Monday, February 23, 2009

Considering Money Magazine Subscriptions

At this very moment, a quick glance at our home's kitchen countertop shows exactly three financial mags resting there — one of which is more than a month old. All are unread.

Yeah, there was a time when I'd read these things religiously ... but no longer.

These days, leafing through the money mags tends to be much more of a chore.


I've had my subscription to Money magazine for years. I can tell you right now that I have likely never read a single issue cover to cover. For me, Money is mostly good for blog-post ideas and keeping up with money-related surveys and stats. However, I do consider it to be at the Top of the Heap for financial mags.

But given the (in my opinion) dubious value of the rest of these mags, I'm not sure that's saying much.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance

I'll be honest: Kiplinger's reaches my mailbox each month only because I stumbled upon a dirt-cheap, multi-year subscription offer. The magazine itself does nothing for me, primarily because it's chock full of overblown-headline articles and "Five Stocks to Buy Now" crap opinion columns.

Smart Money

Don't have a subscription to it, and won't have one. Every issue I've ever picked up was nothing but a litany of stock- and mutual-fund touts.

Just because I was interviewed in Smart Money back in 2007 doesn't mean I think the mag is worth the paper it's printed on.

Consumer Reports

Now this one, I use. And won't give up. Our CR subscription is online-only, which means it doesn't clutter my table. Such a subscription costs something like $26 per year. This e-setup works well for us. I don't really have time to peruse another paper magazine; however, when it's time for us to shop for appliances, electronics, and stuff like that, I depend on Consumer Reports like Homer Simpson depends on beer.

CR's brand tests and ratings have served us well for years — and that goes for everything from cars to plasma TVs to kitchen appliances. We turn to CR's ratings all the time, every time, before any major purchases are made.

This one's worth every penny!

What opinions do you readers have of financial mags?

— Posted by Michael @ 9:11 AM


I understand your comments about the PF magazines (I read all of them) but I have a different perspective. If more consumers and taxpayers would read these - any one of them - instead of the sports page or Cosmo, our economy would be a lot better off right now.


After I hit the POST button last night, it occurred to me that I likely gained a lot more from Money et al when I was reading them in my younger days.

This is likely along the lines of what you're thinking: that what a reader gains from financial mags has a lot to do with how versed that reader already is (or isn't!) in such areas.


I do enjoy reading them, but often I do feel the articles are often 'financial porn' - like you said "5 stocks to buy NOW" articles. I tend to just subscribe to alot of excellent bloggers (like yourself) for the good rare nuggets that are in the magazines, but for free. I think I can spend my time better elsewhere. There are alot of excellent books you can read for free from the library that will give you a solid foundation. Plus alot of the articles you can read for free on line can't you?

By the way, I do love Consumer Reports, but currently don't subscribe. Another source I found for reviews on products I get for free:

They review the reviewers. So when we want to purchase something, we check this site first!


I agree that Consumer Reports is definitely worth its subscription price. I'm a diligent researcher, so I often peruse a variety of review sites before any major purchase. But that can be time consuming. CR has it all in one place, with easy to read charts and graphs. Nothing hurts the wallet more than purchasing lousy appliances, lemon cars & faulty electronics.


Yeah, i'm not as big a fan of Kiplinger's as the others myself. Love "Money" for sure though - always learning something.

Cool breakdown my friend.

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Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
— Dave Ramsey


Start (2005-12): ~$21,900
Currently: $0
[About Our Debt Paydown]


Savings Goal: $15,000
Currently: ~$15,115
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