6 great new financial resources 💪💪

I did a LOT of reading over the break and came across a ton of new resources in the process.

Here are a smattering of them which should hopefully point you in the right direction depending on your current journey :)

If you found any good ones lately I’d love to hear about them too!


#1. A free budgeting spreadsheet!

Budget Tracking Dashboard 3

This ones comes from TheMeasureOfaPlan.com, and I love the visual screenshots once you plug in all your numbers… You can download the (free) spreadsheet here, as well as learn more about how to use it: themeasureofaplan.com/budget-tracking-tool/


#2. An excellent “rent vs buy” calculator

rent vs buy house

Hat tip to @Motoconomist who sent this to me after seeing my Twitter rant after someone #RentHated on me, haha… I love this one though because it goes over sooooo many more variables with owning that most people never think of, although I wish it incorporated the *mental* side of things too. Still, it shows that it’s not just a black and white “mortgage vs rent” calculation! Test it out here –> Is It Better to Rent or Buy? via The New York Times


#3. A list of helpful tips if you struggle with “reading OCD” like I do

fairy tales neil gaiman

Did you know “reading OCD” was a thing??? I didn’t until I Googled it the other week trying to fix my own struggles with it :( If you have trouble reading because OCD gets in the way, I HIGHLY recommend checking out this article and learning a few tricks you can do to suppress it… One of them is already working for me nicely! (The “covering up” part): How I Overcame My Reading OCD via My OCD Voice


#4. The “In Case of Emergency” Binder
(20% off right now!)

ice binder

While I’ve already featured this one before, I had to bring it up again because a) It’s the perfect thing to complete in the new year! And b) It’s currently 20% off for the next few days :) Enter promo code NEWYEAR19 on the website to get the discount before January 7th, or check out my article on it here if you missed it the first time around and want to know why I love it so much: Resource of The Month: The ICE Binder!


#5. A new book on “digital minimalism”

digital minimalism book - cal newport
While not out yet (February 5th), I wanted to get this on your radar as so many people are struggling with this and it’s only getting worse over the years! Clutter affects all our digital things/accounts too just as it does our physical ones! And this dude is dope at explaining and motivating you to grab a handle on it all… You can read more about the book here: Digital Minimalism Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World or pre-order it here via Amazon (by Cal Newport)


#6. A fun financial crossword puzzle ;)

finance crossword puzzle

And lastly, something to test your $$$ skills while you’re back at work trying to procrastinate more :) Download and fill in here –> Finance Crossword Puzzle (via The FI Way)

Happy weekend!

*Links to Amazon and the Binder above are affiliate links

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  1. Mr HM (Phil) January 4, 2019 at 5:48 AM

    My favourite budgeting tool is here https://www.kualto.com/

    I love how it projects into the future and shows weeks that you might be short

    It also has an app.

    1. J. Money January 4, 2019 at 6:38 AM

      Thanks for the rec!

      Hadn’t heard of before.

  2. Michael Saves January 4, 2019 at 5:56 AM

    That’s a nice looking budgeting spreadsheet! It reminds me of Mint or Personal Capital, but it’s obviously not linked to your bank accounts like those tools.

    I hear a lot from people who don’t want to give up their bank information to connect to free budgeting tools like Mint, so there will always be a place for these basic spreadsheets.

    My method is a mix of both worlds. I use the free budget template that comes with Google Sheets for expense tracking. The Google Sheets app is great for logging transactions while on the go. Then, I use Personal Capital and Mint for a snapshot of my overall finances, including net worth, with all of the fancy charts and graphs.

    Thanks for sharing these tools! I need to pick up the ICE Binder today.

    1. J. Money January 4, 2019 at 6:43 AM

      Yup – spreadsheets 4 life, baby!!

      Have you looked into Tiller before?? They will pull in all your data to Google Sheets which merges your two worlds all in one spot! And also has custom templates for net worth/etc too to pretty it up some.

      1. Michael Saves January 4, 2019 at 8:04 PM

        No, I haven’t tried Tiller, but they’ve emailed me a few times. I’ll have to check that out soon!

  3. The Measure of a Plan January 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM


    Thanks for the share! The Cal Newport book seems like a great read, and that crossword was good fun :)

    You mentioned taking into consideration the “mental side” of the rent vs buy equation in your post, and I couldn’t be more aligned with you on that.

    Depending on how you tweak the financial assumptions, either renting or buying can be the better decision. The sheer number of variables (home value appreciation, # of years you live in the house, mortgage rate, stock market growth, etc.) makes it a not-so-straightforward analysis.

    With that in mind, I think the mental / lifestyle factors become all the more important. Even if the financial equation is a toss-up, there is so much more to consider.

    I few months back I wrote about the “soft side of the rent vs buy equation” — thought you might be interested: https://themeasureofaplan.com/the-soft-side-of-the-rent-vs-buy-equation/

    Wishing you a happy, fulfilling, and successful 2019 (financially and otherwise).

    1. J. Money January 4, 2019 at 10:24 AM

      Yup, right there with you, brother! Love all of those points you list out as you can’t just look at the #’s and call it a day. Life is so much more than that!! Gotta do what feels/fits right whether the financials back it up or not!

    2. Debbie January 4, 2019 at 11:25 AM

      Thanx for sharing this article! I totally agree rent vs buy isn’t just a financial decision. Quite honestly, if something ever happens to my husband, I’m outta here ASAP (would sell house). Houses are money pits (at least all the homes we’ve had!) & ALOT of maintenance. I remember the days when I was single renting an apt. & my only responsibility was paying the rent, electric & phone bill (water was included). Very carefree with no worries about when will the furnace quit, when will the fridge fail, how much will it cost to hire someone to do yard work when we’re too old to do it, etc. But hubby HATES renting & likes mowing & yard work so here we stay!
      As others commented, the calculator above needs updating to coincide with new tax laws. Happy 2019!!

      1. The Measure of a Plan January 4, 2019 at 1:24 PM

        I’m right there with you.

        Renting is low risk and low hassle — pay the rent on time, and let someone else worry about the rest.

        1. Debbie January 5, 2019 at 7:10 AM

          An old family friend married in 1967 & they rented a 1BR apt, 700 square feet, rent controlled. They lived in it till he passed away in 2009 & she passed away in 2015. He retired at age 46 and she retired at age 48. Both worked long enough to have pensions. Both took on small daytime jobs. She drove/picked up kids from school & he helped an elderly patient a few days a week. They managed this owning just 1 vehicle. They traveled & lived comfortably their whole lives & I heard she left $200,000 to a friend when she passed. Neither wanted the responsibility of owning a home & were fine living in a small space. So to each his own. You have to live with whatever works for you & do what makes you happiest. No one size fits all.

          1. J. Money January 7, 2019 at 5:41 AM

            They are my heroes :)

  4. Laurie@ThreeYear January 4, 2019 at 3:13 PM

    Those spreadsheets are awesome, and I am way pumped about the new Cal Newport book! Thanks for sharing these. Happy New Year to you and your family, J!!! Hope 2019 is a wonderful year!

    1. J. Money January 4, 2019 at 3:16 PM


  5. Lachlan Sue January 5, 2019 at 8:06 PM

    Thanks for the heads up for the budget tracking tool. I find some people find the exercise of producing their budget very easy and others struggle big time. This tool makes it easy enough while also providing a level of detail many users would previously have struggled to achieve.


  6. Myfinancekits January 7, 2019 at 2:49 AM

    What a good way to start the year. We need to be more informed if we want to achieve more this year. In this information age, if one is not informed, he will be deformed. The deformation may not be physical though, it is more of mental deformation. But the impact will soon manifest in the physical. Thanks for sharing the resources.

  7. carlotta January 7, 2019 at 5:17 AM

    I love that new york times calculations!
    i’m glad I made the right decision with buying then, rent should be less than 300£ .

    1. J. Money January 7, 2019 at 5:47 AM

      Oh wow haha…