There is so much Financial Independence information out there. I have no idea where to start?!!
There are more and more blogs/podcasts/books etc popping up every day about financial independence; how to calculate it, how to save money, how to earn more……
It would be easy to buried under it all, with only your hand sticking out of the information quicksand.
You really only need a few good blogs, a podcast or two and a couple of books to get the point. The rest is about the action you take.
“Oh no! Not action!! But I just like to read stuff in a million different ways and never actually do anything about it!”
Tough kahunas baby, time to narrow down the input and get the F on with it.
Here are exact blogs I subscribed to, the podcast (there is only 1!) I listened to, and the books I read.
MR MONEY MUSTACHE
Mr Money Mustache – His blog is ranty, funny and very frugal.
His website is not the prettiest though. I read somewhere that brown was the worst colour for reader engagement on blogs, I imagine MMM also read that and decided to do it on purpose.
As you have probably guessed, he has some pretty controversial views and he ain’t afraid to show it. That said, his rants are awesome, my favourite quote of all time is;
“Your current middle-class life is an exploding volcano of wastefulness”
Ha! What a legend.
Pete Adeney is the man behind MMM, he and his wife retired at the age of 30 with $800k between them.
Granted they had high paying jobs in engineering but they also saved a SERIOUS amount of their money each month and continue to live on around $30,000 a year for the 3 of them (they have one son).
MMM is an advocate of the 4% rule which is what many of the financially independent bloggers rely on to live without having to work.
This site is huge and although he posts infrequently now, he gets a whopping 1.6 million visits a month (according to Similar Web).
He has a huge cult following and is one of the old timers on the Early Retirement circuit having started his blog in 2011.
Handily he has collated all his posts on one page so you can peruse at your leisure here.
Here are a few more of his best blog posts as a sample to get you going.
The Frugalwoods – The Frugalwoods are a family who lives on a homestead in Vermont. The blog is written by Mrs Frugalwoods.
The way they managed to achieve financial independence was to hit a 65-85% savings rate to achieve their goal early while living in Boston (a very expensive city apparently!).
They are seriously frugal, which is not for everyone but she is a beautiful writer. The best part is, even though they call themselves ‘Frugal Weirdos’ there is no money shaming.
This blog is great if you want to learn how to live on A LOT less but if you aren’t as into frugality and just enjoy her articles then that is totally cool as well.
Mrs Frugalwoods has also just written a book about their experiences called Meet The Frugalwoods. I haven’t read it yet but it is on my list.
She also runs the Uber Frugal month challenge, I haven’t participated in this but you can check it out here if you want to have a go!
Here are some of her posts if you want to get a taster:
Millennial Revolution – Millennial Revolution is run by a Canadian couple, Firecracker and Wanderer (not their real names, obviously). I met them both at the UK Chautauqua last year, they are legends!
They are the youngest couple to retire in Canada at the age of 31 and have been featured in several major publications like this one.
They achieved financial independence by deciding to invest all of their savings rather than buy a property in an overheated Toronto market.
They now travel the world without ever having to work again as they live off the interest and dividends of their $1 million investment.
One of the useful things on the blog is the investment workshop series that they run http://www.millennial-revolution.com/investworkshop/.
Amazingly they will also do an evaluation of your current financial situation. For Free. Holy guacamole.
You can read some of their posts here:
Afford Anything – Afford Anything is run by Paula Pant. Paula’s mantra is you can Afford Anything but Not Everything.
She isn’t just talking about money. Everything you want to do, whether it involves time, money or focus, is done at the expense of something else. So, choose wisely.
She also does a series of podcasts. I love her blog but I find her podcasts a bit annoying (sorry, Paula).
Paula reached financial independence herself by saving the money earned from freelance writing and used it to buy rental properties. She now travels the world with her partner Will by living off the rental income.
You don’t need to be interested in buying rental properties to read her blog. She has a different take on life and money to other blogs i.e. spend on what is truly important to you, rather than trying to squeeze savings out of a stone.
The other reason I recommend her blog is because I think she is an amazing writer who makes things very easy to understand.
Top posts of hers that I like:
THE MAD FIENTIST
The Mad Fientist – This is the go-to guy for FI podcasts and the only one that I recommend listening too. I find most podcasters intensely annoying, but MF is someone I would happily listen to for hours!
Mad Fientist was set up in 2012 as he wanted to reach financial independence and to speed it up he decided to learn everything he could about it. He managed to achieve it at the age of 34.
I also met the Mad Fientist at the UK Chautauqua. He is a genuinely awesome guy and this really comes across in his podcasts too.
His blog has well written and researched posts although they are not that frequent. Having said that he has a huge and loyal following due to how good his posts and podcasts are.
The Mad Fientist has interviewed the top dogs of the FI world such as JL Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth and Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life.
Well worth a listen on your mind-numbing cattle market commute to work.
What is a little different about the Mad Fientist is that up until recently, his wife was not on the financial independence bandwagon at all.
However, having proofread his posts over the years, she finally came around which she announced in a letter to him!
My ‘best of’ podcasts are below, obviously, you can listen to whichever you like but these are my faves.
Mr. Money Mustache – Early Retirement Made Easy
JL Collins NH – The Importance of F-You Money
Budgets are Sexy – Challenge Everything
Vicki Robin – An Interview with Author Vicki Robin
The Simple Path to Wealth
J L Collins – Jim started out writing letters to his daughter on investing and then turned it into a blog. He then wrote The Simple Path to Wealth which I highly recommend. Although a lot of it is related the US market, the principles are basically the same wherever you are.
Your Money Or Your Life
Vicki Robin is one of the founders of FI, Vicki originally wrote her book Your Money Or Your Life back in 1993 with a guy called Joe Dominguez. Vicki is a wonderful human being who really makes you think about what is important in life. Her fully updated copy for 2018 is now out.
The Millionaire Next Door
The Millionaire Next Door is based on the idea that wealthy people are not the ones driving Ferraris. They live next door to you and me, but have amassed and kept their wealth through frugality and investing.
It was written by Tom Stanley and William Danko, who spent years researching wealthy Americans. The findings are still relevant though even if you aren’t from the US. The general principles are the same.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad, Poor Dad was written by Robert Kiyosaki. It’s based on a story about two Dads (the clue is in the title!) and the very different ways they think about money.
The main take away for me was that money should be used to buy assets that produce money themselves. Spending on liabilities (things that depreciate and actually lose you money) will not make you wealthy.
Spoiler alert: your home is NOT an asset!!
The books, podcasts, and blogs above are the ones which made me laugh and made me think.
Thay may not be the right ones for you though. If they aren’t, there are plenty out there, just find 2 or 3 that you like and go with it.
Just don’t sign up to all of them, you will never leave the house.
Who are your favourite Financial Independence writers or podcasters?