This is my official list of recommended resources to help you on your journey towards FIRE!
I will only ever recommend a service or product if I have personally used it or have a thorough understanding of what they do and how they operate. If I think the company or service can assist you in reaching financial independence, I will recommend them and may include an affiliate link.
I will never recommend a service or product I don’t believe in.
Affiliate commissions help me continue running and maintaining aussiefirebug.com
Sharesight is the number one portfolio tracking tool for Aussie investors. The most comprehensive portfolio and tax reporting available makes tax returns incredibly simple. The software takes everything into consideration such as franking credits, currency movements and anything else that may affect returns. It paints a true picture and is a fantastic tool for comparing historic returns from multiple funds against each other. And the best thing about Sharesight is that it’s free if you have under 10 holdings. If you have over 10 holdings and want to sign up make sure you use my link to get the first 4 months for free! Find out more about Sharesight by listening to a podcast I did with them.
My number one recommendation for anyone asking me about saving money has always been to track your expenses! You don’t have to do anything else other than that and I guarantee you that you’ll save money by doing so. It makes categorizing expenses and seeing how much I spend in a week/month/year super easy. This is an imperative step in the journey to FIRE. If you don’t know how much you spend each month/year, how do you know how much you need in passive income to reach financial independence? You don’t! The earlier you start tracking the better. PocketSmith integrates directly to your online bank and performs a lot of the leg work for you. Its ability to track across multiple countries and currencies really sets it apart from the pack. There’s even a net worth logger in there too!
I used Pocketbook to track my expense for years before I made the switch to PocketSmith. It’s not as feature-rich as PockSmith but it is free. If you’re looking for the no-frills approach, Pocketbook can still get the job done. The software got a bit buggy for me towards the end though so make sure you double-check your numbers!
Have you ever heard of those insane stories of how some dude managed to fly around the world in business class for less than it costs you for a return trip to Bali? I’ve been doing point hacking for over 5 years now and it’s essentially taking advantage of credit card signup bonuses to get flights and insurance at a heavily discounted price (sometimes free). I use points hack as it’s Aussie focussed and has a good community around it.
Risk-free* online betting…Sounds like a pipedream right? Don’t let the name fool you! Matched betting is not gambling but it takes advantage of the big signup bonuses amongst other things that the betting agencies used to lure people in. The closest thing I can compare it to is signing up for credit card points to use on flights but matched betting is a lot more lucrative and easier IMO. To find out more, have a listen to the podcast I did with Nico from Bonus Bank.
*Human error can result in losses. Make sure you fully understand how matched betting works before trying this strategy out
I’ve used Relentless hosting for over 3 years and their customer service is second to none! Starting this website has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you want to start a website as a passion project, online business or hobby, I highly recommend the guys at Relentless to give you quality Australian based hosting with excellent support.
Aussie in the UK
The best and cheapest way to transfer money either from Australia to your UK bank account or vice versa when you’re heading home. It’s usually a good idea to transfer some $$$ into £££ when you get here as withdrawing money from the ATM each time can be annoying. Especially if you have to pay rent electronically as we did!
This website is fantastic for learning the basics and getting your head around the common concept and questions that most Australians ask. It’s not really a blog but more like a dedicated site that explains most topics when it comes to reaching financial independence in Australia. I don’t know who the author is but I’ve read most of the articles and it’s legit. Reminds me a lot of JL Collins extremely popular stock series but for Australians.
Rich Dad Poor Dad (Affiliate Link) by Robert T. Kiyosaki
The book that started it all for me. The extremely simple idea that acquiring enough assets will unlimitedly mean financial freedom blew my mind in 2012. It opened a door in my brain that hasn’t closed and ‘sparked’ the fire (pun intended) that ultimately lead me towards discovering the practicable methods behind FIRE and pursuing financial freedom so I could retire early. The one knock against this book is that it doesn’t teach how to do anything. It’s more of a mindset readjustment. Wealthy people have assets, those assets pay you, that money can buy more assets… aka the power of compound interest 💪
From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years (Affiliate Link) by Steve McKnight
There’s not a shortage of BS artists out there when it comes to Australian real estate. Steve McKnight is one of my most respected authority figures when it comes to investing in general but has written some of the most practical books about real estate investing I’ve ever read. 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years was the first book I read from Steve back in 2012 but since then I’ve consumed everything his published. The methods described in this book are from a completely different financial climate and are probably not that applicable today but the fundamentals Steve teaches are timeless. Don’t invest looking to reduce your tax (negative gearing)! You’re looking to make as much money, in the least amount of time with as little effort as possible.
I don’t plan to pursue property investing moving forward but if you want to understand the fundamentals of Australian property investing, read this book!
The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing (Affiliate Link) by Taylor Larimore
One of the best books that gives you a practical real-life understanding of how to become a passive investor through low-cost index funds and ETFs. It explains the stock market and why tracking the index makes sense for most people when it comes to investing. It’s US-centric though so not everything in there will make sense.
Motivated Money by Peter Thornhill
The father of dividend investing in Australia. When someone who receives over $400,000 of passive income a year talks, you listen. Motivate Money is written in a way that most people will understand and really shows the advantages of investing for dividends. Just don’t expect any advice for real estate which Peter himself will tell you is one of his most hated investment classes! It’s Australian based too and very applicable for Aussies on their way to FIRE.
The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
This book is a bit US-centric but the core fundamentals and ideas account for 80% of the content and is applicable to an Australian audience. It’s very well written and is easy to read. Sometimes finance books can be dry as hell, but not this one. Real-life experiences and great examples of what to do, and what not to do to reach financial independence. JL Collins is an OG of the FIRE movement and has been around forever. Timeless wisdom can be picked in this bad boy. The foreword for this is by Mr Money Mustache too which is cool.
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
What a refreshing read this book was. The older I get, the more I realise it’s mostly our behaviours that determine if we’ll succeed with money/investing. I always thought that it’s how much you know, that the really smart guys and gals would be the ones with superior returns but Morgan shatters this myth in ‘The Psychology of Money’ with fantastic examples of why even some of the most brilliant minds suck at managing their money and investing. I really liked this book because it focuses on the most neglected part of investing… mindset! Life happens outside of spreadsheets and we’re often our own worst enemy when it comes to building wealth.
Money School by Lacey Filipich
A great practical book written for Aussies but also has timeless wisdom that is applicable anywhere in the world. Lacey is someone who has walked the walk and reached financial independence in her 30’s so she knows what she’s talking about. My favourite thing about this book is that it’s very direct. You’ll learn practical skills on how to actually execute a plan. Sometimes financial books can either be too anecdotal, or way too dry and boring. Lacey strikes a fine balance of good-humoured relatable stories that emphasize the importance of peer-reviewed investing techniques. A great book for any Aussie wanting to learn more about managing their money