Ask the grumpies: Favorite PF blogs?

Rosa asks:

would you do a post of PF bloggers you recommend (including the hate reads if you have them)? My old favorites have all devolved or disappeared.

Many of our old favorites either suck or have disappeared as well!

Obviously there’s the folks we consider regular members of the grumpy rumblings community:

miser mom, leightpf, agaishanlife, nzmuse, donnafreedman, middleclassrevolution, plantingourpennies, and stackingpennies though many of these don’t post about finances as often as they may have used to.  Of these, I think miser-mom is the most regular “frugal” blogger (and that’s probably only true while she’s on sabbatical!) and LeightPF and Planting Our Pennies are the most regular high-income bloggers (though neither are as frequent as they used to be).  There are people on Ana’s blogroll (including Ana) who occasionally post about finances even though they’re not really part of the “PF community”.  (Our current favorite is Two Adults One Child.)

For people who aren’t semi-regular commenters here, I don’t know that there’s much.  I occasionally check in on retireby40, though I’m not really sure why.   Similarly with EvolvingPF though she doesn’t post often anymore.

Like Leah, I occasionally look at FrugalWoods, but I sort of feel like that site only has maybe 8 (lengthy) posts that just recycle with slightly different words or slightly different ideas.  (Even the pictures repeat!)  Which I know is a different complaint than most people have about FW(!)

I also sometimes read the mr. money moustache forums, but the best comments there are generally by friend-of-grumpy-rumblings, bogart who should really have her own blog (as should Rosa!).  Like most fora, it’s a mix of very silly people and some interesting people, but not worth being a member for us.  The bogleheads forum is better at providing information when I am googling, but I never go there regularly.

We’re not GOMI so you’re not going to get our hate-reads (especially since #1 has so leechblocked them from everything except the ipad).  I will say though that I’m not a fan of PF blogs that are mostly sponsored posts.  That’s not a hate-read so much as being annoyed when I forget and click on a snappy headline.

So yeah, I don’t know.  I know there’s still a lot of personal finance to learn about and to think about, but to be honest, the only PF blogs I’ve really picked up anything that I didn’t already know or hadn’t thought about in recent memory were LeightPF’s and Miser Mom’s.  I don’t know if that’s me or if that’s just the bulk of PF writers focusing on low-hanging fruit.  (I do always get a little excited when one of the academic or slice-of-life blogs that I read talks PF.)  But it’s not like I’m writing all that much new about personal finance either, so… (but hey, come by every Money Monday anyway!)

Grumpy Nation– what PF blogs do you love or hate read?  Any recommendations for Rosa?

Update: how could I forget Walter updegrave? I find him to be incredibly knowledgeable and trustworthy and am bummed that his Money posts are no longer on their website. However, he has a new site here: http://realdealretirement.com .

57 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Favorite PF blogs?”

  1. ralucacoldea Says:

    I have 2 suggestions for you, both non-us: http://simple-living-in-suffolk.co.uk/ – in uk
    http://www.savespendsplurge.com/ – in canada

  2. Catwoman73 Says:

    Thanks for the link love! :)

    I like this blog-
    http://boomerandecho.com
    I, personally, find their posts quite useful for my current situation, and the post very regularly.

  3. Leigh Says:

    The problem is that the people who aren’t in blogging for money and just sharing their personal journey will not write as many good posts anymore once they figure things out. The people in it for monetization will keep writing posts.

    I also like:
    http://ournextlife.com
    http://livingafi.com/
    http://whitecoatinvestor.com/
    http://thefinancebuff.com
    http://moneyaftergraduation.com is geared for the younger crowd, but she has some good riling up posts.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Of these I think I had only seen the first one. It is another early retirement blog. (They don’t believe in capitalization of letters.)

      I think you are absolutely right about the evolution of pf blogs.

      • Leigh Says:

        Oh and 1500 days is good too. Also early retirement. And Mad Fientist.

        I like having a WordPress blog rather than a self hosted one as then I can just post as often as I have the time to do so! Maybe over Christmas break I will write a stockpile of blog posts while we are visiting the in laws for a whole week (!) in the middle of nowhere with no car (!)

    • Rosa Says:

      ooh, good point. And thank you for all the links!

      I wish I were more interested in the stock market, it was always my mom’s hobby and people who like to follow investment news have a lot of blogs/discussion areas. I just can’t make myself care, though.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        On average, people who try to beat the market don’t even meet the market (which is worse than would be predicted picking randomly). Stick with low fee broad based index funds and you will do better than most people who do research.

      • ralucacoldea Says:

        Take a look at http://monevator.com/. It’s the one good blog that I found on investing, although it’s UK centric. It has 3 writers: the investor. the accumulator and the greybeard. Each have their strengths: the accumulator talks about index investing, the investor about the markets and the greybeard about pensions.

      • Rosa Says:

        that is what we do! I do have a small play money account for single pick stocks, but I generally don’t add anything to it because I just don’t care. The people who try to beat the market seem to entertain themselves a lot in the effort, though.

  4. Leigh Says:

    Agh I think my comment had too many links in it and got spent to spam!

  5. Rosa Says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, but not only would I be a terrible blogger (I’ve failed to keep a journal since I was a little kid, over and over!) but I am a terrible financial example – all my posts would basically by “Oh my God i just spent $300 at the grocery store, can you believe how rich we are these days?” and “YAY I CONVINCED MY HUSBAND TO HIRE SOMEONE FOR THIS PROJECT”. And decluttering/organizing posts, which you would hate.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      So half Laura Vanderkam, half the stuff on Ana’s blog roll?

      I’m not against decluttering– I’m against the belief that getting rid of stuff will magically fix your life or the idea that not decluttering makes people bad people. Also when people with money problems declutter, don’t sell the stuff for money, and then go buy more stuff because something feels wrong.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Ps I totally get you in the omg I spent $300 and its ok we’re rich thing. I do feel pretty out of touch with both us us employed and DH making a tech salary. .#2 is also in a similar situation now that she is out of academia!

      • Rosa Says:

        it is very strange. I still kind of expect my debit card to be declined when the total’s that high (it never has been, at the grocery store – back when I had no money in the account, I just only used cash. Or only ate free food.)

    • Leigh Says:

      I have so many of those posts in my head and don’t want to write them. My boyfriend and I were joking the other day that neither of us know how much milk costs at the grocery store. Or anything else really. We just buy delicious food and everything is fine.

      I’m a bit jealous of his savings rate now! It’s higher than mine even though he spends more. I should write a post about my feelings of him making more than me now. It’s a weird feeling.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        At least we know we’re out of touch… not everybody does(!)

        I keep seeing women’s salaries getting out of alignment with men’s salaries as they continue working. Whether or not they have kids. Each little difference in % race or failure to promote makes a big difference.

      • Leigh Says:

        Yup. I’m pretty sure he will get the next promotion faster than me. I have a chance to figure it out at my new job though at last which is awesome!!! The inappropriate humans at my last several jobs made that impossible. Part of why I’ve made more than him so far is that I got the first promotion faster and earlier than him. I feel bad worrying about not getting big raises sometimes though because I already make so much money to begin with. But it’s still a principle problem that women don’t get promoted as quickly and tech is an industry where people are more financially independent and thus more likely to speak up about things that they don’t agree with and walk away if they don’t get their demands. People in lower paying industries don’t have that luxury as much. I hope we can use our powers to bring things like paid maternity and paternity leave to other industries too.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Right now I’m pretty upset at how my salary is lower than all the men in my department, even when we started out about the same and have about the same number of publications etc. and they haven’t gone on the market. It’s just been small % differences each year, but now those small differences are pretty huge.

      • Leigh Says:

        Yup. I spent several years getting small raises and him getting big ones so that now he’s ahead of me – he should make about 10-20% more than me next year. This job pays less and has a longer commute. But other things are better, so maybe it’s okay? But it really upsets me that I had to look for a job where the humans are less inappropriate but now I’m making less money. No man would have done that.

      • Rosa Says:

        i have a very small group of people I can talk about money with at all, because we’re such a weird combination of frugal spending habits and positive net worth. We have middle class friends who generally spend a lot more than we’re comfortable with, working class friends who spend like we do on visible stuff but don’t have the financial cushion we have to not worry about their spending, and punk/DIY friends who are horrified at how much money I throw at random problems i don’t want to solve. It just gets more and more socially awkward as we all age and our money/career/family differences become more and more apparent.

        I would totally read posts on either of those topics, though – my husband jokes that I make less money every year he’s known me, and it’s almost true. We’ve gone from near parity to me making about 25% of household income when I work full time and way, way less than that the last few years.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        We know all those people too! At Christmas last year it was really apparent how we had diverged from most of DH’s family in terms of almost every aspect of money. And they’re not the same as each other either. We are definitely a weird mix of more frugal and spending more, just on different things. Like we spend on insurance and they spend on stuff.

      • Revanche Says:

        I’d love to read that post! I’m just making my peace with the fact that PiC has finally caught up to me in a huge way in salary and I won’t be able to catch him up without a job change because I’ve hit the ceiling here. My competitiveness makes this a not-totally out of the question thought … :) But given the differences in our industries, that was inevitable, and I’m a little surprised that it didn’t happen sooner.

  6. Debbie M Says:

    Besides you and Miser Mom, my favorites are Eco Cat Lady and Saving Money in Your Twenties. The former has a lot of cat pictures but also lots of ideas on how to accomplish things cheaply. She is a homeowner with cats and a garden and a low-paying job. She’s having trouble with some outdoor cats just now, but read earlier posts! Here’s a good example:
    http://ecocatlady.blogspot.com/2014/03/handycat-to-rescue.html

    The latter is a young woman who lives in an apartment with her boyfriend and just finished a stint of working for herself only and taken a regular job that she likes. She likes pretty things (Target) and wine tasting and Starbucks but has a strong focus on prioritization. Her dad just died unexpectedly, but read earlier posts! Like this one:
    http://www.savingmoneyinyourtwenties.com/blog/work-snacks

    I also enjoyed Dividend Mantra but it has apparently just gone through a change that has ruined it (very recently–maybe it will get fixed?). But he’s been blogging less as he’s figured things out and moved toward better-paying writing jobs. He focuses on financial independence via dividend growth investing and frugal living. Here’s an example:
    http://www.dividendmantra.com/2015/06/live-more-than-one-lifetime/

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I wonder why I stopped reading ecocatlady. I really liked her YMoYL series (IIRC).

      I’m not really a fan of dividend investing (in theory, anyway). Unless you’re low income (which, granted, most early retirement people technically are) and get the low income dividend tax break, it makes a lot more sense to buy stocks that appreciate rather than spit out dividends. So I guess it applies to that segment of the population but not to a lot of people who end up paying more taxes than they should because they don’t understand dividends vs. appreciation. (Still, I smile when I get my quarterly dividend from my single utility stock. But I don’t even notice my index drips until tax time.)

      • Debbie M Says:

        Yeah, I’m doing dividend growth investing with a tiny percentage of my money. You may have uncovered one of my irrationalities. I love how dividend income like this can just go up faster than inflation and faster than my raises ever did (especially if I re-invest the dividends) without having to sell the underlying stocks.

        But most of my non-pension investments are in Vanguard index funds.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        you’re retired though, so you may be benefiting from the low to no dividend taxes for low income peeps

      • Debbie M Says:

        True. In fact, I have always been “poor” enough for that (average income – high property taxes – 10% charitable contributions = never seeing the other side of the 15% tax bracket). But those are outside my IRA which is 100% index funds.

  7. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    I do wonder how much personal finance we ought to be putting on this blog. For those who aren’t long-term readers, every Monday is a money post, but the definition of “money post” has kind of drifted since we started the blog. We can do a lot more “basics” stuff, but there seems to be mixed interest. So I dunno.

  8. chacha1 Says:

    The only PF blog I check in at with any regularity is MMM, because mostly I find his writing style entertaining, and sometimes I need a prod to not be so lazy and get out of my comfort zone. Sometimes the hyperbole or testosterone makes me roll my eyes, but my feeling is that if, as a result of reading, even one other person adopts a strategy that gets them out of debt and into savings, the blog has kind of earned its keep. Also it is not chock full of ads and crap like GRS (new version).

    My thing is that by any reasonable measure I am doing very, very well financially – even if from paycheck to paycheck I sometimes feel pinched. I’m aware that my version of feeling pinched is the rich person’s version. I’m pinched because I paid tuition for a course that secured me a job that will earn me more money, not because I make minimum wage; or because I traded in a car that actually ran pretty well in favor of a newer car, just to get better fuel economy and avoid a major repair (and, okay, to get a working radio and door locks), not because the bus pass costs 20% of my take-home pay. Both of those are uncommon expenses that, once removed from the balance sheet, will leave me squarely back in saving-$1000-a-month territory.

    What I need is a PF blog that my *husband* would read and take to heart. I’ve tried him on some MMM but I don’t think he’s bought in.

  9. Ana Says:

    haha SPOT ON re: FW

  10. Miser Mom Says:

    Thanks for all the nice nods! But now I feel guilty about not posting anything for a week (depleted from a fast, plus travel).

    I’m going to add, in addition to some of the good blogs above, http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/. She’s got a much more materialistic bent than I’m comfortable with, and I often get a squeamish reaction to her cutesy-ness. Um, yeah. But she doesn’t shy away from fixing things herself, or getting into the details of how to make something, and she’s got excellent pictures. I find if I’m patient I can learn some good stuff there.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Frugal girl has too many affiliate posts. I mean, I know that’s a big part of her income and good for her, but I just don’t want to read them. Especially when she and Modern Mrs. Darcy are posting exactly the same affiliate thing. (They both show up on blogrolls and must appeal the same demo.)

      Her fixing posts are definitely interesting, similar to Mr. Money Moustache. But not as widely prevalent as ads for buying things.

      • Miser Mom Says:

        Agreed on the too-many “you can buy this!” posts. I try to tune those out. I thought it was just me who hates those, because, well, because I’m Miser Mom. But when I stop reading her for a while, I regret it and go back.

        But thanks to you (and everyone else) for all these other links. I really ought to check some of them out — I definitely feel like I’ve been narrowing in too much lately.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I don’t think anybody actually likes them, but they’re how many bloggers make money.

  11. Katherine Says:

    I’ve stopped reading most PF blogs (or rather, I know I should stop because it’s just making me feel bad). I think this one and Miser Mom are the only ones I’m really enjoying right now. I used to really like the POPs and a few others, but now that my husband and I are living on one stipend, reading about people’s high savings rates or first-world money problems just gets me down. (And yes, I fully realize that my money issues are first-world problems, too.)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      If you click on the feral homemaking link on our blogroll (she hasn’t updated in ages), her blogroll goes pretty much the opposite direction of extremely low income super-frugal folks. Not entirely, but there’s quite a few.

  12. Blogger Says:

    My favorite right now is AffordAnything.com. I also like MMM, financialsamurai.com, thebrokeandbeautifullife.com, Clubthrifty.com, and many others.

  13. Michelle Says:

    My favorite right now is http://AffordAnything.com. I also like MMM, http://financialsamurai.com, http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com, Clubthrifty.com, and many others.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Afford Anything is really good. She doesn’t update much, but it is totally worthwhile when she does.

      Club Thrifty has been a bit too much in the every post is an advertising post recently which is why it isn’t listed in this post even though it was in our initial response. I suppose they’re trying to capture some holiday spending, but there needs to be a bit more wheat with the chaff.

  14. Rosa Says:

    ooh, I realized I read one that nobody’s mentioned – http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com

    It’s not really a PF blog, she’s a Compact follower who blogs about it, but most of her posts are frugality or extra income focused. She loves free stuff and resells stuff from thrift stores and stuff.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I check her out sometimes off the feral homemaking blog roll. I like the way she has consistently not bought a Lear jet.

      I don’t think I could handle spending all that time shopping.

      • Rosa Says:

        yeah, i think part of why she still always has something to say is that she has the money personality of one of the always hustling types you find in the early retirement/pay off debt bloggers, but the environmental ethics of a Compact blogger, and navigating that is not something you just do until you’re finished. There’s always some tension.

  15. sherry @ save. spend. splurge. Says:

    I am liking all these recommendations particularly since my blogroll has been getting smaller and smaller. I’m reading a lot less.. to the point where I put this blog as a “money one”.. on my blogroll. LOL.

  16. First Gen American Says:

    Although I understand the desire to make some money off blogs, I find monetized blogs hard to read. For example, I used to love Martha Stewart’s blog for recipes. and When I tried going on it during thanksgiving, it was hard to even navigate it without it trying to redirect me to other sites. so sad.

    I have lost interest in reading PF blogs. This is the only one I still read regularly. I was more into it when I still had short term debt reduction goals. I am just in a different place in life now.

  17. Miser Mom Says:

    Ooh, I have a question for the grumpies: recommendations on tax software? I used Turbo Tax for years. But it got harder and harder to get set up properly (especially because it’s not really meant as a Mac program). Last year was especially wonky — I tried to switch from “premium” to “deluxe”, or some such — and the program sort of imploded. Their tech support pointed me to a website that was so convoluted that I had to take my computer to my college’s tech people. Thank goodness my college was willing to help me on this, since it’s personal software!


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