Paychecks and Balances Podcast with Rich Jones and Marcus Garrett

This week I had the pleasure of being on Paychecks and Balances Podcast with Rich Jones and Marcus Garrett, a couple of high energy financial guys teaching people what to do with their money to build wealth.

Rich and Marcus were fantastic hosts who somehow pulled out a few of my most embarrassing financial moments on air.

Rich and Marcus are doing amazing work, but they’re also amazing people. These guys weren’t silver spooned. They’ve worked hard to get where they are. I really enjoyed the conversation as well as engaging and discussing some of the cultural differences that affect personal finance challenges for different people groups. As some of the only African American men working in the financial education and media space, Rich and Marcus getting it done!

The Millionaire Choice, Episode 129 (Direct Link)

The Millionaire Choice, Episode 129 (iTunes)

CentsAble Chat Podcast with Bobbi Olson

I had a great conversation with Bobbi Olson (a.k.a. “CentsAble” Bobbi) on her Podcast, CentsAble Chat. She has a real heart for teaching and helping people figure out what to do with their money.

Bobbi is a certified budgeting geek and knows that budgeting is critical to getting and keeping your finances on track. Without a budget or as I call it, spending plan, it’s going to be really hard to build wealth. A budget is planning how to to spend your money. That’s why I like to call it a spending plan. You’re telling your money where to go and what to do. When you do that, you’re taking control of your money, your life and your future.

The Millionaire Choice Podcast – (Libsyn)

The Millionaire Choice Podcast – (iTunes)

75% of Americans are Living Paycheck to Paycheck. What are YOU Doing About It?

Did you know that roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? Reality check. That means that 3 out of 4 people you know and meet today are living paycheck to paycheck. It doesn’t matter how much money they make, the problem is the same, and in most cases, it comes back to how people manage their finances. They don’t.

It’s sad, but we go to school for 13 years from K through 12. Then many of us enter college for 2, 4 or more years of additional education. We study English, Science, Math and more. Somehow, we missed and are still missing one of the most important subjects, money.

If you want to be smart about money, you have to study. There’s no way around it. I went to school to be an engineer. Let’s clarify that. Mechanical Engineer. I learned about cars as a teenager and I read books about cars. I went to college for engineering and I learned math. A lot of it. In all, 17 years of math to be proficient as an engineer.

Revisit me at age 25 when I realized I was broke. 25. No money knowledge. No money studies. Just broke. Pure and simple. I made great money, and had nothing but $16,000 in debt and a few trinkets. The good news is, I made a change. I got money smart, and you can too along with the people you know and meet.

Meet Elena Perez

I’ve been blessed by all the stories coming from people who have read my book. Long time friends changing what they’re doing with their money to couples married for 35 years finally getting on the same page with money. It’s so exciting! This week, something new came up that I want to share.

Meet my friend Elena Perez, Financial and Insurance advisor for World Financial Group. I met Elena at a local networking group at Brentwood Baptist’s Connections Cafe several weeks ago. She’s a powerhouse. We chatted and she picked up a copy of The Millionaire Choice.

A few weeks later, we bumped into each other at a different networking group where Elena told me how she gave a copy my book to her friend who was in dire financial straits. After reading The Millionaire Choice, her friend had a plan and hope.

Last week, I discovered Elena had been buying copies of TMC (The Millionaire Choice) off Amazon and giving them away to people she meets. 7 copies so far. Wow! So exciting, but that’s a lot of money to pay for my books!

Yesterday Elena and I met up at Panera Bread where she picked up her first case of The Millionaire Choice (30 copies), at a really steep discount. 🙂

I love that Elena understands that 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. She cares. 90% of the potential customers she meets, aren’t ready for investing, but she’s doing everything she can to help the people and families where they are.

No one person can change America or the world, but together, I believe we can. Thanks Elena!

What You Can Do

I believe financial poverty starts to disappear when we’re all financially educated.

I grew up in a low income family. Our power was cut off. Our water was cut off. I was educated. I was an engineer working on million dollar projects, but I was broke. I followed in my family’s financial footsteps. That all changed when I became “financially educated”, and the crazy thing is, it only took me 90 days to figure out that I could become a millionaire. 25 years old. Broke, but realized I could become a millionaire if I did the right things with my life and my money.

I learned a lot of math in school. Once I started learning about money, I realized something. Money is really just a math problem. It’s predictable and if you do the right things with it, you can solve the money problem.

I don’t know your friends or family members. I don’t know the people you work with or the people you’ll meet today. I can’t impact their lives, but you can. Just like Elena. I want to make it as simple as possible for anyone to have a positive impact in someone’s financial life. Grab my free ebook Creating Millionaire Families or give someone a book. I don’t care if its my book or someone elses. Just make sure its a good one they can understand.

Take a little time. Make a little effort, and watch the impact you’ll have in someone’s life. I guarantee you’ll like the results.

Guest Appearance on The Practical Wealth Show with Curtis May

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 11.50.50 AMHuge thank you to Curtis May for hosting me on his podcast The Practical Wealth Show. One of the best things about helping people figure out their money is meeting people who have the same passion and heart. Talking with Curtis felt like I’d know him for years. Curtis has an amazing passion for helping people fix their finances and starting building wealth.

The longer I’ve worked in the personal finance space, the more I’ve realized that there’s a huge need for people of all races and color to step into the space and get involved. Right now, like it or not, the financial space if filled up with a bunch of white dudes…myself included. It was refreshing to speak share notes with one of the few Black Americans working to make a difference in the personal financial education space. Keep it up Curtis!

Episode 72: Becoming a Millionaire is a Math Problem (iTunes)

Episode 72: Becoming a Millionaire Is A Math Problem (Web)

Why Do You Build Wealth and Become a Millionaire?

Are you working? Why do you work? Do you have a goal? Seriously, what drives you? Why do you get up, get dressed, and head out to work every day? What’s your goal? What’s your purpose?

If you’re going to spend your life working, you might as well have a goal and a purpose for your money. I started working with my parents around age 10 . My dad was a carpenter. When I worked with him I got to sweep floors, carry wood, and occasionally step on a nail (which wasn’t part of the job, but it happened more often than I’d like). My goals were pretty simple. Buy more toys.

When I wasn’t busy on a job site with my dad, you might find me with my mom at the convenient store(s) she managed. My convenient store life usually included facing and stocking product shelves and the refreshments cooler as long as I kept my hands off the beer. I wasn’t old enough to face and stock the alcoholic beverages. As I got a bit older, my job moved outside to sweep the parking lot (hated it), concrete (hated it), paint the curbs (hated it), and pull the weeds (hated it). Don’t laugh. If you had to pull those thorny weeds that stuck you every time, you’d hate the job too. Yes, gloves would have helped, but they don’t work well when you leave them at home. Honestly, it was the worst job I’ve ever had, but at least I got to buy more stuff and save for a car when I would eventually turn sixteen.

As I got older I found myself working in grocery stores, shipping docks, manufacturing assembly lines, engineering departments, technology departments, and eventually as a corporate executive.

Throughout my early working life, I worked for things I wanted and things I needed. Along the way to becoming a millionaire, something changed. I began working for others. Sure, I still work for things I want and things I need, but now there’s another element. Others. When you build wealth and have a little excess, you’re more equipped to help people in need.

So I ask, “Why do you build wealth and become a millionaire?” My answer is simple. I build wealth to enjoy life and help people in need.

I recently came across this statistic in an article by *Robert Frank from CNBC, and it totally shocked me.

“More than 80 percent of those worth $25 million or more give at least $10,000 a year to charity, and 21 percent give more than $100,000 a year to charity.“*

At first blush, the article is written in a very “positive language”, but these stats aren’t very positive in my opinion. Let’s look at it another way and break it down into pieces. Piece number 1.

Over 80 percent of people worth $25 million or more are only giving $10,000 or more a year to charity.

$10,000, really? That’s the low bar? Then there’s this. If 80% is the high number, that still leaves 20%. What are those people doing?

20% of people worth $25 million are giving less than $10,000 a year to charity.

Pardon me, but WTH? Seriously? You have a $25 million net worth and you give less than $10,000 a year to help people in need?

Okay, now it’s time for piece number 2. In Robert’s words…

“21 percent of people worth $25 million or more give more than $100,000 a year to charity.” – Robert Frank, CNBC

Let’s write it up this way.

Only 21 percent of people worth $25 million or more give over  $100,000 a year to charity.

Now I agree $100,000 a year is a lot of money, and it sounds very “generous”. That is until you realize that people with over $25 million net worth are generating millions per year off their investments. You can very safely assume they are getting at least 5-7% off their investments. In many cases, much more. At 5%, that’s at least $1,250,000 a year income. The statistic is pitiful. Just pitiful.

I’m sure there are some very generous people in the mix that are quite generous, but the overall number is well below where it should be for serious altruistic giving, helping people in need, and changing the world.

Robert provides a another valuable statistic in his article, just how many people are worth $25 million or more in the United States? The answer, “there are now 142,000 households worth $25 million or more” according to Robert. From the numbers, we know that means roughly 29,000 households gave $100,000 or more to charity, and since 20% gave less than $10,000 to charity, we know that’s roughly 28,400. Interesting how the upper end of the scale and the lower end of the scale are virtually equal. 20% of the “Ultra High Net Worth” people are pretty generous, and 20% are well…grinches. Being just 11 days before Christmas, I had to work that in.

So I ask again, “Why do you build wealth and become a millionaire?” Keep this purpose in mind as you’re building your own wealth, and don’t disappoint me. Enjoy life and help others in need.

Special Deal on The Millionaire Choice: Buy 1 Get 1 Autographed FREE!

 

buy one get oneBuy 1, Get 1 Autographed FREE!

Buy a copy of The Millionaire Choice during it’s launch in the month of November, and get a 2nd copy Autographed FREE!

Simply buy a copy of The Millionaire Choice anywhere books are sold then send us a picture of the receipt along with your name, address and phone number and we will send you an autographed copy of The Millionaire Choice, FREE!

(Offer valid while supplies last)
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My First Book: The Millionaire Choice is Here!

The First Copies Have Arrived!

It’s hard to believe that after a little over a year of hard work the first copies of my new book have arrived! It seems very surreal. At times, I wondered if this day would ever come. Sometimes, writing a book feels like a never-ending journey.

I was a bit intimidated when I started writing in late May 2017. Would I actually be able to write a book? How do you go about writing a book? How do you publish a book? Would it turn out well? And the most intimidating question, would people even like it?

Now that I have the book in my hands and readers are starting to give me feedback, I’m pleased that all my questions have now been answered, and I like the results so far!

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Why Did I Write on This Topic?

I first took an interest in personal finance in 1996, my own personal finance. I had blown through a $39,000 income and racked up $16,000 in car and credit card debt after my first full year as a manufacturing engineer. As a math guy, those numbers didn’t add up for me, and my quest to improve my finances began.

Now, 23 years later and after working in the personal finance education industry for sixteen years, I noticed a few things. For starters, people all over our country still don’t know how to handle money correctly. Even with all the David Bachs, Tony Robbins, Dave Ramseys, Suze Ormans, and T Harv Ekers out there, people are still slipping through without a solid financial education. And it’s not just poor people. It’s everyone. People with six-figure incomes. People in poverty. People in all walks of life.

Another thing I noticed is that many people just don’t do math or finance well. Seriously, that may seem like a no-brainer but listen for a minute. Most of the money books out there are filled with “financial terms,” “financial ratios” and “financial calculations.” Financial terms, ratios, and calculations are intimidating to many people. It’s like learning to read a foreign language. It’s hard. I’ve seen this first hand when working with family members who have trouble calculating tips at restaurants. Even simple financial math can be hard. Although I didn’t set out to write my book and exclude financial jargon and formulas, it turned out that way, and I’m glad it did. One of the biggest comments I’ve gotten from my readers so far is, “I get it!”

I did set out to do a few things with this book. One, I wanted to equip people to become millionaires just like I have. Today, about 10% of American households are millionaire households. I believe that number should be much higher. I believe almost anyone can become a millionaire if they make the right choices. Two, I wanted to make it as simple as possible for people to understand how they can become millionaires. This turned into the 10 Keys of the Millionaire. And three, I wanted people to realize that becoming a millionaire is not just about money. It includes things like character, how you manage your time, learning and finding mentors. So many of the financial books today focus only on the money aspect of building wealth. Building wealth is about more than just financial formulas and investments.

So, why did I write a book on this topic? I guess it comes down to three main things: 1) people need a financial education delivered in a way they can understand it and act on it, 2) my career and life experience have been in personal finance, and 3) I felt led to do it.

I hope you’ll check out my new book, The Millionaire Choice at www.themillionairechoice.com. Due for release November 2018, available now for pre-order at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million.

Signup here for updates, tips, and help on The Millionaire Choice.

Finally! New Book Cover is Finished!

I never realized how hard it would be to write and finish a book when I started in May 2017, but finally, it’s done! The book copy is done. The cover is done. Now it is prepping for print!

Truly writing a book is the project that never seems to end. It seems like things just keep coming up to do or redo that keep you from finishing the job. Thankfully, I had some good friends and professional support in my editor, Anna Floit of The Peacock Quill, and my publisher, Morgan James Publishing. I can’t imaging trying to write a book on your own without some help!

During my writing, it was fun to hear about the different ways people write books. Some plan books out for years. Some just start writing. Some come up with an outline and then get to work. After writing my first book, I believe there’s not a right or wrong way to write a book. There’s just the way that you do it, and that is one of the things that makes it special. For my book, I crafted an outline using the chapters. After coming up with a list of chapters I wanted to write, I thought about what I wanted to include in each chapter. Some of the original chapters didn’t make the final cut. I’ll probably include them in another book someday.

I was very apprehensive after finishing the first draft in early July 2017. That’s when it was time for phase 2, get feedback from one of my very close friends. I gave him my book in early July 2017. When August arrived, it was time to touch base with him again to see what he thought. The anticipation of what he might say was nerve wracking! Did he like it? Would he think it was bad? What if he told me to throw it in the trash and start over? I vaguely recall the conversation, but one part of our discussion I remember very well. I asked him, “Is it worth writing?” He answered, “Yes. You’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s worth writing.” His reply was all I needed to keep going on my book. Just that little boost of affirmation gave me the energy and confidence I needed to keep moving forward.

It’s been thirteen months since our conversation, and finally the book is done. Soon it will be heading to the printers. It seems so surreal.

The Book Wrap

This particular week I’m very excited because the book’s wrap has been completed. The book wrap includes the front cover, the binding, and the back cover. This is one of the last steps of production before the book is ready for the bookstores. With each completed step, I can feel the reality of my first published book and with it, the hope and excitement of being able to help people with it’s financial teaching.

The book cover process was pretty straightforward for me, and I was very happy that the publisher liked my cover concepts. I’ve heard many horror stories about publishers not really doing a good job on book covers for the authors and the authors not being satisfied with their covers. In my case, I’m very happy. I was able to present a mockup to the publisher and they quickly came back with several covers to review. After several revisions and tweaks, we ended up with a finished cover. The book wrap, binding and back cover, needed to wait until all of the writing was finalized so that we knew the page count of the book. This week, the final version came back, and well, see what you think. Comments welcome!

I present to you the book wrap for The Millionaire Choice, Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose.

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Announcing My First Book: The Millionaire Choice

It’s been just over a year since I start writing my first book. Officially, I began writing Wednesday evening, May 24, 2017 while sitting on my apartment patio overlooking the mountains in Salt Lake City. It was an inspiring view. Perhaps I was a little ambitious since I wanted to have it finished and printed by December 31, 2017. I tend to be a little optimistic and naive at times.

While I planned to write a book at some point in my life, I didn’t plan on doing it now at age 47. However, looking back over the past year, it was the perfect time. I recently left a premier job where I worked for 15 years ending my career at the executive level. I then took a brief 1 year break to buy some real estate and explore some new opportunities. When May 2017 rolled around, the timing just felt right, and our family was in a good financial spot. And with that setting, I began formulating a plan for my book, a book about money and helping people shape their financial future.

Writing the Book

I’ve been a student of personal finance since I was 25. Studying and working in the financial industry for 20 years led me to write a book on personal finance. Not much of a surprise since my expertise is in the personal finance space.

As I continued thinking about the money problems people are facing, I really wanted to come up with a way to turn the personal finance industry upside down. There are a lot of people doing great work, but it still seems like we’re barely scratching the surface in financial literacy and education. About 10% of American households are millionaire households. That means 90% of households have a net worth of less that one million dollars. In simpler terms, there are roughly 110 million American households and about 10 million millionaire households according the the US Census. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Many Americans net worth is far less than one million dollars. In fact, many Americans net worth is less than $100,000. I think that is terribly sad.

After wrestling through various titles, I landed on The Millionaire Choice: Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose. I believe becoming a millionaire is a choice. Whether or not we become millionaires is based on the life and financial choices we make.

As I began writing the evening of Wednesday, May 24, 2017, I felt compelled to write with urgency. During an overnight layover in Denver on my Friday evening flight home to Nashville, I spoke with my wife about the book and the progress I was making. Somewhere during the conversation, the idea of completing the book in 30 days came up. At the time, that seemed like an impossible task considering our work and family circumstances. However, occasionally circumstances change and amazing can things happen.  In June 2017, I penned 60,000 words and completed 90% of the book’s first draft. Yea. I was shocked too!

Now one year later and after several revisions, multiple reviews by friends, family and other professionals, the manuscript for my first book is finished and off to the publisher. I never imagined writing a book was so difficult!

Inside the Book

In The Millionaire Choice, I share my story of growing up in a financially messy home where money struggles were common and a lack of good financial knowledge and habits reigned. At age 25, I began to change.

I was 25 years old when I realized I was headed into a financial disaster if I didn’t change, so I began studying money. After about 90 days, I realized that I could become a millionaire by the time I turned 40…if I made the right financial choices. That was when I made what I call The Millionaire Choice and formed my own personal millionaire plan, my plan to become a millionaire. Hence the purpose and goal of my book, The Millionaire Choice. To inspire and help people become millionaires regardless of their family background or financial circumstances.

The backbone of The Millionaire Choice are the 10 Keys of the Millionaire, the 10 principles that helped me to break my family’s generational cycle of financial mismanagement and become a millionaire by age 40.

For now, it’s available now for pre-order on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million and other bookstores. The official store date is November 13, 2018. You can learn more about my upcoming book at themillionairechoice.com.

My Inspiration for Writing The Millionaire Choice

During my time in the financial world, working for two different personal financial education, and talking with people, I learned a few things that both saddened and challenged me.

I realized that there are entire segments and people groups in our country that aren’t receiving the financial training and education they need. Why? The reason is simple. They don’t have money. Businesses can’t make money off of broke people, and so very little effort is being made to help the people who need financial education the most. I don’t have all the answers, but I hope that I can make some small difference to help those in need of financial help and education.

I’m excited to be able to help people get their finances in order. Although our family has been able to break the cycle of financial mismanagement, so many of the people I meet are not there yet. They need guidance, help and encouragement.

In time, I really would like to find a way to turn the personal financial education industry upside down to help all those who need and want it. It’s not just about a book or making money. It’s about making a difference in the lives of others, transforming families, and changing the world.

 

 

Earn Money. Spend Money. Save and Invest Money.

Money can be a complicated thing, but many times we just over complicate it. If you want to be successful with money, it’s really comes down to just 3 things. The three things are how much money you earn, how much money you spend, and how much money you save and invest.

If you pay attention to those three “money metrics”, you’ll do just fine. The problem is that most of us don’t pay attention to any of those metrics, and that’s why most of America is broke. It’s also why so many people end up relying on social security.

Even successful career people don’t pay attention to these metrics, and consequently, they end up squandering years of wealth building opportunity. What do I mean? Well, for most of us college graduates, we enjoy seeing our incomes grow substantially from the time we graduate college through the first 20 years of our careers. However, as our incomes grow, so do our spending habits. We raise our expenses to match our income, and there goes our wealth. Bye bye millionaire potential.

I was on that path when I got out of college. I made $39,000 on my first professional job out of college, but somehow I ended up $16,000 in debt. What?! How the hell did that happen? Fortunately, that was my wake up call, and I made some drastic changes. For starters, I got money smart. I learned everything I could about money because obviously I didn’t know jack. I read Kiplinger’s magazine. I read Smart Money magazine, and a host of other things I can’t recall. That was 20 years ago. It changed me. It transformed my financial future. After I got money smart, I decided I wanted to be a millionaire. I was 26 and decided to become a millionaire by the time I was 40. I made it.

The funny thing about goals and plans. They often don’t work out exactly as you plan, but many times you still hit your goal. I hit my goal, but my path was a little different than I planned. That’s okay. For anyone wanting to become a millionaire, the place where we start is often the same. Get money smart. Then pay attention to how much money you earn, how much money you spend, and how much money you save and invest.

These were all keys elements to my millionaire plan when I was 26, and they’re still part of what I teach today. For anyone who aspires to be a millionaire, they apply to you too.

  1. Pay attention to how much money you earn. Always work on ways to increase how much you earn. If you’re stuck in a job that limits how much you can make, you need to look for other ways to make money, and that may include finding a new job. Don’t let yourself get stuck at an income plateau. If you make $50,000 a year, set a goal and look for ways to boost that to $100,000 a year. If you make over a $100,000 a year, set a goal and look for ways to boost that to $200,000 a year. You can do it. Almost anyone can do it.Early in my career my goal was to make more, but work less. I started out working 60+ hours a week and making $39,000 a year. I was able to lower my hours down to 45 a week an raise my income to $47,500, but I was stuck at an income plateau. Shortly after that, I changed jobs and saw my income soar into six figures plus. I’m sure glad I made that change. It was a key piece of the puzzle on my millionaire journey.My world was rocked recently when I met a new friend. I was about 36 or 37 by the time I had earned $1 million as an adult. It took me about 10 years to earn my first million dollars. Then recently I met a new friend. He rocked my paradigm. He was 22 without a college education when he earned his first $1 million. Ouch. He beat me by at least 14 years.

    Are you “income stuck?” Change it. Get unstuck. Do it today.

  2. Pay attention to how much money you spend. Don’t let your spending habits kill your ability to build wealth. Big ticket items like buying new cars on debt can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in future wealth. But bad daily spending habits like eating out can cost you just as much if not more. Take a look at your spending habits and learn to make better decisions. Keep your lifestyle under control until you’ve built your wealth, then you can really enjoy a more relaxed and cushy lifestyle. It’s worth it.If you’re not doing a spending plan, do one. Spending plans and budgets are a pain, but the results are worth it. If you’re not the type of person to run a tight budget, then do a “spending audit” and make adjustments. I guarantee you’ll find money (and your future wealth) slipping through your fingers. Do an audit. Find the problems. Make a adjustments. Every wasted dollar you find can help you build future wealth and help you with your millionaire goal.
  3. Be aggressive with your saving and investing. Many of us are so busy living life that we make excuses for not saving and investing more. The reality is so many of us are afraid of what we don’t know that we just avoid it. Sadly, we’re just too lazy to learn more so that we can get comfortable with it.Many of the people I talk to are clueless about investing tools, the stock market, or real estate. Real estate and the stock market are two of the primary investing tools available to us for wealth building, but very few of us take the time to learn more about them. As a result, we fail to leverage them, and that’s a perfect recipe to stay broke.How much should you save and invest? Well that’s really up to you. If you want to be a millionaire, which is the lowest goal you should set for yourself, you need to account for your age and create your millionaire plan. For most people, $10,000 a year is a good number to hit the millionaire goal in a respectable time, but you still need to account for you age. However, if you want to be an over achiever, keep pushing yourself to do more. Whatever the case is, get started ASAP with whatever  you can do and keep pushing yourself to grow it. Can you do $100 a month this year? Set a goal to double that next year, and then double it again the next year. If you can double that $100/month investment each year for 5 years, you’ll be investing $1,600 a month in 5 years. That’s $19,200 per year! That will add up quickly, and make you a millionaire pretty quickly.

Once you get “money smart” you’ll be better equipped to develop your own Millionaire Plan and build wealth for you and your family. If you don’t have a financial coach, you should get one soon. It’s good to have someone smart to talk with about money and building wealth.

Once you have built your wealth, life gets even more fun. You’ll be better equipped to help other people in need, and it is so rewarding. You can be a millionaire.

Great books/resources to read:
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Good Financial Cents website by Jeff Rose