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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?
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: 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.
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:
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.
A great collection articles from Personal Finance bloggers around the world
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.