Congratulations to the 2021 Plutus Awards Blog of the Year Nominees!

If you enjoy personal finance blogs, you’re probably always on the lookout for some different voices sharing their unique perspectives. You never know when you’ll discover a new blogger that just connects with who you are or where you want to go.

Each year, the Plutus Foundation holds an award ceremony for personal finance creators across the spectrum – bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, etc. If you create content about money, there’s going to be a Plutus Award for that category.

One of the bigger awards for bloggers is that of Blog of the Year.

We’ve been honored to have been nominated for it this year along with some other fantastic bloggers (many of the minds behind these blogs do more than just write!). I wanted to showcase some of my fellow nominees in the hopes you can find a new blog to add to your reading list!

(FWIW, they are listed in the order in which they responded to my email questions, with the exception of The FIoneers who ended up taking home the trophy)

Table of Contents
  1. The FIoneers – 2021 Winner
  2. Accidental FIRE
  3. Mixed Up Money
  4. The College Investor
  5. I Like to Dabble
  6. Her First $100K
  7. A Purple Life
  8. Clever Girl Finance
  9. Tread Lightly, Retire Early

The FIoneers – 2021 Winner

I’ve known Jessica and Corey from The FIoneers for ages (Corey with a previous personal finance blog) and I think their ideas behind Coast FI are phenomenal. I don’t know if they coined it (I think they did but correct me if I’m wrong) but this post was the first I’d ever heard of the Coast FI approach.

At the 2021 Plutus Awards, The FIoneers were announced as the winner of the Blog of the Year!

  • What The FIoneers all about: “As Fioneers, we don’t want to miss out on our life while we race toward financial independence. Instead, we’re focused on using the financial freedom we gain along the way to design our ideal life. Instead of racing toward the FIRE finish line, we’ve intentionally slowed down. I took a 6-month career break to deal with a health issue. When I went back to work, I decided to take a pay cut to work part-time. I later started a business and took the leap to entrepreneurship earlier than expected. Why? Because we believe the journey to FI should be as remarkable as the destination. We help people design a lives they love as they build financial freedom, not after.”
  • Jessica’s favorite post: Why You Should Design Your Life Before Reaching FI
  • Weird quirky fact about Jessica (and Corey): “My husband and I just bought a campervan! 🥳 While we aren’t planning to live in it full-time at this point, we do plan on taking months-long trips! #Vanlife is going to be amazing!”

Accidental FIRE

I’ve been a fan of Dave and Accidental FIRE for a couple years after discovering it during my regular curation efforts for Apex Money. As it turns out, J.D. Roth (of Get Rich Slowly and my partner in Apex) considered it one of his ten favorite money blogs, and probably one of the reasons why I discovered it in the first place!

Here’s Dave’s quick pitch on the blog plus a link to his favorite post:

  • What Accidental FIRE is all about: Dave is a personal finance blogger, avid outdoor sports junkie, geographer, and teacher. He reached financial independence and semi-retired in his mid-40’s through hard work, smart living, and investing. He writes about the links between discipline, fitness, habits, and mindset and how they all affect your finances. He also believes personal finance needs more laughter.
  • Dave’s favorite post: A great post to read to get the flavor of Accidental FIRE is Poverty, Bubbles, And The Line.”
  • Weird quirky fact about Dave: “I once sat in on guitar with an all-Nepali Blues Band at a bar in Kathmandu.”

Mixed Up Money

I’ve been following Mixed Up Money for a bit but never really had a chance to interact with Alyssa outside of a few tweets here or there.

  • What Mixed Up Money is all about: “At Mixed Up Money, our main focus is creating a safe and judgment-free space for people who don’t know where to start with their financial journey. Often focusing on the emotional side of our money, we don’t expect you to be perfect and we aren’t afraid to share our failures. Instead, we help you create a healthy vision of what financial success looks like for you — and only you. 

    What I’ve learned since starting this blog back in 2015 is how much perspective matters. Listening to others’ money stories can change how you view money, and for that reason, it’s okay to admit that some of the things we’re taught are wrong and don’t serve every community. The important thing is to acknowledge that what works for one person won’t always work for another.”
  • Alyssa’s favorite post: 30 Life Lessons About Money – This post is great because it not only has some great lessons but also gives you a bit more insight into Alyssa and her blog’s mission.
  • Weird quirky fact about Alyssa: “One of my side hustles used to be singing the national anthem at college sporting events!”

The College Investor

I’ve known Robert for years and I’ve always been impressed with how he’s able to bring personal finance to his college (and college-adjacent) audience. If you’re closer to your high school graduation than to when you’ll be collecting Social Security, Robert has you covered. If you have to deal with student loans, he has some of the most comprehensive material on the subject. If you’re just getting started in the investing game, he has that too.

  • What The College Investor is all about: “The College Investor is focused on helping people get out of student loan debt and starting to invest early to build wealth. I started it as I was graduating from school and paying down my student loans while side hustling and investing. Today, we are focused on being the best resource for helping people navigate the complex financial decisions involved after graduation – from figuring out the best student loan repayment plan, how to side hustle and earn extra money, and to how to invest to build wealth.”
  • Robert’s favorite post: How To Start Investing After College
  • Weird quirky fact about Robert: “I love coin collecting, and I’m working on a full US-Type Set and a full US-Half Dollar collection.”

I Like to Dabble

  • What I Like to Dabble is all about: “Daniella Flores is a queer and nonbinary, Latinx software engineer, cat servant, and serial side hustler. They founded back in 2017 between back to back layoffs originally as a creative outlet. 4 years later it’s gone on to be one of the top side hustle resource websites that’s been featured in TIME, Slate, Business Insider, LA Times, CNBC, MSN, and more. 

    I Like to Dabble serves as a resource platform and community to help creatives and LGBTQ+ folks create side hustles and take back control in their lives. They believe that none of us have to do 1 thing for the rest of our lives, be tied to a desk while doing it, nor accept the discrimination and toxic workplace behavior so many of us have to endure just to “make a living”. Their mission is to shine the light on the possibilities out there to create money with our own creative energy and gain back more control in our lives because of it.”
  • Daniella’s favorite post: How To Balance a Side Hustle With a Full Time Job
  • Weird quirky fact about Daniella: “The first website I ever created was a website entirely dedicated to Sailor Mercury when I was 9. My dad was learning html at his job and wanted to teach me. That sparked the rest of my creative life.”

Her First $100K

Tori Dunlap is a force of nature that you have to experience yourself before you can fully understand what I mean.

That’s it.

That’s the description – go experience it. 🙂

  • What Her First $100K is all about: “It is my mission to fight the patriarchy through financial education. I have a responsibility to pass this information on. Without a financial education, financial freedom can never be attained. And without financial freedom and economic equality, women will always lack true equality. The very act of a woman getting her financial shit together is feminist.

    With a predatory financial industry that disproportionately targets marginalized groups, having a solid financial foundation is an act of protest against a corrupt society. In a historically male-dominated society and in our current political climate where women’s rights are being attacked every day, I’m here to call out bullshit. I’m here to stop the narrative that the reason women aren’t rich is because they buy too many lattes. I’m here to stop the shame and judgment. 

    I lead the new guard of personal finance experts: those who are unabashedly feminist and provide women with resources to get, save, and grow their money to fight the patriarchy. And the best way to fight the patriarchy? Get rich.”

A Purple Life

  • What A Purple Life is all about: “I’m ‘Purple’ and I’ve written at for the last 6.5 years about my journey to and through financial independence. I’m a black woman who worked in marketing and retired at 30 in October 2020. With my blog I aim to provide an example to people who don’t fit the prevailing FIRE stereotype that they can improve their financial situation to reach their definition of freedom. “
  • Purple’s favorite post: My favorite post is Why Retire Early? Because Death Is Coming, but I think From Frugal To Fuck It: The Evolution Of My Thoughts On Spending Money represents me best.
  • Weird quirky fact about Purple: “I forgot how to speak my first language.”

Clever Girl Finance

I don’t know much about Clever Girl Finance or its founder, Bola Sokunbi, and I was just pointed to their about page when I asked them for more information about them… so here you go. 🙂

  • What Clever Girl Finance is all about: “Clever Girl Finance® is one of the largest personal finance platforms for women in the U.S. and we have consistently been voted one of the best finance websites for women.F ounded by Bola Sokunbi, we are a mission-driven financial empowerment platform aimed at providing women with the right products and services as well as financial guidance. We do this through our completely free resources including personal finance courses, one-on-one mentor calls, articles, audio content, an incredibly supportive community, and more.”
  • CGF’s favorite post: 70 Financial Statistics About Women You Should Know

Tread Lightly, Retire Early

  • What Tread Lightly, Retire Early is all about: From her About Page – “I’m Angela, a Pacific Northwest native who hates most seafood, loves to garden, cook, hike, camp, run, read, and explore, while lightening my impact on the planet in everything I do.

    I’m a mama to one awesome five year old son and have been married since I was just twenty one. I work as a LEED AP for a company that builds green, affordable communities in urban areas. I have no plans to quit but am still very much focused on financial independence because it will give me the option to say “I want to be here,” not “I have to be.”

    Join me on my journey to tread lightly and (maybe) retire early.”

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  1. Dave @ Accidental FIRE says

    THANKS so much for the highlight and for putting this together Jim, it’s an honor to be in the company of such amazing writers!

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