Here are tools that helped me keep my “balance” between saving and spending.

Downloadable Software

Free downloadable software packages that are very helpful.

Personal Finance Forums

These 2 very supportive online communities that help me whenever I encounter a roadblock. Both are totally free.

Credit Score Check

Free credit score check on the web.

Investment and Budgeting Tools

Great tools to help keep track of your finances.

Web Based Calculators

Free Financial Independence Early Retirement (FIRE) and web savings based calculators you can use anytime.

Friends of Blonde and Balanced

Personal Finance Books

A list of my personal finance favorites.

The Millionaire Next Door — Most spend more than what they make making it almost impossible to accumulate wealth. This book shows how “real” millionaires live. They don’t buy status objects, they generally spend less than they earn, they teach their children to be financially responsible and they understand the long term financial outcome of their choices. Click here to find out more.

Rich Habits – This book introduces principles created through years of research about daily success habits of the wealthy. The author’s emphasis is that by following these principles you get closer to your financial goals.  His prescriptions?  Do a half an hour of educational reading every day, don’t waste time on the internet, control your emotions and actively network.  This is a must read if you want to build a wealthy life. Grab a copy here.

The Richest Man in Babylon — Published in 1926, this book is a personal finance classic. Clason uses a series of narratives set in ancient Babylon to illustrate core personal finance lessons.  These lessons are: save at least 10 percent of what you earn, focus on self-improvement, buy insurance, control expenses and own your own home.  This book has sold millions of copies – for good reason. Get a copy through Amazon.

The Intelligent Investor – This book is considered to be the bible for value investors.  The book is totally geared for investors who are interested in the stock market. It outlines a couple of core concepts – stocks have intrinsic value distinct from their market value.  Second, market values fluctuate, investors should focus on the real-life performance of their stocks and on receiving dividends instead of speculating about the future value of their shares.  If you want to get rich in stocks, get a copy.

The Total Money Makeover – This book gives out the simplest and most straightforward blueprint to financial success.  Among its core ideas is the debt snowball method, which says you should pay off your lowest balances first to instead of your highest interest debts.  Ramsey’s advice has been scientifically proven, so it is one of the best resources available for paying your debt off.  Get a copy today.

The 4-hour Workweek – This book spent more than four years on the New York Times best seller list and has sold more than 1.35 million copies.  The author, Tim Ferriss, figured out how to cram 40 hours worth of work into 4.  His secret? – Focus on high impact activities and delegate as much as possible.  Click here to see what its all about.

Think and Grow Rich – Hill takes an in-depth look at the person’s mind and personal beliefs and how these influence our success. The data found in this book is backed up by an interview of 500 of the most successful business persons, tycoons, and visionaries over the years.  A must read if you’re interested in developing the right mindset for thinking about personal success. Click here to get informed.

The Automatic Millionaire – It is a common desire to get rich. David Bach not only shows the readers how to get rich but also how to stay rich. And with the advent of technology, the author also shows how to automate your finances via direct deposit, payroll deductions and dividend reinvesting.  If you are busy, but want to build wealth without a lot of management hassles, read it and find out how.

Rich Dad Poor Dad – is a breakaway best seller.  While Kiyosaki is hugely controversial, this book is a compelling read for its core concept – the rich gain wealth by investing in cash producing assets using tax shelters – not by working hard their whole lives and investing in mutual funds.  This belongs on your bookshelf so get it on Amazon.

Freakonomics – Although not finance related, the concepts found in this book will help you think in economic terms that are helpful to investors and whoever dreams of financial success. Get a copy here and learn why drug dealers don’t make more than minimum wage and why “ethnic” sounding names impact your earning potential.