Best of the Web: Hosted by The Financial Freedom Project

 

Hello Money Geeks! This is Mr. FFP from The Financial Freedom Project. I’m both excited and honored that Michael has given me the opportunity to highlight some great weekend reading material for you in this week’s edition of Best of the Web!

First, the cliff notes on me. My wife and I reside in Michigan, where we ride herd on our precocious 15-month-old son. I’m an aspiring DIYer, and my favorite pastimes include bicycling, competitive volleyball, whitetail bow-hunting, and tending to our orchard.

Prior to reaching financial independence, I was a project manager by profession. I’m also a former beekeeper, high school volleyball coach, and political campaign manager. I happen to be fiercely independent, detail-oriented, and analytical by nature. Spreadsheets are my jam!

Helping others master their money, expand their horizons, and obtain the financial freedom to pursue their dreams is my passion. I created The Financial Freedom Project out of a desire to help map the path to financial independence for those who, like my wife and I, do not have a six-figure household income.

Contrary to popular belief, aggressive goals like financial freedom and early retirement can be achieved with just an average household income or even less. Doing so requires pulling out all of the proverbial stops with an incredibly detailed, highly-optimized, and full-spectrum financial plan.

The Financial Freedom Project is committed to leaving no stone unturned while charting this path less traveled for others who have a burning desire for financial freedom, but only a limited income with which to work.

 

3 Posts I’m Digging This Week

 

  1. How To Evaluate Job Offers To Accelerate Financial Independence

Achieving financial independence is all about a combination of growing your income and reducing your expenses. This write-up from Zed over at ZenCents on how to evaluate job offers is a true masterpiece focusing on the first part of that equation. Comparing hourly wage or annual salary between two jobs head-to-head is easy, but that is only a small piece to the puzzle of which is better for your bottom line.

In this article, Zed walks you through a thorough and detailed analysis which includes compensation, bonuses, paid time off, health benefits, retirement benefits, vehicle MPG, cost of gas, and clothing. To give you an idea of just how comprehensive this analysis is, he dives as deep as 401K vesting and fee schedules!

The best part? All of this awesome information is packed into an easy, free-to-use spreadsheet so you can fill out some basic information and easily compute which job offer will get you to financial independence most quickly. A resource worth not only reading, but bookmarking for future reference during your next job hunt.

 

  1. The Secret To Naturally Meeting New People

In this thought-provoking post, Drew over at FI Introvert draws a parallel between the tenets of successful investing and those required for social networking. He uses example interactions from his own life to highlight the difference that simple forethought and intentionality can make when forging new relationships.

As a fellow introvert, I can relate to this article on a personal level. But as a personal finance aficionado, I appreciate it even more. Getting intentional with your finances and employing strategic forethought are two of the most important keys to any savvy financial plan. And building a solid social network is invaluable for both self-actualization and financial success.

Stop settling for less-than-ideal friendships born of convenience. Implement Drew’s concept of “social collision” to intentionally build a social network of talented, knowledgeable, and like-minded people naturally and on your own terms.

 

  1. 5 Reasons Why Young Women Need To Think About Financial Independence Differently

I enjoy following Catherine of Sisters for FI due to our shared views on minimalism and green living, but this article drops some straight-up financial wisdom. Cat outlines five unique hurdles facing young women today which require recognition and intentional planning to surmount on the path to financial independence.

The list includes overcoming the societal norm of “retail therapy”, planning for unpaid maternal leave, recognizing lost wages due to the caretaker effect, mitigating a lower Social Security benefit due to years spent out of the workforce, and taking into account the fact that women live longer than men.

This article hit home with me, as I have a sister in her 20’s and a sister-in-law in her second year of college who just turned 19. Both are in the midst of making important decisions on education, careers, spouses, and children which will have a great impact on their financial futures.

If you’re not a young woman reading this today, you’re virtually guaranteed to know one. Share this article with them and give them a leg up on some of the challenges they’ll face on their journey to FI which others may not.

 

A Financial Freedom Project Post You Might Dig

 

Building a values-based budget and an easy-to-maintain money management system are the very first steps to financial freedom. Unfortunately, we personal finance bloggers don’t often give this topic the full attention it deserves.

Sure, just about all personal finance advice includes a tip of the hat to budgeting. But far too often, a nominal reference to “build a budget and track your spending…” is about as detailed as it gets. This leaves a gaping hole behind on exactly HOW one goes about doing that.

In an attempt to bridge this gap, I authored a comprehensive 26-part series detailing the approach my wife and I used to build the budget and money management system that powered our own journey to financial freedom. Your 26-Step Blueprint For Building A Bullet-Proof Budget contains the cliff notes from each article within the series, along with a link to each for further reading.

From how to avoid the exhausting unexpected bill scramble drill to learning how to become selfish with yourself, strike it rich by mining your debt, master the save-spend tightrope, and reconcile wildly different spending habits, this blueprint has it all – complete with actionable takeaways and how-to guides.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard, or boring! This article is intended to serve as your guide to replacing financial uncertainty with supreme confidence by mastering your money once and for all.

Geeky Fact

 

I come from a highly competitive family, where throwing down with physical feats of prowess or a match of wits is commonplace. This heated competition extends to board gaming, culminating each year in a weekend-long tournament.

The tourney is hosted by my brother, a freelance board game rulebook editor with a massive library of modern board games. Tournament scoring features a complex point accumulation system that would give Einstein himself a headache. The annual champ lays claim to not only bragging rights, but an oversized trophy as well!

As if that weren’t geeky enough, my brother and I log the details and results of each game played on Board Game Geek for sake of both posterity and future reference regarding winning strategies. Geeky? Darn right!

 

Thank You, Mr. FFP for this great post.

 

Recommended Reading:

How to Make Money Fast

Save Money on School Supplies

Russell Hodgkinson Success Story

 

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