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.

How 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 money … [Read more...]

37 Most Trusted Money Making Websites (No Investment Needed)

Today I want to explore the best money making websites. There are very few of us who feel like we make enough money. Earning more can help you pay off debt, get on track for retirement, or you simply diversify your income sources. Luckily, making a little extra money has gotten much easier in the modern age. These days, there are tons of apps and websites where you can start earning part-time money. But who do you trust? Let's look … [Read more...]

9 Part-Time Jobs That Pay Well [Better Pay in Less Time]

One of the problems with part-time work is that it often comes with part-time pay. Toiling twenty hours per week for minimum wage is no way to build wealth or create a balanced life. Thankfully, there are a number of part-time jobs out there that pay enough for you to live comfortably on 20 hours per week. In addition, many of these jobs will allow you to create your own schedule. If you're looking for a part-time job that … [Read more...]

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...]

Help Your Kids Build Good Financial Habits [Greenlight Card Review]

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 … [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...]

How to Get Out of a Timeshare Legally with Newton Group Transfers [Review]

Wondering how to get out of a timeshare legally? 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 … [Read more...]

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

Small business owners are no strangers to financial headaches. From securing startup financing to covering temporary cash-flow problems, small business owners often have to work quickly to find a solution that will keep their business humming. Taking out a personal loan is one solution that is often overlooked. While a personal loan may not be right for every entrepreneur, there's a lot to recommend it as a possible way to smooth … [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...]