Before we started our personal finance journey, we weren’t avid readers, but it’s because of personal finance blogs, podcasts, and books we’ve consumed over the last two years that helped us create the success we enjoy today. The other part of our success? Taking MASSIVE action to make MASSIVE changes.
Note some of the links below could be affiliate links. Thanks in advance for your support!
Blogs to Read
- 1500 Days: Mr. 1500 retired early!
- Camp FIRE Finance: Financial independence/early retirement blog that highlights the many voices on FIRE.
- Debt Free Guys: David and John wiped out their credit card debt and want to help everyone, especially the LGBT community how to manage their finances.
- Freedom is Groovy: Great friends and early retirees who double as everyday millionaires living debt free (hashtag goals)
- Gen Y Finance Guy: Gen Y blogs about his path to financial freedom and a net worth $10M.
- Our Next Life: Mr. & Mrs. ONL retired early and they share many thought-provoking posts of the journey, their hopes, dreams, and struggles.
- A Streamin’ Life & Think Save Retire: Steve and Courtney chronicle their journey to early retirement in late 2016 and early 2017, respectively. They now live in an Airstream as they prepare to embark on a grand adventure!
Books to Read or Listen To
See what other business and personal finance books we recommend. If you purchase these books from Amazon, you’ll be using our affiliate links for which we receive a small commission; thank you for your support!
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss: Had I read this tome from Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, while I was in college, I would have been able to semi-retire by now and taken up some of the many action verbs we have planned. This book challenged any assumption I had about work and earning money; this book was the first step toward starting our business. If you haven’t read this, give it a go.
- The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy describes everything I go through in running a business.
- The 4-Hour Workweek made me question the W-2 while The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster made quit the W-2 for good. Not for the faint of heart. If you think that starting a business is scary, you’re right — this book will confirm your fear. But it’ll also show you all the upside, too.
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: This classic, The Intelligent Investor, from Benjamin Graham gave me an introduction to the stock market like nothing I had read or seen before. To me, stocks were simply stocks. I know now that it isn’t that simple. I’ve also learned that Warren Buffett worked for Benjamin Graham and that Graham had a big influence on the way in which Buffett invests. We’re big fans of Warren Buffett, so we thought, why not go to the source?
- What’s Stopping You?: Shatter the 9 Most Common Myths Keeping You from Starting Your Own Business by B. R. Barringer & R. D. Ireland: I spent 95% of my career in non-profit organizations rather than in the corporate world, so I thought I was destined for a life in a low-paying, W-2 job. My self-talk has always been what’s held me back from making big changes, like starting a business. This book, What’s Stopping You?, from B. R. Barringer & R. D. Ireland helped me shatter some myths I had.
- Rich Dad Poor Dad & Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki: I don’t know if we’ve been living under a rock or what, but I had never heard of these books Rich Dad Poor Dad or Cashflow Quadrant until we started listening to the BiggerPockets podcast. We had the proverbial “poor dads” who espoused the virtues and necessities of higher education and while the education we pursued was good, it wasn’t enough to help us improve our financial situation. Great books for challenging what’s required to build wealth.
- Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill: Me? Rich?! No way. I’m destined for a W-2 life, or at least that’s what I thought about myself until 2015 when I decided that I needed something more, something else. What I’ve taken away from Napoleon Hill’s well-known opus, Think and Grow Rich!, is the idea that in order to get the bigger life I seek, I need to think bigger. Lofty goals are one way to get there, but such lofty goals need to be met with MASSIVE action, so each day, I try to take the biggest step I can to advance our business (courtesy of Napoleon Hill).
- Stand Out by Dorie Clark: Dorie Clark asks so many poignant and powerful questions in Stand Out that my head soon filled with new ideas for how to grow our business and help others. If you’re looking for your next big idea or if you think you have your idea and you want to stand out from the crowd, I highly recommend you look to Stand Out.
- Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson: Written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp fame, this book, Rework, is not to be missed if you are trying to bring a product to life. Whether you are working on the next great American novel or an online course, Fried and Hansson emphasize the place of and purpose for the minimally viable product, which was critical for us to implement as we worked to bring our first idea into the world.
- The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson: I’ve said this often about books I’ve read, such as The 4-Hour Workweek, but I’ll say it again. The Slight Edge is life changing. Really. Garrett and I devoured this book in record time and made immediate changes to our daily routine to improve our personal and professional lives. Each day is an opportunity to “slide edge” our way to success.
- Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry: I know that Erin Lowry recently released Broke Millennial, but I wish it was something we had access to years ago — it’s the handbook for adulting your finances. I plan to gift this book to every Gen Y and Gen Z kid I know who’s graduating from high school or college. Give the gift that keeps on giving: financial literacy.
- Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff: Oren Klaff’s extensive experience condensed into one book?! YES! This is a must-read book for anyone pitching anything. Seriously, anything. But it’s especially important for entrepreneurs.
- Pre-suasion and Influence by Robert Cialdini: If you’ve got a side hustle, side business, or a business that you run on a full-time basis, these books are on my MUST READ ANNUALLY list. These books are all about the psychology of persuasion but with an eye on remaining ethical while being highly influential. While Influence was published decades before Pre-suasion, I suggest that you read Pre-suasion first.
- The Virgin Way by Richard Branson: “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.” If that’s your only takeaway from The Virgin Way, that’s worth it. However, this book is a treasure trove of advice and stories from Branson’s early years in building the Virgin brand to later years in trying to maintain its integrity. There are times along our personal finance journey when we thought that we might try our hand at real estate investing, but we didn’t see it as particularly fun and all we could think about was the headache that it would be. Instead, we’re focused on building our business, which is way, way more fun!
Podcasts to Listen To
- Couple Money
- Entrepreneur On Fire
- Financial Rockstar: The Scott Alan Turner Show
- His and Her Money
- Informed Decisions
- Masters of Money
- Mad Fientist
- Queer Money
- The Side Hustle Show
- Smart Passive Income
- Stacking Benjamins
Ways to Make More Money
- Sell your clutter. If you’re like us, you have stuff lying around that you don’t use anymore. Craigslist or Kijiji are online marketplaces. Items are listed at a fixed price. Once it sells, the buyer and the seller meet to complete the transaction. I’ve sold items on both eBay and Craigslist; they are both user-friendly and easy to set up. Selling your clutter won’t make you rich, but it can help get you out of debt a little faster.
- Complete legit online surveys. If you’re at the very beginning of your side hustle journey and you want something easy, something you can do from anywhere, something that sends work your way, you can complete online surveys for money. Looking for something hands off? Download the Nielsen app to your devices. (aff link)
- Create a website, blog, or online course. Creating a website is consuming and the rewards aren’t necessarily immediate. It takes time to build a website and drive traffic to it using SEO or social media. However, it can pay rewards for months or years into the future. Read this post at SEOAuditGuide.comto find out exactly how to get started. (We’ve got some niche sites ourselves. Read about Save Me From Sugar to get learn more.)
- Learn digital marketing. We train others in digital marketing & SEO and how to find paying clients to launch a side gig. There are millions of small businesses and freelancers across the country who need SEO help but can’t afford big agency rates. If you’re interested in learning more about my favorite side hustle, sign up for the free course.
Ways to Save More Money
- Clip coupons! There was a time when I’d spend hours and hours clipping paper coupons from the newspaper and those I printed from the Internet in order to save a few bucks. Instead of searching endlessly for hours, I used to use the Ibotta coupon app, which you can download for free, but they now charge an inactivity fee since we weren’t using it as frequently when we signed up for a CSA.
- Make coffee at home and drink tap water. If you’re addicted to espresso beverages like we are, consider making your own at home with the Bialetti espresso maker instead of going out for coffee. You can save a ton of money and customize drinks to your preference. Also, water is free or cheap, so swap your daily soda for water!
- Change cell phone providers. Before I made the switch to Ting Mobile, I had been on the fence about switching cell phone service providers, so I did hours and hours of research into mobile virtual network operators like Ting. Ting Mobile is still the best, low-cost service provider, so I’m sticking with ’em. See how much money you could save by switching to Ting Mobile. Plus, Ting lets you bring your own device AND they give you $25 for making the switch.
- Deploy a clothes shopping ban. Consider not buying any clothes for awhile, unless you truly need a replacement item. Clothes shopping for fun adds up fast, so try mall walking — no spending required.
- Refinance mortgage debt. If you have a mortgage on your home, you might be eligible for a better rate. Check with your bank or look at this list from Bankrate.
- Downsize to a smaller home. When you downsize your home or apartment, bills tend to be lower. Easy savings!
- Subscribe to save money. When there’s a cheaper option and free delivery, we’ll buy some of our household supplies online and have them shipped to our house. Our Amazon Influencer Storefront has tons of stuff, some of which you can subscribe to for a discount. Also, we’ve recently branched out to Dollar Shave Club for Garrett’s razors.
- Set up a high-interest online savings account to help you save more money using this affiliate program from SmartAsset.