The following books, blogs, podcasts & websites are resources that I personally found to be useful so far on my journey to financial independence (FI).
I will add new ones as I learn, discover and expand my knowledge.
Disclosure: Please note that I may benefit from purchases made through some of the links below, at no cost to you. Thank you very much in advance if you do end up purchasing from my links – I appreciate your support.
I recommend visiting your local library to find books but there are times when my library does not stock the particular book I want so I resort to purchasing them. And I almost always buy books for my niece & friends’ children for their birthdays & Christmas gifts – yes, I am that boring aunty! Plus I have copies of my recommended books to lend to friends & colleagues.
The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need by Scott Pape
This was the very first personal finance book I ever read! I was totally engrossed right from the beginning & read it in one afternoon. Scott writes in a very easy going every day language that can be totally understood by an ordinary person. His money strategy in the form of nine steps is easy to follow and actionable.
He teaches you practical ways on how to save and set up your buckets. He gives you a template to negotiate a better interest rate for your mortgage, shop around for your utilities and insurance. And how to assess your superannuation’s performance and most importantly, the fees charged. Plus how to invest in listed investment companies or low cost exchange traded funds and so much more.
After reading this book, I am so much more confident that I too can navigate and manage my money. And that finally, one day I will achieve financial independence.
Meet The Frugalwoods – Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames
I stumbled upon The Frugalwoods while reading about the FIRE movement. And was excited when I found out Mrs Frugalwoods had written a book documenting their journey from urban city dwellers to moving to a homestead in rural Vermont.
In her book, she explains in greater detail about how she arrived at the extreme frugality mindset. More importantly, she actually lived the extreme frugality lifestyle. Together with her husband, Nate, they choose to live a life based on what holds meaning for them. They choose not to blindly follow consumerist trends or mindlessly spend money on things that did not matter.
I was inspired by her courage to turn her back on normal societal expectations of what a modern woman living in these times should look like, wear or do. She showed that living frugally brought her joy & the liberation from having to meet those societal expectations brought her peace, besides saving money.
I may not want to move to rural Vermont or live an extremely frugal lifestyle but I can take a leaf from Liz’s inspiring life and learn how to take back control of my time and money and thus live my best life.
Unf*ck Your Finances by Melissa Browne
What is your money story? What is your relationship with money? These are questions that Melissa encourages you to dig deep & answer. If you know your weaknesses or why you spend your money the way you do, then you can start to unf*ck your finances. She encourages you to dream, to design your life then take action to have your money work towards those goals.
I found her book to be insightful about the emotions behind how I relate to money and my unconscious bias/prejudice towards wealth creation. Reading her book challenged me to dream about what makes me excited, to write them down & really be practical – to set deadlines to get me there financially.
I am all for mindful spending and the need to save as much as possible. But there are times when I need to buy things such as gifts, shoes, exercise gear and so on. I prefer to get some money back for these purchases so I use Cashrewards, a cash back site.
How does it work?
There are no membership fees – joining Cashrewards is free.
Log into Cashrewards first and search for the store you are after. All the major brands and department stores are listed. Then click on the store and shop as usual. There are often many special offers not available elsewhere.
Get cash back from every purchase you make. The rate depends on any ongoing offers and is specific to the particular store. But you will get something. Once the retailer approves your cash back amount, you can withdraw it into your bank or PayPal account.
And if you link your credit card to Cashrewards, you can get cash back from shopping in store at participating retailers. So you can save money even if you prefer to shop instore.
If you are not already a member, join Cashrewards from this link – you will get $10 when you make your first purchase of $20 or more.
Do You Even Blog – How to start a blog
I am totally new to blogging. The learning curve has been so steep that it’s off the charts!
If you want to try blogging yourself, the best place to start is Do You Even Blog website – read Pete McPherson’s manifesto – how to start a blog – it would have been a lot easier if I had done this first. It is seriously the most comprehensive guide in the universe. A lot of other guides give you surface information on basically how to host a website then you are on your own. As I discovered, there is so much more to learn.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, then enrol in Blogger U. This is a game changer – you will be connected to a group of supportive bloggers who will encourage you and give you helpful tips in addition to learning about all things blogging. Blogger U is not just for the beginners; advanced bloggers who have been blogging for years can also benefit from Blogger U‘s courses. You can enrol in a specific course or a bundle of courses – it is all up to you.
For beginners, I recommend the New Blogger Bootcamp Pro – truly a comprehensive step by step guide on how to set up your blog and grow your traffic. Or better still, enrol in the Beginner Blogger U Bundle which includes 6 different courses to help you accelerate your growth.
Once you have traffic and there are real people reading your blog, you may wish to monetise your blog ie derive some income from your blog. You never know – your blog may earn a passive income for you (every blogger’s dream?) One way of monetising your blog is by being an affiliate.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner makes more than US$100,000 a MONTH (and no, that is not a typo) from her blog Making Sense of Cents. So she knows a thing or two about monetising a blog. Her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course will give you the confidence and know-how to approach companies to become their affiliate and basically, how the whole process works. It is a step by step guide for anyone who wants to rock at affiliate marketing.