In today’s high-rate environment, interest rates are up on both savings accounts and loans, so there’s no time like the present to boost your savings and lower your debt. Building up your nest egg while yields are still high helps maximize your earnings, which can be especially beneficial if you’re among the 48 percent of Americans without enough emergency savings to cover at least three months’ worth of expenses.

Adding to your bank account while paying down your debts sounds simple, yet in reality, it can take much planning and effort. The hardest part in improving your finances is often figuring out how to get started — especially when inflation has been making it harder to afford the basic necessities for many months.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free, reputable resources online that offer timely, practical advice on topics such as budgeting your money, getting out of debt and saving for emergencies, retirement and other goals. Here are some podcasts, social media influencers, blogs and books that are worth checking out daily — or simply when you have some spare time during the upcoming holiday season.

1. Podcasts

Listening to personal finance podcasts can help you brush up on your money knowledge and skills, and podcasts are often easy to fit in while you’re commuting, cooking or running errands.

WSJ’s Your Money Briefing

Part of financial literacy is following news events and understanding how they can affect your pocketbook. Your Money Briefing is a short podcast from The Wall Street Journal that covers trending topics on spending, saving, investing and taxes. Episodes are released every weekday, and recent coverage includes changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as how a recent verdict against the National Association of Realtors affects home buyers and sellers.

NPR’s Planet Money

Planet Money” is produced by National Public Radio (NPR) and is hosted by various financial authors and reporters. The show, which originated during the 2008 financial crisis, finds creative ways to explain how complicated financial and economic topics affect people’s lives.

Topics covered on “Planet Money” include the rise of the four-day school week, support in America for unions, antitrust in the age of Amazon, potential copyright issues involving Chat GPT, and seeing economic concepts in action at restaurant buffets. For projects, staff members have bought a rocket and figured out how to use it to make money, and they’ve purchased 100 gallons of crude oil and watched it go through the supply chain from the ground to gas tanks.

Afford Anything

Hosted by writer Paula Pant, “Afford Anything” is based on the premise that you can afford anything, but not everything, when it comes to your money, time and energy. The podcast explores ways to make smart financial decisions and find balance based on the things you value most. Topics covered include spending, investing, travel and financial independence.

Some episodes incorporate interviews with experts who are investors, certified financial planners and psychologists. Recent topics of discussion have included how to handle medical debt and how to juggle saving for your retirement and your children’s college.

2. Social media videos and accounts

Social media outlets such as YouTube and Instagram can be a source of daily financial news as well as guidance on managing your finances. Accounts that cover personal finance include news outlets, money coaches and various financial influencers.

The Broke Black Girl

Dasha Kennedy’s Instagram account, “The Broke Black Girl” is geared toward improving financial literacy among women of color. The account has more than 250,000 followers, with posts and reels that touch on a wide variety of subjects, including:

  • Importance of having financial boundaries
  • The financial aspects of divorce
  • Personal items and experiences that are worth budgeting for
  • Ways of creating saving and investing funds

Through her posts, Kennedy tells about her journey from being broke and relying on payday loans to becoming free of debt and running a successful business.

Yahoo Finance videos

The Yahoo Finance YouTube channel posts up to dozens of videos each day that cover topics of interest to anyone interested in money management and financial news. Topics include the Federal Reserve, politics, stocks and bonds, insurance, housing and inflation. Some videos incorporate interviews with sources such as researchers, stock market analysts, and company CEOs.

Quick Money Tips

In her “Quick Money Tips” Instagram account, Chloé Daniels posts videos that are both entertaining and provide useful snippets on everything from opening a brokerage account to lowering your food bill to the benefits of a high-yield savings account.

Daniels left her job in marketing in 2021 to become a money coach. She tells her story through her Instagram posts and also explains how she’s increased her net worth over the years. She also hosts a podcast that covers investing, student loans, credit card debt and life insurance.

3. Websites and blogs

Various websites and blogs provide free resources for anyone looking to improve their finances. You’ll find practical features such as articles, budgeting tools, calculators and online courses — as well as plenty of inspiration and advice on getting and staying on track with your money.

How to Money

Two lifelong friends named Joel Larsgaard and Matthew Altmix run “How to Money”, a blog (and corresponding podcast) that focuses on providing money-saving advice in a simple, often light-hearted way. Topics covered include how to budget on a variable income and how to avoid dipping into your savings account.

Also included are book giveaways and real-life profiles of how much people earn, spend and invest each month. A recent post listed some little-known “rich habits,” such as:

  • People who make their bed regularly are over 200 percent more likely to be millionaires.
  • Millionaires are more likely to wave to their neighbors and pick up trash while being less likely to have road rage or take up smoking.

Clever Girl Finance

Founded by Bola Sokunbi, a certified financial education instructor, “Clever Girl Finance” aims to provide women with financial guidance for saving money, eliminating debt and building wealth. You’ll find posts on topics such as budgeting, credit scores, side hustles and ways to be frugal.

Through the blog, you can also access more than 30 free courses on investing and business, the foundations of finance, and financial wellness. Course topics include how to find a higher-paying job, creating a budget that works, buying your first home, planning your wedding, and setting your kids up for success.

Making Sense of Cents

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner founded “Making Sense of Cents” in 2011 to document her path to financial freedom, including paying off $38,000 in student loans in seven months. She and her family currently live on a sailboat, after selling their house and then traveling the country in an RV.

Posts on Schroeder-Gardner’s blog cover ideas for increasing income, saving money, paying down debt, starting a business and saving for retirement.

Run by the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission, is a website devoted to teaching financial education basics. You’ll find articles on earning, saving and investing money, as well as advice on protecting, spending and borrowing it. Also included are budgeting calculators and worksheets, along with financial tips and tricks for life events such as getting married, having a child, pursuing an education and buying a home.

FDIC’s Money Smart

In addition to insuring the funds that are in many money market and savings accounts, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) offers resources to consumers looking to improve their financial skills on its “Money Smart” website. Through interactive games and articles, users can learn about everyday financial topics such as saving money, managing debt, buying a home, protecting your identity

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the counterpart of the FDIC, but for credit unions, insuring funds deposited in its member credit unions. The NCUA also offers consumers a host of money management resources. On its website, the NCUA provides dozens of articles on saving and investing, checking and credit cards, handling debt, retiring, preventing fraud, going to college and owning a home.

In addition to articles, offers comprehensive, downloadable guides on budgeting as well as checking and savings accounts.

4. Newsletters

Signing up for one or more personal finance newsletters is a way to get the latest financial news sent to your inbox, so you won’t have to take the time to search for it yourself.

Morning Brew

Morning Brew provides a daily comprehensive overview of business news that includes stock market performance snapshots as well as a rundown of the news involving technology, corporations, politics and entertainment. In addition to these larger sections, a “What else is brewing” section provides a few lines devoted to various additional newsworthy items.

When paid advertisements appear in the Morning Brew newsletter, they’re clearly identified as such. The newsletter also includes a money trivia question and a word of the day. In June 2022, the newsletter’s subscriber count topped 4 million, according to its website.

NYT’s Your Money

The New York Times offers Your Money, a weekly personal finance newsletter that features a brief description of various news items, with links to corresponding long-form articles in the news outlet’s Your Money section of its website. Readers can scan the list and click on links for the topics on which they’d like to read more (although a subscription may be required to view some pages).

Recent coverage includes how the Fed’s decisions could affect the 2024 elections, the soaring costs of elder care and how to keep your bank from closing your accounts.

5. Books

Podcasts, social media channels and websites are known for providing brief, easily digestible information. However, you might consider a book as a source of more in-depth information.

The Psychology of Money

In “The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness”, author Morgan Housel uses a series of short stories to illustrate his point that wealth is attained more through healthy behavioral skills than through intelligence. Housel, a partner at venture capital firm Collab Fund, gives real-life examples of people who ultimately have succeeded or failed financially due to personal factors like their own history, view of the world, fears and pride.

Housel uses these examples, along with his own personal history and experiences, as a framework for his advice on the keys to a money-saving mindset (frugality and humility), behaviors and beliefs for successful investing (living in survival mode and recognizing the power of compound interest). In all, “The Psychology of Money” is a relatively quick read that could help you improve your personal finances by considering ways your beliefs could be holding you back from financial success.

Your Money or Your Life

“Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence” was written by former financial analyst Joe Dominguez and speaker and author Vicki Robin in 1992 — with a revised edition released in 2018. The premise is that people’s pursuit of material possessions can make them a slave to their jobs, often to the detriment of their relationships and well-being.

The authors aim to show how living a life less focused on material things can help you reduce your work hours, save more money and retire early. Included are nine steps for achieving financial independence, such as addressing your past and present, assessing how you spend your money and making spending changes based on your values.

The Intelligent Investor

Written by Benjamin Graham, “The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing” helps readers think sensibly about avoiding the irrational mistakes commonly made by inexperienced investors. Graham is considered the father of value investing, which involves buying stocks currently out of favor, in anticipation of share prices eventually shooting up.

“The Intelligent Investor” was originally published in 1949, and it has been updated many times since then to reflect the realities of today’s markets and financial news. Graham has served as a mentor for Warren Buffett, who is considered to be one of the most successful investors of all time.

Bottom line

When it comes to increasing your financial IQ, it pays to tune in to trusted podcasts, social media channels and other reputable sources on a regular basis. Whether you’re learning about the latest financial news or getting advice from money experts, these are often convenient sources of knowledge and tips for honing your money management skills, improving your finances and avoiding financial pitfalls.