This is part of a series called How We Saved Enough Money to Change Our Lives and How You Can, Too. Click here to get all the posts delivered directly to your email inbox or feed reader. You’ll want the inside scoop on how we saved $75,000 for the adventure of a lifetime!
You can really complicate your budget process by adding a bunch of tools, reading a ton of books, and listening to everyone’s advice. The truth is, there is no real shortcut to saving money except the basic truth: “Spend less than you earn.” (thanks, Trent)
That being said, it does pay to have your budget updated and within easy access, and I’m always a fan of following other people who have done exactly what it is I’m trying to do. So below I have listed just a few handy tools to keep track of your money as well as my favorite personal finance bloggers – people who walk the talk and won’t steer you down a bad path.
Online money management tools
- Mint is a free personal finance tool that allows you to create a dashboard of all your accounts for easy management. You can see where you are for any budget item at any time, and you can track your investments as well. If you have an iPhone, you can even get the Mint app to check your balances from anywhere. I like Mint because Warren and I can both view our finances at a glance anytime we want.
- IOweYou is a great site for roommates or shared expense situations. You invite the members of your group and list your shared expenses, like rent or groceries). All roommates can see the expenses and who owes what at any time through the site. The service is free for up to 5 people.
- Calculate your net worth to see just what your overall picture looks like. It will either reassure you or motivate you to lower your debt!
Recommended Personal Finance Sites
- The Simple Dollar is one of the most popular personal finance blogs around. Trent Hamm writes about finance in a way that makes it easy to understand. He also walks the talk and shares his story of going from crushing debt to his dream of working debt-free from home as a writer. Be sure to download his free ebook called “Everything You Ever Really Needed To Know About Personal Finance On One Page.”
- Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich will show you some bigger ideas about saving money. I learned how to better negotiate on expenses like cell phone service, insurance, and my cable bill, which resulted in hundreds of dollars in annual savings from just 3 phone calls. Ramit also has a book by the same name.
- Baker over at Man vs. Debt blogs about his own goal to pay off debt and start a new life in New Zealand with his wife and child. You’ll be amazed and inspired by what he’s already done and continues to do.
Some of our own readers write about saving money, too.
- My Year Without Spending details Angela’s year of living on the Compact. Angela is a frequent commenter here and many of you found us through her. I wish we lived closer together because I just know we’d be great friends. You probably feel the same way about her.
- Move to Portugal is the story of Laura’s quest to move from the UK to Portugal by 2010. I hope to meet her on our travels when we are both living our dreams. Follow her on Twitter @movetoportugal
- An Exercise in Frugality is all about saving money while being green. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kate, and she is just as interesting in person as she is on her blog. Follow her on Twitter @frugaldoogal
- Moneyfunk just posted that she is selling everything she owns. It will be fun to follow Christine as she tries to convince her husband to do this. 🙂 Follow her on Twitter @moneyfunk.
Do you have a favorite personal finance tool that I haven’t mentioned? Or a favorite financial blogger? Tell us about it in the comments.