People are the same all around the world. Everyone struggles with the same things — including money. Because of this, financial advice from one country is generally applicable to other countries, as well. Sort of.
While general advice is easy to transfer from one culture to another, the specifics are often lost in translation. In the U.S., we have a Roth IRA. But in Canada, they have an RRSP. And in the U.K.? Well, I'm not sure.
Nicola lives in the U.K., and she recently wrote to express her frustration, and to ask for advice. She says:
I need some kind of finances tracker to figure out what is going on long term, so I went to check out Mint. It looks perfect for what I need, but is unfortunately US only. I'm in the UK and can't find anything similar here that is well regarded. I was just wondering whether you have any idea of a simple, safe UK alternative that I could try?
You know, for three years, I did an annual review of personal finance sites from around the world. I haven't done that since 2008, though. It's time to update the list!
The sites I list below are primarily personal-finance blogs. I'd love to hear about other personal-finance sites from around the world, whether blog or not.
United Kingdom (and Ireland)
- Lovemoney — This site seems to be a comprehensive personal-finance resource for folks in the U.K. Lovemoney has sections for sharing knowledge (with how-to guides, videos, blogs, and forums), comparing financial products (such as savings accounts and credit cards), and tracking spending. I can't be sure, but that last link looks like it leads to a piece of software that Lovemoney has designed. If you're in the U.K., check this place out and let me know what you think.
- Monevator — “Monevator is a personal blog about money: making, saving, growing, and sometimes even spending it. It's all written by me, a UK-based private investor and spare room entrepreneur, for people like me, wherever you are in the world. It aims to inspire, not tell you exactly what to do in your life.”
- Notes From the Frugal Trenches — “When desperate times call for desperate measures – British woman in her 20's who used to love handbags, shoes, days spend @ the shops & nights @ restaurants and bars – instead now I'm on a journey in eco, frugal living while living in London and somehow getting in control of my finances instead of letting them control me; it's about time!” This blog makes me long to return to England.
- This is Money — A sort of U.K.-based MSN Money. “This is Money's simple aim is to help you save money and make money in all aspects of your life. We do this through our award-winning news and advice-packed features which can help you fight back against profit-hungry financial companies.”
- Rob Thomas Blog — A U.K.-based property blog. “If my blog stimulates you to action, makes you a more savvy investor, opens up ideas for new approaches I will have achieved my goal.”
- Moneywise — I picked up a copy of Moneywise at Victoria Station &mash; I thought it was great. This magazine (and web site) offer a great balance of information for people at all levels of money management.
- You and Your Money — This is the official web site for an Irish money magazine. I think this is a great choice if you're looking for Irish personal finance advice.
- Money Saving Expert — “The aim is to help you save money on anything and everything by finding the best deals and beating the system…UK's most popular independent money site with over two million visits per month.”
- Simple Savings UK — Recommended by a GRS reader. Most (all?) of the content is “for-pay”, but it looks like there's a lot here.
- Moneywell.co.uk — more personal finance advice from a U.K. perspective.
- Kontoblick — This appears to be a web-based personal-finance tool for Germans. Or Swiss. It allows you to view your accounts at various banks (including cash and credit cards), manage your finances, and keep track of your spending.
- Der Weg zur finanziellen UnabhÃ¤ngigkeit — A German blog about striving for financial independence and living simply. (I think.)
- Come Diventare Ricco — “How to Get Rich” is an Italian blog written by Giovanni, who says: “Come diventarericco is an Italian blog about personal finance topics like budgeting, savings, debts repaying, alternative income.”
- Plus Riches — A French money blog, and a good one from the looks of it. I can't actually read French (despite my best efforts to learn), so I'm going of the look and feel of the place.
- Espirit Riche — “Changez votre point de vue sur largent.” In English: “Change your point of view on money.” This blog recently reviewed a book I'm reading now: The Magic of Thinking Big. Unfortunately, I cannot read the review, and the free translation sites aren't really useful for big articles like this.
- Banche, risparmio, investimenti & trading — An Italian personal finance blog! I love the free translation of the blog's about line: “Opinions, you comment on and reflections on economy and finances, confront and tables of synthesis of the offers of the banks and of the online accounts of depot, discussions on the investments for the small savers.” Right. Enjoy!
- A fin de mes — A Spanish money blog. “A Fin de mes es un blog sobre economÃa familiar, donde ofrecemos trucos, guÃas y recursos para ahorrar mes a mes. TambiÃ©n hablamos de buenas ofertas que podemos encontrar para que nuestras compras salgan mÃ¡s econÃ³micas.” Or: “A fin de mes is a blog about family economy, where we offer tricks, guides, and resources to save from month-to-month. We also discuss good deals so that we can make more economic purchases.”
- Finanzas — Another personal finance blog from Spain.
- Milionarul Mioritic — In 2007, Luca shared his Romanian personal finance blog, which he says is about learning to make money. It seems to be still going strong.
- El Blog SalmÃ³n — “El Blog SalmÃ³n es un weblog colectivo dedicado a la economÃa, las finanzas y el mundo de la empresa, sin olvidar la economÃa domÃ©stica.” Or, according to Free Translation: “The Blog Salmon is a collective weblog dedicated to the economy, the finances and the world of the business, without forgetting the home economics.” I thought this site was from Latin America, but a reader corrected me last time — it's from Spain!
- Gail Vaz-Oxlade — Personal-finance guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade doesn't just write books and host a TV show about getting out of debt. She also has a website, which features a blog, a collection of older articles, a handful of financial resources, and more. (Plus, Gail's a perennial pinch hitter around GRS when I go on vacation. Thanks, Gail!)
- MapleMoney — Formerly known as Canadian Finance Blog, Tom Drake's excellent site has been around for years now. Tom is a financial analyst and well-known blogger, and MapleMoney contains sections devoted to Canadian credit cards and discount brokerages.
- The Canadian Personal Finance Blog — This comes highly recommended by a GRS reader: “The advice from [this blog] helped me to negotiate no-fee banking with the large, national bank where I have my account. This is surprisingly rare in Canada. In fact, before I read about it there I didn't even know it was possible, so I'm grateful for his help in saving me about $120 per year in bank fees.”
- Retire Happy — Named Canada's best personal finance blog by the Globe and Mail, Jim Yih focused on retirement topics like the Canada Pension Plan and Registered Retirement Income Fund.
- Canadian Dream: Free at 45 — “Saving to retire by the age of 45. I started this blog because I thought the world could use a bit more coverage on retirement planning than it normally gets in the media.”
- Million Dollar Journey — “I hope to grow my net worth to at least $1 million by the time I'm 35. Is the goal too high? Am I naive? I don't think so but only time will tell and this blog will be here to keep track along the way.”
- A Dawn Journal — “A blog on personal finance, investing, entrepreneurship, and more.”
- Canadian Financial DIY — “Personal experiences, analysis and assessments of a mid-50s Canadian. I take a do-it-yourself approach, covering taxes, investing, ETFs, portfolio and asset allocation, insurance, annuities and related book reviews in Canada and the UK.”
- Michael James on Money — This blog bills itself as “an amateur's clear explanations of personal finance and investing.”
- The Dividend Guy Blog — “One guy's journey to passive income through dividend investing.” I've been reading this blog a little lately — I'm fascinated by dividends, and am weighing them vs. index funds.
- Understanding Money — Understanding Money is a financial literacy site from the Australian government. It includes budget-planning templates and more.
- Super Guide — This site offers “simple, independent superannuation information” from Trish Power, author of Superannuation for Dummies.
- Sorted — This is a New Zealand government-sponsored site about saving, budgeting, and other finance topics. Great stuff.
- Simple Savings Australia — Recommended by a GRS reader. Most (all?) of the content is “for-pay”, but it looks like there's a lot here.
- Money Minded — “MoneyMinded consists of two adult financial education programs developed to help people build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence. The development of the MoneyMinded programs was initiated and funded by ANZ with contributions from community sector and education experts, including the Australian Financial Counseling and Credit Reform Association.”
- Enough Wealth — “How much is wealth is enough? How do you get it and keep it? How can you pass it on to future generations? An Aussie's thoughts on all these topics and more.”
- My Journey to Eliminate Debt — “My goal is to pay my $152,377 mortgage in 5 years: 30th June 2012. I started this blog to stay motivated and I would love to hear from other pf bloggers out there!”
- Good Returns — A finance blog out of New Zealand.
- Kraynov.com — The Cyrillic alphabet is like Greek to me (ha! that's funny), but Max Kraynov claims his Russian-language blog “is probably the most popular Russian-speaking blog about personal finance and life in uneasy times.”
- Financial & Legal Matters — This blog offers a mixture of financial, insurance, and legal-related tips and advice. It's written from an Asian (Malaysian) perspective. Dormant?
- Wonder, Wealth & Wisdom — A Malaysian blog that focuses on three topics: developing purpose, building wealth, and striving for personal development. Dormant?
- MoneyLIFE — Published in India, but written in English, MoneyLIFE is “is a fortnightly magazine with unique features and powerful pedigree. It empowers the individual to invest and spend wisely by offering hard facts, insightful opinions, wider options, useful tips from the world of money.”
- Personal Finance 201 — “Welcome to India's first online weekly on personal finance. The purpose of this site is to increase our Financial IQ. This site aims at organizing information on personal finance.” This site started as a blog, but the folks behind it are now developing some personal-finance software called Rupee Manager.
- GalaTime — GalaTime is a little more specialized than most pfblogs I link to. It's specifically about Indian capital markets.
- Moneylando.com — This site is written in Chinese. (It may be based out of Taiwan.) I have no idea the nature of its content, but somebody e-mailed it to me when I asked for foreign-language personal finance sites.
- Dinheirama — Dinheirama is one of the biggest personal finance blogs in Brazil. Here, “authors debate local economics, finance, types of investment and personal finance.”
- Ahorro diario — “Ahorrodiario es un weblog colectivo dedicado al ahorro: compras y hÃ¡bitos inteligentes para gastar menos y sacarle mÃ¡s partido a nuestros recursos.” Which, in J.D.'s translation, means roughly: “Savings Diary is a group weblog dedicated to savings: shopping and smart habits for spending less and removing the things that part us from our resources.”
- Dinero.com — Based in Colombia, this is a companion site to a Spanish-language personal finance magazine.
While compiling this list, I also stumbled across Gumtree, which is like craigslist for the rest of the world. Finally, for Americans serving in the armed forces, Money for Military is a daily blog about personal finance, investing, taxes, etc. as they apply to military members.” Except that it seems to be dormant now.
As usual, if you have a favorite non-U.S. personal finance site, please let us know in the comments. (I still haven't found any African personal finance websites.)