Smart money: personal finance

Useful personal finance sites for middle-class families

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 2:22am

The middle class is under pressure. How can you break free? Jen Smith's blog is brutally realistic: "Money ranks as the most argued topic for couples. Having a child is considered the single best indicator of financial collapse." Through financial self-education, she elevated herself from a doughnut and coffee waitress to a self-made millionaire. Her blog, archive, and resources will help you create a practical financial plan.

Tired of hearing about other people's financial success? Rather than preach, this site offers advice on cutting credit card debt, saving money, explaining debt to your family, and more. Budgeting for family events is also covered. Besides saving for goals like college, it explains how to maximise your college dollars. Realising that you can only save so much, the blog on "how to turn a hobby into a business" is helpful for those seeking to lift a limited income.

The section for the Suze Orman Show is more detailed and less strident than Orman herself, who yells at spenders who ask stupid questions. She, too, was a waitress making US$400 a month and achieved financial security using the same advice on the site. Many topics are elaborated through videos, and dwell on trivial ("Should I buy an expensive gold watch?") and substantial ("How to deal with your new financial adviser").