Personal Finance  Resource Guide

Personal Finance  Resource Guide

Note: Some Links may have changed since the date this article was Published

Free and paid online software packages for managing your personal finances

Managing your personal finances is a lot easier today with free and paid online software. Having as much bookkeeping automated as possible is very helpful to ensure that you don’t miss anything or get lazy and just don’t do it.

These software choices are amazing and will help you. Try a few of them to find the one that works best for you. Remember, the software package that works best for you is the one you like, not the one everyone else thinks is best. If it’s not intuitive to you, you probably won’t use it.

Mint – This is considered the number one free personal finance software. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to manage your personal finances. This software also offers a mobile app and it’s great for what it does. Everything is in one place; it can send bill due reminders, integrate with your bank accounts and credit card accounts, and more.

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Shoeboxed – If you have a lot of receipts, this is a great option to keep track digitally. You can use this software both on mobile and on your computer to keep track in the cloud of your receipts and documents. You can start with a $15 plan or you can move up to the $69 plan. You can categorize the data you scan and store in the secure cloud space so that it’s all fully searchable.

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BudgetSimple – Need help setting up a budget? This product is simple, fast, secure, and a great way to make a budget. You will save money because you’ll understand your finances a lot better as you get everything organized. Track every part of your income and expenses and get automatic financial tips too. You can even link your bank accounts. You can start free and if you want to you can upgrade to the plus option – that’s less than $5 per month and more than worth it.

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Online  Banking – Most credit unions and banks today offer a lot of financial planning and budgeting resources included with your bank account. Go online and sign up for an online account for free if you haven’t already. If you’re not sure how to, make an appointment with your bank and they can show you what they have.

Personal Capital – This cloud-based solution will help you with hidden fees, investment services, wealth management, data-driven portfolio management and so much more. It’s like a dashboard where you can see where you stand, all in one spot. This is for people who have started investing and have a real financial portfolio. Get started using it right away so that you can keep track.

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When you choose your software, do test it out. What’s easy for one person to use might not be that easy for someone else. Choose what works for you so that you will really use it and make the most of it.

Make sure you can get the next email by whitelisting our email address. You don’t want to miss any of the ten emails about personal finance as we’ll share a lot of great software, blogs, websites, and resources. Next time we’ll let you know about some awesome blogs and websites that teach and talk about personal finance.

Great blogs and websites about personal finance

Let’s check out a few blogs and websites that are all about personal finance. If you want to educate yourself, get support, and do more with the money you have, the best way is through education. These blogs and websites will help.

FinancialMentor – With this site, you’ll get access to a wealth of information to help educate you about personal finance. Once you sign up you’ll get a free book, free email course, free audio and more. Plus, there are many articles that you can read too.

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The Budgetnista – Aliche teaches financial empowerment and specializes in teaching financial literacy. She has best sellers, challenges and more. This is a great way to learn more about personal finance from a great teacher.

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Budgets are $exy – Learn about how budgeting can ensure your ability to retire and live a good lifestyle. Get free budget templates, learn about different side hustles, and so much more from this interactive website.

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4. MoneySavingMom.com – Learn about being frugal, couponing, and menu planning to manage your personal finances better. Crystal Paine has authored books and offers a great place to learn about saving money and budgeting for a family.

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Disease Called Debt – If you want to break free from debt, this is a site that will help. You can learn how to pay off debt, save money, make money, build wealth and so much more. This is a great site with excellent advice.

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The College Investor – If you have student loan debt, you can learn how to get out of it faster and more. You can even do a credit card debt analysis, learn how to maximize your taxes, and learn all about side hustles and building wealth – even as a young person. This site is geared toward Millennials.

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Everything Finance – This blog is a one-stop shop for everything about personal finance including investing, saving, shopping, earning extra money, blogging, parenting, and more. The goal of the site is to provide a lot of content to help you go back to school, learn to make it on one income, pay off debt, and more.

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As you can see, there are many blogs and websites that are geared to helping others make the most of their personal finances through shared experiences.

Next time, we’ll talk about awesome apps that will help you manage your personal finance on the go. Don’t miss it.

Great Apps for managing your personal finances on the go

We’ve already given lots of different websites, software, and advice that you can use to help you with personal finance. As well as that, there are now a lot of apps that you can use on your mobile device to keep your personal finances in check.

PocketGuard – With this app that works on iOS and Android, you can track your spending, save money, and be more financially aware, always in the palm of your hand. Since it connects to all your accounts, it helps you make fast decisions with a glance at the big picture anytime you want to.

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Anishu – If you need to track your cash flow and investments, you can use this app that has an integrated set of financial features that tracks cash flow, expenses, budgets, accounts, payees and even bill tracking. The paid version has many integrations that make it useful.

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Good Budget – This app works on all mobile devices but also on a personal computer. Know how much you must spend on anything based on the virtual budget you set up. Set up virtual envelopes and sync with multiple devices and accounts as well as the Good Budget website.

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Mint – This is a computer-based software program (mentioned before) that also has apps so that you can use it in on a mobile device. If you want to pay for lunch for your best friend, you can quickly check your financial situation right online to find out if you can really afford it before you say, “I got it”.

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These apps are great options to use. But, don’t forget that your own bank or your credit cards have many apps that you can use to help organize your finances too. Check your bank first, then look at the benefits of any credit cards you have to find out what they offer for you to use while on the go.

Also, don’t discredit getting help locally. That’s what we’ll talk about next.

Places to find help and advice in your local area

When you want to learn more about personal finance, it’s likely that there are some local resources you may not know about. The best way to find this help is to conduct a Google search for “your area personal finance” to see what’s available. Here are some places you can check too.

Meetup.com – This local meeting service helps you find all sorts of local interest groups that may include personal financial planning groups, investment groups, and more. As always, be careful about any groups that ask for an investment of money, although sometimes that is still legitimate. But, do your due diligence.

Hire a Female Financial Planner – Most financial planners should be hired locally because of the way they are licensed locally. Look at your local chamber of commerce business list to find a financial planner. Go with one that takes a set fee rather than gets money based on the investments they want you to make.

Your Bank or Credit Union – Most banks and especially credit unions offer some form of financial planning and personal finance education. Look at your bank’s website or call them to ask them about the services and solutions that they offer.

A Community College – Many community colleges offer courses in personal financial planning that you can take. You don’t have to go to college full time to take a class or two to learn more about personal financial planning.

Your Place of Worship – Many churches bring in people to conduct seminars or lessons about personal financial planning. If they don’t, you can try to organize it yourself. People like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey like to present in churches.

Your Local Library – Some libraries offer a “Mind Your Money” and financial literacy courses, both in person and online. These are usually sponsored by The FINRA Investor Education Foundation or Smart Investing at Your Library, which is a partnership with the American Library Association.

One way to find this help is to ask Google, but another way is to simply call these local organizations and ask them. If you have savvy friends, you can also ask them who they recommend for more personal financial literacy and help.

Even the government can help you with personal financial issues, which we’ll talk more.

Where to get government help for personal finance issues

Always personally meet with your local Senator or Representative first. There are many local and federal programs plus movers and shakers from your area let these legislators know about their concerns. I once got a Prime Office Space Rental for Free in my hometown, just because the Building Owner couldn’t rent the space but he could write -off my Office Rent as a Economic Development Donation. You never know until you ask.

There are many government organizations that are available to assist people and teach them about personal finance issues. This is a small list of your options. Check some of them out.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Via the U.S. Department of the Treasury, you can go to their financial education resource center to find out what they offer. One of the things they have is MyMoney.gov which is a website that will provide resources for kids, educators, parents, and researchers about personal finance. They have amazing lesson plans for teachers but you can use them for yourself too.

Links:
U.S. Department of the TreasuryProduct Link

Teacher Student Lesson plans – Product Link

The Internal Revenue Website

There is a plethora of financial resources and education right on the IRS website. They especially have lots of education and information about taxes, of course, but they go deeper than that. They include information about credit, life events that can affect your tax liability, and so much more.

The Social Security Website

If you want to learn about social security, everything you need to know is right on the social security website. You can take a course such as Introduction to Social Security. When you go to the site, you can do a search on courses to find out more.

Hire a Financial Planner

The government also maintains a list of approved providers of financial planning at the Department of Justice website, including actual help and courses. If you want to make sure you hire the right person, learn more about credit counseling, debt, and more, you can go here.

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The American Library Association

Every year the ALA organization provides financial literacy courses and events so that you can better manage your personal finances. This is a great way to learn more. Some of the courses will be at your personal library, but you can also join webinars online via the ALA.

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FDIC

You can get more financial education at the FDIC website. You can learn more about how banks work, the different types of banks, and more financial education resources that can help you become money smart.

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USA.gov

This website has information about saving, investing, managing financing, savings bonds and so much more. And, it’s all provided for free by the US Government. They even have a video about the steps to make a budget.

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Pretty much anything you need to know about personal finance is available via the government if you know where to look. You can become extremely financially literate by taking the courses, reading the booklets, and watching all the videos provided by the government.

Next we’ll give a list of personal finance courses where you can learn more – both online and offline.

Personal Finance courses online and offline

Today all kinds of schools are offering personal financial courses, both online and offline. There are no shortages of places to take courses either – from schools or from experienced individuals. Let’s go over some options.

LinkedIn Learning – If you want to learn about personal finance, you can sign up and take courses on LinkedIn. They have beginners and intermediate personal finance type courses, such as Managing Your Personal Finances and even courses for learning about Bitcoin.

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Lynda.com – This platform has a lot of different courses that you can take about personal finance, such as Managing Your Personal Finances, Managing Your Personal Investments, and more. Usually, you can check out a few of the lessons free before paying to make sure you like the course.

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Wall Street Prep – While these courses are meant for professionals, you can take them too. The more you learn about finance, the better you’ll be able to help your family save and invest and thrive.

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Udemy – There are numerous courses about financial planning on Udemy, including The Core Four of Personal Finance. This is an inexpensive course that will help you get a handle on what personal finance is so that you can make the best choices for your family.

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Edx.org – You can take a great course about personal finance that will teach you about stocks, and help you understand more about what’s happening when it comes to stocks, bonds, how insurance works, how to use credit, and so much more.

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Alison.com – This platform has many courses to offer regarding personal finance, such as Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest.

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Khan Academy – The Khan Academy has courses on almost anything, created by knowledgeable people. One such course that you might want to try is Personal Taxes, which can help you better understand how taxes work and how to plan better.

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Your Local College – Most local colleges, both community colleges and universities, offer some form of courses regarding personal finance – even if they don’t have a degree program for it. And you don’t need a degree to learn what you need to know to ensure the healthy financial future of your family.

Your Public Library – Most public libraries offer courses and workshops about personal finance, including investing, saving, and budgeting. Just call your local library to find out what they offer or look on the American Library Association website to find out more about local and online options.

CNN Money – Believe it or not, you can take a free class about personal finance from CNN Money. You can learn about many different topics from getting a job, buying a car, starting a family and more.

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These courses are just a start. There literally is a plethora of courses that you can take about personal finance, which will help you get your finances in order so that you don’t just survive but actually thrive financially for years to come – regardless of the bumps in the road.

Useful books about personal finance

These are must-have personal finance books that everyone should have in their library. Not only will they be books you’ll want to look at over and over, they’re also great to pass on to your children so that they become financially literate too.

1. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – Thou Mr. Ramsey has fallen under some hard times as of late. This highly rated book covers all aspects of personal finance, including how to get out of debt, save money, and invest. You’ll learn how to pay off your debt fast, set up an emergency fund, plan for retirement, pay for college, and so much more. Your family will be happy if you read this and implement this plan.

2. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman – Suze is not my cup of tea but she has wide appeal. This book sets up bite-sized bits of information and advice devoted to teaching younger people to care about personal finance. It gives practical and truthful (if a bit harsh) advice to younger people who want to make it in this world.

3. The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need by Scott Pape – This is a great beginner book to help you handle your money. We’re not sure if it’s really the only guide you’ll ever need, but it is certainly a great book to have when you’re starting out and to give to young people just starting out.

4. No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Lessons for Young Adults by John D. Spooner – This is an interesting book that is written by a leading financial advisor. It’s nice to read, because he wrote it as if it’s letters to his grandchildren and it’s filled with hard-learned wisdom.

5. From Broke to Breadwinner: A Single Mom’s Guide to Financial Independence and More by Janaki Chakravarthy – Hint: You can get this one free with Kindle Unlimited. It’s a great read if you want to learn how to become self-sufficient as a single mom, and it’s heartwarming to know it’s possible too. Truly Inspirational.

6. The Wall Street MBA, Third Edition: Your Personal Crash Course in Corporate Finance by Reuben Advani – This is a good book for a newbie or a professional. It has a lot of information and insight into how Wall Street works and what you need to know. It’s fun to read too, because it has great stories.

7. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck: A proven path to money mastery in only 15 minutes a week! by Avery Breyer – This is such a great book about personal finance that you should get it right away if you have the problem of living paycheck to paycheck or you are just a couple months away from disaster if you lose your job. You won’t regret it. I just loved this book.

8. Finally… The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clawson – If you read any book I would recommend this. It was a pre-requisite for my classes at Harvard Business School. In order to understand how money works you need to read this book. It’s the Chronicles of a Middle Eastern Silk Trader and the Lessons he imparts on his friends, who were just like him but never reached his level of success.

There are certainly more books than this that you can read about personal finance, but the ones selected aren’t necessarily the ones that people expect. They’re very down to earth and realistic about personal finance, and that’s what you need to be successful. One reason a lot of people don’t understand personal finance is that classes in schools on this subject have been cut to almost non-existent (and this includes colleges unless you’re trying to become a personal financial planner).

That’s sad because there isn’t much that is more important than your financial present and future. Make it your goal to read at least one of these books each month and you’ll be an expert in personal financial planning before you’re done.

Latest personal finance tools and resources for kids

Getting your kids involved in your business early is the best insurance policy you can give them. Giving your children the tools and confidence to know they too can be successful in business is a good feeling. Starting young is important when it comes to teaching children about personal finance. Money is something that we all need to understand to make it in this world. Imagine how much better off you would be had you learned the personal finance lessons that you’ve likely learned the hard way before you went out on your own.

These resources and tools can help ensure that your kids don’t start out without the right knowledge.

Kids Finance – This site provides lots of links to outside resources for teaching children financial literacy. From the old-fashioned “how to write a check” to the Department of the Treasury lesson plans for budgeting and investing, everything is listed here.

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Kids and Money – This site offers workshops, books, a blog and more, so that you can find what you need depending on your child’s age group. In fact, even grown-ups will enjoy the lessons and understand them better if they are deficient in their financial literacy.

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The Center for Economic & Financial Education – This is a project of the University of Illinois and it has amazing information. It’s essentially a list of links, but the things you can find here to help you either teach financial education or just learn is unprecedented and so useful.

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Sense & Dollars – This has games, links, and information for learning about money. You can find information about kids starting businesses, links to government websites that help explain money to kids (and adults) and so much more. Try not to be turned off by the colors of the website; the information is essential – especially the planning for college section.

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Money as You Grow – This website lives on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s page and offers resources for parents to help children learn to earn, shop, save and more. There is a lot to learn about how kids learn about money, and you’ll probably learn something useful in the process too.

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MoneyInstructor.com – This site has games and more that you can use to teach children about financial literacy and responsibility. Whether children or teens, there is something for everyone here.

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Teaching kids about money is arguably as important as teaching them about sex. They need to know all they can about money from an early age to avoid money blocks and other issues that can send them down the wrong money path. Also as a business owner the ideas that your kids freely share with you about your business will bring a smile to your face. I still remember the Lemonade Stand my grandson set up and used the money to buy a Wig for a girl who was undergoing cancer treatments. She was in 5th Grade.

In our last lessons we’re going to look at the personal finance tools available for teens. Hanging out with friends and dating comes with a price-tag. Every weekend my Older Brother hit up my mom for $20.00 every Friday and Saturday Night. My brother and I would look at each other knowing that we couldn’t ask my mom for money, since we were living on a tight budget.

My brother delivered Newspapers and I would Set Pins at the Bowling Alley every Saturday morning to pay for going out on Saturday night.

Latest personal finance tools and resources for teens

Teaching financial literacy to teens is super-important because they’re going to be going out into the world very soon. In fact, their senior year of high school will be a time of applying for college money, including loans. If they don’t understand how this affects their future, they may make poor decisions about money. But, if you do all you can to teach them, you may help them avoid serious problems.

The NFCC – If you want your teenager to start off their adult life on a good financial footing, you can’t go wrong if you use NFCC as your guide. This is the organization that certifies credit counselors, but they also have tools that can be used for teaching and educating teenagers.

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SmartyPig – This online piggy bank helps people save money without them even knowing it. It’s great for teenagers. Simply set up an account, set your goals, and then let it work on automatic. You can transfer funds whenever you want and even give money directly to your friends.

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Raising kids who understand the importance of personal finance is so important. But, it’s all up to the parents because most schools aren’t teaching this important life lesson today. You can help your teenager navigate choosing a career, education, and paying for it without ruining their financial future, by teaching them the importance of personal finance and money management.