About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is an award-winning writer, author, money coach, and retirement expert. Her four books include The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work For You, and End Financial Stress Now. Learn more about Emily at EmilyGuyBirken.com

How to Invest Money: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Making investment decisions can be a scary and overwhelming process. We are constantly bombarded with conflicting information about the market. One moment everyone’s excited, and a few hours later they are all disappointed. We hear that investing is inherently risky, but also that it's the clearest path to wealth. And then there's the alphabet soup of investing lingo, from IRAs to ETFs. So just how are you supposed to feel … [Read more...]

Everything You Need to Know to Get Out of Debt

Debt is a vicious cycle, and once you're stuck, it's very difficult to get out. I signed up for my first two credit cards in college (you know, to get the free t-shirt). By the time I left college I had a decent amount of debt and two worn out t-shirts. I wasn’t paying this off every month and so I was paying 20% or more in interest charges. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I left college with this debt. After all, I graduated … [Read more...]

How to Make Money Playing Video Games–and Manage Your Earnings!

  Making money by playing your favorite video games sounds too good to be true. It may not be quite as unrealistic as receiving an inheritance from a Nigerian prince, but making money from playing video games does sound a little far-fetched. Your parents repeatedly told you so while you spent hours leveling up on weekends. As they pointed out when you were a kid, no one is going to pay you to play video games. Turns out Mom … [Read more...]

Self Employed? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Disability Insurance

  According to the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), "over one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire" and the average length of disability is a frighteningly long 31.2 months. These statistics reflect the fact that illness, rather than injury, is the leading cause of long-term absence from work, accounting for 90% of all disability claims. And even the most safety-conscious among us … [Read more...]

Make Extra Cash Renting Out Your RV with RVShare and Outdoorsy

  On our annual camping trip each year, my family is always impressed by the comfort and style of the RVs that share the national park sites with us. We sometimes wonder if purchasing an RV might be a good way to get the most out of our vacations. But we worry about what we’d do with the RV when we’re not using it. We would struggle to store a large recreational vehicle. And we would have to deal with maintenance costs whether … [Read more...]

Do You Need Insurance For Your Internet Business?

Killer internet business idea: check. Business plan: check. Domain name: check. Customer base: check. Insurance: ch…wait, what? For many internet business owners, internet business insurance is not one of their first (or even fifth) concerns. While no traditional small business owner--with stock to lose, a storefront to maintain, and payroll to meet--would consider operating without insurance, many internet startups do just … [Read more...]

Get the Most from Your 2020 Mileage Tax Deduction

Do you drive for your job or business? Then you might be eligible for a mileage deduction. Here is an easy-to-understand guide to the IRS standard mileage deduction. Happy filing! In 2020, you can deduct 57.5 cents per mile driven for business. If you drive a lot, either for your business or for an employer that doesn't reimburse your expenses, then keeping careful track of your miles will give you the biggest tax deduction. Hurdlr … [Read more...]

Turn Your Passion for Personal Finance into a Business with Financial Coach Academy

  On my birthday this year, after enjoying several tasty beverages with my friends, I made a confession about my career. “I want to do some money coaching,” I told them, “but I don’t know where to start.” Luckily for me, my friend Jo took me seriously, even after we all sobered up. Several weeks after my birthday, she asked if she could hire me. All of a sudden, I was a money coach with a real client. It turns out that … [Read more...]

Meet Fabric: The One-Stop-Shop for Life Insurance and Basic Estate Planning

  My husband and I purchased 20-year term life insurance policies several years ago. We had just welcomed our second son--and lost my father--the year before. Prior to my father's death, my husband and I only carried the life insurance we were able to get through his workplace. His policy would replace one year's worth of his income, and the small spousal policy that I carried would pay out $15,000. But we both realized this … [Read more...]

Earn Money Taking Surveys (and More!) with InboxDollars

  I am a dedicated audiobook listener. I spend hours each week listening to mysteries, romances, sci-fi novels, and business books. Though I often multi-task during these audiobook jags, I’m also frequently just sitting on the couch or lazily completing a crossword puzzle while I listen. My audiobook time is something I could use to do something productive in addition to listening to whodunit. InboxDollars is a paid survey … [Read more...]

Earn Money on the Side as a Delivery Driver with Postmates

  When I was in college, I’d earn a little extra money before breaks by offering rides to the airport for $30 per head. The airport was an hour away and most of the transit options were more expensive than my service. Since I had a car and some free time before exams, this was a great side hustle for me. Fast forward two decades and the sharing economy and delivery apps have opened up a wide new world. Apps like Postmates … [Read more...]

Invest in Real Estate for as Little as $1,000 [RealtyMogul Review]

  Several years ago, my husband and I decided to add "real estate moguls" to our resumes. Homes in the small college town where we lived were affordable. Also, rental prices were high and we could count on graduate students as potential tenants. Buying a rental property seemed like an excellent way to grow our portfolio and our wealth. Unfortunately, we quickly hit a number of setbacks. Qualifying for a loan on a rental … [Read more...]