2016 is here, and it’s time to get started on those pesky New Year’s resolutions. Much like going to the gym, getting out of debt requires discipline, hard work and a good amount of research. Also like going to the gym, you don’t have to do it alone. As hard as it seems, getting out of debt in 2016 is possible with the help of these personal finance resources. From books to online tools to blogs, all of these will help you succeed in fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
Everything you know about millionaires is wrong. Forget the flashy homes and fast cars — as fascinating research by author Thomas Stanley shows, the typical millionaire lives a lot more modestly. Most of them didn’t make their first million through get-rich-quick schemes or risky gambles. Instead, they slowly accumulated their fortune through hard work and discipline. Most of them worked solidly middle-class jobs. This truth isn’t as exciting as the fiction that media likes to perpetrate, but it’s refreshing to see just how attainable wealth is. This is part self-help book and part serious sociological study.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
By looking at the habits of both his biological father and the father of his best friend, author Robert T. Kiyosaki reveals the differences between a financially successful person and someone struggling to get by. Kiyosaki draws lessons from both fathers and presents them in a way that can be adopted in anyone’s life. It’s a quick read that never delves into the nitty-gritty of personal finance, but it does highlight broader themes.
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman
TV personality Suze Orman has made a name for herself through her personal finance, and in this book, she addresses an audience that might not have tuned in to her shows. Her book condenses all the important — and some say boring — aspects of personal finance into something palpable and readable for people just starting their careers. The book explains credit scores, how to pay off student debt, how to plan for retirement and all the other things that so-called adults have to deal with after entering the workforce.
You Need a Budget
Don’t feel bad if your eyes glaze over and you start tuning out whenever anyone says you should consider making a budget. It’s not exactly the most fun subject in the world, and the idea of inputting figures into a spreadsheet will make anyone but an accountant bored to tears. Fortunately, the You Need a Budget software makes this a painless process that doesn’t take too much time. The software, which costs $60, is quite well regarded by users who would never otherwise make a budget.
The free alternative to You Need a Budget is Mint. While it’s not as robust when it comes to making an actual budget, it’s an excellent way to track your spending and get an idea where all your money is going. You connect your credit card and banking accounts to the app to sort your spending and break it down by category. After taking a look, you might be surprised how you spend your money.
Financial gurus often preach about not buying things you don’t need when trying to pay off debts, but there’s a time and a place to splurge a little bit. If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, the oddly named Camelcamelcamel is invaluable. The site breaks down the price history of products on Amazon so you can see what’s a good deal and what isn’t. You can also create price alerts to let you know if there’s a price drop on something you’ve been waiting to buy.
A good way to save money and start paying off your debts is to make sure you have the best credit cards, checking accounts, auto insurance and so on. Nerdwallet helps you find the most cost-effective financial products. Their blogs are also quite useful.
Mr. Money Mustache
At the age of 30, Mr. Money Mustache (also known simply as Pete) retired from his job. That’s quite a feat, especially since he and his wife were making less than $75,000 a year while working. The financial guru offers helpful tips on how to follow in his footsteps and save money. His methods and lifestyle might be too extreme for the average person, but there’s plenty of valuable information within his blog.
Get Rich Slowly
This is another useful personal finance blog that works well for a broad audience. Get Rich Slowly is updated regularly and covers a variety of subjects, from making a frugal holiday dinner to the best savings rates offered by banks. It’s well worth a bookmark.
If you’re planning to begin investing, either to make some money in the near future or to build up a retirement account, Investopedia is a great place to start. It explains all the technical aspects of investing in clear English without the dubious “BUY THIS STOCK NOW” hype of other investing websites.
Do you have any personal finance resources that should be added to the list? Let us know.