There are so many financial resources to learn about personal financial management, including official government websites, educational sites, non-profit organizations, and financial counselors and advisors. It can be hard to keep track of all of the financial resources. I typically start with Google, but it is important to check if the resource is reliable. Here are some financial resources that I’ve enjoyed browsing:
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers assistance, information on laws and regulations, and the ability to submit a complaint. http://www.consumerfinance.gov
- Tool & Calculators: http://www.sec.gov/investor/tools.shtml
- AnnualCreditReport.com – Receive a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, free once per year for each bureau (so you can get your credit report three times per year)!
- Learn about consumer issues, taxes, unclaimed money, buying from the government (auctions), currency, growing a business, and more via https://www.usa.gov/money.
- Protect your valuables and use RFID sleeves so that your passport and credit cards cannot be scanned and stolen!
Overall Money Management
- Financial Planning Notebook – Various options available, like this one:
- I love using various calculators to help figure out my latest financial goals. Here is one of many savings calculators, this one from FINRA (http://apps.finra.org/Calcs/1/Savings) or this from ING Direct (http://www.ingdirect.com.au/savings/calculators/savings.html).
- Military Savings Deposit Program (SM deployed invest up to $10k at 10%) http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/sdp.html
- Investment calculators & tools: https://www.fidelity.com/calculators-tools/investing/overview
- FINRA BrokerCheck: A free tool to help you determine whether to start or continue doing business with a particular firm.
- FINRA Market Data: Information about bonds.
- Fund Analyzer: Information & analysis on over 18,000 mutual funds, ETFs, & ETNs.
- Pimco.com – A fixed-income specialist’s site to get the big picture and what to expect in every area of the bond market.
- Estimize.com – Estimates the earnings and revenue estimates using hedge fund, brokerage, independent, and amateur analysts.
- TSP.gov – This is important for service members to check regularly. After signing up via MyPay to contribute to your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), you can manage the plan, check the balance, transfer between funds, etc. all via TSP.gov.
- Service members receiving tax-free combat-zone pay can contribute tax-free to Roth, and contributions/earnings come out tax-free too!
- CNN Money’s Basic Investing Guide
- How your claiming age affects your Social Security retirement benefits via Consumer Finance.
- Roth IRA Pros/Cons: http://money.cnn.com/pf/money-essentials-roth-ira/index.html
- FINRA Investment Tools
- Retirement Calculator
- Retirement Estimator
- 401(k) & IRA Required Minimum Distribution Calculator
- 401(k) ‘Save the Max’ Calculator
- ReadyForZero: Helps put together a plan to pay down your debt.
- U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Stability, which manages the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
- Who better than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to give information, tools, forms, and news regarding taxes!
- Kiplinger’s Tax Calculator: Use this free tax-withholding calculator to make sure you’re not paying Uncle Sam too much.
- Save and Invest – Everyday finances, credit & debt, legislation, college, retirement, & transition
- Service Members Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Military One Source has a section dedicated to personal finances and benefits!
- Each Marine Corps installation has an MCCS Personal Financial Management department, all with their own websites. For example, here’s the MCCS Okinawa Personal Financial Management site with resources, tools, downloads, and more.
- A simple calculator to compare lender discounts on federal student loans and private-loan options.
- Post 9/11 GI Bill covers full cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges for up to 36 months or $21,085 annually for private colleges (plus a housing stipend and money for books and tutoring).
- Service members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) costs only 7 cents per $1,000 of coverage per month, and service members can add $100,000 of coverage for a spouse for as little as $60 per year if he/she is under age 35.
- Insure.com – Accurate insurance quotes from numerous insurers.
- AccuQuote.com – Personalized insurance coverage offers.
- InsWeb.com – Auto insurance quotes from several large companies.
- eHealthinsurance.com – Immediate quotes for many insurers including consumer reviews.
- Naic.org/cis – Review a company’s complaint ratio (the number of complaints for every dollar collected in premiums). The lower the better!
- Nolo.com – 40+ years’ experience, easy to navigate, and mostly free! Practical advice and clear information on a wide range of legal issues.
- Better Business Bureau
- U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance
- Veterans Administration loans (VA loans)
- Underwater home
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Buy real estate from the U.S. Government through https://www.usa.gov/auctions-and-sales.
- Buy cars from the U.S. Government
- Buy used cars from rental car agencies! Here are a few:
- The Big Short by W. W. Norton
- MarketPsych by Wiley
- Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0 by Wiley
- Retail Me Not
- Shoeboxed: Digitize & organize receipts and expenses.
- com – Easy to use and quick way to find online coupon codes!
- FINRA Investor Tools
- Scam meter
- Consumer Information including jobs, making money, homes, mortgages, money, credit, & scams.
- LastMinute.com – Last minute travel deals.
- Check out these actions and sales through the U.S. Government!
- CNN Money
- Financial Times
- Google Finance
- Wall Street Journal
- Americans are moving to Europe for free college degrees (CNN Money)
- 14 Great Movies about Money and Wall Street (Money)
- 12 Qualities of Self-Made Millionaires (Entrepreneur)
- NFL Finance Class for its players (Market Watch)
- Consumerist.com – Useful, fun, snarky information on consumer issues.
- Wisebread.com – Best blog for frugalistas according to Kiplinger. All about being smart with your money, or as its tagline says, “Living Large on a Small Budget.”
- TipHero.com – Best blog for saving money.