Best of Money Under 30 (2009)

What better way to celebrate the last day of 2009 than a retrospective? Hence, I give you 15 of the year’s best Money Under 30 articles, subjectively selected for uniqueness; popularity among readers, commenters and re-tweeters; and, of course, my own personal bias. I hope you enjoy them as much today as you did the first time!

  • Choose Where You Want to Live, Then Find a Job — In one of the more personal articles I’ve written here, I examine my decision to move to Maine without a “real job”—even in the middle of a recession—and just make it work.
  • How to Create a Five-Year Financial Plan — We all know that building financial security doesn’t happen overnight. That said, it’s not very easy to put money away for 40, 20, even 10 years from now. Five years is a different story. That’s why it’s so important to set a “five-year plan”.
  • How to Overcome a Fear of Your Finances — Does the thought of looking at your credit card statements or checking account make you anxious? Have you ever ignored financial mail because you just don’t want to deal with it? You’re not alone. This post offers tips to beat your fear and start taking control of your money.

  • Confessions of an Ex-Textbook Salesman — Over my career, I have had the dubious fortune of selling both cars and textbooks. When I first launched this blog, I wrote an extremely popular article about all the dirty tricks I learned about car dealerships. I decided to do the same about my experience working for a college textbook publisher.
  • Radically Re-Thinking Credit Cards — Nobody agrees on the “right” credit card strategy. Should you cut them all up or get as many as you can to maximize your rewards? Neither, says I in this two-part article.
  • How to Watch Your Wallet With High-Rolling Friends — I think this post is uber-relevant to young people. It tackles a question we’ve all faced at some point: How can we go out with friends and have a good time without looking cheap and/or going into debt?
  • The 15 Best Financial iPhone Apps — I read a study claiming iPhone users are more productive that those that use other mobile phones. Based upon the popularity of this piece showcasing some of the best early financial iPhone apps, I have a hunch handle their money better, too.
  • My Credit Card Raised My Interest Rate! Here’s What to Do — Everybody I know that owns a credit card was affected by rate hikes this year. I know folks with huge credit limits and perfect credit scores see their APRs go as high as 20, 25, even 30 percent. It’s ridiculous, but if it has happened to you, here’s what to do.
  • Young and Upside Down on the Mortgage — Imagine you bought your dream home only to find two or three years later that it’s only worth half of what you paid for it. It’s a reality many people are facing right now.
  • 10 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Finances — Some people love juggling dozens of bank accounts and credit cards to earn the best interest and rewards. I, on the other hand, sincerely believe money doesn’t have to be complicated. Therefore, I present a few ways to make it less so.
  • A Case for Local Banks and Credit Unions — Finally, I leave you with a piece of advice I encourage you to follow: leave your large bank. Small banks and credit unions will add personal service to your banking and keep the money you save in your community; you may even snag a better deal.

That’s it for this 365 days. See you in 2010.

Happy New Year!

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.