Here’s a list of my favorite blogs, posts, books, tools and services related to money, efficiency and general life improvement. I’ve personally read/listened/used all of these and can attest to the quality of their content. Feel free to send me a message or leave a comment with any suggestions of resources you’ve found useful and I will gladly check them out!
Books on Finance
The Richest Man in Babylon- George S Clason
I’ve just recently read this absolute classic. This is the original finance help book encased in an interesting narrative about the ancient civilization of Babylon. A quick read that packs in a LOT of great information that has stood the test of time.
Smart Women Finish Rich- David Bach
This book is a great start for anyone just getting their personal finances in order. These would be the intermediate steps before trying to jump right into saving 50%+ like most of these books and blogs suggest. The ties made between money and values are crucial for a fulfilled life. See my full review here.
Your Money or Your Life- Vicki Robbins
Vicki is the OG FIRE guru. She and Joe Dominguez first wrote about this in the early 1990s and she’s updated the book to fit all of the changes that have taken place over the last 30 years. A must read for all!
How to Retire Early- Robert and Robin Charlton
This is the first book I every read that showed me early retirement was a real possibility. The simple way the Charlton’s lay their wealth building phase out is great for anyone to follow, even those that are not financially inclined.
You Need a Budget- Jesse Mecham
Jesse’s real life approach to budgeting is something that everyone just starting out should take the time to read. A quick, yet potentially life-changing read.
The Latte Factor- David Bach
This book is a fantastic introduction into the world of saving and investing told in the form of a fictional story about a young millennial name Zoey. She learns through conversations with an older mentor, Henry, about saving money for herself and creating a life based on her values. It’s a very quick read and perfect to help find your “why.” See my full review here!
The Simple Path to Wealth- Jim L Collins
Jim Collins’ stock series is one of the simplest, yet comprehensive, blog series. He starts with what is a stock, ends with retirement savings withdrawal strategies and covers everything in between. Here he’s converted that blog series into a compact book that lays out the very simple path to wealth.
Meet the Frugalwoods- Liz Thames
Liz and her husband went from living in Boston to living on a homestead in Vermont. Their lifestyle change has improved everything from their expenses to their day to day routine. Amazing read. *Warning: you will probably want to get a homestead after reading this book*
Books for Life
The Power of Habit- Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit is an in depth breakdown of habits, how we form them and how we can keep them. Highly recommend.
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think- Laura Vanderkam
I would recommend this book to anyone who thinks that they’re too busy to achieve their dreams. This book has inspired me to take back my time and come back to writing this blog.
Mom and Dad: We Need to Talk- Cameron Huddleston
No one wants to have the conversation with their parents about what they want when they can no longer make all of their decisions on their own, but it’s a conversation that NEEDS to happen. This book gives you all the right tools to start that conversation and make sure that all necessary documents: POA, living will, etc, are all in place. Making these decisions together when there is no emergency will help you do the right thing IN an emergency and there’s no substitute for that.
Mr. Money Mustache
MMM is the OG blog for taking radical responsibility of your personal finances. He’s always good for a quick face punch to get your act together.
Where We Be
This is the first blog that I found on this subject after reading Robert and Robin Charlton’s book (see above). Their travels are absolutely inspiring and give me the travel bug.
Paula Pant is the FI queen of real estate. She’s down to earth and really knows her stuff. There’s a lot more here than just real estate, but it was my first main source of real estate/landlord information.
Brandon has pulled the trigger and lives a FI lifestyle now. His in depth content is thought provoking and a little more on the advanced side in relation to taxes and investing.
Tread Lightly, Retire Early
Angela is an incredibly smart, honest and active blogger in the personal finance space. She spends a lot of her time talking about working towards FI on a lower income, while helping the environment. She also does extensive work to promote other women in the personal finance space (including a couple of mentions of yours truly *takes bow*).
Gwen is one of the most relatable blogs I’ve ever seen. She tries things out and whether they work or not, she tells everyone to learn from her triumphs, as well as her mistakes.
Jim began his blog and famous “Stock Series” as a letter to his daughter to give her his streamlined advice for how she should handle her money. The care and attention to detail really shows in every post.
The Power of Thrift
Thriftygal, aka Anita, worked as a lawyer until she was 33, paying off almost $100,000 worth of debt along the way and saving for retirement. She now spends her time travelling the world and living life through Operation Awesome.
Our Next Life
Tanya is one of the best writers that I’ve ever seen in this space and the only blogger that I’m fully on the same page with her conservative path to FI. She and her husband just recently retired and have been loving life and showing the world what is really possible if you live life with intention.
Liz details her and her husband’s journey from working and living in Boston to buying a homestead in Vermont. The high cost of living in Boston forced them to live frugally to get by and then they maintained their frugality to reach their shared goal of living on a homestead in the country with their two daughters. Liz is a fantastic writer. She’s funny, smart and details their simple life in a very relatable manner.
Journey To Launch
I’ve just recently started reading Jamila’s journey. She is a down to earth mother of 3 with a goal of reaching FI by age 40. Her perspective is fresh and rewarding to follow.
Hosted by Paula Pant from Afford Anything. Paula alternates episodes with bringing on interviews from financial experts, time management experts and more with “Ask Paula” episodes where she answers listener questions.
Hosted by Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendosa from ChooseFI. These guys start at the very beginning with expenses to cut from your daily budget and go through to sequence of return risks for investment portfolios. With over 200 episodes, they cover it all.
Hosted by Brandon Ganch from MadFientist. Brandon does not add new content often, but that’s only because he’s off living his FI life. When he does add new episodes, they are insightful and well worth the listen.
Hosted by J from Millennial Boss (also formerly hosted by Gwen Merz from Fiery Millennials). J covers a wide variety of topics from different kinds of side hustles, mastermind groups and staying on the path to FI.
Journey To Launch
Hosted by Jamila Souffrant, a mother of 3 and business entrepreneur, who brings a new point of view to some of the same money concepts.
House of FI
Wendy Mays and husband Curtis discuss FI from the point of view of families. Having kids makes finances a bit hectic. Wendy and Curtis cover the highs and lows of pursuing FI with a family. They’ve recently taken a hiatus from producing new content, but the content they currently have out there is still absolutely worth the listen.
Jen and Jill are two late 20 year old friends detailing various ways to trim budgets in a sustainable way, both for your bottom line and the environment. Their quirky commentary always has me laughing and it’s a good reminder that frugality and finance can still be fun!
While money is your best tool to reach FI, here are some other FREE tools (other than good ‘ole Excel) to track and/or improve your stance on money, travel rewards, etc.
This is a great tool to combine all of your accounts to track your net worth easily, efficiently and with some pretty nice graphs. Seeing your assets, liabilities, monthly expenses, income and asset allocations all in one place is invaluable!
Mad Fientist Lab
The Mad Fientist is a fantastic resource and this is one of my favorites. Use this tool to input your monthly savings and expenses to track how long you have until you reach your FI number. So far, we’re tracking to Oct 2029, but that will change once we go from two income, down to one and add some little Fierbirds to the mix.
Travel Miles 101 Course
Have you ever thought about trying credit card hacking for travel miles, but been completely overwhelmed by all of the information? This is the starting point for you. This e-mail course lays out the basics in a manageable way to make it clear how even you can save thousands on travel.
MadFientist Credit Card Hacker
Once you’ve taken the Travel Miles 101 Course, you’re going to want to take a look at this other amazing Mad Fientist tool. He allows you to breakdown all of the current credit card deals by airline, hotel, card type, fees and more, setting you up to make the decision on your next card quick and painless.
In Case of Emergency Binder- Smart Money Mamas
From what bills and insurance policies exist to what your child’s favorite foods may be this ICE binder covers it all. It will help you feel comfortable knowing that your family has all the information they need it. It also comes in an editable pdf so it’s very easy to use and update as anything changes.
Google Fi, previously Google Project Fi, is the cell phone service that my wife and I use. Our bill has been on average $70 ever since for both of us combined. The service, price and customer service all keep me coming back.
I’ve just recently discovered this app and I LOVE it. I have the hardest time just getting to the library, but this allows me to take ebooks and audio books out on my phone!! I’ve now replaced all of my mindless wait times with reading because I now constantly carry my books with me at all times.
Hoopla is similar to Libby in the sense that you add your library card and you can take out ebooks and audio books on your phone. So, why recommend both? I’ve found that Hoopla and Libby can have some different books from each other and sometimes if there is a wait for a book on one app, the other will have it. Which begs the question, why not have two library apps?
This is a free browser extension that runs in the background on your PC or phone. It sees when you’re on a website and then automatically pulls any active coupon codes for that site. Sometimes the coupon codes do not work, but it’s always worth checking to see if you can get something off of a purchase you were already planning on making!
This is a yoga app that I’ve been using every morning before work for the past couple of years. It helps me wake up and feel stretch out before jumping into my day. I use the free version of this app and that has worked well for me. They have various timeframes for sessions ranging from 10 minutes to 55 minutes with additional time added on for Savasana. Definitely cheaper than a yoga studio!
In the spirit of transparency, I’ve included links to certain products that I will earn affiliate income from any purchases you may make. My standard for using these affiliate programs is to only provide links to products/services that I have fully researched/have used myself and I believe can help on your financial education journey. I will not promote a product just for the purpose of receiving affiliate income.
If you have any questions on this policy, please feel free to contact me.