My Favorite Online Financial Resources

giftboxAs a gesture of thanks for your visit to my site, I want to share some valuable resources to help you get started on your journey to financial wellness. Below are some general information sites as well as some articles on relevant topics. Enjoy!

General Financial Knowledge:

Go Girl Finance – This is a terrific site geared specifically for women and is run by some very savvy leaders. They have some great education pieces along with opportunities for community (like chat parties) and articles to let you know you are not alone.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy – This site features some excellent tools for women of all different life stages, including: college students, retirees, business owners, people in crisis, and couples. The content is user friendly and is powered by the American Institute for CPAs.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – The agency boasts they “are on your side,” and they provide plenty of helpful resources to prove it. You can receive answers to specific questions or just improve your general financial knowledge.

Google Finance – Here are three Google Doc templates to help you begin your journey to financial health: Manage Your Expenses, Pay off Your Debt, and Grow Your Savings.

Yahoo Finance – This article called “11 Financial Lessons to Avoid Learning the Hard Way” provides a great set of cautionary tales and great advice on finance basics.

Money Magazine’s “Money 101” – This collection is a great way to jumpstart your financial education as it answers several of the most commonly asked financial questions, (just scroll down on the left side to see the full list).  A few of my favorites are: “How do I figure out my financial priorities?”, “Should I rent or buy a home?”, “How much house can I afford?” Of course, the answers on this site give some great guidelines, but don’t let the information you read here kill your dreams. The financial landscape is constantly changing, so it might be helpful for you to talk to a professional (I happen to know a great one … me!) to make sure the answer to your question is tailored for your individual situation.

Specific Financial Topics

 

 

Money Anxiety:

Top Ten Money Fears and What To Do About them – This Forbes article tackles the irrational side of our money lives, the part that can sometimes paralyze us and prevent us from taking control.  (Spoiler alert – I provide coaching to eradicate every one of those fears mentioned.)

Money Beliefs:

How Our Money Beliefs Hold Us Back – This terrific post by Liz Weston of Daily Worth will give you a glimpse into my coaching process. It’s difficult to change our money behaviors without acknowledging the beliefs that drive them.

Hiring Financial Help:

MoneyZen – Have you always wondered if there was a difference between a financial planner and an investment manager? Manisha Thakor is a brilliant leader and truth seeker who has a knack for telling it like it is.

10 Questions to ask a Financial Planner – As you delegate your financial responsibilities to someone else, you need to make sure they are representing your best interests.  The CFP Board has a handy list of interview questions you can pose when making this hiring decision. In my mind, the most often overlooked question is #9, but it is essential if you are going to build a trusting relationship.

Kids and Money:

U.S. News & World Report – “7 Ways Smart Parents Teach Their Kids about Money” – This article includes an allowance system that may or may not be unique to Schaffer, but I think it’s a great way to build a child’s understanding of money and its many uses.

Morningstar – “Some Curveballs in Teaching Kids About Money” – Here’s another one from Eleanor Blayney who raises some important issues around holiday gift giving.

Time.com – “8 Tips for Setting an Allowance That Works” – I cowrote this article with a sociologist to  combine the best financial practices with the best sociological tenets to create an effective allowance system for your kids.

College Planning:

www.SavingForCollege.com – This is the undisputed “must read” site on preparing to pay for college.  Here you will find calculators, scholarship and financial aid information, and savings plan recommendations.

GoGirl Finance – 529 Myth Busters – This article busts some common 529 myths and explores some alternatives for college savings plans.

Budgeting:

Dave Ramsey’s Tools – I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey. His recommendations are based upon sound advice and financial strategies. Just like any book author (as opposed to an expert who works with you), he is limited in his ability to give you tailored advice for your particular situation. But check out some of his tools, they are a great way to get started as you increase your financial health.

Positively Positive – Here are some great inspirations to shift your financial thinking, written by author Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame.

Debt Management

9 Part-Time Jobs that Pay Lots of Money – When you’re trying to get out of debt and you’re not spending money on frivolous purchases, it’s often easier to focus on the income side of your financial life.  The fastest way to payoff debt is to increase the cash coming in.  Money.com lists some interesting side-job ideas to get you started.

4 Strategies to Manage Consumer Debt – GoGirlFinance features some good suggestions for those trying to get out of debt, and only one of those suggestions is “Get on a budget.” That means there may be 3 other approaches you haven’t thought of. I am especially interested in the P2P option, a newcomer on the debt management scene.

Problem Solving:

Fred Kofman is a LinkedIn(fluencer) with some paradigm-shifting ideas to attack career problems, money problems, even relationship problems.  Check out Be A Hero: Five Steps to Vanquish Any Problem, an article full of challenges that may change your course, and The Mental Shift That Can Change Everything at Work, And Beyond which addresses the true meaning of living “in control.”

Getting the Most Out of Your Career:

Go Girl Finance – “Get Everything You Want” – Some tips to make you think about how important negotiation skills are for every woman, from Lisa Gates of www.SheNegotiates.com.

Huffington Post – “What I Know About Work” Featuring sage career advice from a professional woman in her 60s, this article will help guide your long-term perspective on your work (and with no censoring, consider yourself warned if you have delicate ears). Huffington Post columnist Ann Brenoff tells it like it is: “Someone once asked me to define myself, and I immediately said “writer and mom.” Truth is, I’m way more than the sum of my parts. I’m a best friend, a loving wife, an advocate for those who need me to be, and much much more. Being able to immerse yourself in your work is a wonderful feeling, but it can’t be everything.”

Kelly Studer – “The Biggest Lie of All” – Career stylist Kelly Studer (full disclosure, she’s a friend from college, but my bias doesn’t change the fact that she is brilliant) gives solid direction to career seekers: “If you’re not tapping into your innate talents, hard work and dedication will only get you so far…”

Daily Muse – “Negotiation After Maternity Leave” – If you are re-entering the work force, it’s important to have an accurate perspective on your gap years.  Did that time out reduce your value? Probably not, check out this article to learn more about negotiating your next job.

Saving for Retirement:

Money Magazine – “What’s the difference between a Traditional and Roth IRA?” –  Part of Money.com’s “Ultimate Guide to Retirement,” this article covers the basic advantages of Roths as of the year 2014.

Money Magazine – “Which Wins for Retirement? Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)?” – For those who have the option, this article lays out some important considerations.

Buying a Home vs. Renting:

Is it Better to Rent or Buy? – I believe there are lots of factors that should go into this crucial decision: life situation, emotions, and financial details.  This calculator is awesome for determining the financial side of the equation. Just don’t make this decision in a financial vacuum.

Humor:

Yes, money can be funny.  And my Pinterest Board on Women & Money might just change how you look at your finances, too.

Need more resources? Maybe you need a Financial Coach. Or check out this application for a complimentary financial coaching session so you can see how coaching can propel you to reach your financial goals and increase your financial peace.