It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this and my house is packed with little kids and family, which, as you can imagine, has made it a little difficult for me to sit down and get some good, in-depth writing down. Still, I wanted to get one last post in before the year comes to an end, and right now (as the kiddos are napping), seems as good a time as any to get in a quick post before the clock strikes midnight.
Over the past year, this blog has grown at a steady pace and I’m definitely happy with what I’ve managed to achieve. This is especially true given that I work full-time and do all of my side hustles too. It doesn’t leave me with a ton of time to write often.
Still, in 2017, I managed to put out 87 posts, which seems pretty decent – about 7 posts a month or so. Most of my posts end up at well over 1,000 words, so when you add it all up, I wrote well over 87,000 words in 2017. That’s basically an entire book!
With lots of new readers finding the blog, I thought it would be helpful to recap some of the posts in 2017 that I really enjoyed and that I think are worth looking at again. I’ve divided these posts into different categories, so check them out if you’re looking for something to start off the new year.
Netspend Account: 5% Interest Savings and $20 Signup Bonus. My emergency fund earns me 5% interest every year in an FDIC insured savings account. If you are looking for a spot to put your cash savings, make sure you read about how you can do that here.
Insight Card: A Step-By-Step Guide to 5% Interest. A follow-up to the Netspend post above. Read both of these posts and you’ll see how you can maximize all of your 5% interest, FDIC insured savings accounts.
Where Should You Put Your Emergency Fund? I walk through exactly where you should put your emergency fund for optimal returns. Hint: Use 5% interest savings accounts!
Earn Tax-Free Airbnb Income With The Masters Rule. If you’re on the fence about hosting on Airbnb, consider just trying it for 14 days or less. Most people don’t know this, but if you rent out your home for 14 days or less in a calendar year, you can earn that income completely tax-free.
The 529 Plan Hack For Current Students. This option didn’t even exist for me earlier this year, but it does now since my wife still pays tuition for her residency program. If your state gives you an income tax deduction, funnel your tuition payments through your 529 plan and save on some taxes.
No Dad, I Didn’t Get Fired. Living a financially healthy lifestyle gives you flexibility, which in turn, gives you the option to live in a way that most people won’t believe is possible.
The Dream of Barista FIRE. We’ve all had those easy, chill jobs that we love (mine was working at a golf course during college). Let’s dream about how we can make that happen again.
Do You Use Work As An Excuse Not To Reach Financial Independence? I have a lot of friends who tell me they don’t save much because they like working. But is that just an excuse for why you’re not saving?
Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life? Why Not Retire Early? I have a friend of mine who is a bartender that has saved up ridiculous sums of money. He’s been trying to figure out what he should do next career-wise. He’s lost – but why not just retire if he doesn’t know what else to do?
Ways To Think About Money
Wealth Is Relative – Remember This And Be Happier. A lot of us could be happier if we just remembered how much money we really do make – and how it’s much more than we think.
Live Like A Student. So many of us are so eager to just jump into full-out adult life once we snag that first real paycheck (lifestyle inflation galore!). Take a few seconds and just enjoy the student life – and set yourself up with a good financial base by doing so.
Saving Money Isn’t About Self-Control. A lot of people think that saving money is just about willing yourself to do it. If you can just force yourself to save more, you’ll make it. That, however, is not how saving is done. You don’t will yourself to save money – you make saving happen automatically.
Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable. Not being able to handle even a moment of discomfort is one reason I think so many people struggle financially. Get comfortable with moment of uncomfortableness. You’ll be better off for it.
I’m Switching To A Non-Traditional Legal Career. In mid-2017, I made a big career change, leaving the traditional practice of law and moving into a new world of non-traditional legal work. Being a regular, old, practicing attorney just wasn’t for me. Check out why I made that move here.
When Leaving Biglaw, the Financial Struggle Shouldn’t Be Real. I read an article early in the year that said that many people leaving biglaw struggle financially for years afterward. This just shouldn’t be the case – it hasn’t been for me – and I explain why here.
Side Hustle Stuff
Side Hustle Reports. I haven’t added it all up yet, but in 2017, I should end up making over $16,000 from using sharing economy apps. Check them all out at my side hustle report page, where I break down exactly what I earned in each month from every app and side hustle I do.
The Underrated Value Of A Side Hustle For Early Retirement. Most people don’t realize just how valuable a side hustle is – even a small one. Using the 4% rule, you can see that a side hustle is worth a ton!
Fidelity Solo 401k: A Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Self-Employed Retirement Plan. If you are doing any side hustle, then congrats, you’re in an amazing position where you can save extra money into a bonus retirement account that other people don’t get to have. Here’s exactly how I set up my Solo 401k so that I can save even more money each year!
Job Spotter App Review – Earn Extra Money By Taking Pictures of Hiring Signs. One side hustle that everyone can do is using an app called Job Spotter. It takes up just a few minutes of your time and can give you some extra spending money.
Student Loans And Debt
My Student Loan Refinancing Experience. I refinanced my loans three times during the course of my student loan payoff journey. Here’s how it all went down.
Paying Off Debt Is Never Easy. The criticism that I hate is when people say that they could pay off debt easily if they made the income I made. I find it belittling – as if my accomplishment was a cakewalk (it wasn’t). Here’s a post about why paying off debt is never easy, no matter what anyone says.
Pay Off Your Student Loans Now – It Doesn’t Get Any Easier Later. The best time to pay off your student loans is when you’re young. You have no expenses, no obligations, and no one expects you to be a baller yet. Take advantage of that moment in time to crush your student loans! It won’t get any easier later.
Biking and Mass Transit
Yes, You Can Bike To Work. A lot of people make excuses about why they can’t bike to work. I’m a “big shot” lawyer and I still bike to work almost every day. I promise you that you can do it too.
Save $100,000 By Solving The Last Mile Problem. For a lot of people, driving becomes a necessity because they can’t figure out how to close that last mile between their house and some form of mass transit. Here are some ways you can close that gap.
An Amateur Travel Hacker’s First Experience With Travel Hacking. Earlier this year, I entered the world of travel hacking and now I am obsessed with it. Learn how I got interested in this world with this post.
Chase 5/24 Rule – What You Need To Know To Maximize Your Travel Hacking. When you’re getting started with travel hacking, there are some basics you need to know to start things off on the right foot. Here’s a post I wrote to try to help you get started the right way.
Southwest Companion Pass – How To Fly For Free For Two Years. My wife and I are just about to snag our first ever Southwest Companion Pass, which means we’ll be flying for free for the next two years – no lie! Here’s how we did it.
Using Airbnb To Create Your Home Maintenance Fund. I host guests year-round in a spare room in my house. This is a great way for me to make money that covers my yearly maintenance savings each year.
The Stupid Mistakes Fund. One of my more popular posts in 2017. In this post, I talk about a stupid thing that happened to me, but how it doesn’t impact my budget because of something I call, my stupid mistakes fund.
7 Best Cashback Apps That Everyone Should Use. Whenever I buy something, I’m looking for some return on that spend. There are a bunch of apps out there that give you money back for spending that you might already be doing anyway. And they take no time to set up. So you might as well do it and get at least something back!
2017 was a great year and I’m hoping that 2018 will be even better. Thanks to everyone for following along this year and for your support. This whole blogging thing has been an adventure, and it’s only possible because people like you are willing to go out there and take time out of your day to read what I have to say.
Stay safe out there everyone. See you in the new year!