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Welcome to the Essential Blog

Travel, Without The Baggage

Air travel is stressful. While some stress may be unavoidable, dealing with stress from luggage check-in and baggage claim can be reduced. Here are 5 simple strategies that may help you make next getaway with only carry-on luggage.


Essential Phone Apps

Apps. We all love ‘em and there are millions available, but most aren't worth your attention.  In this post, we've highlighted 5 that we’ve tested, regularly use and approve to help you get better organized, stay secure, save important info, and efficiently manage your finances.


Emotional Investing

The US markets have been setting records recently and are sitting near all time highs at the time of this post.  Are you excited or concerned?  Either way, if you’re led by your emotions when investing, you will more than likely fail.


Why Process Matters

If you’ve ever wondered why a molehill turned into a mountain on a simple task, it could be due to lack of process. Having a process makes tasks not only efficient, but in most instances, a process can create desired outcomes. If you want to simplify the Essential things in your life, whatever they may be, then continue reading about how a process can save you more time.


National Preparedness Month

September is officially National Preparedness Month, and it is no coincidence that this national awareness month takes place during peak hurricane season.  As I am writing this, tropical storm Gordon is quickly approaching the Gulf Coast. Even if you don’t live near the coast, it’s Essential that you and your family are prepared for emergencies. Follow these easy steps to get started!


Back to School Productivity Tips

Whether or not you have children back in school, this can be a great time of year for all of us to incorporate some discipline and focus into the routine. Maybe a new hobby, diet or fitness plan?

These 4 tips productivity tips can help you essentialize your weekly routine in any season of life.


The Essential Planning Approach

Have you ever looked back the last 10 years and wondered how you got there? How you connected all the dots to make everything happen?  You’re not alone!  In today’s fast-paced world months and even years can blow by without a notice.  As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”   

The Essential Planning Approach will help you plan for success.


Essentialism 2.0

We're discussing Essentialism (again!) but this time we unpack it and take a more in depth look at how the Disciplined Pursuit of Less can impact your personal life.

Say "no" to good things; go big on THE great thing...


Happy Fourth of July!

In today’s world of distractions, it is easy to take our liberty and the Fourth of July for granted. This year, I took some time to reflect on what it really meant and  began with the Declaration of Independence. I wanted to share it with you in this post. 

Enjoy, and God Bless America.


Four Budget Essentials

A budget is essential to attaining and maintaining a work-optional lifestyle. Hidden expenditures can potentially snowball into unwanted debt pushing your goals further away.  Be sure to include these four items to your budget every year!

The four expenses are...


Critical Financial Events

Critical Financial Events are any event that could potentially render a financial plan useless. These life events can be good, bad, or neutral. In this post we outline what they are and the steps we take to help our clients avoid these pitfalls.

Critical Financial Events are...


Frequently Asked Questions

When we visit with the families we serve or those who’ve been introduced to us, there are a few common questions that always come up.  To provide clarity, below are the answers to the four most frequently asked questions we receive.

The first question is...


Bank Card Fraud

Have you ever found a charge on one of your bank cards that wasn’t yours?  Well, one of our team recently did, and this post gives you the process you should use to get your money back!  We also outline a few strategies to being alerted as soon as the fraudulent charge happens.

Here is the process...


Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you struggle every year to find that perfect gift for your mother, grandmother, or spouse then this article is for you!  Below is a list of the best items we’ve seen over the years to help you find that perfect gift.

Here are the 12 gift ideas...


Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and it's one of our favorites. Everything snaps back to life, including things around the house.  We have you covered with this list of six essential spring cleaning tips from our podcast, and there's even you can do from the couch!

Here are the six spring cleaning must-dos...



If you have visited my office, you have probably seen a copy of the book Essentialism on my desk. This book has been pivotal in helping me discover where my highest point of contribution should be.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Here is how essentialism can make an impact on your life...


Happy New Year!

The new year brings new resolutions and goals for everyone, Barko Financial is no different.  This year we look to move our practice further into to a stewardship role for our clients and we will be adding additional valued services.

Here is what you can expect from us this year...