Sometimes you can find personal finance tools in the most unlikely places. The University of Illinois Extension Service offers a collection of consumer money resources, including tips for thrifty living, credit card smarts fact sheets, and a guide to consumer and family economics.

I was most impressed with A Working Woman’s Guide to Financial Security.

This series of planning guides has been designed to help women of all ages develop skills they need in order to handle their financial affairs successfully, now and in the future. Their mothers probably taught them how to shop, pay bills, and balance the checkbook, but most women didn’t learn money management skills from their mothers or their peers. They may be learning the expensive way, from the school of hard knocks, which can be a very harsh teacher!

The information here is divided into three broad sections:

  1. Planning for financial independence
  2. Developing your financial independence
  3. Thinking ahead

Each section contains a series of articles, such as “What is your financial IQ?”, “How to save money and where to put it”, and “Basic investment options”. These articles contain sound, practical financial advice specifically geared toward the needs of women. But as with most resources of this nature, there’s plenty of information that’s non-gender specific, so don’t be frightened off, fellas.

This guide is excellent — I recommend it.

[University of Illinois Extension: A Working Woman’s Guide to Financial Security]

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