We know all about Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey, but what about Jen Smith?  If the gathering of your recent financial knowledge is influenced mainly by Oprah or the national news, you could be missing out on some real gems in the world of frugality and better living.  We’d like to introduce you to 5 financial gurus you might not know about, and why they are well worth getting acquainted with.

Photo: Ortizmj

Jen Smith, a.k.a “Millionaire Mommy Next Door”

According to Jen’s own site bio, she “went from earning minimum wage as a graveyard shift donut and coffee waitress to financial freedom as a self-made millionaire by age 40.”  That sounds like someone who knows a little bit about making good financial decisions, doesn’t it?  Her blog combines a nice mix of reader’s questions, personal stories, and useful tools – and you don’t need to be a woman (or a mom) to be inspired.

Melissa Massello

Some may not agree that this fashion-forward frugalist could be considered a general expert in personal finance.  Personally, however, I believe that anyone who can dish tips for snagging free designer clothing should have everyone’s attention.  If the thought of ditching your latte and living a style less existence is not your preferred method of saving up for an emergency fund, you’ll find the advice she offers at Shoestring Mag and The Swapaholics to be second-to-none.  Because, after all, we each have our own financial priorities.

Mark P. Cussen

Sometimes, the best advice can be found from a certified, experienced financial planner.  With 15 years under his belt, Mark is a whiz on the ins-and-outs of investments, insurance, mortgages, and taxes.  (Did we mention that he can also write about them?)  You can find Mark’s expertise all over the internet, including sites like Investopedia.

Donna Freedman

This popular columnist from the MSN Money Smart Spending site has a few years of living lean under her belt.  Best known for suggesting that hostels aren’t just for students and doing several very odd jobs to make money (including donating blood and watching porn), she tackles tough topics to inform her readers about the real world and money.


Believe it or not, if you’re out of debt, are living better than paycheck-to-paycheck, and can inspire others with your wisdom and positive attitude, you are a rather qualified personal finance expert.  With the explosion of personal finance blogs, books, and seminars, it seems that just about anyone can call themselves a “money guru.”  Before you doubt how capable you already are, take a good look at your situation.  Chances may be good that you have a good grasp of financial literacy and just need a little light reading from places like Financial Highway to keep you fresh!

Do you have a little-known financial expert in your feed reader?  Share your most inspiring author, blogger, or TV personality here!

Linsey Knerl

Linsey Knerl

Linsey Knerl is a homeschooling mom of 5 and a freelance blogger and writer. You can read more about her at www.the1099mom.com