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First and foremost, the purpose of this page is to provide valuable tools and resources for readers to enhance their lives. I have been using some of these resources for years and all of them I would recommend to close friends and family. But hey, this site costs money to operate, and if I can break even or make a profit by recommending these resources to others then that’s cool too. So below are some of my favorite resources for managing my money, generating extra income, learning new things and more….
Managing Your Money
Do you know your net worth? Personal capital is an online service that allows you to link all of your bank accounts, investments, debts and credit cards to get an overall picture of your financial status. They will also give you advice on how to reach your savings and investment goals. This is a great tool to track your overall financial picture, while using Mint to track daily budgeting.
Need a budget at your fingertips? Mint allows you set to a budget and track all of your spending through their app by linking your bank accounts and credit cards. I check mint on a daily basis to make sure I’m on track not to spend more than my 50-60% of my income each month. Checking my progress daily always keeps me in check.
Want to get started investing? Wealthfront is a robo-advisor that makes investing in low cost index funds (typically Vanguard) a smooth and stress-free process. I have used them ever since I started handling my own brokerage and retirement accounts after moving my IRA out of Fidelity. You simply deposit money, they purchase your index funds and provide professional brokerage services for only a 0.25% fee, which is WAY less than traditional advisors. When I discuss investing for “retirement” and financial independence, this is where I put most of my money to grow.
Thinking about living or working overseas? Or have a friend or family member in need of money? Transferwise is the cheapest service I have found for sending money overseas and currency transfers. I currently live in Sydney and get paid in Australian Dollars. However, I still have expenses in the U.S. and invest all of my money in USD via Wealthfront. Compared to traditional banks, Transferwise charges a fee that is a fraction of the cost. Sending $1,000 overseas through Transferwise could save you $20+ in transaction fees compared to traditional banks.
Alternative Sources of Income
Interested in selling online? Shopify is one of the best options out there for being able to sell goods online quickly and easily. Lauren uses Shopify to sell kitchen gadgets via a drop-shipping business and has been able to add some extra income with only a few hours of work per week. You can have an e-commerce site up in less than an hour.
Want to start a webiste? Starting a website, blog or any type of online business is a great way to create extra income if you are willing to put in the hard work and time committment. Whether you want to write a blog, take photos, sell homemade items, publish an eBook, sell an online course, etc. There are an endless amount of possibilities for making money online, and Bluehost is a great hosting service that I use to run this site. You can have a simple blog up and running in minutes.
Have academic skills you could share with others? Varsity Tutors is an online tutoring service that connects students with qualified instructors and facilitates lesson via their screen-sharing platform. You don’t need to be a certified teacher to be a tutor. You just need to be able to pass their qualifying exams and have content and problems that you can share with you students. I was a tutor back in 2015 for Varsity Tutors after I was laid off from my job and was able to make over $1,000/month with my part-time tutoring gig.
By this point everyone has heard of Airbnb, which lets you rent out someone’s home or room while you are visiting a new place. I’ve been using Airbnb for years now and have found it provides better prices and comforts compared to other budget hotels or hostels. You can travel around the world at fraction of the cost.
I buy almost all of my books on Kindle from Amazon. All of these books are at the top of my reading list for education in personal finance, income generation and successful habits:
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss – The ultimate guide for designing your life so that you can live your dreams here and now. Tim shows you why it’s not a great idea to delay “living” until retirement, how to start an income-producing business and free up your time using essential lifehacks.
Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins – Many people have their opinions about Tony Robbins, myself included. However, this book is a powerhouse of information, most of which is taken from interviews with the world’s best financial minds such as Paul Tudor Jones and Ray Dalio. This book walks you through a step-by-step strategy to understand money, investing and how to reach financial freedom. It was a real eye-opener for me and inspired me to share this information with others through this site.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley – This book explains how most of America’s wealthy citizens are Silicon Valley tech giants or Wall Street hotshots, but most are just everyday people who make decent incomes and live below their means. You probably wouldn’t recognize most millionaires if you met them. This book gave me some great insight in how to design your life to put yourself on the track to becoming wealthy.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – This book isn’t so much about money as it is about mindset. Why is it that some people seem to achieve everything they want while others are stuck where they don’t want to be? This was one of the best books I’ve ever read about the importance of mindset and habits in enabling you to accomplish your dreams and become successful. It was written over 50 years ago but still remains a timeless classic today.
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie – While not directly relating to money or personal finance, the ability to communicate and develop relationships with other people is critical for success in almost any aspect of life. Whether it be through networking, forging business deals, or understanding how to ask for something you want, Dale Carnegie captures how the most easy, practical actions can make you a genuinely likeable person that people want to spend time with. When I first read this book it motivated me to pursue a job in sales as a way to boost my interpersonal skills, and it has drastically improved my writing style.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts – This was a fairly recent read for me, but it was recommended by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek. It explains the common but incorrect belief that you must be wealthy in order to travel and see the world. Breaking down this misconception, Rolf Potts describes how it is completely possible to travel the world comfortably on the savings of only 6-12 months of work. It is what has inspired me to pursue long-term travel and take 6-12 months off from “traditional work” to backpack around the world in 2018. An absolute must-read for an adventurous soul!
Here are a few of my favorite blogs that I follow to learn more about money, financial independence and work-less lifestyles:
- Rockstar Finance – The mother of all personal finance resources. Rockstar Finances is the hub for all personal finance blogs on the internet. I recommend applying to their email list, which sends you the best of the personal finance world on a daily or weekly basis.
- Mr. Money Mustache – This was the first personal finance blog that I started reading, and one of my biggest inspirations for starting this site. MMM mixes financial decisions with a lifestyle of low-spending and getting the most out of life without spending ridiculous amounts of money. He and his wife stopped working after less than 10 years to live off their investment savings in their cool, Colorado town.
- Think Save Retire – Steve from Think Save Retire is also early-retired like MMM, and he and his wife spend their time traveling in an Airstream around the U.S. living a minimalist lifestyle. He posts great content about finding happiness in unusual ways and discusses their travel adventures in “work-less” lifestyle.
- Millennial Money Man – Bobby is the king of content about debt repayment. He paid off five-figures of student loans and has since started blogging full time by providing great advice on how to gain control of your finances and make extra cash. He provides some highly-entertaining reads.
- Keep Thrifty – Chris and Jamie from Keep Thrifty are all about doing what is best to get the most out of your money and time. They have big dreams and are documenting their path to achieving them. Chris is currently taking a 1-year mini-retirement from employment to spend time with his family. A choice that many thought was crazy! But they are all about doing things differently and want to help you make changes as well.
- Montana Money Adventures – Jillian is an expert at intentional lifestyle design. She and her family live a life free of the 9-5 grind in the beautiful state of Montana. They chose to take a different path towards financial independence and living freely by choosing a different way of living and generating income. They’re documenting their financial journey with some great stories and scenery.
- Tim Ferriss Blog – The master of lifestyle design. Tim Ferris has been one of my biggest influences since I first read The 4-Hour Workweek back in 2012. His methods of increasing income, minimizing work hours and maximizing efficiency have driven me to improve my finances, becoming great at my job and get the most out of life. His blog and podcast discuss a variety of subjects including nutrition, technology, mindfulness and business as well.