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.

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...]

13 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...]

Skratch.co Review: An App to Help Teens Find Work

Scott Bennett and Ronen Akiva founded Skratch.co with the understanding of how important income and work are for teens. When they were growing up, both Bennett and Akiva learned the value of work and the joy of earning their own money. They wanted to provide a way for modern teens to learn those lessons, even if traditional part-time work is hard to come by. After seeing how tough it can be for teens to find their first work, … [Read more...]

Get Free Personal and Business Credit Scores at Nav.com

  Learning more about your business credit is not as simple as it is for your personal credit. It's a totally different system for business credit and there are fewer services available for checking it. Thankfully, Nav.com has come along to help small business owners (and individuals) better understand their credit. As you'll see, Nav has premium offerings to consider, but even their basic service allows you to check your … [Read more...]

ABLEnow: Accounts for People with Disabilities

Several years ago, my best friend Erika gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy she and her husband named Isaac. Fifteen months later, Isaac was diagnosed with autism. While the diagnosis offered the family some reassuring context for why Isaac reacted to the world the way he did, it was also a difficult time. It was clear that this baby's future would be different from what the family had hoped for him. Isaac is a teenager now. As … [Read more...]

Bestow Review: Term Life Insurance in Minutes

  If you've ever gone through the traditional route for finding life insurance, you know the headaches built into the process. Things like high-pressure sales, struggling to compare apples to apples among products, a mandatory physical exam, and excessive paperwork. Online life insurance brokers have made it easier to shop for quotes, compare rates, and avoid hard-selling insurance agents. But they haven't been able to … [Read more...]

7 Things to Do Before You Quit Your Day Job

  This post is brought to you by Bestow. While this is a sponsored post, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. Is it your ultimate dream to quit the rat race and open up a small business? Maybe you have a side hustle already and you're thinking it's time to make the leap to do that full-time? Not only would you get to be your own boss and set your own hours, but you could also build something meaningful … [Read more...]

How to Find the Most Profitable Service-Based Small Business for YOU (+8 Ideas to Get Started)

The success of a business depends largely on its owner. The owner's strengths and weaknesses will translate into the business. Finding a successful business means finding a successful business for you. Something that uses your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses. No single business is right for everyone. But I strongly believe that anyone who wants to own their own business can find a business where they can thrive. You can jump right to our business ideas … [Read more...]