Our Favorite Personal Finance Bloggers Share Their Best Tips

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If you're ever wanted to get into the minds of today's finest personal finance bloggers, now's your chance. I've talked to 30 and compiled what they consider their best financial tips.

What I appreciate about personal finance bloggers is that they don't just talk the talk; they walk the walk. In fact, they offered so much good advice, I had to divide their answers up into two more articles, published here and here.
Crystal Paine, MoneySavingMom. A very simple way to cut your spending is to get comfortable asking for a discount. My philosophy is that you never want to short-change someone, but it doesn't hurt to politely ask. The worst they can say is "no." Many stores are happy to give a discount on groceries that are close to the expiration date. Just ask. Think about using this tactic on staples your family uses every day -- like milk. If you're a member at a local gym or other club, and it's something you regularly use, ask them if they have any discount opportunities. If you volunteer once a month or help with a project, you might be able to get a sizable discount.
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers. My best tip on personal finance is to spend less than you make. It sounds like a rather simple strategy, but most folks don't use it. The best way to achieve that goal is to use an online budgeting service such as Mint and use it to compare your income to your overall monthly spending. If you're spending more than you make, you need to reduce what you pay for monthly bills and cut back on how much you spend on personal purchases. Once that's done, start setting aside your surplus for your long-term financial goals like retirement or a college fund for your children.
Tracie Fobes, Penny Pinchin' Mom. My best personal finance tip is to use cash and an envelope budget. It may seem old-school, but getting cash and using that for your day to day spending can actually help you gain better control of your finances. Create envelopes for each category and track your spending by writing it down each time you make a purchase. By doing so, you can not only see where your money goes, you will also know how much you have left to spend. When the money is gone -- you are done spending. This forces you to be accountable to yourself.
Luke Landes, Consumerism Commentary. Start paying attention. Self-awareness is the first step when it comes to improving any part of your life, and your finances are no different, whether you want to get out of debt or achieve financial independence. Take an inventory, know your financial net worth, and track your income and spending. Spend some time evaluating your situation and stop ignoring your financial problems. Only when you recognize and address the issues that hold you back will you be able to build a stronger financial future.
Jeff Rose, Good Financial Cents. Don't fall victim to the "entitlement syndrome." If you've found yourself saying, "I deserve [something] because I did ...," then most likely, you're splurging on some big-ticket item you don't need. Many people do this after a long week at work and then go splurge at the mall or dining out with friends. Enjoy the weekend -- just don't overspend to do it.
J. Money, Rockstar Finance. One of my favorite tips is to simply "take action." We get so caught up with thinking and researching and deciding on how to better our lives -- both financially and otherwise -- that often times we end up doing absolutely nothing because of analysis paralysis. So take a few seconds and decide on something right here and now, and then go and get started. You can always tweak things as time goes on (nothing's ever permanent), but at least you'll be that much closer to your future goals. You can't have a different future if you don't change something today.
Jeremy Biberdorf, Modest Money. Don't let your circumstances dictate your financial success. It's easy to sit back and say you won't get ahead because your employer rarely gives raises or your expenses are always going to be too high. Really though, people can almost always find ways to spend less and earn more. Tackle both sides at once for maximum success. Start tracking your expenses and set budgeting goals. Then think of how you could either get a higher-paying job or how you can develop a secondary source of income. Your free time doesn't have to go to watching TV.
Melissa Garcia, Consumer Queen. When planning a vacation, always check sites like Expedia or CheapOAir.com to find the best rates. You can save $80 to $100 on airfare just by flying midweek. The best travel dates are to fly in on a Wednesday and fly out on a Tuesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually good days to find special airfare deals as well. You can also take advantage of special travel rewards. Hotels.com has a special loyalty club that when you book 10 nights through them, you get one free. I also take advantage of all airline frequent flyer miles.
David Weliver, Money Under 30. Humans are irrational. Don't trust yourself to make the best financial decisions. If you can postpone making a big purchase, do it. Half the time you'll decide you didn't need it. Whenever you can automate things, do that, too. Split your paycheck so at least 10 percent goes into savings. Purchase mutual fund shares on a regular basis instead of trying to pick the next hot stock. And when you amass a modest nest egg, enlist a financial adviser. If nothing else, he or she will ensure you don't wire your money to a Nigerian prince when you get old and vulnerable.
Kyle Taylor, The Penny Hoarder. Pay for everything using a gift card. You can purchase gift cards for 5 percent to 25 percent off their face value on websites like Raise.com and Cardpool.com. It's an instant way to save on everything from your groceries to the gas station to your favorite clothing store. Plus, if you use your rewards credit card to purchase the gift card, you'll start to rack up some massive savings without having to change any of your shopping habits.

Ready for some more great advice? The other articles are: Robert Pagliarini is a national expert on sudden wealth. His wealth management firm has developed a unique process for handling the financial -- and often psychological -- issues of sudden wealth from inheritance, lottery, divorce, stock options, lawsuits, and sports/entertainment contracts. Connect with him on Twitter @rpagliarini or Google Plus.

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Pay for everything with gift cards? When did your lender start accepting this type of payment to pay your mortgage?. Property taxes, insurance, car payment, utility bills, gardener, electrician, plumber ? IRS now accepting gift cards for taxes owed? How about my broker? Will he now smile upon a gift card for my annual IRA contribution?

4 hours ago Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Saving money. Hmmmm.
1. Try not to live paycheck to paycheck. Plan for life ******* at times.
2. Try to have six months of budget saved up.
3. If married, or have children, get life insurance.
4. Try to enter into retirement debt free. You can save on things like gym (at Planet Fitness) and car insurance ($24/month at Insurance Panda). Try to cut back wherever.
5. Look at your family medical history. Average out how long your ancestors lived. Add 5 years to that average. Is it 68? 75? 92?
6. Now, plan to have what ever your budget is plus a 5% increase per year. If you have a 2k monthly budget now, that is 24k per year. Multiply that times an extra 5% per year. Finally, multiply that for how long you intend or think you will live. Me? My number is 144k (2kx12monthsx6years)(average family death=66 so I go to 71 (if I retire at 65).
My number will rise with inflation.
Now, this notion that we all need to save (or invest in 401's) 1 or 1.5 million dollars is what the BANKS want you to do.
7. What do I do with the rest of the money? LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST EVERYDAY YOU ARE ALIVE!!!!!!

4 hours ago Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to angel's comment

Spammer... Hmmmmm?. Yes, by golly. Another ad brought to you courtesy of "Pander' " insurance and a gym you do not need if you are on a tight budget.

4 hours ago Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If our society was not so undisciplined, we would not need the advice of bloggers. And because of the undisciplined nature of folks, all the advice in the world will not matter.

5 hours ago Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If you don't spend the government will just take in more illegals to take your money and spend it for you

6 hours ago Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Mark Laechel

I think a lot of people over look Contrarian Investing. Remember at the end of the 80's movie Trading Places when murphy and Akroyd did the opposite of what everyone else was doing on the trading floor? Thats how you make the money, to the tune of 30% a month EVERY month. Its not for everyone though...most people would rather stay in a safe mutual fund.

September 04 2014 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mark Laechel's comment

It works so well that you're spamming these comment boards with your crap.

5 hours ago Report abuse rate up rate down Reply