Every small-business owner relies on certain trusted tools to help her cut costs, boost sales, and analyze her company’s performance. A money boss makes use of tools too, from spreadsheets to smartphone apps to savings accounts.
This page collects some of my favorite financial tools. These are the actual accounts and products that I use every day — and that Money Boss readers keep in their toolboxes. If you have suggested additions, please leave a comment below (or send me email).
Money Boss Tools
From time to time, I create downloadables and tools for Money Boss articles. This is the master list of everything I’ve created so far for this site. All of these items are free.
- The Money Boss net worth calculator gives you a template for calculating your current “score”. How much are you worth?
- Here’s a one-page PDF with an exercise meant to help you create your personal mission statement.
- “The Money Boss Method” is a one-page guide to financial freedom. It’s a quick and dirty summary of what this site is about, describing how you can reach early retirement (or any other goal).
- For my article on the six stages of financial freedom, I shared an images that summarizes the path from financial dependence to financial abundance. By popular request, I’ve created a PDF version of that roadmap.
- A few years ago, I collaborated with my friend Lisa to create a one-hundred word summary of my philosophy on how to be happy. A lot of people have asked me to provide a PDF version for download. At last, I have.
- Money Boss is built on a clear and specific philosophy. I’ve collected that philosophy into a free 70-page book I call A Brief Guide to Financial Freedom. You can download the PDF version here.
This library of documents and tools will grow with the Money Boss website. Check back now and then to find new additions.
There are lots of great blogs and podcasts about money, but only a few focus on what I call “advanced personal finance”. Here are some of my favorites. I’ve met and talked with each of the folks who run these sites, and feel confident that their financial philosophy matches mine. You can trust them. I do.
- Afford Anything with Paula Pant documents the author’s ongoing quest to build the best life she possibly can. Pant shares her experience with rental properties, lifestyle design, and hustling to earn money on the side. She’s a great example of how you can have anything you want — but not everything you want.
- Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker. Fisker’s wasn’t the first blog about Financial Independence and early retirement, but it’s certainly been the most influential. Everyone else in the space owes a debt to him. He codified and clarified both the numbers and the philosophy behind the movement. The archives here are gold.
- Financial Mentor by Todd Tresidder. If you like nitty gritty details, Todd’s your man. More than anyone else in this space, he has the knowledge and experience to help navigate even the most difficult parts of the journey to Financial Independence. His site offers tons of free tools and his articles are comprehensive. Be warned, though: The advice here can seem complicated to some.
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich with Ramit Sethi is one of the oldest money blogs and still one of the best. Sethi has no patience for strategies that save pennies instead of dollars — and he’d prefer you focused on hundreds or thousands of dollars at a time. The centerpiece of his site is a library of courses designed to help people make more money and live a richer life.
- Mad Fientist with Brandon. This blog and podcast tackle the “science” of Financial Independence. Brandon explores loopholes and strategies to help you achieve FI (and other goals) as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Mr. Money Mustache with Pete. Mr. Money Mustache challenges conventional wisdom about life and money. Pete’s goal is to get readers to question consumer culture — especially their own personal consumption. He argues that how much you spend is almost completely unrelated to how fulfilling your life is.
- Wallet Hacks with Jim Wang. Compared to the other sites listed here, Wang writes less about Financial Independence and more about everyday personal finance. As somebody who’s already achieved financial freedom, he knows what he’s talking about.
Other great non-financial blogs I read regularly: The Art of Non-Conformity (Chris Guillebeau on living a remarkable life), James Clear (on mastering your habits), Tim Ferriss (on life experimentation), Raptitude (David Cain on how to improve your quality of life), Derek Sivers (on learning from life), and Zen Habits (Leo Babauta on finding simplicity amidst daily chaos).
If you’d rather listen to financial advice, there are lots of great podcasts about smart money management. Here are some favorites of Money Boss readers:
- If you’re into real-estate investing, check out Bigger Pockets with Josh Dorkin and Brandon Turner. The hosts try to provide info for both beginners and experiences investors.
- The Financial Independence Podcast is from Brandon at Mad Fientist. He interviews people about techniques and strategies for achieving early retirement.
- The M.O.N.E.Y Show with Paula Pant and J. Money. Two of my colleagues (and friends) recently started a podcast about money and entrepreneurship. This is high on my to-listen list.
- Radical Personal Finance with Joshua Sheats is my personal favorite. Eventually, there will be an official Money Boss podcast. Until that happens, RPF is essentially the unofficial MB podcast. Sheats is smart and thoughtful, and his philosophy is similar to mine. Plus he has a background in finance. This show tends to run long, but it’s worth it.
- Stacking Benjamins does a great job of covering the gamut of money topics and opinions. The hosts aren’t afraid to explore different ideas and viewpoints. Plus, they consciously work to keep their show hopping so it doesn’t drag.
Lastly, you might want to check out Adulting from Harlan Landes and Miranda Marquit. This show isn’t specifically about money, but the hosts are both personal-finance writers (and Landes is financially independent). As a result, there’s lots of discussion about how to handle money responsibly.
The U.S. government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey is an amazing pile of information about the earning and spending habits of average Americans. There’s a lot here and the site might feel intimidating. If you have time to sit down and sort through things, however, you can learn a lot about how people handle their money — and how their habits compare to yours.
Kelley Blue Book is the ages-old source for calculating the value of your used vehicle. Many of us remember using the print version when we were younger. The modern website has all sorts of search tools and car-buying aids.
Franklin-Covey has an online Mission Statement Builder that walks you through a series of questions about your values, goals, and desires. When you’re finished you’ll have a rough draft of a possible mission statement. (You’ll need to massage the results to get a more concise statement.)
Numbeo collects a variety of stats for cities around around the world. If you’re curious about what it might be like to live somewhere else, this tool can help you crunch the numbers. Numbeo includes information on housing prices, crime rates, traffic, and more. For our purposes, the most useful piece of the site is the extensive cost-of-living calculator, which allows you to explore how much bang you get for your buck from one city to the next.
Zillow allows you to estimate real-estate prices (and rents) in your area. Lots of people use this website when they’re house-hunting, but it’s also useful for keeping tabs on the housing market in your neighborhood, and fur updating your home’s value when you’re calculating net worth.