So many awesome bloggers all in one place. And, as the matriarch of our ever growing and ever-groovy blogging family, I’m happy to see Miss M and TJ included as well! Mr. G and I are honored to be your friend.

    1. Haha, yep, got the ‘cuz Miss Mazuma and Little Bro TJ in on the fun (they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t deserve it). As the first blogger who I really had a relationship with, you and Mr. Groovy will always have a special place in my heart. Congrats on your retirement, looking forward to what “Year 1” has in store for your both. Keep Groovin’ On!

  7. I’m blushing too, Fritz. Just to be mentioned with such luminaries as JL, Pete, Sam, J$, PoF, Miss Mazuma, Amanda, and all the rest is incredibly thrilling–and humbling. But you nailed it, Fritz. I had some 18 years of formal schooling. And you know what I learned about personal finance from all that instruction? Diddly squat! And, yet, these bloggers have taught me so much about finances and life in the past 18 months it’s ridiculous. A pox on our education system! All hail the financial blogger. Doing what our educrats won’t, and doing it for FREE.

    1. “All hail the financial blogger!”, you’re preaching to the choir! It is amazing, when you stop to think about it, when a group of energetic folks dedicate their energy into something. No government, no regulation, no cost. Just look at the result. Truly amazing. A lesson in there for us “well manicured apes”!

  8. If your chasing retirement – it is very possible your have goals out of order. Funding retirement and building a ‘pile’ should be part of your safety net for change and the ultimate stress reducer and nothing more.

    God I Hate my job.
    I’m 63 and long past the time when the ‘pile’ was sufficient to retire; I’ve had more then one friend say why don’t you just retire? The answer is I like my work -it is often diverse and challenging; I like the people I work with I find them interesting. I can’t understand why anyone would work a job that they dislike for 35 years and live everyday for their retirement. If the job you are doing doesn’t stimulate you then find your passion and build an execute an exit strategy. Ah you say that’s easy for him say – the thing is I did it. I started my career as an accountant BS, MBA, MS and I worked for a huge company and I was life and the job was ok but I can’t say I had a passion for the work. Thats when I read my first book on programming; it had an immediate impact on my work. I became the go to guy for automation; I took every computer course the company would pay for. I won a $5,000 recognition award for my work. My position changed with time and I’m now I am ‘big data’ guy. I took my work home gladly because I loved the challenge – if work is just a means to pay the bills – you might be wasting your life.

    The pile as a means to deal with change
    I’ve managed to save 20-30% of my salary for nearly 25 years. The Mrs and I both came from very humble beginnings – the truth is I was poorer then a church mouse. We were determined to change all that and quietly without discussing the budget we adopted a LBYM strategy.
    1. We bought a small home and paid off the mortgage early.
    2. Friday night pizza or Chinese and a $1 movie was our entertainment
    3. I was the plumber, carpenter and mason
    4. She was the painter, coupon clipper and sale shopper.
    5. We bought simply reliable cars kept them for ever.
    6. We saved wind falls like tax returns, bonuses etc
    7. We kept our vacations modest.
    8. We invested our savings.

    The result of all this is that we are able to deal with most the curveballs life throws our way without stress. The dentist, tires for the jalopy, the roof, etc. That pile will also serve us in retirement. I never felt I was doing without and I never felt we were chasing a pile or retirement. It was simply incidental to living right and seeking a low stress life.

    1. Rayin, Thoughtful comment, and much appreciated. Kudos for redirecting your career into something that gives you passion, and I applaud your 8 steps to Financial Independence, solid advice.

      I think the desire to retire is a balance. Some don’t do well making the transition (too focused on work, and the identity it provides) and some are in too much of a hurry to get to retirement (“I hate my job”). Like most things in life, the challenge is finding the appropriate balance. Thanks for your comments.

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