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Robert Palumbo | Blog

7 Essential Personal Finance Reads for Recent Grads

April 2, 2015

Like many other young Canadians, I recently went through the process of finishing school and moving to the city. I quickly found it easy to let my spending spiral out of control. Looking around, I saw my peers living fast (… “YOLO”, right?!). Living in an exciting new environment can make you feel that the sky is the limit. Similar to the nearly half of Canadians in credit card debt, my credit card became the answer to whatever temptation came my way – from online purchases, to grabbing food downtown, to racking up a bar tab. Unchecked, the urban lifestyle had expensive consequences.

After joining Borrowell, I spent a lot of time reading personal finance blogs and learning unfamiliar concepts such as debt consolidation, budgeting, RRSPs, TFSAs, and other financial jargon.  As a recent grad with limited financial experience, I realized I needed to make a change before my credit card spending got out of hand.

It pays to have good financial habits. I wanted to share the resources that inspired me to make a change:

Studenomics | @Studenomics

Studenomics is a hilarious blog written by 27-year-old Martin Dasko. In Martin’s words “I’m all about having a blast, living unconventionally, and getting ahead now”. Martin says his readers are ‘students of life’ and his mission is to help everyone he can to conquer money in their 20s.

Essential Read: The Guide to Drinking Without Going Broke

Alternate Life | @MyAlternateBlog

My Alternate Life is a well-written blog that helps debt-ridden millennials improve their financial situations. Jordann (with two ‘Ns’) is a 20-something living in Halifax. Since starting her financial journey, she has paid off over $38,000 in debt and added nearly $25,000 to her net worth.

Essential Read: How Much Should I Spend on My New Apartment?

Young and Thrifty | @YoungAndThrifty

Young and Thrifty started as a resource to help grads understand personal finance. It has since evolved into much more. The dynamic duo of Justin and Kyle (two Manitoban guys in their mid-twenties) cover must-read topics ranging from investing to the choice of renting vs. owning.

Essential Read: TFSA vs. RRSP: Head to Head Comparison

Blonde on a Budget | @BlondeOnABudget

Blonde on a Budget started as a personal blog where author Cait Flanders could stay accountable and document her own debt pay-down progress. Since then, Cait has paid off her debt and moved on to write about topics such as savings strategies, travelling, and minimalism. While I’m not blonde (disclaimer: I’m a brown-haired dude), I really appreciate Cait’s insights.

Essential Read: How I Paid Off $30,000 of Debt in Two Years 

Squawk Fox | @SquawkFox

Squawk Fox is a ‘financially fun’ blog written by Toronto’s Kerry Taylor. Popular topics include rising grocery costs, credit card debt, and smart money-saving consumer strategies. For good reason, Kerry has been voted Canada’s Top Money Blogger by Globe and Mail’s readership.

Essential Read: The Real Reason You’re Broke

Money After Graduation | @MoneyAfterGrad

Money After Graduation is an essential guide to making, saving, and spending money in your 20s. Since starting Money After Grad two years ago, University of Alberta graduate Bridget Casey has paid off over $20,000 in debt. Check her out for some great tips!

Essential Read: Are Millennials Being Talked Out of Saving?

Broke In the City | @BrokeInTheCity

Erin is a 20-something millennial who has lived out of a suitcase since 2007. With sarcasm and wit, she educates readers about how to cut down spending, save more, and tackle debt. She also writes about minimalism and the advantages of living with less at The Everyday Minimalist.

Essential Read: Got a New Job? Watch Out for These Pitfalls

Have any bloggers inspired you to make a change? Leave a comment below and let us know any resources we’ve missed!

Rob is an Analyst at Borrowell. He is a prolific reader on many topics, and has a soft spot for personal finance blogs.

5 thoughts on “7 Essential Personal Finance Reads for Recent Grads”

  1. Thanks for sharing these great resources, Rob! As a recent graduate living in the city I can definitely relate to this struggle. These blogs will be a great help as I strive to reach my financial goals. In addition to these blogs, I find apps such as to be incredibly helpful. They allow me to track my spending habits and revisit my budget over time.

    When seeking a loan, one of the most important factors for me was the interest rate. Interest on debt can rack up quickly – keep that rate low!

    1. Thank you Kyle! is a great tool for managing budgets and spending. As for low interest rates, I completely agree. Borrowell’s goal is to keep rates affordable for Canadians looking to refinance credit cards and other high-cost debt. Cheers!

  2. Solid article! Really fits my interests as I am finishing school and hopefully moving downtown within the next few months! I am confident that this article will help ease the transition financially.

  3. Hear hear! With a student loan and a proclivity to adhere to the gen Y “YOLO” mentality- if it weren’t for these tools I’d be a walking credit disaster LOL!

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