Instead of rounding up a bunch of my favourite personal finance posts from this past year, I thought I would put the pressure back on a few of my fellow bloggers and make them choose one of their own. Some found it more challenging than others (Liz compared it to choosing a favourite child), and others cheated and gave a couple of options 😉 Overall though, there were some great submissions, and I found it interesting to see what people chose in comparison to which of their posts stuck with me.
How I Became the Dumpster Dog (or, How I Saved $30,000 in 8 Months) by Amanda from Dumpster Dog Blog
I could (and would) have chosen any number of posts from Amanda because she has been killing it this year, but she went with her origin story. If you ever wondered how the ‘Dumpster Dog’ came to be, well, you’re in for all the dirty details in this post. Her story is inspiring in the ‘I couldn’t actually do that…could I?’ way but her formula is solid. Spend Less + Save More = Work Less.
What Experiencing A Job Layoff Is Actually Like by Matt from Spills Spot
I am incredibly lucky that I’ve never had to go through a job layoff, but the bf has and so I do, at least partially, understand the challenges. Matt lays out many of those challenges in this post, from dealing with the emotional lows to the financial consequences. He also provides a step by step plan for managing unemployment and getting yourself back in the game. I’m impressed that Matt has such a positive perspective just a few short months after being laid off. He’s found a new position that will offer him new opportunities, and he sees the upside of learning new skills over the comfortableness of his old job.
How I Survived Prison And Accidentally Found My Path to Wealth by Billy B. from Wealth Well Done (guest post on Budgets are Sexy)
I was so thrilled when Billy hit me up with this post as his favourite of the year. It would be way up there on my list if I had been doing this myself! His story is unique within the personal finance community because it started in prison. He spent ten years of his life behind bars and instead of using that as an excuse, he used it to advance himself and hone his skills. There are plenty of takeaways from this article, but the one that struck me the most was how Billy’s goal is to get back to a life ‘where money didn’t matter’, just like in prison. Interesting mindset, huh?
Married Finances: One Year In by Leigh from Leigh’s Financial Journey
Managing finances as a couple is never an easy task, and more often than not, ends up in an argument. Leigh dealt with that head-on this year by combining everything with her husband, and she shares the ups and downs in this post. The bf and I still keep things mostly separate so this was an interesting behind the scenes look at what we may have to work through if we choose to combine.
Why Talking About Money is the Best Medicine for Your Relationship from Mr Jamie Griffin
Another post about money and relationships; who would have thought personal finance bloggers loved talking about their love lives so much 😉 In this post, Jamie gets into all the nitty-gritty details about talking about money with your partner. It’s an essential but often hard topic to tackle, but he walks you through it and even provides a list of questions to get the conversation rolling.
Ok, PF Bloggers: Constructive Criticism by Jen from Tenacious Feminist
The bootstraps narrative (the mentality that you just have to work harder to make good things happen) has been getting criticized quite a bit recently because it is so often just plain wrong. Not everyone can find a new job or work a few more hours and get themselves out of debt. Too often there are societal issues that prevent people from reaching their goals. Tenacious J tackles all of this in her post and reminds us all the take advice with a grain of salt.
How And Why I’m Cutting Off My Father by Revanche from A Gai Shan Life
This is a devastating and very personal post that Revanche wrote about dealing with her less than ideal father. It is a tough read, and I can’t imagine how hard it was to write, but writing can be therapeutic and putting personal experiences out there can help both yourself and others.
Why You Should FIRE In Order To Learn How To Plan from Handy Millennial
If you guys have been around here for awhile, you’ll know that I’m not on the FIRE track, but I knew there would be at least a couple of FIRE posts popping up when I put out the call for posts. I love this post from Handy Millennial because it may have FIRE in the title, but it’s actually about making a plan and hitting your goals (something I’m terrible at), so it’s relatable no matter who you are or when you want to retire.
The Intersection Of Money And Mental Health by Erin from Reaching for FI
Money can be such a huge trigger for anxiety and stress, even for those of us who think they have their shit together (most of the time). Erin gets personal (another common theme in this list) about her struggle with depression and anxiety, and how money has played a role. Mental health is an important topic to cover, and I know that reading others accounts and how they’ve coped can be helpful, so I’m so glad that Erin shared.
My Struggles As An Investor by Matthew from All About The Dividends
Matthew is all about the dividend investing, and he’s an excellent follow if you’re interested in getting an inside look at his process. This post goes into detail about how he chooses his investments and some of the struggles he has as an investor. He’s also a Canadian which brings it’s own set on problems when trying to get into US holdings, and something I too struggle with.
Going Into Crisis Mode – When It All Goes to Hell by Liz from Chief Mom Officer
Another very personal post, this time about how Liz’s husband almost died from septic shock after having surgery and how that changed her outlook on financial stability. Luckily they did have insurance coverage, but high deductibles and other expenses quickly used up their emergency reserve. Liz and her husband were ok, but their story highlights the need for preparedness.
6 Hard Truths I Learned About Myself While Getting Out of Debt by Jenny from Good Life Better
Jenny is on a journey to pay off $60,000 in debt and has already made a serious dent in that by putting $2,500 a month towards debt repayment. Along the way, she has learned a few things along the way that triggered the build-up in debt in the first place. I’m confident many of these are familiar to a lot of people; I’m definitely an emotional spender!
Why A $1000 Raise Didn’t Change My Life from Budget Epicurean
Have you ever received a raise at work and within a few short months wondered where the heck that additional money disappears to? You don’t feel like you’re spending any extra, but your bank account sure isn’t growing. That’s lifestyle inflation! The Budget Epicurean tackles that premise and what she did with at $1,000 to make sure it didn’t end up getting eaten up by lifestyle inflation.
Retire Early From Obligation (Not Necessarily Your Job) from Tread Lightly, Retire Early
This is the sort of early retirement post I can get behind…the kind that doesn’t have you retiring all that early 😉 There’s this thinking that to be a part of the FIRE movement you have to have a goal of retiring really early (like in your 30s or maybe 40s). Those of us who just want to hit financial independence but keep on working because we enjoy our jobs don’t fit with that narrative.
Early Retirement Chose Me from Physician on Fire
Here’s another post on FIRE from someone who fits that early retirement stereotype 😉 Well, kind of. Unlike many FIRE pursuers, Physician on FIRE fell into the movement without a lot of pre-planning. It’s an interesting take, and his reasoning makes a lot of sense to me. The one thing that’s common to these posts that were contributed here is that you don’t necessarily have to retire early, which goes against my thinking.
Financial Personalities from Solitary Diner
There is a definite correlation between how organized you are with your money and how much you worry about money. Solitary shares an example of how her situation differs from that of a close friend, and it makes perfect sense to me. It’s a balancing act for sure. If you’re continually running net worth projections or tracking the progress of your investments you are absolutely going to worry more about what’s happening.
Uncomfortable Expensive Meals by Becca from Can I Save Money
Becca details an awkward dining experience with friends where her people pleaser character comes into conflict with her money-saving goals. I’m sure this is an experience a lot of us can relate too. Who hasn’t spent too much on an event they didn’t want to be at in the first place?! The difference is that Becca stuck to her guns, something I doubt I would have done in a similar situation.
10 Ways to Destroy Your Student Debt: Lessons from a Bitter Postgrad by Dave from Common Cents Millennial
Struggling to pay off your student loan debt? Dave has been there….$150,000 worth of been there! I consider myself incredibly lucky to have made it out of university without student loans (thanks mom and dad), but that is not the case for many of us millennials. Follow Dave’s ten tips to crush your student debt and get yourself on track for financial independence right along with him.
This Is Where It All Begins… from Mawer Money
We all have a reason why we started blogging, and Greg lays that out in his vision post that sets the path for what’s to come on his blog.
And since I couldn’t let myself off the hook entirely, I chose my favourite post from this past year. I’m going with You Don’t Need to Love Math to Love Finance. This post gets into the bad relationship I’ve always had with math but how I still ended up working in finance and writing about money. It’s a weird thing, but it somehow works for me!
And your holiday reading list is now complete! If you’d like to join in the fun, then feel free to link your favourite post of the year down in the comments.
This will be my last post before Christmas, so I hope Santa spoils each and every one of you and you get to spend time doing whatever it is that makes Christmas special for you. I’ll check in with you next week when we’re all living off turkey leftovers and playing with our new goodies.
This post was proofread by Grammarly.