how to invest


career, food, travel


saving, credit, debt


insurance, security


401K, IRA, FI, Retire

Home » Personal Asides

What are your Favorite (& the Sexiest) Personal Finance Topics to Read & Discuss?

Last updated by on 14 Comments

Personal finance is a lot of hard work. Buttoned up. Mostly tedious. Mostly boring. Which is probably why most people suck at it. That, and it’s not taught in school.

But that doesn’t mean that it can’t pull off the glasses, let down the hair, show some lace, and be seductive at times (ladies/gay guys may quietly insert their male personal finance fantasy).

Yes, there are certain personal finance topics that can tempt, tease, seduce, and lure the reader into a world of financial nirvana (or maybe I’m just really messed up after four years of writing about this stuff).

As a personal finance blogger, I tend to read a ridiculous amount of personal finance content.

My Google Reader RSS feed is loaded with hundreds of personal finance articles. I often sift through these pretty quickly (I have to or I would never get any work done).

When I do so, there are certain topics, or categories of topics, that say “hey big fella, come read me”. And I often indulge.

Those topics have historically varied based on my interests at that point of time. Lately, I’ve been repeatedly seduced by the following topics:

  1. personal finance topicsfinancial independence: I never get tired of this topic. It’s become the driving force of 20somethingfinance. From budgeting to savings to income, everything I do with a financial focus is around financial independence.
  2. bicycles: sounds goofy, right? Ever since I started biking to work, I’ve rediscovered my love for bicycles. I want to start working on and restoring bikes when I have the time available.
  3. credit card rewards: my wife and I have made over $1,000 in the past year on credit card signup promotions (I should probably write about this). I love a good credit card, bank, or investment broker sign-up offer.
  4. economics & personal finance: if you hadn’t noticed, I’m very interested in how the economy works on a macro level and how that impacts our lives on a micro level. We’re entering different times, and I’m excited about it.
  5. dividends/bonds: I haven’t written about dividends and bonds at all here because I don’t feel like I have a strong enough background on them yet. But privately, it’s an area where I have been devouring content and building knowledge. How can I maximize my fixed investment income without taking on too much risk so that I can’t sleep at night? This one tugs at me.
  6. re-purposing/multi-purposing/de-cluttering: I’ve been in the midst of a multi-year battle with clutter. I’m slowly winning, but it has taken a lot of time and effort. Any article that can teach me of a new way to cut the amount of stuff I own by re-purposing or using an item for multiple uses is great.
  7. low-cost travel: I know about couch surfing and a few other sites, but I’m constantly amazed by people who travel (with kids no less) full-time and spend less than most people do living at home. I would love to be able to do this at some point.
  8. simplifying life & re-focusing: this is closely tied to de-cluttering, but it goes beyond “stuff”, into the digital, and mental realm. Life has become too cluttered, in many ways and if you aren’t looking for ways to simplify and re-focus you’re probably wasting your time on a lot of things that you shouldn’t be.
  9. energy efficiency: from fuel efficiency to saving on electricity and water, I have been a bit obsessive about this topic.
  10. re-skilling: I have a good amount of disdain for how dependent we, as human beings, have become on technology, gadgets, and other people to do our work for us. Learning how to garden, auto maintenance, cook, fix a bike, build a piece of furniture, fix up a home, or even fix a plumbing problem on my own are things I’ve been interested in.
  11. income diversification: having only one source of income is usually bad news unless you have vast sums of wealth saved. I’m interested in dividends, bonds, business ventures, side income, and generating passive income.

If you like these topics, you’re in the right place (enter shameless plug to subscribe to my free emailFacebook, Twitter, or Google+ feed).

Some of these topics I have not discussed little here on 20somethingfinance thus far. Others, you’re probably getting a bit sick of. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be stopping. =)

With the posts I write, I try to have a healthy mix of:

  • stuff that I am crazy passionate about or interested in.
  • stuff that is meant to help you.
  • stuff that is fun to discuss and share.

If I can combine two or all three in one post? Even better.

And I’m very interested in the last two bullet points. Which brings me to the question of the day:

What are your favorite/sexiest personal finance related topics at the moment to read about and discuss? And why?

About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living says:

    What are your favorite/sexiest personal finance related topics at the moment to read about and discuss? And why?

    Being 27, single, out of debt with a good chunk of savings in the bank toward my first house (hopefully), my current favorite topics are:
    – Buying a house in cash vs. with a mortgage (pros/cons and first hand experience with saving and buying with cash
    – Financial independence – I want to hit this phase before I turn 45 (that’s 18 years from now)
    – Multiple sources of income – I’m very nervous having just one source of income and want to figure out hows to diversify more so I am not anxious anymore about any one of my income sources potentially going away

    I want to live differently than everyone else. I’m preparing for a future like that by saving everything I can right now, while I have full control of it and am single. I’m really interested in all things having to do with living my future differently with more financial health than the norm and want to get started immediately on it.

  • Andrea @SoOverDebt says:

    I blog from a behavioral finance standpoint because my background is in psychotherapy. I’m always interested in any posts that talk about the motivations behind our financial behaviors.

    Beyond that, I look for stories. I’ve learned a lot of how-to information about finance (or I know where to find it when I need it), so I like to hear how people are doing with their own money. It’s easier for me to relate when I have examples to follow.

  • Kate says:

    Maybe you’ve covered this, but how about the topic of earning more? I dread the feeling of being stuck at a job, and I often have the urge for change, but I’ve also realized that sometimes staying at your current job is the responsible choice. However, living courageously and negotiating more pay, or even more vacation time at a job is of interest to me.

    • HP says:

      Hi Kate – I believe there is often a way to make a safe and calculated career move to increase income. I understand that being loyal to an existing company may be a responsible choice, but so is positioning yourself to earn as much as possible to increase your/your family’s financial health :). I don’t see any harm in leaving a company as long as no bridges are burned. Feel free to msg me if you’d like to discuss further.

  • HP says:

    1. Generating income on the side (or a “Muse” as Mr. Ferris would call it). I’d be very interested in 20somethingfinance readers sharing their own successful (and unsuccessful) muses.
    2. Utilizing technology (mobile apps, websites, tools, etc) to streamline or augment your financial well-being.
    3. The current ROI of an MBA.
    4. Maximizing income over the course of a career.
    5. When and how to take a new job and negotiate offers (in my industry, unless you pursue a new opportunity after a few years you can quickly become underpaid when compared against your peers).

    • Pampibon says:

      I have just acknowledged that I yearn for a “side hussle”. I still want a career in policy/govt but I also want to dabble into different things. I’m thinking about waitressing and doing odd jobs in restaurants because when I retire, I’d like to open my own restaurant.

      I agree – I’d love to hear ppl’s views on their “muses”

  • Pampibon says:

    Mmh (I’m smacking my lips as I’m writing this)..

    Im a 25 yr old, single woman who’s very recently become conscious about my passion for responsible personal financial planning. I’m also a first generation American with a father who left everything behind so I think my passion originates from wanting to provide for him later on. So with that, these are my “sexy” topics:

    – Reasonable vs. typical American wardrobe. For those who like fashion, how to balance that w/ responsible budgeting
    – Long-term Family planning (trusts, wills, ect.)
    – Best cities – as in biggest bang for your buck. Low-cost and high quality of life. I became very aware of the importance of your location on your lifestyle after I moved from Miami to Tallahassee.
    – How to support a traveling lifestyle cost-effectively (timeshares, hostels, stupid ATM fees, making friends abroad, working abroad, ect.)
    – ROI on graduate degrees or cost of education in general

  • Lea says:

    I’d like to hear more real world stories about HOW people started a side business/blog/rental property/etc. So often I see advice saying “you need to generate passive income by starting a side business or getting a rental property,” as if just by starting it, you’re guaranteed to make money. I thought most businesses failed. I have no idea how to go about purchasing/maintaining/running a rental property. More practical advice would be great.

  • Mike says:

    Hello All,

    I seem to be in a similar boat to everyone else. I am 26 year old, debt free MBA student trying to strive here in New York. I live with my girlfriend and we keep expenses low. However, this keeps our entertainment budget to pajama night for most Saturdays. I do a bulk of the saving (around 30-35%) of my income as she has alot of student debt. However, I am currently interested in

    -creating a second income (something I want to pursue post degree)
    -Investing in DRPs (drips)
    -Effectively using Cash back bonus and AMEX points
    -Purchasing rental property vs purchasing one’s first home


  • Sean Hopcraft says:

    I’m still an advocate of budgeting articles and ways to save. There’s always 20 articles on financial independence for every 1 budgeting article. But it all comes back to that. Millionaire Next Door. Great Book.

  • Tomas says:

    I’d like to see a post about the time value of money (net present value, discounting, etc).
    For instance, I got an insurance policy that was ~$200/yr cheaper than the one I had. If you assume I can invest the extra $200 and get a 10% return, the savings are equivalent to staying with the old policy and getting a check of ~$2000 (yes, two _thousand_) in the present*.

    It’s also something that plays a role in buy vs rent decisions, and goes against the general wisdom that renting is always throwing your money away.

    (*) Sum($200 / (1 + 10%)^year) over the next n years

  • Tomas says:

    Also, I’m pretty interested in behavioral economics and the cognitive biases that make us behave irrationally with our money: loss aversion, status quo bias, endowment effect, mental accounting, etc


Enter your:

Home | Sitemap | Terms | ©