Nowadays, there are a ton of places to get good (and bad) personal finance tips. You can go to people who call themselves “experts,” or you can go to people that might have been in a similar situation as yourself. Reddit is a vast community with tons of different topics and threads, and there is certainly no shortage of personal finance advice. Some Reddit personal finance topics are rather broad, and others get very specific and focused on a particular aspect of your finances. So no matter what you might have a question on, it’s in there. And if not, you can start your own thread! Here I’ve gathered some of the best tips I’ve found on Reddit and subreddits for personal finance.
New to Reddit?
Before we dive into the personal finance part of Reddit, it might be helpful to know some of the lingo and how Reddit works. Of course, if you’re a Reddit veteran, feel free to skip ahead.
Subreddits: Subreddits are simply communities\topics that get more specific. Later I’ll outline some of the more popular finance-related subreddits, but you can think of them as a more specific topic for the posts\threads. Subreddits are denoted by r/Topic.
Upvote / Downvote: Other users can vote on how good the answer is whenever a user answers a question. Upvote means it was a good answer, and downvote means it’s not so great.
Karma: Karma is a way to distinguish between who gives mostly good answers and who’s out there to mostly troll (give bad answers on purpose) to others. Whenever a user receives an upvote, their karma score goes up. If they get a downvote, it goes down. Karma from all answers is totaled up, not just from a particular subreddit, so be careful. A user that knows a lot about movies and gets tons of karma there might not know much about finance.
OP: OP is short for Original Poster
Most Common\Helpful Tips on Reddit
I’ve spent a decent amount of time on Reddit finance boards, and after a while, you see some trends. As far as finances go, many people give the same good advice below:
No matter where you are in your financial journey, budgeting is vital. Keeping track of your income, expenses and setting aside money for specific fees can only help you get or keep your finances on track.
Check Your Statements
Too often, we forget about subscriptions we signed up for, used for a few months, then totally forget about them. The problem is, the company you’re paying doesn’t care if you are using their service or not. So always check your statements to ensure there isn’t a recurring charge that you don’t need anymore.
Get Out of Debt
Getting out of debt is a pillar in personal finances. Time after time, you’ll see users on Reddit give the advice to obliterate any debt you might have, and it’s solid advice. When you have hundreds of dollars a month going straight to someone else’s pocket, it’s no wonder many people struggle to get ahead.
Have an Emergency Fund
You never know what will happen in life, and it’s best to be prepared. Having enough money put aside in a High Yield Savings Account that can cover at least 3, but preferably closer to six months of expenses is hopefully nothing more than peace of mind. Then, if it turns out one day that you need it, you’ll be glad it’s there.
Look at Final Price, Not Month Payments
A common mistake many people write about on Reddit is looking at the monthly payment instead of the final price of a big purchase. Generally, with a lower monthly payment comes a more extended repayment period which means more interest in the long run. Therefore, the final price is the only number that matters when making big purchases.
Buy Cars Used, but beware of Salesmen
Another solid piece of advice commonly on Reddit is to buy used cars but beware of the sales team trying to upsell you. If you didn’t need heated seats, a moonroof, or any other bells and whistles before you went in, don’t let them sell them to you. They’ll use every technique they have to pressure you into spending more money, because hey, it’s their job, right?
Is Going From Two Incomes to One A Good Idea
Long before children are even born, they are already affecting our finances. With the costs of child care, many couples need to contemplate if keeping both their jobs is worth it. Unfortunately, it’s not a straightforward answer. What you’ll find on Reddit are people letting you know what they went through. Even though they might have ended up with more money going to work, many moms and dads are happy they stayed home as no amount of money can replace time with your children, but if you do choose to stay home, be prepared to cut back on spending.
Sell Stuff that Doesn’t Bring Value
The following advice might not make you rich, but it will undoubtedly make you feel better. Too often, we accumulate stuff that we simply don’t need. Sometimes we have things we valued at one point but don’t anymore. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to clear the clutter from our homes. If you can sell it, great, you made some money and got rid of clutter. But, if you can’t sell it, donate it, and you’ll still get a good feeling about getting rid of the clutter and someone else being able to get use from stuff just lying around your home.
Recessions Are Not the End of the World
Everyone hears the word recession and fears the worst. However, most recessions are mild and don’t make an impact on our daily lives. Yes, a few have been highly detrimental, but those are the exceptions to the rule. Our economy is constantly going through growth and recession periods. If you are already doing what you should be financially speaking, the next recession won’t phase you one bit.
Many people on Reddit threads have expressed their regret over not negotiating their salary. Not doing it better, but doing it at all. Many people think if they ask for more money, companies will immediately rescind a job offer or fire you, but that’s not the case. Companies expect negotiations, especially when hiring a new employee. Don’t simply ask for more money to ask. Go in prepared with facts and data to support your argument. This holds true for asking your current employer for a raise as well. Simply demanding something because you want it doesn’t typically work, but solid reasoning does.
Teach Kids About Finances
So many people on Reddit wish their parents had taught them about finances at a younger age. By the time they did, it was too late. They don’t plan on making the same mistake with their children. Giving kids an allowance and having them budget their money at a young age is crucial. If you simply buy them anything they point at or don’t make them work for their money, you’re not doing them any favors. Let your kids pick up extra chores around the house to make money so they can understand the value of earning what they want instead of having it handed to them.
With so many topics and situations to cover, there is a subreddit out there for anything you might be interested in learning about financially. Below are some of the top subreddits to start looking at in you Reddit journey.
With nearly 15 million members, this is one of the largest, if not the largest, personal finance communities on Reddit. You might have a hard time keeping up with all the posts, threads, and comments going on, but you’ll surely be able to find something related to what you are looking for. Topics can range from everyday money matters to investing to how to fund a business. So if you are looking for anything money-related, this is an excellent place to start.
As the name might suggest, if you are looking for how to achieve financial independence, this is the subreddit for you. In this subreddit, many people will share how they have already done so and advise others on doing the same. Many of the users have made mistakes along the way. They will give those currently on their financial journey advice on how to reach their money goals and what pitfalls they should avoid. With nearly 1 million members, there is plenty of sound advice available.
Another aptly named subreddit, r/FinancialPlanning is all about just that. Mostly, users will post questions about the best uses for their money for now and future, so planning ahead is the name of the game here. Of course, other aspects of finances also come into play, such as investing and different app\websites that can be used to track personal finances as well. Not as big as other subreddits, but there are still a heft 250k members to date.
With almost 17k Redditors on board, r/Budget aims to help others manage their monthly expenses based on their earnings. It will typically hit all the pillars of financial management. Saving money, living within your means, tips on getting out of debt, and many other topics can be found in this subreddit’s threads.
Being frugal has gone from taboo to more of a badge of honor in recent years, so it’s no wonder the Frugal subreddit is rocking almost 2 million members. As you might have guessed, this subreddit is all about the frugal lifestyle. Not just saving money, but learning to live within your means, lower debt, and have a better money mindset in general.
With close to 1.3 million users pitching in, you can discover all sorts of creative ways to travel on a “shoestring” budget in the forum. Tips on different ways to save money or cheap places to have a fun vacation are abundant. So if traveling cheaply is your game, this is the subreddit for you.
Almost 1 million Reddit members are contributing to this forum that revolves around living in poverty. Similar topics to other subreddits that revolve around saving money any which way one can, but thrown in threads about poverty-specific circumstances as well. This may have to do with bankruptcy issues or other related topics.
There are plenty of real-life stories of people pulling themselves up out of poverty to help give others the motivation they need to keep moving forward and getting their finances in order.
The Middle Class Finance subreddit is a mix of other financially related subreddits as the middle class covers so many different financial situations. If you are looking for a broad range of topics, starting here is an excellent way to go. Saving money, investing, debt maintenance, you name it, you’ll likely find a thread on it here.
The FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) has been catching, well, fire lately. This subreddit is dedicated to those that have achieved or are looking to achieve FIRE in their own lives. It most certainly has topics covered in other subreddits, but many of the threads revolve solely around how to achieve FIRE and what to do once you have. It’s a relatively small group of under 100k users but will undoubtedly keep picking up steam as time goes on.
Even more specific to FIRE is that there are different types of FIRE. Two of the more popular kinds are leanFIRE and FatFIRE. LeanFIRE is geared towards those that are willing to live frugally to achieve FI, while FatFire is for those who are looking to keep their current lifestyle while achieving FIRE. In either case, there are additional subreddits for either kind of fire with r/leanFIRE and r/FatFire, respectively.
No matter what your financial situation, one thing we can all relate to is taxes. For something so common, the r/tax subreddit is surprisingly small at just under 150k Redditors. However, there are still some handy tidbits here. Many threads will help anyone keep more money in their wallet instead of hanging it over to the IRS.
With nearly 2 million users contributing, the r/investing subreddit has many investing ideas, strategies, and success stories. Really anything that has to do with investing your money can be found here. Stocks, mutual funds, index funds, and stock market alternatives are all in there. Whether you’re just starting to invest or an investing pro, this community will be able to help you in some way.
A little more specific than the r/Investing subreddit, this one revolves around investing in real estate. Most questions from those who want to invest being answered by those who currently own or have owned investment properties. Types of real estate investing cover your traditional landlord\tenant investing to flipping houses to investing in commercial real estate, or even wholesaling. Any real estate investing you are looking for can be found here.
With cryptocurrency becoming more and more mainstream, it’s no surprise that this Reddit community consists of over 3 million users. One where you’ll find anything crypto-related. Bitcoin, litecoin, tezos, and any other altcoin you might be interested in is discussed. If not, you can ask a question about it. Blockchain technology, the future of cryptocurrency, and anything else close to the subject are discussed in one way or another.
Another significant movement in recent years is that of having a “side hustle.” With today’s technology and “gig economy,” it’s easier than ever to earn a few extra bucks in your spare time than ever. Or, if you are currently out of a job, this subreddit can help you make some money while you look for your next one. Users talk about all sorts of different ways to make money on the side. Apps, sites, surveys, product testing, you name it, someone on here has done it.
With almost a half-million users, you can find good advice revolving around credits cards and how to use them effectively here. Here you’ll find topics ranging from improving credit scores, paying off credit card debt, moving to lower interest cards, or special deals and promotions to take advantage of to help pay off debt quicker.
Not all banks are created equal, and when looking to save money, you’ve got to think of everything. Even the slightest of fees can add up over time, so they shouldn’t be ignored. Users on this subreddit will post about how banks work\make money, which is the best to use for different financial situations, and how to save money if you are dealing directly with a bank for any reason.
With the rising cost of higher education, student debt has been climbing for decades. It comes as no surprise that there are over 100k users in this Reddit community. Here you’ll find topics explicitly related to student loans. Here you’ll find advice from those who have paid off their loans, made mistakes doing so, or are currently looking for the best route to get debt-free. Some users had small loans, others very large, so no matter how much student loan debt you have, someone here has been there before you.
Keeping track of all your finances can seem like a full-time job in itself. Good thing there are so many apps, sites, and other tools available to use with the click of a button or two. On the PFtools subreddit, you’ll find advice from others on tools they’ve tried to use to help keep better track of their money, which ones worked for them and why, and which ones fell short.
Like other financial gurus, Jack Bogle (found of Vanguard Group) has his own following. This is where you’ll find them, at least on Reddit. Typically known as “BogleHeads,” here you’ll find primarily investment-related topics being discussed. The subjects usually stick to stock market staples such as stocks, bonds, index funds, and exchange-traded funds or ETFs for short. The approach can be somewhat different than advice in other subreddits, but you’ll have to see for yourself.
Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he’s not out there changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, a Mets game, playing video games, or just playing around with his kids.