Personal finance advice is all over the place these days. Long gone are the days when you had “a guy” who took care of your extra money, assuming you had enough to afford “a guy.” According to Statista, people in the U.S. will use apps to invest and save to the tune of $750 billion (with a “b”) in 2019, a 74% increase over last year. And the roster of personal finance experts and bloggers at FinCon2019 is 2,500 strong.
Who Can You Trust?
Money advice comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Just like modern dating advice (who’s your match?) comes from phone apps, there are a lot of services that will give you saving and investing advice if you download their software and enter all your bank accounts.
Apps can be useful to help you budget and save (in fact, we put together a list of the best cash back apps to help with that one), but there are so many it’s hard to know which one is right for you.
Educating yourself online isn’t easy either. Finance is a tough topic, especially if you don’t know what you don’t know. You can spend hours falling down a clickhole learning the difference between APR and APY or trying to figure out how to get out of debt.
For most folks, learning how to manage money is easier when you can follow someone whose story has inspired your trust. The people listed below have blogs and social media accounts that caught our eye for being fun to read, honest and full of great advice on how to improve your money situation.
Financial Best Life
Financial Best Life is Lauren Bowling’s mission “to help people lead their best life – and figure out how to pay for it.” She started the blog as a money diary she shared with her friends called “L Bee and the Money Tree” in 2012. After four years of success and growth, she rebranded it as “Financial Best Life.”
Lauren isn’t a professional money manager – she studied theater in college – but she’s been there, paying off tens of thousands of dollars in credit card and loan debts. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and makes a living writing her inspiring blog.
What we like: Her social feed is always entertaining, and her resources page is like getting a semester of college for free. She’s also very honest about how she deals with the complex intersections of money and life. Her post Why I Quit Being an Entrepreneur is a must-read for anyone who is considering making their side-hustle into their full-time solopreneurship gig.
What differentiates her: Her financial etiquette page is full of thoughtful advice on the morals of money. Sometimes you have social debts that require monetary payment, stuff that doesn’t fall into a well-budgeted lifestyle. Her post on holiday gifting is a great example. It’s got great, simple advice on how to spend for the holidays without busting the bank.
Family Finance Mom
Meghan Rabuse is a former hedge fund analyst with a degree in finance. Her blog, Family Finance Mom, blends her experience in finance with her experience raising three kiddos, and her writing ranges from teaching your kids about money to how much money to save for retirement. Her post 10 Things to Know ABout a Stock (Before You Buy One) is popular with her readers and a great introduction to what exactly you’re getting into when you decide to get into the stock market.
What we like: Meghan blends family-focused, practical, day-to-day advice about money with deep financial wisdom. Her Facebook group is closed, but once you get accepted, you’ll find a warm and supportive community that will help you meet your financial goals.
What differentiates her: Her piece Understanding Investment Risk For Women goes beyond the usual advice on saving and budgeting to shed light on why women invest less and have less money saved for retirement. Risk-aversion is a fancy way of saying women are less confident in their investments than men, but Meghan is working to change that.
The Broke Generation
Emma Edwards is a millennial woman, an English native and an Australian resident who combines great tips on money with great stories about traveling and how to deal with living thousands of miles from home.
The Broke Generation came about after she realized, “young people were poorly represented in financial media.” She told us in an email, “I wanted to make empowering content that helped people make the changes they need to get ahead.”
What we like: Emma’s 7-day Budget Babe course is a fun, easy way to get into the habit of budgeting with a friend at your back. She breaks budgeting down into easy categories with set tasks to get you concentrating and motivated.
It’s not just what she writes, it also how she presents the material that makes her one of our favorites. Her mantra is #NiftyNotThrifty. As she says on her about page: “If we make smart money moves on the borrrrring stuff, and find new ways to make our money work harder, we can still have everything we want.”
What differentiates her: Though she wants to have fun, Emma is also grounded in reality. One of her most popular posts, 5 Dangerous Money Lessons I Learned From TV Shows, reminds us that to be real with our money, we have to be real with ourselves.
If you love indulging your TV addiction and saving at the same time, Emma’s Bachelor In Paradise Money Saving Game is a fun way to save while watching impossibly beautiful, empty people make fools of themselves.
Wise Woman Wallet
Wise Woman Wallet is the creation of Miss Wise, a millennial expat living in China. She started 2017 with $53,000 in debt, and by mid-2018 she’d paid off one quarter of it. The Wise Woman Wallet is a chronicle of her journey to become debt free while living and teaching English abroad.
What we like: Miss Wise has a lot of great, step-by-step posts that show you how to do things like figure out a strategy for paying off your debt and 10 Steps to Paying Off Balance Transfer Cards Early. As you read through her blog, she shows in clear detail how she went about crushing her debt.
What differentiates her: She really lives up to her name. Miss Wise brings real wisdom to personal finance. Her Instagram game is strong and full of meditations on money like Change ‘I Have To’ to ‘I Get To’ and Forgive Your Parents for not Teaching You About Money.