2012 marks my first full year as a personal finance blogger. In addition to everything I’ve written here, I’ve discovered a huge number of finance blogs that I’ve come to be a big fan of reading myself. So with 2012 winding down, I thought I’d take some time out and recognize some of the great posts I’ve read on other sites this year.
So without further adieu, here are the 99 Best Personal Finance Posts of 2012!
The First Million is the Hardest (Twitter: @1stmillionblog)
Is it selfish to start this list off with my own posts? Maybe, but I’m making the rules here! Here are five of my favorite posts that I’ve written on The First Million is the Hardest this year.
- Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending Explained – Lending Club Review. – The stock market has been wild and CD’s and savings accounts are yielding next to nothing. I look into peer-to-peer lending with Lending Club as an attractive investment alternative.
- Saving Half of My Income – Can it be Done? – My plan to cut back and save more money in the coming year.
- How Poker Made Me A Better Investor. - The skills needed to be a successful investor are very similar to those needed to be a winning poker player. Here’s how 10+ years of poker shaped me as an investor.
- Your House Is Not An Investment. – A house is a great place to take shelter, but don’t count on it to perform as an investment.
- How To Save $700 By Switching To A Prepaid Smartphone – Free yourself from the world of two-year contracts and subsidized smartphones and save yourself a boatload of money in the process. Here’s how.
Financial Samurai (Twitter: @financialsamura)
- 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Loan or Adjustable Rate Mortgage? - Looking to buy a house? Assume a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is the obvious choice? Not so fast! This post shows why conventional wisdom isn’t always right, but thinking for yourself is.
- The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Person. – Think you’re financially above average? See how you stack up to these standards, and find out how you can improve your financial picture.
- How To Save More For Retirement If You Don’t Make Much Money. – We don’t all make $300,000/year and a lot of us like to make excuses for why we can’t save more money. Stop making excuses and save ’till it hurts!
- Taking A Leap Of Faith and Retiring On My Own Terms. – Sam’s inspiring story of how he was able to reach his goal of financial independence and retire early. If this doesn’t make you want to get your finances in gear, I don’t know what will.
- Definitions of Middle Class Income: Do You Consider Yourself Middle Class? – Most people do consider themselves “middle class”. This post examines why that is, and what income levels are considered middle class.
Retire By 40 (Twitter: @retirebyforty)
- No One Ever Gets Rich By Being Frugal. – Frugality is an important part of the equation but it alone won’t make you rich.
- The Retire By 40 Movement. – More and more people are looking to retire before the “traditional” retirement age. This post explores why it’s a growing phenomenon.
- Are You Better Off Than 4 Years Ago? - 2012 was an election year, so this question was asked often! RB40 polls his readers, and despite the economy the results to the question may surprise you!
- Avoid Lifestyle Inflation – In our careers we make more and more money, but sometimes we feel like we never have any more than before. Lifestyle inflation could be the cause. Here’s what it is, and how you can avoid it.
- Do We Really Need $6,340,998 To Retire? – What’s your number, and how can you get there?
Money Under 30 (Twitter: @MoneyUnder30)
- The Last Budget You’ll Ever Need. – Tracking your spending isn’t enough, and sadly most budgets fail. Here’s how to make budgeting really work.
- How To Manage Your Finances When You Lose Your Job. – It’s bound to happen to all of us sooner or later. Don’t be caught unprepared if/when you get laid off from your job. This post will keep you on your feet after getting that pink slip.
- 10 Astonishingly Common Misconceptions About Money. – Another example that what is commonly accepted isn’t necessarily right. How many of these misconceptions are you guilty of believing?
- The Real Cost of Having a Baby. – We all know kids are expensive. HOW expensive may come as a shock…
- Budgeting For Variable Income – Not everyone earns a steady salary. Here’s how you can still budget without knowing what your next paycheck will look like.
Mr. Money Mustache (Twitter: @mrmoneymustache)
- Our New $10 Per Month iPhone Plans – It took a little work, but MMM and his wife are actually paying $10/mo for their iPhone plans. Take a look at your last phone bill and tell me and then tell me you’re not interested in reading this!
- How to Go from Middle Class to Kickass – An eye opening post illustrating once again that avoiding the effects of lifestyle inflation can have a huge effect on your financial future.
- I Gave Up $4000 Per Month to Keep My Freedom of Speech – For some reason I read this post with “The Star Spangled Banner” in my head as background music. I applaud MMM for his “badassity” although, I can’t say I wouldn’t have become a spineless sellout in the same situation!
- The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement – Hint- Start early!
- The True Cost Of Commuting – Your long commute to work isn’t only wasting your time. It’s wasting your money too!
Planting Our Pennies (Twitter: @pennyplanters)
- How We Bought a $50k Duplex – The PoPs share their story of buying an investment property. It’s highly entertaining and a must read for anyone considering buying a rental property.
- How to go From Minimum Wage to $80k in a Year – Who says philosophy majors never amount to anything? Mr PoP’s tale of taking control of his career and finding his inner salesman.
- How Much Does Your Family Know About Your Money? – Talking about money can put a strain on any relationship. But how open should you be with your family about your finances, and is it really any of their business?
- Income Inequality In Relationships – Does it matter if one partner makes more money than the other? How would it affect your relationship?
- Why We Don’t Itemize Our Taxes – Itemizing isn’t always the way to go. Sometimes taking the standard deduction is the best option on your tax return.
Reach Financial Independence (Twitter: @RFIndependence)
- Why Buying The Most Expensive Motorcycle on Ebay Saved Me Money - It pays to look at the bigger picture before making any large purchase. The best deal may not be the obvious one!
- Breeding Cattle As An Investment – Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate and…Cattle?! There is a whole world of investment opportunities out there, Pauline shares her experience investing in livestock in a very interesting post.
- No Income While Traveling? No Problem! - Always wanted to travel, but thought you just didn’t have the money? This is a great post showing that traveling the world can indeed be cheap!
- Are You a Good Tenant? Lower Your Rent! – Landlords know that finding great tenants is hard to do. So if you fit the bill of a model renter, you just might be able to lower your rent…by asking.
- How To Reduce Payments On Your Debt – There are many ways it can be done. Check out this post to see how you might be able to lower the payments you’re paying on your debt.
Edward Antrobus (Twitter: @edwardra3)
- Why We Have Separate Finances (Sort Of) – Getting married and think combining your finances is the only way to go? See why that might not be the best plan, depending on your situation.
- Trying To Get A Raise Is Overrated – Getting a raise sounds like a great idea. Learning how to properly ask for one sounds even better. Both may be overrated depending on your job…
- Why Cash Value Life Insurance May Be Better Than Term – Conventional thinking about life insurance may not be the best advice. Read this post before deciding what kind of life insurance is right for you and your family.
- Learn Frugality From The Poor – Living a frugal lifestyle is hard for some. If that sounds like you, you might be able to learn from those who have no other option.
- My Money Pet Peeve: Skipping Frugality Because Earning More is Better – Frugality and striving to earn more money should work together in your quest to get ahead. Don’t think that earning more money gives you an excuse not to live frugally.
WorkSaveLive (Twitter: @worksavelive)
- Should I Sell My Wife’s Wedding Ring? – I’m pretty sure you can all hear his wife screaming “No!!”. But, find out why Jason asks the question in the first place. I promise, it’s not because he’s insane!
- When Is The Right Time To Have A Baby, Financially? – Is there ever a right time? This checklist will help you decide how ready you might be.
- Being Cheap, or Frugal – 12 Signs You’ve Gone Too Far – Don’t be cheap! How many of these signs of cheapness apply to you? (Only 2 for me!)
- 6 Things To Discuss Before You Get Married – Don’t back down from the tough conversations. You should have these talks with your partner before getting hitched.
- How To Make A Headboard out of Plywood. – This DIY project is cheap, easy and will make your bedroom look great. It’s been on my to-do list since reading it!
The Money Principle (Twitter: @moneyprinciple)
- Money For All Seasons: I – Income, Spending and Age – Your priorities and goals change as you go through life. Your money is no different. Take a journey through what to expect in different phases of your life financially.
- Five Things Older People Have and Young People… – The young can’t have it all! This post explores the advantages that only age can bring.
- Are You Saving Too Much? Where Is Your “Enough” – It’s something that isn’t brought up too often in the world of finance blogs, but it IS possible to be saving too much money!
- Students and Money: Who Said This Personal Finance Stuff Was Easy? – Why so many students end up in financial trouble, and what can be done about it.
- The Importance of Spotting Opportunities and Acting On Them – We spend a lot of time planning and managing ourselves when that time could be better spent learning how to take advantage of opportunities in the moments they present themselves.
Broke-Ass Mommy (Twitter: @JennaL)
- Is Your Significant Other A Spender or a Saver? – Another great example of the dynamic finances play in a relationship and how to handle them.
- A-Weebie-Jeebies – Let’s take a break from money for a second and all agree that bats and snakes are never welcome visitors in our homes!
- The Importance of Saving: Don’t Hack Down Your Money Tree – Savings can only help you if it is saved! Don’t sabotage yourself by dipping into your savings for your wants.
- My Sweet Butter Sunshine – Money isn’t everything, as Jenna is reminded while spending time with her daughter.
- Discover Card Flogged Me With a Gold Angel – Proof that credit card rewards are worth their weight in gold!
Master The Art of Saving (Twitter: @MasterTAOSaving)
- My Plan to Save a LOT of Money – Big purchases cost a lot of money. Here is how Jen got her finances ready to buy a house.
- How To Start Saving Money (Even If You’re Always Broke) – It doesn’t always “take money to make money”. If you don’t have a lot you can still save, here’s how.
- Extreme Coupon Reality Check – Extreme couponing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be on TV. Here’s the story from someone who’s been there.
- Using Extra Income to Pay For Luxury Items – You don’t have to deprive yourself of “luxury” items. Sometimes you have to get creative to make the money to pay for the things you really want.
- Sometimes It’s Good To Feel the Pain…Of Debt – Why sometimes carrying debt can be more beneficial than paying it off quickly.
Street Smart Finance (Facebook: Street Smart Finance)
- Effect of Taxes On The Economy – A hot debate with the fiscal cliff looming. Check out the info!
- 5 Essential Tips for Your Wealth Management – Managing your money doesn’t have to be hard. These tips will have you feeling like a pro in no time.
- Why Do You Want To Become Rich? – Everyone wants to be rich. But how many of us have actually thought about why we want to be rich in the first place?
- Three Easy Ways To Make Money In Any Market – Hint: It’s easier than you think!
- The Best Investment Strategy for Growth and Income – Investment growth plus generating income? It’s the finance version of having your cake and eating it too.
Money After Graduation (Twitter: @MoneyAfterGrad)
- How to Make The Most Of LinkedIn – Linkedin is a powerful tool in the professional world. Here is how you can better use it to network and find that next step to take in your career.
- How to Start Investing In The Stock Market – Starting is the most important step, and it’s not as daunting as you may think. This post explains.
- Help a Reader: How Can You Save Money and Minimize Debt During School? – College is the hardest time to keep your finances under control. This post has great advice on how to get on the right track while still in school.
- How to Close A Credit Account – Too many of us are simply carrying too many credit cards. Here’s how to cancel your cards and slim down your wallet.
- When Maxing Out Your RRSP Contribution is the Wrong Choice – An RRSP is the Canadian equivalent to the 401(k). No matter where you live, maxing out your contributions might not be the best choice you can make. Find out why before changing your contributions for the new year!
Canadian Budget Binder (Twitter: @CanadianBudgetB)
- A Cash Honeymoon Worth Waiting For: These Canadians Are Off To Las Vegas – A honeymoon is a huge expense. Find out how one CBB reader paid for hers in cold hard cash!
- Take Note: Mr. CBB’s Top 6 Money Wasting Pet Peeves! – Mr. CBB sweats the small stuff and gives us six simple ways we all could, and should be saving more money.
- A Beginners Guide To Early Retirement – It won’t be easy, but if you really want to retire early this is how to start.
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be? – An item I personally struggle with, this post explains how we can all keep our grocery expenses in check!
- What Women Want Most In A Man…and It’s Not Always Money – No, not all women are golddiggers. You too can find the woman of your dreams, even if you don’t have Brad Pitt’s looks or bank account.
FI Fighter (Twitter: @FI_Fighter)
- The Most Important Thing You’ll Learn In College – Do you know what it is? You’ll have to read to find out, but it’s not anything you’ll learn in a lecture hall!
- Real Estate Investing Terms For Beginners – If you have an interest in real estate investing and aren’t scared off by some math, this post is for you.
- Ten Tips to Help Jumpstart Your Career – Feeling stuck in your current job? These simple actions could be what you need to get yourself on the fast track in your company.
- Real Estate Tips (1st Property Experience) – Some helpful tips for all the landlords to be out there.
- When is Enough…Enough? – Society pushes us to consume and constantly strive for more. Knowing what your true desires and needs are will tune out the noise and have a better relationship with your money.
L Bee and the Moneytree (Twitter: @LBeeMoneytree)
- On Money and Sex – Do rich men “perform” better? Are the rich or poor more satisfied with their love lives? Does more money equal more sex?
- Two Savings Rules to Live By – There are only two, so you know it’ll be easy to remember…check them out!
- The Great Gift Cards Debate – Gift cards as a gift…do you love it or hate it? Weigh in on the debate!
- Three Things My Mother Taught Me About Personal Finance – No one shapes our personalities more than our mothers. Our finances are no different.
- The Currency That Isn’t Cash – Reputation – Reputations are hard to change once they’ve been earned. Actions speak louder than words and we should all be mindful of how we present ourselves to others.
Club Thrifty (Twitter: @ClubThrifty)
- Why I Prepay My Mortgage – In our low-interest rate environment, is it a good idea to pay off your mortgage early?
- What I Want My Kids To Know About Money – Holly shares the importance of passing on good money habits to our children, and the top money lessons for her kids.
- Money Matters: Do Your Own Thang – “Keeping up with the Joneses” can wreak havoc on your finances. Here’s how to avoid peer pressure and focus on your own goals.
- My Zero-Sum Budget, My Friend – An interesting take on budgeting that can help you avoid impulse spending. Plan it all out in advance!
- Six Reasons Why Being Frugal is Awesome – pppffffshhhhh…like there are only six!…
Dollar Versity (Twitter: @dollarversity)
- Derek Jeter Teaches You To Be A Success In Any Career – As a Red Sox fan it pains me to admit it. But yes, Derek Jeter has been at the top of his craft for a long time and we can learn from his example.
- The Costs of Home Ownership: What They Don’t Tell You – As I’ve learned myself. A house costs much more than the mortgage. Know the “hidden” costs before you sign on the dotted line!
- Renting a Home vs Leasing a Car: Why The Difference In Opinions? – The two are very similar, yet carry completely different images in most people’s minds? Join in on the discussion and find out why we perceive them differently.
- Starting a Business Is Not The Solution To Your Problems – You’re probably guilty of it yourself – thinking that if you could just start your own business, everything would be great and you’d live the life you’ve always dreamed of! Well, it’s not that easy. Here are some of the things to consider before starting your own business.
- Stop Being a Follower and Start Thinking For Yourself – Information is only as good as the way you use it. Blindly following others advice won’t get you to where you want to be. This post touches on the importance of doing your own homework and not being afraid to think for yourself.
Good Financial Cents (Twitter: @jeffrose)
- 7 Ways to Find Free Money and Unclaimed Property Online – Do you have unclaimed property or money just waiting to be claimed? Chances are you do! I had no idea I had unclaimed funds sitting with the state, but sure enough they were holding $250 just waiting for me to claim it. Check out these resources and see if you have money waiting for you!
- Why I Hate Target Date Mutual Funds and You Should Too – Target date funds are a “one size fits all” approach to investing. Here’s why you should probably avoid holding them in your portfolio.
- Is An Annuity the Worst Investment a Young Person Can Make? – Annuities provide guaranteed income for life, how could they possibly be a bad investment? Read on to find out…
- 5 Bad Money Decisions You’ve Made (But Might Not Admit It) – I’m guilty of four of them. How bout you?
But wait! There’s more! I’m a round numbers kind of guy, so you didn’t really think I’d leave you with just 99 posts, did you?!
Number 100 comes to use courtesy of Jeff Rose at Good Financial Cents, along with 140+ other finance bloggers (including yours truly!).
- The Roth IRA Movement – The personal finance blogging world comes together to get out the word on the greatness that is the Roth IRA!
So there you have it. 100 of the best personal finance posts from 2012. I apologize to all the great bloggers out there who I didn’t get a chance to recognize here. I could have easily done a top 1000 posts with all the great blogs that are out there, but I had to cut things off somewhere!
Have a personal finance post that you read this year and absolutely loved? Add it to the list by mentioning it in the comments!
I hope everyone has had a great 2012, and I wish you all a safe and prosperous 2013!