J.D. Roth, Get Rich Slowly


Cool Tools Show 112: J.D. Roth

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Our guest this week is J.D. Roth started blogging in 1997, before “blog” was even a word. In 2006, he founded GetRichSlowly.org, a site devoted to common-sense personal finance. He sold Get Rich Slowly in 2009 then bought it back in 2017. His mission in life is to help everyday people master their money and achieve their financial goals.

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Show notes:

National notebook ($6)
“I am a writer, and I do most of my writing on a computer like most writers do nowadays, and that’s not very exciting. Everyone has their favorite computers. But I also do a surprising amount of writing by hand, and I have my own favorite cheap notebooks. I use a couple of the models from a company called National Brand, and basically there’s this legal supply store here in Portland, and I go down there and I stock up on these notebooks. They’re a little more expensive than Mead spiral notebooks, but they’re also a heavier quality paper. And then I buy Dixon Ticonderoga pencil and BIC Cristal ballpoint pens. I buy them by the case from Amazon. … So those are kind of unsexy tools, but they’re very much tools that I use every day.”

Hobonichi Techo Planner ($33)
“It’s a Japanese calendar. It’s A6 size. … It’s by a company Hobonichi, and it’s just a big … Instead of having all sorts of lines and times and all that, it’s basically just a big blank slate. Each page has a date, and it shows noon, and it shows dinnertime, and other than that it’s just squared paper for you to jot down your thoughts or to jot down your schedule. And for me, it works like a charm. Until my girlfriend convinced me to go digital, this was my source. I carried this with me everywhere.”

The Maker’s Bag ($130)
“I am a bag nerd. I have probably a dozen backpacks and messenger backs, and I use all of them. I like Filson bags, but they’re expensive. For the past two years, my daily bag is the Maker’s Bag from Tom Bihn. … I like it because it’s not overly complicated, for one…. It’ll hold a 15-inch laptop but not much more than that. And then it will hold several books and magazines, plus there are maybe a dozen pockets. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it seems like there’s tons of different pockets and zippered places so that I can tuck all sorts of different stuff in there. I tend to travel a lot for work, and so on the plane I want to be able to have all of my stuff compartmentalized, and with the Maker’s Bag I’m able to do that, and yet it’s not overwhelming.”

SleepPhones ($40 – $100)
“So, this is something I originally got for travel. So what SleepPhones are is if you can imagine an elastic headband that inside is a set of earbuds, but they don’t actually go in your ear, they just kind of rest outside ear. That’s what SleepPhones are, and the kind I have are wireless. You do need to plug them in to charge them, although I think they have a model now that uses induction charging. So at night, when you’re getting ready to go to sleep, if you want to listen to something you put the SleepPhones around your head like a headband — or I actually use it to double as an eye mask to keep out light — and then you listen to whatever you want to listen to. And like I said, I originally got them for travel, but because my girlfriend and I both have trouble sleeping, we now both use them to listen to stuff at night.”

Icebreaker Merino wool clothing
“I am a HUGE fan of Icebreaker merino wool clothing. I discovered this stuff in 2010, and have been hooked ever since. It’s warm when it’s cold and cold when it’s warm. It itches, but only a very little. The best part? Wool does NOT retain odors. That means you can wear an Icebreaker shirt (or a Smartwool shirt) over and over and over again without washing it and there are no consequences. This makes wool clothing ideal for travel. I know people who travel for months at a time with only two Icebreaker shirts. They take two because it does help to alternate them, to air one out after you use it — especially if you’ve been running in the shirt. No specific Icebreaker item to recommend. Just love their stuff.”

Also mentioned:

You Need a Budget
Personal Capital
New Retirement


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