Best Products

I don’t recommend buy many books, considering you must have a local library, a place with a horde of great books for FREE! If you must buy a book, though, I suggest one of the following. Some are related to finance, some to education.

I also don’t suggest spending much money on the products or services in your life if you don’t have to. If you want to know what I do use though, check out the list. I think there are some very valuable things on this list that could potentially help you out a lot. Be advised: I do have some affiliate links on this page. These in no way affect the price you would pay for either the products or the services, they only skim off an advertising fee for me if you decide to buy. However, if you don’t like the idea of affiliate links, please feel free to open the link in another tab. No worries here!

Enjoy!

 

Books

“A Random Walk down Wall Street” by Burton G. Malkiel

This book is essential if you plan on investing. Even if you are already invested somewhere, I highly suggest you get this book and read it! This small purchase of $13 may end up saving you tons of money in the long run.

Burton Malkiel is not just a dry, finance writer either; he is witty and irreverent, two traits I admire in a writer. It is easy to zip through this book while also gaining a MUCH better understanding of what quality investing looks like.

“Building Great Sentences” by Brooks Landon

My first year of teaching, I had no clue what actually counted as writing curriculum. I mainly thought that if you got kids to write a lot, then surely they would improve. I kept my curriculum mainly focused on the broader topics, such as theme, character development, metaphor, etc. It wasn’t until I read this book that I realized true writing education can be so, so much more.

Brooks Landon writes exactly the sentence styles that he tries teaches you in this book. He is brilliant, and so are his sentence examples from famous literary works. If you read this book, you’ll come away knowing much more about sentence structure, which, at the end of all things, is the main component of any writing, let alone good writing. I’m planning on getting my whole department to read this book. Check it out.

“Style: An Anti-Textbook” by Richard Lanham

I love parts of this book. Some of it, to be honest, is a bit dry. However, much of the message is vital for where we are in today’s educational world. Lanham argues that we need less text book and more focus on actual sentence and writing style. He recalls another time, an older time, in American education where English teachers focused on the actual writing, instead of what the writing was about.

And I have to agree with Lanham: our ELA curriculum has largely moved from ELA to an understanding of something else we can discuss through English. We need to reiterate the power of the word. This book will help us do so.

Services

Geico Insurance

I’ve had Geico Insurance for probably 5 years now. I love them. They are relatively well priced, easy to operate, and have pretty good customer service. The best part of all is that when I first got into this frugal living style, I called to see if I could reduce my payment at all. Turns out, I could! When I began riding my bike to work, I dramatically reduced the miles driven in my car every month. This, plus the phone call, got me a reduced rate. It is definitely worth checking out if you don’t like your current insurance.

Greater Nevada Credit Union

I wrote a guest article on the benefits of Credit Unions vs Traditional Banks all because of this credit union. I’ve been using them for a very long time now, and I’ve never had any problems. I used Greater Nevada to refinance my student loans from my Undergrad degree by getting a lien on my car. The rate was at 2.3%, down a lot from the 5.5% the government was charging me. I’m glad I made that deal.

I currently have a Checking’s and a Saving’s account through them. The Checking’s gives me a 3% APY up to 15k! All I have to do is have direct deposit and make 15 transactions a month. If you live in Nevada, you DEFINITELY need to go with Greater Nevada!

Products

Wireless Keyboard

I currently use the Logitech K480 wireless keyboard at home and at school. At home, it pairs very well with my tablet, but at school is where it really shines. I’ve mentioned in a post or two that one of the best methods for teaching writing is through modeling an example of the writing yourself. While this is a very time-consuming process, it is made infinitely faster by utilizing a wireless keyboard in your classroom.

You can connect to keyboard to your front computer or overhead projector easily. From there, it is a simple job to open a word processing program and then type away to your hearts content. I used to try to write by-hand in front of my students; it was productive and powerful, but slow. Using a keyboard makes your process stand out more than your handwriting. Plus you can revise your sentences and restructure them in a breeze!

Bikes

If you really want to become Financially Independent, then you HAVE to ride a bike to work. This one step will literally save you thousands, if not millions, by the end of your career. It is a solid investment too, a bike. I’ve ridden my same one since I graduated high school. My dad actually got me this bike as a graduation gift (probably the best physical gift he and my mom have ever given me.) It is a beautiful Specialized Langster, dark green with an aged shine to it that never fails to catch my eye.

But you don’t have to get one as nice as mine ($650 new). You can get one from amazon or Bikesdirect.com that will work great! They can be much cheaper too. It doesn’t really matter what bike you get, as long as you get one and start riding. There isn’t much better in this world than riding your bike.

Tablet

If you are a teacher, you have to get your Master’s degree. That’s all there is to it. If you are going to get your degree, let me suggest you buy one thing: a tablet! I bought an old version of the Microsoft Surface (I think I bought the 3 when the 4 was out already.) This expensive purchase ($300) paid off in dividends. Not only could I use it to write papers, I could also easily haul it around to various places where I could work without disturbing my wife, which is one of the hardest parts of completing Master’s work usually. To this day, I use the Surface to surf the web throughout my house and even to write on this blog.

By far the best part of the tablet, however, was the Amazon Kindle App. You won’t understand how amazing and powerful this app is until you get one of your textbooks electronically through it, skim for details, “highlight” certain passages, search by keyword for specific parts, and then, when you need to write you papers, call all of that up into a chronological list of “notes.” With this app, you can write your papers so easily. It is almost like filling in the blanks between all your highlighted sections!