BSM Recommends

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BSM Recommends


The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley: This was one of the first books I ever read about finance… I was probably 20 years old and it opened my eyes to the real habits and lifestyles of self-made millionaires…. Turns out, their habits are much different that what you see on TV and what you see from your co-workers.  Hint: “They had a ‘Black Sheep Millionaire’ mentality” 😉

Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey: I was introduced to Dave Ramsey early in my adult life/career.  His approach to eliminating and avoiding debt gave me a solid financial foundation to start out on.  Dave and his teachings were my motivation in paying of my first home in 3 1/2 years.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: The “Grandfather of Investing”… oh, and he was Warren Buffet’s mentor… Need to hear anything else?  Yeah, me either…

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey: Dr. Covey’s principles include things like, Beginning with the end in mind, being proactive instead of reactive, seeking to understand before being understood, and creating “win-wins”.  How can you not be effective if you do those things habitually?


Budgeting Software:

YNAB – You Need A Budget: Currently $50/yr ($4.17/mo) I personally use YNAB for our family budget.  It’s super easy to use and does everything that my old customized budget spreadsheet never could do. Use this link to setup a free 34 day trial and, if you subscribe, we both get a free month!

Mint: Free – Mint automatically updates and categorizes your information. From your bank accounts and credit cards (don’t own any unless you use them for points/cash back AND you pay them off every month… no exceptions!) to retirement accounts and more. It calculates average spending by category with a click so you can easily create a budget based on spending patterns. See how much you’re spending on what, year-to-year or month-to-month.


Vanguard: I have personally used Vanguard (for Retirement and Taxable investments) for over 15 years. They have the lowest expense ratios in the industry and the company is 100% owned by its clients.  Vanguard’s founder, Jack Bogle, launched the world’s first index fund in 1976.

Betterment: Another good option for low cost, index fund investing, but Betterment has a few more interactive features (projections, goal setting, etc.) and an intuitive easy-to-use interface.  You can also set and track multiple goals independent of each other.  For example, we have a goal set for each one of our children, and they all have their own investment account… Yep, even our 2 year old has one!

M1 Finance, Robo-advisor, ETFsM1 Finance: Similar to Betterment’s approach, I like M1 because they offer a bit more flexibility.  If you are a more of a hands-on investor, M1 will be the best Robo-Advisor for you.  Personally, I like to pick my own ETFs/stocks to include in my portfolio.  They have pre-made portfolios (pies) as well, but you can customize yours if you’d like.  For that reason, I keep our FIRE fund at M1.

Web Hosting:

Blue Host:  I picked BlueHost because they made it incredibly easy to get this site up and running and because I had used them in the past with great results.  They offer a one-click automatic WordPress Blog installation, which was super simple.  Use the link above and get a discount for being a Black Sheep Millionaire reader.


Airbnb – Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries.  Use this link to get $40 off of your trip

Blogs I read:

Mr. Money Mustache 

If you don’t know him, you should…. he retired at 30 years old and has an army of “Mustachians” that follow-him… Now he “types some shit into the computer” teaching others how to be badasses and retire early too.

Rockstar Finance – The Best of Personal Finance

A great collection articles from Personal Finance bloggers around the world

J.Money @ Budgets Are Sexy

Founder of Rockstar Finance and PF Guru… J.Money is one of the heavy hitters of Personal Finance.  Love his stuff and down-to earth approach to writing.

Steve retired from full-time work at age 35 and exchanged his career for traveling with his wife in their Airstream – Charlie.