Are you looking to further your financial education? Are you tired of living payslip to payslip? Would you like to start down the road towards financial freedom?

Learning is growth. And education helps us make smarter decisions. That is what this blog is all about.

With that in mind, here are my 12 favourite personal finance websites. These are the people that have helped shaped my views on money, saving and donating. The keys to the kingdom are all here.

Disclaimer: I am not a qualified financial adviser and any thoughts or opinions expressed here are my own. Please seek your own independent advice before making any major financial decision, especially one based on any advice you read on this blog, or any of the blogs featured below…

1. Mr Money Moustache

Yes, you read that name right. This dude is beyond inspiring. He has an absolute treasure trove of content online which can help you escape the rat race and learn how to achieve financial freedom. When I first found this lifestyle/personal finance website I spent hours trolling through the articles. I wish I had known this guy existed 5 years ago. Oh, the fun we would have had!

2. Kiwi Mustachians Facebook group 

After finding out about ‘Mr Money Moustache’ I stumbled across an NZ Facebook group called ‘Kiwi Mustachians’ where you can find enlightening conversations on the nuts and bolts of achieving financial freedom.

Topics covered include sharemarket investing, index funds, property ownership/investment, how to buy cheap groceries, how much insurance you need, which power company you should use, electric cars. All the good stuff.

3. www.firekiwi.co.nz – Kiwis pursuing financial independence

Some very clever people from the mustachians facebook group have put together an open blog/website where anyone with experience can contribute/post articles to help others in the community. These wonderful humans are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. Giving up their time to help others. The content is incredibly insightful with an NZ – personal finance specific focus.

4. www.thesmartandlazy.com

One of the regular contributors to firekiwi is a young man named Alpha Leung. His finance articles are so detailed it blows me away. There really is some inspiring info being put together by some very smart kiwis if you know where to find it. His latest post on ‘understanding mortgage interest payments’ had me upping my mortgage payment instantly.

5. Credit card comparison (NZ)

The team at creditcardscompare.co.nz has painstakingly put together a detailed resource which compares all credit cards available so you can choose the one that best suits you. Personally, I use an ANZ Airpoints Visa platinum credit card. It helps me pay for frequent trips to Wellington!

6. www.moneycanbuymehappiness.com

I stumbled across this blog run by a lady named Emma from Christchurch while preparing to take 6 months off to travel around Europe with my Wife Annah. Most of the content fits into these 4 categories: Travel, making money, living frugal and minimalism. The articles are informative, well written and educational.

7. www.brenontheroad.com – Travel more. Spend less. Love life. 

How perfect is that! This young man (originally from Auckland I believe) is witty, hard working and clever. If you dream of building long term travel into your future then I strongly suggest you start by checking out Bren’s blog.

8. www.paye.net.nz

No, this isn’t a site about paying text (well, sort of). It’s a super helpful online calculator which shows you exactly what your take home pay will be. A wonderful resource if you are considering a new job or putting together a budget. There is also a detailed personal budget calculator and a retirement savings resource as well. Check it out, people!

9. Simplicity KiwiSaver.

I recently switched my KiwiSaver over to simplicity (growth fund). Simplicity is a not-for-profit provider that invests in Vanguard index funds (heaps of diversity). They appear to have the lowest fees of any KiwiSaver fund by far and 15% of the fees they do charge go to charity. Winning!

It is worth taking some time to consider who is looking after your KiwiSaver. Their performance will make a massive difference to the amount you end up with at retirement. Check out Sorted’s fund finder to compare KiwiSaver providers.

10. Tim Ferriss.

The one. The only. I have spent more time on this website than I have spent taking my Wife out to dinner. I have spent more time listening to Tim’s podcasts than I have washing dishes. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. I wouldn’t, however, be exaggerating to say that Tim’s books, website and podcasts have changed my life in so many ways. From how I eat, to how I sleep, how I work, how I approach life, how I exercise, how I write for this blog. The list goes on. Quite possibly the best educator in the world. If you want your mind blown, start reading.

11. www.givewell.org – online charity evaluator.

What’s the point of making money if you don’t use it to make a difference? The sites above will help you save more money and secure your financial future. This one will show you where to donate your money to get the best bang for your buck. In the book, ‘Doing Good Better’ Will McAskill estimates that by donating to the most effective charities in the world (ie. the ones ranked on GiveWell), you can literally save a life for approx USD$3,500. Isn’t that ridiculous? Think about that next time you buy a fancy suit or a new car.

You have probably never heard of the charities listed on GiveWell. That’s because they don’t hire people to go door to door soliciting money. They don’t run expensive marketing campaigns with TV adverts. They are out there saving lives every day and they need your help.

The 3 charities I personally choose to support are: Against Malaria Foundation, Give Directly and Deworm the World Initiative.

12. www.coolearth.org

If you would also like to save the planet while you’re at it, my favourite option is coolearth. They protect rainforests by helping people living in villages bordering forests, to find alternative sources of income that don’t involve chopping down all those beautiful trees! According to Cool Earth, you can protect an acre of rainforest for approx USD $100.

An excerpt from ‘Doing Good Better‘:

“Cool Earth claims it costs them about $100 to prevent an acre of rainforest from being cut down, and that each acre locks in 260 metric tons of CO2. This would mean that it costs just about 38c to prevent one metric ton of CO2 from being emitted.”

Note: According to Ecotricity, the ‘per capita’ emissions for NZ are approx 17.2 metric tonne’s CO2e, per person, per annum.

That sounds like a pretty good deal to me!


In Conclusion…

Do you still need some motivation to sort out your personal finances?

Read: Let me convince you to save money...

I’ll leave you with this powerful excerpt from the article above:

Past a certain level of income, what you need is just what sits below your ego. Everyone needs the basics, and once the basics are covered there’s another level of comfortable basics, and past that there are basics that are both comfortable, entertaining, and enlightening. But spending past a pretty low level of materialism is mostly a reflection of ego approaching income, a way to spend money to show people that you have (or had) money. Think of it this way, and one of the most powerful ways to increase your savings isn’t to raise your income, but your humility.