The Best Personal Finance Blogs Of 2017 – According To Data

Fellow MoneyMowers,

Welcome to the Oscars of personal finance blogs (or perhaps just a simple garage study – call it what you want). I have made a list of the best personal finance blogs of 2017 – based on data.

The methodology warriors amongst you will probably kill me before they have even see the list. Before you discard everything, try to see if you can find a blog or two that you have not heard about before. If you do, the list will have fulfilled its purpose.

Methodology for finding the best personal finance blogs

I won’t get away with presenting the list before introducing a bit of methodology first. I’ll use some terms below that you might not know – a quick Google search will be able to explain what they are rather than me trying to.

The study has its starting point in the amazing (!) Rockstar Directory of 843 (and counting) personal finance blogs. The directory is managed by Steve from ThinkSaveRetire.com – big virtual high fives to Steve for all the time spent on going through submissions! I have used the list as of 7 March 2017 as a starting point for all the blogs I will analyze.

I have a past in online marketing and know quite a bit about search engine optimization. Therefore, this personal finance blog list will be based on tools that I used to use to gather lots of data quickly:

Data used in the study

  • Alexa Rank: The Alexa rank is a combined popularity estimate of average daily visitors and pageviews on the site in the past 3 months – being ranked #1 means having the highest combination of average daily visitors and pageviews.
    Number of indexed pages: The number of pages of the website Google have indexed in their search engine results
  • Root domains linking to domain (historical data): The number of other websites (not pages, but domains) linking to the domain based on Majestic’s historical data (going +5 years back in time, but only updated monthly)
  • Root domains linking to domain (fresh data): Same as above but based on Majestic’s fresh data (updated frequently but without the historical data)
  • Backlinks to the domain: Total number of links going to a domain (quantity, not quality)
  • .Edu/.Gov links: Number of .edu/.gov websites linking to the personal finance blog. Not as relevant as it used to be, but I decided to include it nonetheless
  • Citation flow: Majestic’s score of the “power” or link equity of the personal finance blog (fresh and historical data is used)
  • Trust flow: Majestic’s score of how closely linked the personal finance blog is to trusted seed sites (i.e. how trusted your blog is) (fresh and historical data is used)

I believe all of the above are measures that can be correlated with popularity, authority, breadth and depth of a personal finance blog. I know that there are a million other metrics you could use – and feel free to do so 🙂

Scoring used in the study

I have used a simple scoring of the personal finance blogs. If a blog is above the 90th percentile on one of the parameters (i.e. in the top 10%), a given amount of points is awarded to the blogs according to this:

  • Alexa: 1 point (if in 80th percentile), 2 points (if in 90th percentile)
  • Number of indexed pages: 1 point
  • Root domains linking to domain (historical data): 1 point
  • Root domains linking to domain (fresh data): 1 point
  • Backlinks to the domain: 1 point
  • .Edu/.Gov links: 1 point
  • Citation flow: 1 point for historical data, 2 points for fresh data
  • Trust flow: 1 point for historical data, 3 points for fresh data

I have chosen the scoring system 100% subjectively based on my experience with this data and what I feel are good indicators for a popular and authoritative personal finance blog with a good amount of breadth and depth in the content.

The maximum amount of points that a blog can achieve is 14 points.

If you are interested in the average, 80th and 90th percentile across all the personal finance blogs, or your own blog’s performance, I have posted it in the bottom of this post.

Enough talking now! Show me the money! Ok, ok, here we go…

The 20 Best Personal Finance Blogs of 2017

… and the winners are! 2 out of 843 blogs came out with the maximum score of 14 performing high across all parameters with the rest of top 20 getting 12-13 points:

  1. The Simple Dollar
    • 14 points, 61 trust flow
    • A personal finance blog provides frugality and money management tips, ideas for frugal living with high quality of life
  2. Becoming Minimalist
    • 14 points, 29 trust flow
    • Own less. Live more. Finding minimalism in a world of consumerism
  3. Good Financial Cents
    • 13 points, 51 trust flow
    • Helping make sense of personal finance, investing, and financial planning from an expert in the industry (CFP)
  4. Dough Roller
    • 13 points, 51 trust flow
    • “A personal finance and investing blog that helps you make more money, spend less, and invest the rest”
  5. My Money Blog
    • 13 points, 50 trust flow
    • Personal Finance and Investing Blog
  6. Cash Money Life
    • 13 points, 50 trust flow
    • Cash Money Life is a personal finance and career journal with tips about money management, career topics, small business, increasing credit scores, responsible credit card use, and more
  7. Bible Money Matters
    • 13 points, 48 trust flow
    • Christian personal finance blog – topics including investing, retirement, budgeting, debt elimination, saving, frugality, thrift, debt, and lots more
  8. Early Retirement Extreme
    • 13 points, 30 trust flow
    • Early Retirement Extreme: a combination of simple living, anticonsumerism, DIY ethics, self-reliance, and applied capitalism
  9. Nerd’s Eye View
    • 13 points, 29 trust flow
    • Nerd’s Eye View financial planning industry blog and The Kitces Report newsletter for IMCA and CFP CE credits, published by Michael Kitces
  10. Modest Money
    • 13 points, 28 trust flow
    • Don’t miss our breaking investing news that could make or break your portfolio. And read our Modest Money personal finance blog to control your finances
  11. Get Rich Slowly
    • 13 points, 28 trust flow
    • Common sense advice and money saving tips on topics from high interest savings accounts, frugality, cd rates, money market accounts, mortgage rates, how to get out of debt, money management and more
  12. Consumerism Commentary
    • 12 points, 52 trust flow
    • “Consumerism Commentary offers daily articles focusing on personal finance and living”
  13. PT Money
    • 12 points, 51 trust flow
    • PT’s personal finance blog helping you do more with your money in half the time. Best rates on credit cards, savings accounts, and more
  14. MapleMoney (previously Canadian Finance Blog)
    • 12 points, 48 trust flow
    • CFB is the personal finance source for ways to save money and make money. Make your money go further with the right credit cards, banks, and rewards
  15. Making Sense of Cents
    • 12 points, 34 trust flow
    • Here we talk about personal finance, paying off student loans quickly, how to reach financial independence, money tips, and much more
  16. The Military Wallet
    • 12 points, 33 trust flow
    • Personal finance for military, veterans, and their families. Updates for GI Bill, VA Loans, veterans benefits, military discounts and more
  17. Million Dollar Journey
    • 12 points, 31 trust flow
    • Follow my journey to $1M in net worth by the age of 35. Wealth building tips including tax minimization, frugal living, index and dividend investing
  18. Free Money Finance
    • 12 points, 29 trust flow
    • Personal finance and money commentary, news, resources, tips, and tricks
  19. Wealth Pilgrim
    • 12 points, 29 trust flow
    • No Money Worries. No Matter What”
  20. MoneyNing
    • 12 points, 28 trust flow
    • “A personal finance blog where we share insights on frugal living, investing, debt reduction, credit cards, online savings accounts and stock brokers”

Big congratulations to the winners! I believe that there are countless hours of amazing content on the blogs above, so get started if you have not yet checked all of them out!

… but wait a minute, we are not done yet. We still have to find the best personal finance blogs in each of their respective categories. I am sure you’ll find some gems there as well:

The Best Personal Finance Blogs of 2017 By Category

We are going to find five winners within budgeting, debt, early retirement, family, frugality, general finance, investing, making money, military, millennial, minimalism and traditional retirement. The categorization is the same as used in the Rockstar Directory. To be part of the top five list, a blog needs a minimum of 4 points and in case of a tie on spot #5, I have included additional blogs with the same amount of points.

… and the winners are:

The Best General Finance Blogs of 2017

  1. Good Financial Cents
    • 13 points
    • “Helping make sense of personal finance, investing, and financial planning from an expert in the industry (CFP)”
  2. Dough Roller
    • 13 points
    • “A personal finance and investing blog that helps you make more money, spend less, and invest the rest”
  3. My Money Blog
    • 13 points
    • “Personal Finance and Investing Blog”
  4. Cash Money Life
    • 13 points
    • Cash Money Life is a personal finance and career journal with tips about money management, career topics, small business, increasing credit scores, responsible credit card use, and more
  5. Get Rich Slowly
    • 12 points
    • Common sense advice and money saving tips on topics from high interest savings accounts, frugality, cd rates, money market accounts, mortgage rates, how to get out of debt, money management and more

The Best Investing Blogs of 2017

  1. Bible Money Matters
    • 13 points
    • “Christian personal finance blog – topics including investing, retirement, budgeting, debt elimination, saving, frugality, thrift, debt, and lots more!”
  2. Modest Money
    • 13 points
    • “Don’t miss our breaking investing news that could make or break your portfolio. And read our Modest Money personal finance blog to control your finances”
  3. Investor Junkie
    • 11 points
    • “Reviews of your favorite robo-advisors, stock brokers, and personal finance software. Start here to get on the path towards financial freedom”
  4. Investment Zen
    • 9 points
    • “Learn how to make money work for you via inspirational stories, actionable insights, and unbiased reviews from everyday people who are financially independent”
  5. The Chicago Financial Planner
    • 9 points
    • “Objective information about financial planning, investments, and retirement plans”
  6. The White Coat Investor
    • 9 points
    • “Helping Those Who Wear the White Coat Get a”Fair Shake” on Wall Street”
  7. Dividend Growth Investor
    • 9 points
    • “On my way to financial independence with Dividend Growth Stocks”

The Best Early Retirement Blogs of 2017

  1. Early Retirement Extreme
    • 13 points
    • Early Retirement Extreme: a combination of simple living, anticonsumerism, DIY ethics, self-reliance, and applied capitalism
  2. Gen X Finance
    • 11 points
    • “A personal finance blog helping people earn more, spend less, and retire early”
  3. Reach Financial Independence
    • 10 points
    • “Work smarter, live more”
  4. Retire by 40
    • 8 points
    • “Retire Early and live the life you want”
  5. Mad Fientist
    • 8 points
    • “Advanced strategies for pursuing financial independence and early retirement”

… if you are curious, MoneyMow finished on a strong #19 out of 163 Early Retirement blogs (and I’ll do my best to improve that for next year’s study! Imagine the uproar if I am winning my own Oscars…).

The Best Making Money Blogs of 2017

  1. Making Sense of Cents
    • 12 points
    • Here we talk about personal finance, paying off student loans quickly, how to reach financial independence, money tips, and much more
  2. Afford Anything
    • 11 points
    • “You Can Afford Anything … Just Not Everything. What’s It Gonna Be?”
  3. The Work at Home Wife
    • 10 points
    • “Helping women find work from home jobs and home-based business ideas. Learn how to make extra money from home today.”
  4. Out Of Your Rut
    • 9 points
    • “Exploring the path to self-employment, paying off debt and smart investing. Looking for the best deals on cars, car repairs, insurance and real estate.”
  5. Side Hustle Nation
    • 9 points
    • “Side Hustle Nation is a growing community of current and former part-time entrepreneurs earning financial independence through small business. Join us!”

The Best Frugality Blogs of 2017

  1. The Simple Dollar
    • 14 points
    • A personal finance blog provides frugality and money management tips, ideas for frugal living with high quality of life
  2. Penny Pinchin Mom
    • 12 points
    • “Life. Family. Finances”
  3. Frugal Rules
    • 9 points
    • “Welcome to Frugal Rules! Join us as we look at how to have freedom through frugality and value based spending in order to reach financial independence”
  4. Ultimate Money Blog
    • 7 points
    • “Welcome! I’m Mrs. Money and I lead a frugal, simple, and debt free life on a modest income. I make money online to help support our family. I believe in saving money, living green, and enjoying life”
  5. The Diary of a Frugal Family
    • 7 points
    • “Living a Fabulously Frugal Family Life”

The Best Traditional Retirement Blogs of 2017

  1. Nerd’s Eye View
    • 13 points
    • “Nerd’s Eye View financial planning industry blog and The Kitces Report newsletter for IMCA and CFP CE credits, published by Michael Kitces”
  2. Wealth Pilgrim
    • 12 points
    • “No Money Worries. No Matter What”
  3. Retire Happy
    • 10 points
    • “Retire Happy will help you learn all you need to know about retirement issues such as RRSP, CPP, OAS, TFSA, RRIF, tax rates and tax optimization”

The Best Debt Blogs of 2017

  1. Enemy of Debt
    • 10 points
    • “Where behavior meets reality”
  2. Debt Roundup
    • 9 points
    • “Debt Roundup is a personal finance blog focused on helping you pay debt, save more, make more, and invest your money. Take control of your money!”
  3. No Credit Needed
    • 7 points
    • “Saving Money and Reducing Debt”
  4. Debt Free After Three
    • 5 points
    • “Zina paid off $28,000 of student loan debt in three years. Now she’s showing over loan holders how to do it. Learn how to knock out student loan debt!”

The Best Millennial Blogs of 2017

  1. 20 Something Finance
    • 11 points
    • “Personal finance blog, articles, & tips for young professionals & the young at heart”
  2. Young Adult Money
    • 8 points
    • “Do you make the most of the slow time at work? If you’re not busy at work, here are 12 things to do instead”
  3. Current on Currency
    • 5 points
    • “Stay on Your Grind”
  4. Your Smart Money Moves
    • 4 points
    • “Best Personal Finance Blog for Generation X & Y by Ted Jenkin – Advice on how to save money, wealth management, financial services, estate & trust”
  5. Shoeaholic No More
    • 4 points
    • “Welcome to Shoeaholic No More. Follow along as I work toward a simpler life and maybe we can learn from each other!”

The Best Budgeting Blogs of 2017

  1. Million Dollar Journey
    • 12 points
    • “Follow my journey to $1M in net worth by the age of 35. Wealth building tips including tax minimization, frugal living, index and dividend investing”
  2. Club Thrifty
    • 11 points
    • “Welcome to Club Thrifty where we bring the awesome sauce to personal finance! Join our journey to debt freedom, and start living your debt free dreams today”

The Best Minimalism Blogs of 2017

  1. Becoming Minimalist
    • 14 points
    • Own less. Live more. Finding minimalism in a world of consumerism
  2. Cait Flanders
    • 5 points
    • “Cait Flanders paid off $30000 of debt, tossed 75% of her belongings and did a two-year shopping ban. She writes about consuming less and living more”

The Best Military Finance Blog of 2017

  1. The Military Wallet
    • 12 points
    • “Personal finance for military, veterans, and their families. Updates for GI Bill, VA Loans, veterans benefits, military discounts and more”

The Best Family Finance Blog of 2017

  1. Couple Money
    • 5 points
    • “How to Prevent Money Fights From Ruining Your Marriage … enjoy your date nights keep your budget couple money. Free & Cheap Date Nights for Couples”

Methodological pitfalls and data deep-dives

As I said earlier, a lot of things can be said about the methodology above. Before diving into methodological pitfalls, I hope you found a new blog or two that you had not heard about before – then the post will have served its purpose.

A few of the most obvious pitfalls is:

  • I used a highly subjective scoring system based on what I found relevant
  • The data points are proxies for quantity on and quality of a blog, but of course these metrics are just metrics and might not reflect reality
  • Using these metrics, it is relatively hard for smaller, high quality blogs to be placed on the top lists (especially if it is within the largest category, “general finance”) – I suggest checking Rockstar Directory’s up & coming blogs for some of the smaller, younger ones
  • The data does not include social metrics or blog engagement (except for number of page views in relation to visitors in the Alexa rank)

Nonetheless, the measures that I use such as Alexa rank, citation flow and trust flow, are based on relatively complex algorithms and large amounts of historical and fresh data – and I wouldn’t be able to do it better myself, that is for sure!

I promised you a few data deep-dives and below are averages and values for the 80th and 90th percentile across the 843 blogs:

MetricAverage80th percentile90th percentile
Alexa Rank3,895,120285,87626,404
Number of indexed pages9101,0022,120
Root domains linking to domain (historical data)1,0128072,270
Root domains linking to domain (fresh data)337371762
Backlinks to the domain25,99326,95366,508
.Edu/.Gov links1301
Citation Flow (historical)213538
Citation Flow (fresh)243437
Trust Flow (historical)81721
Trust Flow (fresh)121926

Final words

If this post turns out to be helpful to some people, I’ll try to refine the approach and look into more advanced/creative alternative ways of making the study. If you have any suggestions on how to do it, please feel free to share it with me in the comments.

If you are interested in the data sheet behind the study or are curious as to how your blog ranks in comparison, just drop me an email at carl AT moneymow DOT com, and I’ll send it over.

If you are interested in SEO advice for your personal finance blog, I’ll be happy to throw a few recommendations your way as well – same as above, just write to me at carl AT moneymow DOT com.

Did you find the list helpful? Did you find a blog or two that you didn’t know about before? Which blogs are obviously missing? Let me know in the comments!

Onwards,
Carl

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20 Comments

    1. Sorry, Cubert! I’m sure if you put in the same amount of effort in the coming year, you’ll definitely make it 😉

  1. Honored to make the list! I just rebranded Canadian Finance Blog to MapleMoney, so I’m sure the metrics will be out for awhile while redirects settle and Alexa builds up its rank.

    1. Of course! I have changed it to MapleMoney 🙂 I hope the rebranding will turn out well! I’ll continue to follow the blog. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

    1. Hi George,

      I have tried to stick to the methodology above and it seems like your site does not make it this time, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for your blog in the future 🙂

      Onwards,
      Carl

    1. Haha, that is great, PoF!

      I am sure that with your traction you’ll be on the ‘rich boys’ list very soon 😉 In fact, your blog scored quite well in the study – and I understand why.

      Keep taking dead aim!

      Onwards,
      Carl

  2. Hey Carl,

    Great post. Will you be adding insurance blogs to this list? Individual insurance is a great option to add with the other options.

    I found several blogs in this post I had never heard of.

    Thanks,

    JC at Simply Insurance

    1. JC,

      Thank you! I might add other niches at some point, but for now I have kept it to personal finance blogs registered in the Rockstar Directory.

      Glad you found a few good blogs – I found many myself!

      Onwards,
      Carl

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