Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's Rockin' Roundup - Financial Literacy Edition

Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? One of the things that your cousin Ryo likes to do almost as much as listening to music is saving money. However, I was not always like this.

In my 20s and early 30s I was a spender. If a new CD came out, I had to have it right away. When a new video game or game system became available, I went out and bought it. My movie collection was vast, filled with movies that I would buy in droves. It didn’t matter if I had the money or not, I had to keep up with the Joneses.

Then the bills came. Along with the bills came debt---a lot of debt. In June of 2007, I finally sat down to assess my situation and I realized that I was in over my head. I was on the verge of bankruptcy. Immediate changes had to take place.

That fall, I read my first (and still my favorite) personal finance book. The book was “Your Money Or Your Life” and it taught me a whole new perspective on my relationship with money. From that moment on, I changed my lifestyle to become a saver rather than a spender. As I learned more about personal finance and saving money, I also discovered some great websites along the way.

For this edition of Friday’s Rockin Roundup, I am rounding up some of my favorite personal finance websites.

Get Rich Slowly
One of the best personal finance sites on the World Wide Web is without a doubt Get Rich Slowly. Founded by JD Roth, a man who was in debt up to his eyeballs until he found a way to claw out of it, Get Rich Slowly teaches slow growth to riches. The site emphasizes saving more and spending less. Get Rich Slowly shows the realism that it’s a long hard road to get out of debt and an even longer road to stay out of debt. As a daily read, Get Rich Slowly is a site that won’t steer you wrong.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich has a decidedly different viewpoint on what it takes to get rich. Ramit’s big charge is let your friends skip the lattes and you can make big bucks instead. While Ramit does talk about getting out of debt and saving money, he also points out that it’s easier to save money if you make $1,000 a month on the side as opposed to skipping out on $4.00 lattes. His wisdom is you can always make more money, but there is only so much you can cut. A young, dedicated, entrepreneur, Ramit is a great teacher and his I Will Teach You To Be Rich site is an entertaining and informative read.

The Simple Dollar
Trent Hamm, author and creator of The Simple Dollar, is definitely a saver. A man who was in so much debt that he was on the verge of bankruptcy, Trent turned his entire life around and now blogs for a living. Yes, he quit his 9 to 5 job so that he could blog full time and stay at home to raise his children. Most of us can only dream of living that lifestyle, yet Trent is actually doing it. Filled with timely, practical tips on frugality and saving money, The Simple Dollar is a great read and one of my daily stops in the world of personal finance reading.

MSN Money – Personal Finance
One of the websites that I try to visit on a regular basis is the personal finance site on the MSN Money page. It is chock full of tips on how to save money, simple investment strategies, and where to find nice things that are inexpensive. I also like most of the columnists featured on this page. This is a great website that covers all of the basics of saving and investing. If you are looking for a financial website that you would visit again and again, you should definitely bookmark the MSN Money page.

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