No FSO is an island… not even the ones posted to the Pacific. No one expects you to do this unsupported. Especially me. I get by with (more than a little) help from my friends.
The Wider FI Community
There are a bunch of wonderful websites and podcasts out there that cover the Financial Independence community. I will not be crushed if you want to branch out beyond my humble blog. Much. Just come back. I’ll miss you.
- Afford Anything – Host Paula Pant says that you can afford anything, just not everything. I really appreciate her approach, which focuses on making rational decisions and choosing what you value. As an added bonus, she dedicates a substantial subset of her podcasts and pages on how to ‘hack’ real estate to provide a resource stream. As many FSOs are landlords, this can be a very useful resource.
- ChooseFI – These guys are a great place to start. While their website is… hectic… for my tastes, they are choc full of great information. They also have a very active Facebook group, and a podcast that’s a great listen (especially once you get past the beginning ‘oh my god we’re doing a podcast’ episodes). They have dedicated, knowledgeable guests, and are really committed to community building. Of their articles and podcasts, I’d recommend starting with Pillars of FI and Milestones of FI. Those are great articles/podcasts that cover the basic steps that work for anyone interested in achieving financial independence.
- JL Collins – JL Collins has some of the most in-detail discussions of Financial Independence online. His stock series, which explains the math behind some of the most important concepts in FI, including the 4% rule, index funds, and why the market always goes up.
Everything you listen to can’t be about FI. Well, it could, but that would be kind of boring. Here are the other FI-adjacent podcasts that I suggest listening to on your morning commmute
- Optimal Daily Finance – Every day they read a blog post to you from a different blog. While not specifically FI, they often pick blogs that are in the community.
- Motley Fool Money – While the FI community generally prefers broad stock market index funds, the background of what’s going on in the market for individual stocks can be interesting.
- NPR’s The Indicator – Cute short podcast that picks one number and goes into why it matters for the economy.
- NPR’s Planet Money – Long form podcasts that cover fascinating stories from around the broadly-defined economic sector.
- WSJ Your Money Briefing – A very businesslike podcast that covers daily issues in the financial sector.
First off – these are all affiliate links, which means I get a tiny fraction of your purchase, at no cost to you, when you purchase through the links. The fee helps me keep this site running. HOWEVER, before you purchase any one of these books, I want you to stop, and consider if there’s another way to get the content. Is there a copy in the CLO library, or does a friend have one you could borrow? Can you get the digital copy through your home US library? Only buy these with your own money as a last resort, or if you want to toss a few cents my way.
- Your Money Or Your Life – this is the book that started it all off for me, when I purchased it for a friend and then proceeded to devour it before I gave it to them. Because who gifts a book without reading it? The straightforward approach provided starts you with the basic tools to see where you are, and what it needs for you to reach FI.
- The Simple Path To Wealth – As I mentioned above, JL Collins is the guru behind the nitpicky details of FI. His book goes into this in further detail, and keeps it at the level of the normal human being.
- Barefoot Investor – When I first picked this up, I didn’t realize that it was so heavily targeted to Australians. With a few hacks, however, it is fairly simple to translate to our lifestyles. What I appreciated was his focus on how to do FI in a relationship. Have a financial date night, have a glass of wine, really talk to your partner about where you want to go.
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – yes, you’ve probably seen her on Netflix by now. It can seem a bit hokey. BUT, I find that, moving every 2-4 years, reducing unnecessary clutter is key. Help destress your moves by getting down to what really ‘sparks joy’ in your life. As a bonus, Amazon and Priority Mail boxes make great organizers for your sock drawers.
Apps & Websites
- Mint – Not going to lie, I’m a little bit obsessed with Mint for keeping track of things. You can establish budgets and goals, and while there may be concerns over privacy, they’re run by the same folks that make TurboTax and, knock-on-wood, I’ve never had an issue
- XE – This app helps me keep track of what things actually cost in a currency that I understand. Just keep it on your phone and it can track multiple
- Kindle – No, you don’t need to buy a Kindle device to read your ebooks purchased from Amazon. You can put this app on any digital screen and read away.
- Kindle Unlimited – IF AND ONLY IF you find yourself buying a lot of Kindle books per month, it may make more sense to sign up for Kindle Unlimited, which for a set fee lets you read as much as you want.
- Libby/Overdrive – Paying for books should be your last resort. These apps let you access all the ebooks your library has to offer, for free!
- TripIt – I love TripIt. It keeps all of your travel information in one place, so that you can see your flights, car rentals, hotel reservations, etc., without shuffling through myriad pieces of paper, which will inevitably get out of order, lost, or put in the wrong bag. If you opt for the TripIt Pro, which I found worthwhile, it will also track all your points for travel, and keep you updated on flight delays.
- CamelCamelCamel – Just for the name alone I’d love this site. However, what it does is even neater – it helps you find the best prices for something you need/want on Amazon. It hosts prices over time so you can see if you’re getting a good deal, and will alert you if something you want goes on sale.
- ThredUp – ThredUp is a used clothing site, which both buys and sells used clothing in good condition. It will help you both clean out your closet after you’ve binged Marie Kondo, and refill it with clothes that are work appropriate, look great, and spark joy. I’ve found blouses that retail for $250 on sale for $5 – and they were in great shape. The link here will give you $10 off your first spree.