I love to read. Here are some of the most influential writers in shaping my thinking about the relationship of money to building a great family life.
Frugalwoods: Follows the story of Mr. & Mrs. Frugalwoods (and now their two young daughters) as they achieve their dream to homestead in rural Vermont through frugal living. Elizabeth Willard Thames published a memoir recently that recounts her journey. I reviewed her uplifting book when I read it.
Mad Money Monster: Lisa has a wealth of life experiences (single parent, growing up in poverty, purchasing a mini-mansion with an ex, etc.), a sharply analytical mind, and a refreshingly balanced approach to financial independence. She’s a good inspiration for people (like me) who may have made a few stumbles on the road to financial independence, but generally work to achieve their goals.
Mr. Money Mustache: Mr. Money Mustache and his wife banked huge percentages of their income to retire early (age 30). He began writing about his philosophy of intense frugality in 2011. His writing style is quite edgy and his thinking radical, but he’s a bastion of honest sanity against mindless consumerism. Plus, the forums are a haven of crowd-sourced advice for individuals trying to become financially independent and retire early.
Cait Flanders: Longtime Canadian blogger Cait Flanders recently published her first book about her year long ban on shopping: The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store. I reviewed the book here. While not strictly a financial or frugality blogger, her posts about mindfulness in consumption and her original project to pay off her consumer debt quickly, using the blog to hold herself accountable, make for excellent reading.
Broke Millennial: Erin Lowry is a witty, honest writer whose insights and clarity about all things personal finance are impressive. Her book of the same title as her blog is my go-to recommendation for younger folks looking for a good, engaging, comprehensive introduction to personal finance. I reviewed it here.
Here are some blogs/websites/books that shaped my thinking a long time ago, I will forever be grateful for what they gave me at the time, but I no longer follow their work with regularity, for various reasons. They still offer great insights, but not what I’d recommend now.
I began following the personal finance site Motley Fool in 2000. I read this book, and it answered all the questions that had bothered me about how my family of origin handles spending, saving, and debt. I learned about the idea of “living below your means” and compound interest and assets vs. liabilities through the articles on the site and in the book. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the site for investment advice anymore (and they’ve moved much of their content, like the very helpful forums, behind a pay wall), but I did enjoy the Gardner brothers’ writing style and practical advice when I was young. Inspired by their work, I began to save, mostly avoid debt when I was younger, and invest in index funds from a young age. I credit them with introducing me to the rich world of writing about personal finance. All good things. If I were 18 years younger, Broke Millennial (see above) would probably have done the same thing for young Diana.
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