I recommend these things solely because I’ve found them to be helpful along my own journey to financial independence.
This blog is not monetized and there are no conflicts of interest.
Websites | Books | Calculators
Mr. Money Mustache – Most articles are about reducing your cost of living. It’s a good place to start, because you need to be able to save money in order to begin investing. You can’t invest if you can’t save, and you can’t save if you’re spending everything you make.
The Mad Fientist – Articles about investing more efficiently. Recommended after consuming and internalizing Mr. Collins’ stuff.
Brave New Life – BNL is an early retiree who pursued dividend investing (DRIP’ing) to achieve his goals.
Early Retirement Extreme – Before there was MMM, there was Jacob Lund Fisker, and he created the ERE website. The articles are dense, condescending, occasionally hateful, and frequently brilliant. Posts are on some kind of auto-rotate scheme now, but they’re still relevant.
The Military Guide to FI/RE – A great RE blog, Doug Nordman provides advice that’s specifically helpful for folks in any branch of the U.S. Military. Many of the articles are worth reading even if you’re a civilian, like me.
Retire Early Homepage – Another oldie but goodie, by John P. Greaney. I found this blog 10 years ago. There’s still some good content to mine, and in particular, I found his career advice to strongly resonate for whatever reason.
Philip Greenspun – He retired at 37 in 2001. He’s funny, he’s brilliant, he’s bitter, and I can’t stop laughing and crying at the same time when I read his output. Good in small doses. Depressing in large. Mostly useful, though.
Joshua Kennon Investing – Smart guy. Posts on mostly investment topics, and is not really an RE blog. But there’s a fair amount of overlap as he’s interested in personal responsibility and financial freedom.
FrugalWoods – Another good blog for people in the beginning phases of their journey, FW has articles on DIY, cost-cutting, and general lifestyle tips for reducing your monthly outflows. A little crunchy perhaps, but I like crunchy sometimes.
Monevator – Do you live in EU? Then read monevator.
Rockstar Finance – A curation site of the best personal finance posts. If you’re looking to get a sampling of what’s current or hot in the PF blogosphere, check here regularly.
Vanguard – It’s like, where the money goes.
Mint – For expense tracking. Additionally, you can link all of your accounts (e.g. checking, credit cards, investment accounts) into Mint and it will, in turn, spit out your net worth.
Personal Capital – Much like Mint, you can link multiple sources into your PC account and it will spit out your NW. I recently moved to Personal Capital from Mint because it tracks investment account expenses. My take is that it’s more robust than Mint, but either site is fine, overall.
12.2015 Update: I no longer use Personal Capital and cannot recommend them. I found their sales staff to be overly aggressive. Multiple phone calls even after I told them I was not interested in their brokerage services and could they please remove me from their solicitation lists? Apparently not, it took them several more requests before they respected my desires.
This is one great thing about this blog not being monetized: I can say what I like about these companies without worrying about my bottom line.
Let’s go ahead and make it official then: Fuck you, Personal Capital.
Mr. Money Mustache – Holy God, these forums are fun. Highly recommended that you get an account and participate — it helps to feel like you have company on the FIRE journey, and there’s a lot to learn from the folks on the board. They’re also super-active. Pete, the site owner, must make a fortune off of the hits.
Early Retirement Extreme – I never did create an account on this board, but it’s interesting to read. Many of the people on ERE’s forums are striving to RE on shoestring budgets and it’s fascinating to read about. It’s not as active as MMM but there are some passionate regular users.
Early Retirement Dot Org – Forums for folks who are aiming for 1985’s idea of “early retirement” meaning: perhaps age 55. (Woa! Don’t get too crazy!) Many of these people are aiming for more traditional retirements with 80K or higher annual spend rates.
Bogleheads Dot Org – Investment forums named after John Bogle — he’s the founder of Vanguard and is commonly seen as the father of index investing. It’s more finance and less early-retirement but you can learn a ton about how to handle your money here.
Ranked from most to least frugal, the boards go:
ERE->MMM->ER-ORG -> Bogleheads-ORG
I don’t consider Bogleheads to be frugal in the slightest, FWIW, but there’s still a ton of terrific content.
Honorable Mention Blog
Lacking Ambition – I used to love this guy’s site. Lots of philosophical articles and an unapologetic desire to just be lazy. Sometimes he seems to really hate modern culture, though. Very little talk of how to actually handle money, but a lot of commentary on how people make financial decisions. He’s also a good writer.