As you know, 20somethingfinance just turned 5. To mark the occasion, I’m highlighting the best posts over the first five years.
While the first of this two-parter highlighted the best ideological posts, this one will get down to the nuts and bolts strategy.
Ideology tends to drive strategy. But once you have your values sorted – whether it’s time, career, money, independence, minimalism, stuff, charity, relationships, family – it’s time to kick some ass or forever be stuck in a state of inaction.
So I’ve put together a list of the top 50 tactical personal finance posts over the first five years, broken down by category. Not an easy task, but one that should help readers navigate the 600 article archive that’s been built.
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- Money Saving Products I Use: If you are looking for a strategic cliff notes, this article is it. I highlight all of the money saving tools/resources that I use and recommend.
- Free Google Docs & Excel Personal Budget Spreadsheet: I put together a free budget planning spreadsheet way back in 2008 that I still use to this day and share it with readers. It has been used by tens of thousands of readers.
- The Best Gas Rewards Card: 5% Cash Back & No Annual Fee!: Why the Penfed Visa is the perfect gas card.
- Best Grocery Rewards Card with 6% Cash Back?!: How I get 6% cash back on my groceries.
- Credit Karma Now Offering Free Credit Monitoring: One of my favorite free resources, Credit Karma, had previously offered free credit scores. Now they are offering free credit monitoring.
- How to Get 3 Free Credit Reports Annually: Having a clean bill of health with your credit is important. Here is how to get three free credit reports per year so you can find and fix what might be broken.
- What’s in my Wallet?: A look at what you can find in my wallet.
- How I Scored a Lifetime of Physical Therapy, Massage, and Chiropractor work for $60: Two small devices have led to an awesome return on investment.
- 8 Personal Finance Spring Cleaning Ninja Tips: How to clean up your finances with minimal time investment.
- How to Reach Health Insurance Nirvana: I highlight how you can completely wipe out your health care costs with an HDHP and HSA.
- HDHP vs. PPO Costs: A look at the results of my first full year of an HDHP (after switching from a PPO). Did it pay off?
- What are CPT Codes?: If you don’t know what CPT codes are, you better find out right now.
- How Much Life Insurance Should you Buy?: Most of us are overpaying for life insurance. Find out why…
- How to Save on Auto Insurance: A list of common auto insurance discounts to seek out to lower your cost.
- Why you NEED to Start Investing: Everyone has fear about investing, particularly beginners. Let this post inspire you to overcome that fear – before it’s too late.
- How to Invest in Small Amounts as a Beginner: I overcome the most common objections and concerns with getting started investing.
- Is the U.S. vs. International 80/20 Rule a Conspiracy?: A look at why you probably need to shift more of your assets to international investments.
- 7 Online Brokers with Commission-Free ETF Trading: ETF’s are a great way to lower investing costs when passively investing. The problem? Trading fees. But what if you don’t have to pay them?
- How to Not Invest Like a Pro (and beat them) with Passive Index Investing: Passive index investing is the best way for amateur investors to join the investing world.
- An Introductory Guide to Dividend Investing: Want to invest in dividend stocks but aren’t quite sure how? I explain the basics.
Retirement & Savings
- How Much Money would you Need to Walk Away?: I press readers to explore exactly how much money they would need to accumulate before walking away from the working world.
- The First Steps to Stop Dreaming & Start Retiring Now: A motivation post on lifestyle design.
- The Shockingly Low Amount of Retirement Savings Per American: This post should serve as motivation to get your retirement plan in order right now.
- Emergency Savings Fund: Why, How Much, Where?: I cover the basics on starting and maintaining an emergency savings fund.
- The Before you Turn 30 Financial Goals Checklist: A roadmap for savings goals for twenty-somethings.
- Stop Complaining & Start Acting on High Gas Prices: We do a whole lot of complaining on high gas prices, but we need to start acting – to our own benefit.
- 5 Reasons to Not Build a New Home: Building a home is one of the worst things you could do for the environment and your finances. Here’s why…
- Frugality Through Vegetarianism: How to Save $2K-$3K Per Year & the Planet by Moving Away from a Meat-Based Diet: The title pretty much says it all! And, no, I do not miss cheeseburgers.
- Reducing my Commute will Fund my Retirement: The huge impact reducing a commute can have on your finances.
- Riding a Bike to Work: I started riding a bike to work again, and offer up some motivation for you to do the same.
- How to Recession Proof Yourself: There are certain skills/characteristics/jobs that can make an individual immune to recessions. I explore what they are.
- The 4 Pillars that will Bring Job Security: Job security is hard to come by, but here are some types of jobs that don’t have to worry about it.
- How to Get Paid to do what you Love: An introduction to my “marketable hobby” concept.
- 55 Marketable Hobbies that you Love & Can get Paid for: This post was written to squash the self-defeating notion that “there’s no work for me to do that I enjoy”.
- How Much Should you Spend on an Engagement Ring?: The answer might surprise you.
- My Cheap Wedding: I detail how I had a kickass wedding for less than $3k.
- Reader Case Study: Help Where’s all my Money Going?: Readers and I analyze and try to help out a friend who is trying to get his finances in order.
- Extreme Couponing: Find out whether I’m a fan or critic of this emerging trend.
- How to Control Wants & Impulsive Buying: I designed a method to help you cut down on buying crap.
- Why Spend Less than you Earn is Flawed Finance Advice: Somehow the advice to simply “spend less than you earn” lives on. I discuss why it needs to die.
- How to Buy Quality EyeGlasses Online & Save Hundreds: Eyeglasses are expensive. I detail how you can buy them online for a fraction of what you would at an optometrist.
- The Student Debt Cocktail: Why student loan debt can lead to a lot of pain and how to fight it.
- The 5 Worst Twenty-Something Personal Finance Blunders: 5 common spending mistakes most twenty-somethings make.
- Electricity Costs to Power Common Household Devices: I found a tool to measure the amount of electricity consumption needed to power every device in my home and share the results with all of you.
- The Lifetime Cost of Cable TV: If you still have a cable TV subscription, you might not after reading this article.
- How to Replace your Comcast Modem with your Own: Making this move will save you your utility company’s outrageous $7/month modem rental fee.
- The Two Things Everyone Should do to Lower Heating Costs this Winter: There are two simple things you can do to lower your heating costs significantly right away.
- How Much Should you Put Towards a Down Payment?
- How to Get Rid of PMI: I discuss what PMI is, how it works, and how to get rid of or avoid it.
- How to Sell your House FSBO in 3 Months for Almost Nothing: I bought and sold a home “for sale by owner” and share what I learned.