Six Ways to Get Intense About Your Money and Finances

I recently wrote a post titled, “How to Save Money Like a Madman“, in which I listed the ways you could begin acting like a madman in regards to your savings.  One of the tips I listed was to “Get Intense!”

I thought it might be good to build upon that point a bit and share some of the ways I use to get intense about personal finance.

I want start by referencing a nice article that was written on this subject over at Think Your Way to Wealth, Ways To Educate Yourself about Personal Finance and Money. This is an excellent collection of ways to learn more about personal finance.  Be sure and read this one and I’ll try and build upon it a bit.

Read Personal Finance Blogs

First off, I subscribe to a lot of personal finance and money related blogs.  Check out my blogroll to see who I’m currently subscribed to.  Now, you don’t have to subscribe to all of these. Just pick a few that stand out to you as motivating and useful for your needs.  As an example, if you’re focused on getting rid of some debt, maybe try following following someone else who’s doing the same.

Don’t want to subscribe to any one blog?  Check out the massive aggregator or the personal finance social site PF Buzz.  There you’ll get to pick and choose from literally thousands of great articles.

Browse the Personal Finance Sections of Your Local Paper and Online News

Your local paper likely has a personal finance section tucked away somewhere in the “business” or “money” sections.  It’s good to check these columns out routinely as you’ll likely find some information relevant to your specific area.  After you’ve gone local, check out the big personal finance websites:

Head to the Library and Check Out a Few Personal Finance Books

There’s no reason to spend money for basic personal finance information.  What you can’t find online on the blogs, you’re sure to find in one of the many personal finance related books at your local library.  Some books I’d recommend that I’ve read: The Automatic Millionaire and Easy Money.  Both cover all the personal finance topics from beginning to end.

Just grab a few books and start pouring over them till you find one that relates to you and has a personality that sticks.  Some of these can be pretty dry so stick with the one’s that really interest you and read well.

Learn About Other People Who’ve Had Success With Their Money


I round-a-bout way to increase your knowledge about personal finance is to read about others who’ve had success managing their money and who’ve found peace with their financial lives.  I’ve got a ton of real stories listed here on the site at my Millionaires feature.  There’s more in there than just real-estate millionaires too, so dig in and find the profiles that motivate and inspire.

Find a Money Mentor

Take the profile thing one step further and find someone in your life who’s had or is having success with handling their money.  This doesn’t have to be a millionaire mogul.  It can just be a friend or relative who you see having success.  Make it a point to occasionally discuss financial issues with them.  It doesn’t have to include specific personal details.  Just stick to concepts.  It can be something like, “what’s the best place to put your money” or “how should I approach buying my next car.”  Most people love talking a little about money and finance and how they do things, especially if they are good at it.

Analyze the Details of Your Own Finances

I wasn’t sure if this fit here, but I think a big motivator towards intensity for me is being able to see where all my money is going and where it’s coming from.  Use something like my one-sheet, dashboard style view to see the whole picture of your financial situation.

I’m sure I left off plenty of ways to get intense about your finances.  Help me fill in the blanks by leaving your own suggestions for what helps you get intense.

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon. He created this website back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence. He uses Personal Capital to track his wealth. All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. Until Debt Do US Part says

    Good Post.

    The thing I would point out that I notice about all your suggestions as a whole is that in order to get intense about personal finance you need to crowd out everything else.

    What I mean is that if you focus on personal finance by reading blogs, books, interviews etc then it is only a matter of time before it begins to have a positive impact on your finances. This in turn is a good thing. You can’t help but improve your situation.

  2. This was a great post! There is so much turbulence in the market today, and people need peace of mind more than ever. I wanted to offer your readers a link to another blogger who is doing great work. He writes about our ‘childhood money messages’ and how the best approach to stability in today’s market is to resist letting these emotions control our buying/selling habits. It is really fascinating work, and something you should all check out. His name is Spencer Sherman, and you can view his blog at

  3. You can take it a step further and sit down with a mentor or anyone who has been through this sutation, and analyze your own finances together. It is one thing to sit there and look at your finances yourself and justify it to yourself. It is a totally differnt story hearing from someone else the things you spend money on. I was at this point about 6 months ago and ever since then I really feel I have taken total control over my finances to the point where I feel confident I am heading in the right direction. I credit my upturn to my parents, girlfriend, and especially the internet because it allowed me to educate myself on ways to fix my faults. Thanks to the blogging community as well.

    Excellent stuff PT!

  4. I am glad that you mentioned finding a mentor. Having someone that you respect, that is willing to teach you – it can be the most effective tactic.

    It takes a lot to change old, ingrained habits. Sometimes the easiest way is by “looking up” to someone, even a little bit.

    I bet most of us would not be where we are today without the people that took the time to mentor and teach us.

    Excellent article.

  5. RC@ThinkYourWayToWealth says

    Thanks for mentioning my article PT- and some great tips in your post- I’ve enjoyed your millionaire series for quite a while.