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Creating Freedom Through Financial Independence

Recommended Resources

On this page you’ll find various products, services, books and tools that I’m a fan of.

Only things I use personally or genuinely approve of will make this page.  I never recommend or promote anything I don’t use genuinely believe in.

Just to be clear, some of the recommendations have affiliate links. For the ones that do, this blog will receive a credit or referral fee if you choose to signup or purchase using the link provided.

It also helps and supports the running of this site, which is much appreciated.

Products & Services

Books

Tools & Calculators

ONLINE STOCKBROKER

Pearler

Pearler is a low cost Aussie broker purpose-built for long term share investing.

The platform is simple, clean and easy to use, with none of the distracting trading-focused features that other brokers have.

Brokerage is a flat fee of $9.50, no matter how big your transaction is.  You can also automatically invest into ETFs and LICs with their awesome ‘auto-invest’ feature.

Your first investment is brokerage-free when you sign up using my link.

PORTFOLIO TRACKING

Sharesight

I’ve been using Sharesight for years to record all our share purchases and dividend payments easily in one place.

It tracks performance, plus you can generate quick tax reports for income and capital gains, which makes tax season so much easier.

Sharesight is also completely free if you have 10 holdings or less!

Special Deal for Strong Money Readers:  Sign up using my link and you’ll also save 4 months off the price of their premium plans.

HOME LOANS

More Than Mortgages (MTM)

My personal mortgage broker.  I’ve worked with Deanna and her team for almost 10 years now and I’m really happy with them.

If you’re looking for a better interest rate (you should be!), or need help getting the right home loan and lender for your situation, get in touch and they’ll look after you. All online, no need to go anywhere.

De and the team are great at what they do and take the hard work/stress out of the whole home loan process.  They have excellent reviews for a reason 🙂

PEER-TO-PEER LENDING

Plenti

I’ve been using this peer-to-peer lending platform since 2016, achieving solid returns in reliable monthly interest payments.

Plenti has a range of investment options.  You can lend from 1 month to 7 years, including the option of investing in ‘green’ loans.

The platform is easy to use and has a good track record of stable returns.

Exclusive Bonus for Strong Money Readers: Use my link to get a $100 bonus when you sign up and invest $1,000 in the 3 year market (or longer).

INSURANCE

Budget Direct

We’ve used Budget Direct multiple times over the years for property insurance and now car insurance.

I found the application process simple and their quotes are hard to beat – Budget Routinely win awards for great value.

They also offer 15% off most new policies bought online.  Thankfully, we’ve never had to make a claim.

INTERNET

Aussie Broadband

In 2020 we finally decided to get NBN as our slow internet was wearing on my patience!

After looking around, we decided to go with Aussie Broadband, due to their excellent customer reviews and very reasonable prices.

We’ve been very happy with the experience – good communication, easy setup, reliable internet and an Aussie call centre.

Check them out yourself.  If you do sign up, use referral code ‘3103355’ for $50 free credit.

PHONE PLAN

Catch Connect

There are some incredible deals on pre-paid phone plans these days.  Catch Connect have some of the best-priced options, which I switched to recently.

Plenty of low cost plans available – the 365-day plans are my preferred choice.  Currently offering unlimited calls and plenty of data for just $120 – that’s ten bucks a month!

Powered by Optus, and you can keep your current number.  An absolute no brainer.

 

PETS

Pet Circle

Buying pet food can cost a fortune if you buy it in little bags from a supermarket, or a pet store.

We save money buying our dog biscuits in bulk online from Pet Circle. They regularly have the best prices I can find and offer free shipping over $49.

You can also get $10 off your first order (min. spend $50) by using my referral code.

Web Design

Burning Fruit

Do you like this website?  The team at Burning Fruit are to thank for that.

I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to design and making changes to the Strong Money site.

So when I wanted to upgrade this site to make it more helpful and user-friendly, I reached out to a local Perth business for help.

The service and attention to detail was fantastic, and they put up with all my silly questions and requests.  If you’re looking for great web design, reach out to these guys.

PERSONAL FINANCE AND MINDSET

The Psychology Of Money

This is the best finance book I have ever read, which is more about our minds than it is about money.

Morgan Housel is an incredible writer.  This book thoughtfully covers the most important lessons about how to approach the entire subject of money – what it’s good for, what it’s not good for, and everything in between.

It’s full of wisdom,  shares new angles on old problems and great stories which perfectly encapsulate the problems we all face when trying to navigate the strange world of finance.

LIFE AND MINDSET

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck

I’ve been a fan of Mark Manson’s writing for a while now.  He’s an entertaining blogger and great at dishing out important (sometimes unexpected) life lessons.

This book is a combination of mindset, how to improve your life and figuring out what really matters vs what is likely to lead to misery (a.k.a what to give a f*ck about).

It’s a great read, and I’ve come back to it multiple times.

WEALTH

The Millionaire Next Door

A great book detailing the common traits among real-life millionaires.

Breaks down the findings of a multi-decade study, showing that the average ‘wealthy’ person doesn’t live in a fancy suburb or drive an ultra-expensive car.

Instead, they have solid financial habits and live a good life while prioritising saving, investing and building other income streams.

The data also implied that Scottish millionaires are extra frugal, which gave me a good chuckle (since I was born there).

INVESTING

Motivated Money

This book by Aussie investor Peter Thornhill really helped me understand how the sharemarket works as a newbie.

His style of investing – focusing on the income from shares – instantly made sense to me and I could finally see that shares are all about businesses and cashflow.

Peter’s overarching message is to ignore the noise (gyrating share prices) and focus on the income stream generated by companies over time.

LIFE AND MINDSET

Digital Minimalism

Technology has taken over our lives and it’s starting to affect our mental health, capacity to think, and our ability to be happy.

Digital Minimalism helps shine a light on how apps and new tech is designed to be like a slot machine for your mind (addictive).  The book shows how to use technology in a much smarter, more thoughtful way.

It also shares how to live a balanced life, the importance of unplugging for our sanity, and finding meaningful pursuits outside of technology.  The FIRE movement and Mr Money Mustache also rate a mention in there!

WEALTH

The Richest Man In Babylon

This is honestly one of my favourite books.  It’s a collection of parables which are set in ancient Babylon.

The way it’s written and the stories used makes it feel like you are truly receiving ancient wisdom about wealth.

Now, I’ll admit, you won’t come away with any new investment strategies (the book was written by George Clason almost 100 years ago), but it’s a really enjoyable read and one I highly recommend.  The PDF version is freely available for download.

INVESTING

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

A great book, with a lot of important messages for long term investors, written by the creator of the world’s first index fund, the late Jack bogle.

Bogle preaches the effectiveness of owning the whole stock market rather than trying to pick winners, keeping costs low, investing regularly, and staying the course.

More than anything, this book will teach you the importance of not trying to be too smart and the magic in keeping things simple.  One to come back to every few years for a reminder of what’s important when investing.

LIFE AND MINDSET

Atomic Habits

Our habits are incredible powerful, and determine most of our results in life.  If there’s only one book you ever read about habits, this is the one.

James Clear has done a fantastic job of distilling every single aspect of habits down into practical advice.

You’ll learn how to build habits through setting up systems (which is surprisingly easy) instead of relying on willpower or discipline alone, which only take you so far.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Barefoot Investor

You’ve probably already read this one (hasn’t everyone?), but I’ll put it here anyway.

Barefoot does a great job of mapping out how to manage money effectively using his famous buckets strategy.

A great place to start if you’re new to personal finance and want a simple roadmap to follow.

Even if you think you know a bit, you’ll probably still learn something from this book.

EARLY RETIREMENT CALCULATOR

Networthify

Extremely simple and easy to use FI calculator, which I found at the end of my journey.  Must have played out a few hundred scenarios on this thing.

Just plug in your income and spending, and this calculator will tell you how long until you can retire. Have a play around with the numbers and see what a difference boosting your savings rate can make.

Like me, you might find it a bit addictive!

Financial Independence Calculator

Aussie FI Calculator

My fellow blogger Aussie Firebug has put together a handy calculator to map out when you’ll be able to retire.

The cool part is, it’s designed to include superannuation, so you can use that in your calculations to figure out how much you might need inside vs outside super.

Definitely worth checking out.

MORTGAGE CALCULATOR

Canstar Mortgage Calculator

See how fast you can pay your mortgage off with this simple calculator.

Enter your loan balance and then play around with how much extra you want to contribute to play out different scenarios.

You can time it so your house is paid off by the time you hit FI.  Or, maybe you just pay off the mortgage and then move into a cruise state of semi-retirement.  It’s up to you!

FINANCIAL RESOURCES

MoneySmart Calculators

A great list of personal finance resources on ASIC’s Moneysmart website.

They have a huge list of guides and calculators on everything from budgeting and investments, to superannuation, insurance, home loans, and a list of scam warnings to watch out for.

I also really like this compound interest calculator from MoneyGeek.