7 Great Money and Personal Finance Sites

If you’re working toward a better financial future, there are a dizzying number of helpful websites, blogs and online resources with terrific information and encouragement . Here are some of my favorites:

How I Save Money is an excellent resource for nuts-and-bolts, real-life strategies for saving money. For example, two of today’s topics include how to finance a wisdom tooth extraction and saving money at CVS Pharmacy. Check out this article chock-full of good ideas, “25 Ways I Save Money.”

Get Rich Slowly has a ‘wealth’ of information including detailed comparisons of credit cards and lending rates as well as up-to-date news and tips about saving money. For a quick recap, look at the “Best of Get Rich Slowly” sidebar on the right side of the page and check out popular articles like “How I Cut My Television Bill in Half” and “Healthy Food on an Unhealthy Budget.”

Mint.com – This robust financial management site not only helps you keep track of all your finances in one place, it sends you helpful alerts if you’re getting close to a credit card payment deadline or if a random bank charge shows up on your statement. With many banks charging $39 late fees and raising interest rates for late credit card payments, this feature alone makes Mint.com one of my favorites. I also like the weekly updates that concisely show our financial picture in one simple e-mail. Best of all, it’s completely free.

The Simple Dollar is a blog written by Trent Hamm, who himself went through a financial meltdown of sorts in 2006. He provides practical advice for getting out of debt and building a good financial foundation, and he shares his own experiences and idea with a very transparent and approachable writing style.

Wisebread has all sorts of articles about “Living Large on a Small Budget” — and isn’t that exactly what we want? I also like this site’s user forums, where members can interact and provide encouragement and advice.

Upromise – You’ve no doubt heard of this site which ties spending to college savings. I can personally attest to how easy it is to accumulate savings for a child’s 529 plan. There are several ways to participate — from simply listing your grocery store savings cards (which takes about five minutes) and accumulating savings from qualifying purchases — to installing a toolbar and going through the Upromise portal for many of your online purchases. When your balance reaches $50, you can transfer the funds to a qualifying 529 plan.

FrugalDad is another blog I like, with down-to-earth advice and plenty of articles about living within your means. Along with plenty of helpful tips, the author shares his own in-the-trenches tales about his personal work and financial life.

As the January Money Diet nears its end, I’d love to hear about your favorite financial and money sites — please share your comments! Remember, I’ll be giving away an Urban Homesteader Gift Basket on Monday morning to one random name drawn from all January comments – more details below!

P.S. We’re planning a trip to Disneyland, and my sister recommended Mouse Savers to help us navigate the myriad offerings for hotels, rental cars, tickets and meals. I found this great article about how to save for a Disney trip, and it has a number of good moneysaving ideas that apply no matter what your financial goals.

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Win a Deluxe Urban Homesteader Gift Basket

In honor of the first annual January Money Diet, the Urban Homesteader is giving away a gift basket chock-full of home and garden goodies, including a bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner, 100 wildflower seeds, soup mix from the Women’s Bean Project and a personally inscribed copy of my book, “Family Home of the New West.” On January 31, 2010, I’ll draw one random name from everyone who commented during the month and that lucky person will win the gift basket. I hope you’ll stop by often this month and share your own ideas, thoughts and experiences.

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

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