Now, with such an abundance of online information, the real skill is using effective searching techniques for finding the most helpful information. The other skill is to be discerning about the accuracy, value and security of the information and web sites you do find and actually use.
Rather than spending endless hours doing a keyword search on the major search engines, I recommend starting out with the Web sites listed in this section. They all have a phenomenal amount of valuable information and have a primary focus or informative section on general basic money management. with topics covering, but not limited to:
Budgeting, Credit, Credit cards, Debt, Spending, Spending guidelines, Saving money, Money attitudes, Recovery issues
Many of these Web sites provide excellent articles, books, and online newsletters – often for free or discounted.
There are also now hundreds of convenient and well-designed calculators at various web sites for developing basic budgets, calculating debt payoff or savings and determining loan terms and total costs.
Other Web sites offer special debt management counseling and payment services. Be cautious as you explore these particular companies, even if they are listed as non-profit. See “Getting Online Help” on page 63 for a review of what to expect for legitimate debt management services.
If this endless amount of information seems overwhelming, one way to narrow down your search efficiently, is by going to the larger portals, which are all-inclusive sites. A few of these large services like MSN, AOL Time Warner and Yahoo are marked with an asterisk. The Web site address provided in the list below should take you directly to the personal finance section and save you a few layers of searching. If you do start on the “Home page”, search around for the buttons, words, or tabs that indicate titles like “Money”, “Budgets”, “Personal Finance”, “Family Finance”, “Planning”, “Consumer Credit or Debt”, “Education”" to get you started. You will often find a motherlode of articles archived by topic and/or author. Most of these articles are written and researched by some of the top financial authors and experts in the country.
Nearly every article and web site you view, will have a host of additional related links to keep your search moving.
American Savings Education Council
User-friendly educational materials on savings and achieving savings goals.
Avoiding Identity Theft (Federal Trade Commission)
Bank Rate Monitor
Information on credit, mortgage, savings, loans, low rate credit cards and calculator.
CardRatings.com has focused on educating consumers about credit cards since 1998 and has become the most comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers. This website has been featured by hundreds of media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The New York Times & The Today Show.
Consumer Credit Counseling Services / Atlanta
A non-profit organization that provides free credit counseling and offers debt repayment plans for overextended consumers. They negotiate with creditors for reduced or eliminated interest charges. Telephone counseling available 7 days a week.
Credit Rights for consumers (Federal Trade Commission)
Financial Step – Comprehensive Financial Services Web Directory
This site provides a list of numerous web sites for a large variety of financial topics including, personal finance, mortgage, banking, and many more.
Credit/debt expert and author of the Ultimate Credit Handbook (Plume 1997) and the free Ultimate Credit On line Newsletter.
Good Advice Press
The Good Advice Press folks, who wrote Invest in Your Self: Six Secrets To a Rich Life, help people get out of debt, save money, and live better on less. Find out how with the valuable resources, articles, and virtual university available at their site.
Junk Mail Removal
To remove your name from junk mailing lists review or call 1–888–5OPTOUT (1–888–567–8688)
Business forecasts and personal financial advice.
Money Management by Mail
Helps people in debt regain financial control and reduce the stress brought on by out-of-control bills. MMI negotiates with creditors to reduce finance charges, late fees and lower monthly payments. Web site offers budget calculator, debt management, consumer education and financial counseling.
A Resource Guide with Tips Tricks and Tools to help you save money on everything.
Money Whiz Family Finances
Comprehensive web site loaded with consumer finance information and advice. Included are chats (Judy Lawrence is an occasional guest,) money make-overs, newsletter, message boards, calculators, and much more.
Mvelopes Personal Spending System
A revolutionary personal Online Budgeting and Bill Paying system that automatically tracks spending and calculates remaining balances for each category. Manages all credit card charges, debits, checks, cash, bills and savings in one easy system.
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources can help you do it better. You will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.
National Center for Financial Education
A non-profit organization dedicated to helping people plan for their financial future.
National Foundation for Consumer Credit
A network of non-profit community organizations providing consumer credit education and more.
This well-known pioneer in personal finance software provides money management solutions for individuals and small businesses through a variety of helpful software products and web site features.