(Guest post from Jesse F.) Like you, I read the newspaper (or at least the front page of Yahoo.com). I know that the financial crash of 2008 was tied to the subprime mortgage crisis, and that foreign economies slumped because their currencies were tied to the U.S. dollar. Just don’t ask me to explain what a subprime mortgage is or how other nations hedge against changes in foreign currency valuations...something about oil futures (which begs the question: what are oil futures?). For all of the talk that we hear on a daily basis about the economy from politicians, friends, relatives and the talking heads on T.V., I still only hold very vague notions of what’s going on in the financial world, and more importantly, have no better understanding of how to best manage my money. Sure, there are books and resources from the IRS, banks, E-Trade, etc., but reading these is like trying to decipher the Rosetta Stone. They should reasonably come with a coupon for three free aspirin and a warning that reads: “Not intended for the classically literate.” Fear not! With the emergence of this wonderful thing that scientists are calling the Internet, there are now resources available that are accessible to the average human being. For those of you that don’t have time to hunt across the vast, seemingly endless Web, I’ve listed below some of the informative personal finance sites that I’ve come across. 1) Planet Finances (http://bablosa.com). This site covers a variety of topics, including planning for retirement and understanding pensions, lien overviews, and managing debt. For those looking for Planet Fitness, I apologize; you are in the wrong place. If you’re looking for information on debt consolidation, however, you are in the right place. To get on your way, follow this link: http://bablosa.com/how-to-choose-a-debt-consolidation-loan-company/ 2) Chat About Finances (http://chat-nett.com). This site similarly covers a variety of personal finance topics, including tips on investing; the values of different currencies, including Midas’ favorite metal (read: Gold); and points users towards other resources on topics not covered directly. Let’s talk about sex? No, let’s talk about finances. And if you’re looking to invest in the stock market, you’d better do your homework first. Start here: http://chat-nett.com/investing-in-trading-stocks/. 3) Finance Look (http://lookse.org). Have you ever thought, “Hey, you know what’d be cool? One website that has information on banking, finance, insurance and investing!” If I had a first-born, I’d consider selling them for such a site. Fortunately, it will never come to that, because there’s Finance Look. And for those of you interested in establishing financial independence, this is a great place to start. And hey! They have an article about just that: http://lookse.org/buying-on-your-own-fiscal-independence/. 4) Finance Clan (http://www.op-clan.com). If you checked out Planet Finances, you’re probably muttering to yourself, “Wow, that was useful,” or “I think perhaps I’m ready to take the Series 7 exam” while chewing on the end of your grandfather’s pipe. But then you might start to wonder how you can tell the difference between a good debt consolidation plan and a less-good plan. This is a very reasonable question, and you’re very smart for asking it. Finance Clan to the rescue! (http://op-clan.com/shortcomings-of-any-debt-consolidation-loan). 5) Financially Poor (www.financiallypoor.com / www.bestprospecting.net). Financially Poor is a website run by a regular guy who lost his job. He decided that he wanted to work to live, not live to work. Now, he provides tips to others like him who want to increase their financial flexibility without totally forfeiting their lives. Weigh the merits of his ideas for yourself, but the site is a good place to start thinking about your financial future. For a good overview of ideas and concepts related to managing your personal finances, check out http://www.financiallypoor.com/welcome-new-readers/. Hopefully these sites will give you a better understanding of personal finances. At the very least, you won’t feel like slamming your head against a rock every time you start thinking about consolidating your debt or transitioning your Roth IRA to a traditional IRA. What’s a Roth IRA? Ask the guys who write the sites above. I do know that it’s got nothing to do with David Lee, highlight of the Hanukah Song and member of some band that likes to jump…a lot. Good luck out there, and remember rule #1 of personal finance management: Don’t give your money away! So keep your wallets in your front pockets and your purse straps pulled tight!