When the tech bubble burst around the turn of the millennium, it proved we had a lot more to learn about the digital economy. With many entrepreneurial workers unemployed, many learned how to become entrepreneurs online. This brought the advent of the personal finance blogger.
Personal-finance blogging started with people such as J.D. Roth, Harlan Landes, and Philip Taylor (PT Money), who blogged about their money struggles. They got Americans talking about their own financial problems, if only in the privacy of their own homes.
By 2012, personal finance blogging was an influential component of the finance industry. Today, personal finance blogging is connecting everyday people who want to learn more about money with everyday people who know something about it. And although some people think of bloggers as amateurs who live in their PJs, many of them offer truly valuable advice.
So here are eight personal finance bloggers with eight different specialties whom you should know.
Eva Baker of Teens Got Cents
Schools aren't adequately teaching today's students about money. Enter Eva Baker of Teens Got Cents. Baker only recently lost her "teenager card" and is teaching those who are too young to enter a bar about money. What started as a home-school project assigned by her mother has become Baker's full-time job and a company of four employees.
When Baker heard Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover on CD, she learned about how many adults struggle with money. She vowed to avoid debt and to learn as much about money as she could. She's now using her knowledge as preventive education for other young people.
Emma Johnson of Wealthy Single Mommy
Writing for such ubiquitous money periodicals as Forbes Magazine and Success Magazine, Emma Johnson has earned her place in the world of finance.
After a divorce left her "poorish," as she says, Johnson decided to become an entrepreneur and use her experience and voice to help others like her. Johnson's never better than when she uses her own platforms, Wealth Single Mommy and the Like A Mother podcast, to help other single and divorced moms be financially successful.
Mindy & Carl Jensen of 1,500 Days to Freedom
Once upon a time, a young saver and lover of compound interest found married a kindred spirit. Shortly thereafter, 1,500 Days to Freedom was born.
The premise of the Jensens' blog was to track their progress toward building a debt-free portfolio of $1 million by February 2017, or 1,500 days from the start of the blog. The "freedom" in their title, of course, is the freedom attained by being financially independent and detached from a W2.
The Jensens met and surpassed their goal and now inspire others to achieve employment emancipation.
Doug Nordman of The Military Guide
Doug Nordman noticed that despite having cost-of-living-adjustment pensions and TRICARE healthcare, military retirees weren't doing much better financially than their civilian peers, so he launched The Military Guide.
Nordman and his staff use the financial lessons they've learned -- often the hard way -- to help their military colleagues. Nordman now considers himself an early retiree who doesn't plan to return to the traditional working world anytime soon. With his financial and investing prowess, Nordman and many of his military readers will never have to retire from retirement. That's the sort of retirement our veterans deserve.
Rosemarie Groner of the Busy Budgeter
A former police officer turned stay-at-home mommy blogger, Rosemarie Groner of the Busy Budgeter teaches her readers how to reduce spending and live a balanced life. She believes that when you figure out what you want most, figuring out how to spend your money becomes easy. It's just that most people don't know what they want. Groner helps her readers figure that out.
In addition to sharing with her readers 15-minute and frozen meal recipes, Groner shares how she makes five figures a month through her blog. Groner reported that she earned $26,665 in November 2016. She's an inspiration to any entrepreneur whose priority is staying home with their children.
Claudia & Garett Pennington of Two Cup House
You know how you see stories on TV and in magazines about people who live in tiny houses and wonder, "Do people really do that?" Why, yes, yes they do. Some even blog about it.
Claudia and Garett Pennington of Two Cup House spent much of their lives pursuing the classic American Dream. They bought themselves four fancy degrees, two big careers, one large house, three cars...and $205,000 in debt. One day, they said "enough is enough" and downsized from a 1,500-square-foot house to a 536-square-foot house.
Because of their drastic downsizing, side hustling, and blogging, the Penningtons paid off their debt in less than two years. Because of their decreased debt and increased incomes, the Penningtons no longer work for anyone but themselves. #Freedom
Bobby Hoyt of Millennial Money Man
Have you ever met a millennial without student loan debt? Me either. However, no millennial I know fits the lazy, entitled, social-media-obsessed stereotype I hear about on TV. That's probably because most of the millennials I know are personal finance bloggers, and Bobby Hoyt of Millennial Money Man is no exception.
Hoyt paid off $40,000 in student loans on a band teacher's salary and blogged about it. Like a band nerd turned rock star, Hoyt's on target to make over $200,000 this year from blogging, having reported earning $16,684 in January alone.
Hoyt bills himself as the source for "anti-entitlement advice," and his cohort could benefit from his wisdom.
Tai & Talaat McNeely of His & Her Money
Tai and Talaat McNeely of His & Her Money are the personal finance bloggers for Christian families. They're unique in that one of them, Talaat, brought $30,000 worth of debt to their marriage, while Tai did not. This predicament is something many couples face, and the McNeelys are the voice for those couples.
The McNeelys also mastered the art of YouTubing. Their personal finance videos are some of the most widely watched videos in the personal finance space, and much of the credit goes to their three children.
For family focused, Christian, and/or financially imbalanced couples, His & Her Money is a great source of financial advice.