Five Must-Read Personal Financial Blogs

ESI Money  |

I've been reading money blogs since the beginning of blogging. I've literally read hundreds of them throughout the years.

I love them because they contain stories of real people with real lives who are dealing with financial issues. The writers are wrestling with paying off debt, funding college and retirement at the same time, investing for the future, and so on. We get to see their lives and what works and what doesn't.

Contrast this with mostly sterile money articles written by someone with a journalism degree who can really wordsmith a piece but doesn't know bupkis about handling money. There's absolutely no comparison in my mind of which is the better choice.

That said, there are a lot of bad money blogs out there. Most of these are written by people who really don't know what they are doing, are poor writers, have little to say, and post infrequently. These are the blogs that unfortunately give the rest of the blogging world a bad name.

So let me save you some time. As someone who has read money blogs for over a decade now, let me share with you the cream of the crop -- five money blogs you should be reading and never miss. They are:

  • Financial Samurai - This blog is written by a wealthy early retiree in his 30's who made a bundle at work, cashed it in, and now lives off his San Francisco real estate holding, the success of his blog, and his investment. What makes the site especially great are his contrarian views and in-depth analysis of financial data. For examples of each see The Fear Of Running Out Of Money In Retirement Is Overblown and Investment Strategies For Retirement Based On Modern Portfolio Theory.
  • Mr Money Mustache - If for no other reason, you should read this blog simply for the name! But don't let it fool you, there's a lot of meat here. This is probably the most ironic money blog on the web. It was started by a minimalist who retired very early in life and lived off a fraction of what the average American does to enjoy life (time) versus money. Then he started writing about it, became hugely popular, and now makes a fortune from the site. He advocates the minimalistic philosophy with unwavering passion while being inspiring and challenging. Just be ready to turn your car in for a bike! A recent but yet classic post was titled Making Space for Badassity which perfectly sums up his philosophy.
  • Budgets are Sexy - Fun and personal finance usually don't go together, but they do with this blog. This guy is serious about money -- but not too serious as you can tell by the name. It's a quirky and often irreverent look at money and offers a different perspective while keeping things light-hearted. He often gets very personal with a hilarious spin on money like he did with Side Hustle (FAIL): Becoming a Sperm Donor.
  • Money Boss - You may not have heard of Money Boss but you've likely heard of its author. JD Roth started Get Rich Slowly, sold it for a gazillion dollars, then took a year-long cross country trip in an RV. Now back at home, he's started Money Boss and is back to writing about the more philosophical side of money management. He's a kindred spirit as he's also a basher of nonsensical mainstream money advice like using your current income to estimate retirement spending.
  • ESI Money - How could I not list my own blog? If it was not worthwhile, why would I even bother? What makes this site different is that it tells the story of a lower middle class kid who learned the basics of money (earn-save-invest, hence "ESI"), put them into practice, retired at 52, and is living off the income generated by his assets, not spending a penny of principal. For an overview see My Millionaire Habits or dig deeper with Financial Details of My Real Estate Investments.

So there's my must-read list. Are there any I missed that you would add?

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