My Favorite Personal Finance Resources - Keep Thrifty

My Favorite Personal Finance Resources

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This week was a big milestone - I turned 35 last week Tuesday. As my birthday present to you all, I thought I could share the personal finance resources that have had the biggest impact on us in our financial journey. It’s a one-stop shop; I hope you find everything here as useful as we have!

Favorite Blogs

There are way too many blogs for me to list here. I’ve learned so much from so many great bloggers out there, but this list is the group that I’ve got on my weekly reading list:

  • Mr. Money Mustache - the man, the myth, the legend. Retired at age 30 and is dedicated to helping others live a less ridiculous, more awesome life.
  • Frugalwoods - the Frugalwoods left their urban lifestyle to homestead on 66 acres in Vermont with their daughter and dog. You want frugal? The Frugalwoods have got it!
  • Freedom is Groovy - Mr. and Mrs. Groovy help reimagine your finances and your life so you can be free from dependence on your job, the government, and just about everyone else!
  • Northern Expenditure - Maggie and her husband, “Mr T.” (no not the one from the A-Team). They’re working toward financial independence up in Alaska and have great advice to share.
  • Brooklyn Bread - Ever wondered what it’s like raising kids in New York City on a budget? Linda can give you all the details along with advice on how to bring sanity (financial and otherwise) to your busy life.
  • Mystery Money Man - This anonymous financial freedom fighter wants to help save you from the consumerist culture that’s stealing your freedom.
  • Two Cup House - Claudia and Garrett have a simple plan - eliminate all debt and waste, side hustle like crazy, and achieve financial independence. They’ve already downsized once and are working toward their ultimate dream of living in a tiny home.
  • Crispy Cabbage - If you enjoy deep thoughts on money and intentional living and clever little drawings on college-ruled paper, this is the blog for you. See how Adam and his family are working toward the real American Dream.
  • Notorious D.E.B.T. - Due to a shortage of jobs, Lindsay hasn’t been able to start her career in the field she went to school for. By making some big financial changes, her and her husband are still making things work and are paying down their debt.
  • I, Vigilante - Law school is expensive; I, Vigilante knows this firsthand but is using basic economics, science, psychology, finance, and logic to pay off his debt and live a more sensible, reasonable life.
  • The Retirement Manifesto - Fritz is on-track to retire at age 54 in 2018 as a result of hustling, diligent money management, and a dedication to continuously learning more.
  • Cait Flanders - Cait started with a goal to pay off her debt and ended up diving into minimalism and ditching the consumerist life.
  • Zero Waste Home - If you changed how you lived, how little waste could you create? Bea Johnson has spent years focusing on how to reduce her family’s garbage and can honestly fit a whole year’s worth of garbage in a 1 liter container. Why is this financially relevant? By trashing all the packaging from the things you buy, you’re throwing money away.
  • Distilled Dollar - As a licensed CPA, Matt knows what he’s talking about when it comes to money. He and his fiance are now saving over 60% of their after-tax income.
  • Millennial Money - In just 5 years, Grant went from $2.26 to being a Millennial millionaire. Hear his story and tips at Millennial Money.
  • Half Banked - Desirae’s mission is to help you use your money to live the life you want, because yes, it’s totally possible. Her posts are bound to help you out as well as make you laugh.
  • Make Smarter Decisions - You can’t be successful if you don’t make smart decisions. With years of experience as an educator, Vicki wants to help you make smarter decisions with your money and your life.
  • Montana Money Adventure - As of their wedding day, Mr. and Ms. Montana had $50,000 of debt. Despite this, they’ve done amazing things in the last 14 years - traveling through 27 countries, paying cash for their first home, giving their time and money to important causes, and parenting 6 kids.
  • Miss Mazuma - A globe-trotting flight attendant with her sights set on financial independence. Miss Mazuma has some intense stories of financial joy and financial pain and isn’t afraid to share it all in the interest of helping you learn from her experiences.
  • Physician on FIRE - Yes, there’s a doctor in the house. PoF achieved financial independence at age 39 and shares his thoughts on investing and early retirement to help you get there too.
  • Afford Anything - According to Paula, you can afford anything but not everything. Paula built up passive income through rental properties and spends her time blogging, podcasting, and traveling.
  • Budgets Are Sexy - Who knew that money and mohawks could go together so well?
  • Go Curry Cracker! - Jeremy and Winnie retired in their 30’s and now travel the world with their young son. You’ll find some of the best tips around on optimizing your taxes here.
  • Mad FIentist - Brandon (AKA the Mad FIentist) retired early and wants to help you get there to. Through analyzing the tax code and analyzing the world through the lens of financial independence, he develops strategies to help you retire earlier.
  • Think Save Retire - Steve retired at age 35 and now travels full-time in an Airstream RV with his wife and dogs.
  • Becoming Minimalist - Joshua Becker wrote the book on minimalism…literally. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to minimalist living, this is the place to go.
  • Jaime Declutters - Last (but most certainly not least), we’ve got this blog from my wonderful wife. As passionate as I am about financial discipline, she’s even more passionate about simple living. We’ve found the awesome space where the two meet in the middle and it’s been awesome to pursue our life dreams and goals in that space.

If you’re looking for a list of hundreds of amazing bloggers in the personal finance space, check out the new Rockstar Finance Directory

Favorite Books

  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss - This is arguably the book that started it all for me. Tim gives a new way to look at life and provides tons of examples of people who are living awesome lives by doing exactly that.
  • The More of Less by Joshua Becker - The quintessential primer on minimalism. If you want to learn how to be happier by living with less, this is the book to read.
  • The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins - For the most straightforward strategy on how to master your finances, look no further. JL Collins doesn’t pull any punches but helps you understand why your finances aren’t where you want them to be and what to do about it.
  • The MoneySmart Family System by Steve and Annette Economides - Knowing what and how to teach your kids about money can be daunting. Steve and Annette have a great system that you can use to teach your kids good money skills and instill the values they need to get through life.

Favorite Podcasts

  • Millennial Money Minutes - Covering great money topics in 5 minutes, each episode is a bite-sized chunk of financial awesomeness. I was honored to be featured on an episode myself!
  • Afford Anything Podcast - I already mentioned Paula’s blog above - her podcast goes one further. With some well-known guests, Paula provides great advice on how to master your finances and yourself to live the life you want.
  • Financial Independence Podcast - This one’s from the Mad FIentist where he interviews top thinkers in the personal finance space.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show - In each episode, Tim deconstructs world-class performers to extract tactics, tools, and routines you can use.
  • TED Radio Hour - I love learning new things and challenging paradigms through TED Talks, but I have a tough time sitting in front of the computer to watch them. The TED radio hour lets met get all the goodness but in a radio format so I can listen while accomplishing other things as well.
  • Freakonomics Radio - Steven Dubner explores economics in the true sense (not just financial) - trying to understand the forces in the universe that drive human behavior.

Favorite Tools and Spreadsheets

  • Thrifty - There are lots of ways to track your finances. I didn’t love any of them, so I created my own web app to get exactly what I needed and I provide it free for anyone to use.
  • Mad FIentist Lab - The Mad FIentist has some great calculators here but the biggest thing is the Financial Independence calculator. Just log a few numbers each month and he’ll tell you when you’re due to hit financial independence.
  • FamZoo’s Virtual Family Bank - an awesome way to teach your kids how to earn and spend money responsibly. Your kids can earn money from you and use their own debit card to spend what they earn without the risk of overdrafting your account.
  • The Price of a Day of Retirement Calculator - How much would you have to invest today to retire a day earlier? I’ve got a calculator for that :)
  • Retirement Freedom Spreadsheet - Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had enough money today to know you could retire at age 65 even if you never contributed another penny? I put together a spreadsheet to tell you if you’re there and, if not, how much further you’ve got to go.
  • The Ultimate Refinancing Spreadsheet - Most refinancing calculators aren’t built for people who are on a debt destruction journey. Unsatisfied with the options out there, I made one that is.

Favorite Forums

Both of these have an amazing, diverse community of contributors. If you’ve got a question about money, it’s likely you can find someone in these that has an answer!

That’s All Folks!

Phew - there’s a lot here! I really hope you find these resources as helpful as we have!

What resources have been the most helpful for you in your financial journey? Provide your favorites in the comments below.