Forums and Blogs: Your Connection to Like-Minded Frugal Folks

Remember how in some of the classic self-help books the authors advise you to surround yourself with winners? The idea is that if you want to be successful, you should avoid hanging out with losers. That theory holds true when it comes to personal finances as well, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hang out with rich people.

Over the years I’ve discovered that the more I hang around people who are successful, the better the chances I’ll be successful. Conversely, hanging around people who are largely unsuccessful, has a negative effect on my own motivation, and I often wind up griping about my circumstances.

One of the great things about social media, and the Internet in general, is that while we were once limited to our immediate community, now there are tons of sources of inspiration available. From blogs to community forums to podcasts, each offers the opportunity to engage with others on a similar mission – to turn around their finances.

Some of my favorite sites specialize in very specific topics around finances, such as dividend investing, early retirement, survivalism, or frugal living.

During our own financial turnaround, I also used a number of online tools to stay motivated.

My Total Money Makeover

The online community that ties in the book, The Total Money Makeover, the plan, the tools, and the personality, Dave Ramsey. I have been a member here for several years, initially joining to find tips for getting out of debt, interact with others on the same mission, and to listen to The Dave Ramsey show podcasts commercial-free during my commute.

Even after our family got out of debt (all but the house), I decided to stay on as a member to continue interacting with people in my situation. As I’ve mentioned at Frugal Dad a time or two, being recently debt free is a dangerous place to be. There is much temptation to go back in that you need the occasional reinforcement you are doing the right thing.

It’s also nice to occasionally help someone else just beginning the Baby Steps, and show them living proof that it can be done with enough perserverance.

Dave’s team is offering up a very special deal to Frugal Dad fans - join My Total Money Makeover now for only $49.95 a year (regularly $120).

Personal Finance Blogs

Hopefully you find this blog somewhat inspiring. There are plenty of others out there as well. The first two blogs I subscribed to were The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly. I also added Bargaineering in the early days.

More recently, I find great inspiration from fellow members of The Money Writers network, and have discovered a couple lists of the top personal finance blogs to help discover more inspiration.

Some of the most inspiring sites I’ve discoverd have come from you. Please use the comments below to share your favorite personal finance sites/forums/blogs with other readers.

Comments

  1. Great tips. I also find that if you ask for help/advice/assistance from like minded people in a particular field, you can often be surprised about what you get. Case in point, I recently posted a plea for accommodation in a local football forum (was getting very desperate). To my surprise I got a perfect offer at a very reasonable price; the guy was effectively helping me out, and the reasoning was our connection over an interest (football).

  2. The author writes:
    “Conversely, hanging around people who are largely unsuccessful, has a negative effect on my own motivation, and I often wind up griping about my circumstances.”

    If you have to surround yourself only with “successful” folks (whatever successful means; I’m assuming you mean fiscally responsible and in control of their financial lives) to maintain your motivation, a person isn’t all that motivated.

    Yes, being around folks with a “can’t do” mentality isn’t necessarily supportive or uplifting, but did you ever consider that maybe you are there to shine light on them? And to help inspire them to change by showing how you’ve taken charge of YOUR life and made changes?

    When I keep hearing people talk about the importance of avoiding “unsuccessful” people it makes me think that folks who are trying to change are just plain threatened by those who have not changed. It’s too much a reminder of what you’d still be in if you hadn’t changed, and you don’t like it.

    One of the most successful people I know (and not just with all things fiscal) works hard each day with folks whose lives are less than optimal and works hard to show them options and choices and help empower them to rise above their current circumstances.

    He could easily hang out only with his rich and successful buds, but he doesn’t.

    You’re either motivated or you aren’t. Blaming others is a crutch and as bad as the very people being labeled as “unsuccessful” and “negative.”

    Folks who need positive reinforcement at every step of their lives are gonna find some tough going. Cause a lot of time it won’t happen. And yet, you can/will succeed.

    The issue is avoiding folks who are actively seeking to undermine you, whether family or friends. That is something to avoid if you can.

  3. I started learning about money from the msn money boards, and have since followed them to the proboards when the msn boards were closed. I also belong to the yakezie group of finance bloggers. I have found a ton of helpful blogs there. I also joined Budget’s are Sexy Million Dollar club which pushes me to get up to a million dollars (I still have a ways to go). I could not list all the helpful blogs because there are too many, though there is a list on my blog.

  4. I quit my $40,000 a year job and went part time in June 2011. Since then through couponing and getting free samples, I have saved over $300 a month! I also have cut cable, lowered my laundry bill, and lowered my auto insurance. All the extra money that I do get is going towards paying down the mortgage. My blog, frugaldesertdwellers.com helps other people with the above savings and more. However, I love checking your site, to see what else I can be doing to save money!

  5. “The cream always rises to the top.”

    Meaning, if one has the courage of one’s convictions, one will manage just fine alone – but it takes self-discipline and the ability to see the bigger picture, being able to say NO to the splurges your peers urge you on to.

    Now it may be easier to find like minded folks, due to the internet and blogs etc, but those who were really determined have always been able to do it alone. You just have to say NO, without guilt, without reason, and mean it.

  6. I agree with you! I find it is much easier to stay focused on my goals when I can find other blogs, books, and people who are trying to do the same thing. I live in a pretty rural area, and sometimes like-minded people are hard to find. Thanks to the internet (and places like Frugal Dad!), I can feel connected, learn new things, and stay true to my goals!

    Thanks for including me in your list of resources!

  7. Thank you for the words of encouragment. We used many for the same tools on our personal finance walk. It is very true that if you hang around with the encouraging crowd, you will meet your goals much quicker and stay on track. You have some great resources posted. Please check out our blog on personal finance as well. Thanks!

  8. I am constantly trying to learn from the internet, particularly about finance and business. I look at it as another form of education. I realize I am not able to educate myself as well as a degree would, but any kind of information is useful, and the internet is filled with quality information.
    Get rich slowly and the simple dollar are two of my favorite blogs to go to. I also have enjoyed Financial Samurai as well.

  9. I agree that it’s important to be with like-minded people, and would even extrapolate this into saying that it’s helpful (but not critical) to be in a relationship with a supportive and like-minded person. I’m currently in a relationship with someone who is very supportive and has found frugal living to be beneficial and fun! It definitely makes things easier!

    Thanks for including my site. I’m glad you enjoy visiting! :)

    Take care.

  10. I’ve been rubbing elbows with a co-worker recently who, though very private about finances, is actually very sharp. He’s been helping me explore & educate myself on investment options. My biggest thing has been to all but totally eliminate debt, which is great, but I haven’t been nearly aggressive enough about what I’m doing with the money I’m able to save now.

    Credit, though a necessary evil sometimes, is absolutely the devil. My wife & I have bought a total of 4 new cars in 15+ years (still drive 2 of them) and paid cash outright for each. Was it easy? No, but we waited until we could (minus anticipated trade-in value, of course) pay fully for the new vehicle before we ever even set foot on a car lot.

    We’ve got to get our society back to practicing more self-moderation. In addition to delayed gratification being tied closely to intelligence, studies are also making a connection between self-control and maturity.

    http://www.2dolphins.com/2008/11/patience-needed-now/

    I’m a big fan of consumerist.com although it isn’t strictly a finance blog and this piece of advice really hits home:

    http://consumerist.com/2007/04/snl-skit-dont-buy-stuff-you-cant-afford.html

  11. I agree with you. We got out of debt several years ago and then overspent (undersaved) for several years. It occurred to me a short while ago that we didn’t have as much in savings as we should. And so I hit the personal finance blogs. After digging out of six figures of debt, I know we have the skills, what we needed was the encouragement.

  12. ” being recently debt free is a dangerous place to be.”

    Oh how I wish I read something along this lines 2 years ago!! You are 110% spot on – I couldn’t agree more. I was debt free a few years ago and am no longer debt free. I think I had deprived myself for so long that I went nuts when there was more money. Striving for balance is my goal now, as well as becoming debt free again.

  13. Great advice! We’re just getting started with the Financial Peace University program and have been looking for places to interact with folks on the same path. Very helpful!

  14. I checked out the Bargaineering blog for a couple days. It seems kind of scammy (bloated with ads) and watered down.

    Their recent article on travel insurance stunk IMHO and I left comment detailing what I thought was wrong with it, specifically. They chose to censor my polite but negative comment.

    So I am unsubscribing from that one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>