A stack of helpful resources used during my financial journey. Things I actually use. No affiliate linking or paid for advertising here. Only genuinely helpful stuff!
A handful of hopefully useful spreadsheet style workbooks to help make the decisions in your life a bit easier. These will be constantly revised, so please email me with any changes you would like to see.
Used to generate the graphs and examples in the post Purchase Your Next Car Like a Teenager where I examined that overall cost is king when deciding to buy a new-to-you car. Use this workbook to explore your next car purchase and make sure it fits with your financial goals.
Financial Independence/Early Retirement Blogs
The four big hitters that when I was starting out required 100% consumption. If I was new to the world of Financial Independence and Early Retirement, I would read them in the order below.
Basically, some Mr. Money Mustache to get you into the lifestyle/some basic math. jlcollinsnh to get you learned up on the easiest investment path to FI. Mad Fientist for in-depth financial hacks to speed up the path to Early Retirement. And finally, Go Curry Cracker! to provide all of the above plus a great example of Early Retirement living!
Mr. Money Mustache
Required Reading: News Flash: Your Debt is an Emergency!!
Everyone’s favorite FI guy! If you are looking for THE introduction to the FI lifestyle, MMM will get you on your way. It took me a few tries to get into his style, but once I got going I wished his posts wouldn’t end! Endless topics and some highly thought inducing posts. Rides his bike nearly everywhere (lucky guy!) and cares a great deal for the well being of the world (right on!). There are way too many highlights on the site for me to mention. Don’t miss the forums either!
Required Reading: The Stock Series
Look no further than jlcollinsnh’s post series about the stock market if you want a thorough understanding of passive investing. The theory is explained so well that I assume anyone who reads it will instantly change their investing habits. When you finish this monumental work, definitely read some more of his writing. Especially his pieces on his personal travels around the world. The stories are captivating and filled with inspiration on living a full life.
Reading Listening: The Importance of F-You Money
The Mad Fientist was my second find in the world of Financial Independence. His articles tend to be technical in nature, which as a numbers guy myself got me playing in spreadsheets and doing my own research. I recommend reading his whole site (much smaller than MMM). A few of the highlights are his thoughts on HSA accounts, the Guinea Pig series and especially his Podcast series which I have linked. You will love the intro music!
Go Curry Cracker!
Required Reading: Financial Independence: How Long Will It Take?
Like the rest of the FI bloggers, Go Curry Cracker seems to have figured it all out. A special read for those who love travel, details abound for those interested in geographic arbitrage. Living mostly abroad in what I would classify as extra-slow travel, this family of 3 lives luxuriously in foreign lands soaking in the culture. There are a few gems on the site regarding health insurance and minimizing taxes, while the linked post has some powerful graphs to absorb.
Personal Finance Software Tools
A few tools that have helped – and continue to help – me move closer to Financial Independence. As its name implies, Personal Finance is unique and customer for every individual. These tools help corral what makes your financial picture interesting and guide you to a known good outcome.
You Need A Budget
Check Out Their Trial: You Need A Budget – 1 month trial
Like a few of these other items You Need A Budget did not click on the first attempt. But once this FI train started rolling I revisited the software and never looked back. Seriously this software was a KEY in changing my thinking about money. No longer ignorant of my financial state, YNAB pushed me to take control. Try out the free trial and see for yourself. As of this writing they have released YNAB5, which is now web based and SaaS. I am happily sticking with the previous version until it stops working.