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.

9 Part-Time Jobs for Teachers (After School & In the Summer)

I used to be a high school English teacher and so I've had a lot of experience thinking about part-time jobs for teachers. Although teaching provided me with the highest salary I'd ever earned to date, it was still a relatively low wage. So it came as no surprise that many of my teaching colleagues worked side gigs. They did this either throughout the year after school or just during summers. Did you know...teachers are 5x more … [Read more...]

11 Apps (and Websites) to Make the Most of Black Friday

My husband, who has been known to fake the flu to avoid going shopping, has one shopping weakness: bargain hunting. And nothing thrills bargain hunters quite like the words Black Friday. It's awash in the promise of incredible deals for those willing to wait in line (and only occasionally willing to shove other shoppers). But over the years, it's become more and more difficult for ordinary individuals like my husband to find the … [Read more...]

Greenlight Can Help Your Kids Build Good Financial Habits

Did you ever wonder why personal finance was not taught in your K-12 years of school? I certainly did! Not once in my early education was I offered the opportunity to learn about personal finances. It was up to my parents to teach me. Parents are the ones ultimately responsible for providing every aspect of a financial education--from giving children an allowance to helping them start their own business. Unfortunately, not all parents are equipped to help their … [Read more...]

How Much Cash Should You Keep In Savings? (Plus Where to Keep It)

They say everyone should have three-to-six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. Unfortunately, if you follow this rule you probably have quite a bit of cash earning almost nothing in interest--and losing money to inflation. Where you save your money can be just as important as how much you have saved. Here’s what you need to know about where you should be stashing your rainy day money: Cash Savings at Home Anyone who … [Read more...]

A Fee-Free High-Interest Checking Account For Small Business Owners: Spark Business [Review]

I have been banking with Capital One for many years now—ever since Capital One purchased ING Direct in February of 2012. Though I have always been very pleased with Capital One’s higher APYs for savings accounts (at least compared to traditional brick-and-mortar banks), their ease-of-use, and their excellent customer service, I still only have those same personal savings accounts with Capital One that I started with so many years … [Read more...]

Is AARP Worth it? Get These Awesome Benefits (Some Free) for People Under 50

At the YMCA where I used to work out, there was always a large stack of AARP magazines available for perusal during my 30 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill. Despite being in my 30s, it was always my favorite magazine to borrow for a workout—although I’d sometimes hide the cover like I was reading something illicit. I thought of AARP as an organization for...well, older people. It's called the American Association of … [Read more...]

Exit Your Timeshare Legally: Newton Group Transfers [Review]

Timeshares always seem like such a good idea when you are in the midst of one of those infamous, hours-long presentations. Not only can you imagine the joys of vacationing every year in a fabulous resort for a low, low price, but the sales tactics of timeshare salespeople can do a whammy on your rational thought processes. Before you know it, you’ve signed on the dotted line, and you are the proud new owner of a timeshare in … [Read more...]

The Best Personal Loan Sites for Small Business Owners (in 2019)

Personal loans can be a convenient way for small business owners to get cash to cover a short-term financial hurdle or help with temporary cash flow problems. Personal loans can also help potential entrepreneurs get their ventures off the ground. While there are many businesses that can be started with little to no money upfront, there are times when a personal loan can make sense as the initial step in getting your small business … [Read more...]

The Annuity You Can Start Funding When You’re Young (Blueprint Income’s Personal Pension)

This piece was sponsored by Blueprint Income. However, opinions expressed are our own. Unlike many working in the personal finance sphere, I have no plans to retire. I love my work as a freelance writer, and I intend to keep at it even if my fingers my fall off and I have to type with my nose. However, I also know that retirement isn’t necessarily a choice, having seen friends and family members involuntarily retired from … [Read more...]

18 Legit Work-From-Home Jobs with No Startup Fee

Back before the Internet connected us at all times, it was mostly reclusive novelists and temperamental artists who were able to truly work from home. Anyone who had the dream of being able to work in their pajamas was either stuck dreaming about it, or they fell victim to some sort of envelope-stuffing scam that cost money and never materialized with a paycheck. Thankfully, these days there are a number of perfectly legitimate … [Read more...]

Build Your Credit and Savings at the Same Time with Self Lender [It’s Legit!]

This post is brought to you by Self Lender. While this post was sponsored by Self Lender, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. PT's note: I first heard about Self Lender when a close friend asked me, "hey, is Self Lender legit?" His wife wanted to start improving her credit and wanted to know if Self Lender was a good option. It's definitely a novel concept and has that too-good-to-be-true feel. As it turns out, they are legit (I've met their team in … [Read more...]

Get 100% Free Talk, Text & 4GB Data for One Penny with FreedomPop

This post is brought to you by FreedomPop. While this is a sponsored post, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. If you're like me, you probably favor companies that you know are fighting for you? I’ve long been impressed by the offerings of FreedomPop, the no-really-we’re-not-kidding FREE mobile and Internet service provider that has been disrupting the mobile service model since 2011. While their 100% free plans … [Read more...]