Locate the best resources on the web without a hassle.
Good financial habits are essential if you want to establish and maintain a healthy financial outlook. Without the right knowledge and resources to help you along, it can be tough to know where you stand and how to make the right choices to reach your financial goals.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top financial resources on the web. These are the same websites and tools that we use here in the Debt.com headquarters to reach our own financial goals and even to find reference materials like the Fact snippets you see below and on almost every page.
Fact: In a 2014 Financial Literacy Survey, 73% of adults believe they would benefit from professional financial advice.
Finding the right money management tool for your needs
Building an effective budget is key to crafting the right strategies so you can avoid debt and reach your goals. In the past, budgeting was a big hassle – referencing account statements, sitting with your checkbook, and sitting in front of a calculator or spreadsheet for hours.
It’s much easier now thanks to today’s technology – it’s just a matter of choosing the right platform for your needs. Now admittedly, we’re a little biased. We think PowerWallet is the best money management tool, because it offers the most features and versatility without any extra costs.
Of course it’s not the only tool out there and in some cases you may have a specific need or situation where something else would be more effective. For example, many banks offer their own money management platforms that are directly tied to your accounts; this may be more convenient and can even offer things like app integration on your smartphone.
When looking for the best money management tool for your needs, consider the following five questions:
- Can the platform you want to use integrate all of your financial accounts? Not every account can be integrated into every financial management platform, so make sure your platform supports your accounts.
- Does it have the right balance of accessibility and security? Make sure you can access the platform where you need it when you need it, while keeping your financial information safe from prying eyes.
- Does it have features that help you plan and avoid potential problems? Simple features like a bill pay calendar and text or email spending alerts are must-haves for organizing your world.
- Will it help you achieve your financial goals? If a program can’t help you establish savings goals and promote healthy financial habits, it’s not worth your time.
- Are there extra features that help you build a better outlook? Tools like custom-tailored deals and offers or reward programs can make it easier to stay on track and avoid issues.
When you need info, start with .gov then go on to sites you can trust
People often wonder where to go for financial info on the web. If you need to learn about a process or financial practice that you don’t know, where do you go? How do you weed through the wide array of websites and resources that are out there?
Any web address that ends with “.gov” is always going to give you accurate, up-to-date information on the subject you’re exploring. That includes “consumerfinance.gov” (the CFPB website) and sites like “fafsa.ed.gov” (for student loans).
Following that, make sure sites that you reference have the right credentials. Only reference sites that work with certified financial professionals, that have BBB accreditation, and who have support from organizations you trust, such as nonprofit organizations and charities.
Finding the right financial tools
A money management platform fosters financial success, but it won’t always give you the total picture you need. For example, if you want to take out a large loan to get a new car or buy a home, a budgeting platform won’t help you plan ahead to see what you can afford.
Cases like these, you may need extra financial tools that can help you plan ahead. Look for the Tools section of websites you trust to see what they offer. If you’re looking for financial calculators and can’t find what you need on the websites you normally use, we recommend going to bankrate.com. They have the most comprehensive collection of accurate financial calculators on the web.
Top personal finance blogs
Paying attention to financial news from day to day can help you avoid problems and make the right moves to build and protect your assets. New government programs, changes to financial regulations, critical data breaches and cyber security risks, and money management trends can all have a significant impact on your outlook. You have to know what’s happening and what’s coming down the road.
In Debt.com’s News Section, we put out daily financial news stories that help you get ahead. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand information that breaks down tough financial topics more fully than anywhere else on the web. So when Congress announces proposed revisions to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, we break each provision down so you can understand how it will really affect you.
But we’re not the only game in town, and there are sites that we read every day to learn and grow, too. Here’s a list of our favorite financial blogs and news sites on the web: