This is a great place to start if you’re new to the blog and looking for financial resources and tools.
Below you will find the 7 main categories of the blog and popular topics within them:
- Personal Finance - Practical personal finance tips to help you spend wisely, get out of debt, save more money and invest for the future.
- Popular topics: Auto, Budgeting & Spending, Credit Cards, Credit Scores, Debt Help, DIY, Health Insurance, Home & Mortgage, Investing, Kids & Money, Lifestyle & Entertainment, Lifestyle & Food, Marriage & Money, Organizing & Productivity, Peer Lending, Retirement, Saving for College, Saving Money, Taxes, Travel & Vacation
- Career and Work - Tips and ideas to make forward progress and prove faithful in career and work.
- Entrepreneurship and Business - Entrepreneurship and small business tips to take your ideas to the next level and be your own boss. This category also includes ways to make extra money, including blogging and online business.
- Christian Stewardship and Giving - Learn Christian financial stewardship principles and how to be more generous with time and money.
- Money Management Software - This category is a personal favorite of mine. This is where I write about the best money management software to help you budget your money, track spending and plan for the future.
- Product Reviews - Financial product reviews so you can find the right products to help you manage your money better.
- Financial Fitness Tips - This is where you’ll find practical financial fitness tips from bloggers and financial media to help you get your finances in shape.
- How to Start a Budget - Guide to help you create a budget and track your spending
- Get Out of Debt Guide - A guide to help you create a plan to getting out of debt
- Christian Personal Finance - Overview of Christian personal finance, basic scriptures and article links
- Guide to Playing the Grocery Game - Guide to get started playing The Grocery Game
Your Money Life Newsletter
Each week I curate the best financial tips I find from around the web and publish them in my email newsletter.
Here’s what you’ll receive:
- Your Money Life newsletter not published via the blog. The weekly newsletter provides a roundup of articles and resources from around the web to help you manage your money life.
- Offers and deals for financial products. These are occasional salesy emails. My commitment here is to never spam you and I’ll let you know by way of the title if it’s an offer. You can just delete these emails if you’re not interested.
I’ve also written an eBook containing 25 ways to save money on your cell phone bill and it’s yours for free when you sign up.
Don’t worry, you can cancel any time. Also, I hate email spam and you can be certain you’ll never receive any from me.
Personal Finance Software
You Need a Budget (YNAB) - YNAB continues to serve as a great budgeting software application for my wife and me. We use it to budget our money each month and track spending. I also use the reporting features to see how much we spend on average for budget categories such as food/groceries, entertainment and more. This helps me insure we’re budgeting enough money, or helps us consider reducing expenses.
More Money Management Software
- Best Money Management Software
- Free Money Management Software
- Envelope Budgeting Software
- Best Money Management Software for Mac
- Best Online Debt Tools
Banking & Credit
I thought I would share the financial institutions we currently use for checking and savings. These aren’t the institutions you’ll see on the corner of a busy intersection. They’re online!
Perkstreet Financial – We gave up a traditional accounts with brick and mortar banks long ago. We use Perkstreet Financial online checking. They provide us monthly perks that we can redeem as gift cards just for spending out of our account. We can earn up to 2% cashback on this checking account and use the extra money for groceries, clothes, etc. Kind of nice when we get our perks on a Target gift card in the mail!
Find more checking accounts by visiting my best online checking accounts page.
ING Orange Savings (now Capital One 360) – I’ve chosen to use ING Orange Savings for our short-term and emergency savings needs. They offer a much better interest rate (although, rates aren’t great right now) than you’ll get at your local bank because they minimize costs as an online bank. It’s easy to transfer money back and forth between my Perkstreet account and ING. I like to have my savings account a separate institution. Typically the further away from me the better!
More Ways to Save
- Best High Yield Savings Accounts
- Best Online Savings Accounts
- Best CD Rates
- Best Children’s Savings Accounts
- Best Money Market Accounts
- Best Mortgage Rates
Additional Credit and Banking Resources
- Credit Scores – Overview of credit scores and how to get your credit scores for free.
- Credit Cards – Follow these basic credit card spending tips and find a credit card.
SoundMindInvesting.com is where I’ve learned a lot about biblically based investing. They offer a couple of resources that have been a big help to me!
The Sound Mind Investing handbook offers Biblically based personal finance instruction on general money management and particularly investing. As the title states, it’s a handbook. You can pull it off your shelf anytime you want to read more about specific investing topics. For example, I recently wanted to learn more about the types of sales loads you need to know about when considering the purchase of mutual funds from a financial advisor. The hand book served as a great reference providing thorough and easy to understand explanations.
The Sound Mind Investing Newsletter is America’s premier Christian financial newsletter. It’s tailored to the do-it-yourself investor and is based on Christian financial principles. Subscriptions are available online or in paper form. Each subscription also provides you access to the SMI member’s blog which is updated with new content regularly.
Additional Investing Resources
- You can also visit my discount brokers page to get a a list of the most popular discount brokers.
- A brief overview of Peer Lending.
Personal Finance Books
I’ve read a lot of books about personal finance, but there are a few that I just have to mention on this page. They’ve really helped me learn more about God’s way of managing money as well as helped me learn a lot of great practical tips.
- The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey
- The Money Map: A Proven 7 Step Guide to True Financial Freedom, by Howard Dayton
- Your Money Counts, by Howard Dayton
- Debt Free Living, by Larry Burkett
- The Soundmind Investing Handbook, by Austin Pryor
- Money, Purpose, Joy: The Proven Path to Uncommon Financial Success, by Matt Bell
- Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples, by Matt Bell
You might also like my Amazon personal finance bookstore. I regularly keep it updated with my favorite books and periodicals.
I consider it an honor to volunteer my my time to help others learn and apply biblical financial principles to their finances. My coaching also includes plenty of practical tips such as helping people create a budget, pay off debt and more. Visit Crown MoneyLife Mentoring to find a coach and get started.
Tools from Crown
The Crown Money Map - The Crown Money Map has become an important tool for our family. It provides us a road map from both a practical and biblical standpoint to manage our finances. I love the Money Map because I’m able to focus my efforts on one destination at a time.
Read more to learn about the benefits and destinations on the Money Map.
Budget Percentage Guidelines - These are handy guidelines to use from Crown when creating your budget or to just check to see if you’re spending too much in a certain budget category.
- Single Parent
- Family of Two (Married Couple)
- Family of Four
- Family of Four (High Housing Costs Area)
- Family of Six
Planning Sheets - I use all the below Crown planning sheets for my financial coaching work. They’re used to help people organize their finances better, such as with creating a budget, tracking spending, organizing debts to create a debt payment plan and more.
- 30 Day Diary - Helps you track your spending.
- Debt List - Organize your debt so you know how much you owe, the interest rates, etc.
- Financial Statement - Determine your net worth (assets – liabilities)
- Income Allocation - Which paycheck do you use to pay what bills and expenses?
- Monthly Income and Expenses - A perfect template for creating a spending plan/budget
- Savings Allocations - A handy way to allocate your savings if you keep it all in one account
Calculators - From time to time you need a good financial calculator to help you make difficult financial decisions. I usually find what I need by using Crown’s library of calculators. I’ve provided links to some of the ones I like best as well as a link to their entire library.
- All Crown Calculators
- Accelerated Debt Payoff Calculator
- Spending Plan Calculator
- Irregular Payments Budget Calculator
- 15 vs 30 Year Loan Comparison
- Mortgage Payment Calculator w/Amortization
Workbooks - The Journey to Financial Freedom Manual is designed to be a helpful tool in financial coaching ministry. It contains forms for developing spending plans and assignments based on important scriptural financial principles that will impact future financial decisions. This is a great workbook you can go through as a single or couple on your own if you want to get a great overview of biblical finance. It’s also full of all the planning sheets I mentioned above.