About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written four books: The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work For You, and End Financial Stress Now. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.

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 in 2014. 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 wasn't … [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...]

Understanding Your Small Business Insurance Needs with CoverWallet

  I have been working for myself for nearly a decade, but I have only recently started to think of myself as a small business owner. As a freelance writer, I thought I could opt out of many of the expensive aspects of traditional entrepreneurship. I thought I had no need for things like small business insurance. After all, I have no employees and an office that is not is open to the public. I always assumed there was no … [Read more...]

Small Business Bookkeeping is a Breeze with Bench

  I have been freelancing for close to a decade, which includes handling my own small business bookkeeping. Since I have no background in accounting, learning how to manage my books was not easy. And frankly, handling my own books is not my favorite part of my business. Not only does bookkeeping take time away from the income-generating work of pitching, researching, and writing articles, but I always have a nagging worry that … [Read more...]

Fundrise Review: Commercial Real Estate Investing for Everyone

  Traditionally, there were only two ways to invest in commercial real estate. You could get started for a (relatively) low financial investment if you personally maintained the property. Or you could invest a major chunk of change into real estate development as a form of passive income. But neither of these options allowed the average Joe with a day job to invest a modest amount. Without time or serious money, real estate … [Read more...]

Make Money Delivering Food with DoorDash

  Delivering pizzas has long been a consistent side hustle option that can help you earn extra money. But as beneficial as a pizza delivery hustle can be for your bottom line, it does have some drawbacks. You have to work a specific schedule, and there’s no way to increase your pay thanks to your own initiative. But these days, the sharing economy has made it possible for motivated hustlers to earn money delivering far more … [Read more...]

15 Ways to Make Extra Cash Renting Out Your Stuff

  If you're like me, you probably own plenty of things that you only use every once in a while. Whether you've got an empty bedroom, a collection of cocktail dresses, assorted athletic equipment, or a car that you only drive once or twice a week, you could be putting your stuff to work for you. Renting your stuff is a great way to make extra money. Renting out your stuff is a no-muss, no-fuss way of earning some part-time … [Read more...]

Retail Arbitrage: How to Buy, Sell, and Make Money

In 2005, I was working part-time at the OSU bookstore while working toward my Master’s Degree in English education, when a hefty stack of $90 hardcover Shakespeare anthologies went on sale for $8 each. I bought a single copy since what future English teacher could pass up such a deal? But my purchase got my future husband thinking in dollar signs: What if I bought the bookstore's entire stock for eight bucks each, and sell them for … [Read more...]

New Personal Finance App for Couples: Our Zeta Review

  Feeling frustrated when it comes to money in your relationship? Often, it's easier to sweep things under the rug than have those tough financial discussions with your partner. Or maybe the talks themselves aren't difficult, but it's tough to keep track of all the little details that make up your financial life. You'd rather be enjoying your time with your loved ones, not checking to make sure the bills are paid or nagging … [Read more...]