I created this page so you can easily find the products and services I use and recommend to others. Everything listed on this page are services or products I personally use or have had close friends use and enjoy when I offer them help with their finances.
Please note that this page does include some affiliate links. This means I receive compensation from the product or service when you make a purchase. This does not mean you pay more for something, in fact, many times I am offering a discount code or promotion to help you save some money. Again, everything on this page is something I personally use or know about by directing friends to use.
The following investing resources are products and services related to investing. Investing for your future is an important thing to do with your money and the resources listed below will help you to get to where you want to be.
Betterment: If you are just starting out investing, it can be overwhelming. Luckily, Betterment is here to help. You answer a few questions about your goals and set up an automatic transfer and they do the rest. They build you a low cost portfolio, invest your money, rebalance, tax loss harvest and more. I’ve been using them since 2013 and have many friends who use them as well. You can read my in-depth review of their service or sign up and get 6 months free!
Motif Investing: Another great option for investing is Motif Investing. What makes Motif different is that you can invest in a basket of stocks for just $9.95 per trade as opposed to having to pay a trading commission for each stock you buy. This saves you a ton of money on trading commissions. You can create your own basket (called motifs), invest in a motif created by another user, or you can have Motif do it all for you with their Horizon Portfolios. If you sign up now, you can get $150!
Personal Capital: While I don’t use Personal Capital to invest, I do use their free software to track my investments. Once I link my accounts, I see all of my account balances in one place. I also see my asset allocation, cash flow and net worth. But the best part is that I see how much fees are costing me when it comes to my investments. Trust me, it’s an eye-opening experience. Personal Capital is 100% free to use, so sign up today and make sure your investments are building wealth for you.
Saving Money Resources
We all like to save money. The resources below help you do just that. Whether it is making saving automatic, earning cash back when you shop or saving money on products and services, my favorites are here.
Qapital: This is a free app that I absolutely love. It allow you to set one or more savings goals and then rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It then transfers the rounded up amount from your checking account over to a savings account for you. They also allow you to take part in savings challenges to boost your savings even more. You can choose to save an extra $1 a week or even take part in the 52 week savings challenge. I’ve been using the app for close to 6 months and have saved over $500 already. Since it does the work for me, I save automatically. You can learn more about Qapital here.
Ebates: I love Ebates. It is a website that offers you cash back for shopping through their portal. The amounts vary by store but typically range from 1% up to 25%. Every day they have specials where you can earn double cash back and on Black Friday, they offer even more savings. It costs nothing to use, just sign up and use their portal to shop online. Once you earn cash back, they will PayPal you the money. I’ve earned over $2,000 cash back using Ebates. If you sign up through this link, you will receive a free $10 gift card to Target, Walmart, Kohl’s or Macy’s!
Swagbucks: Along the same lines of Ebates is Swagbucks. With Swagbucks, you can do many different activities to earn “swagbucks” which you can redeem for gift cards or cash through PayPal. To earn your swagbucks, you can play online games, search using their toolbar, shop online, and take surveys. It’s 100% free to join and you can start earning swagbucks right away!
Cricket Wireless: I use Cricket as my cell phone provider. They use AT&T lines, so my coverage is the same but I pay no where near the price. In fact, for unlimited texts and calls and 2.5GB of data a month, I pay just $40. Actually I pay $35 because of auto-pay. If you are paying over $100 a month for cell service, you are throwing money away. If you sign up for Cricket, you can get $25 towards your bill. That means you’ll just pay $15 for one month (after that it goes back to $40).
Allstate Insurance: For many years, I stuck with one insurance company. They I read an article about the benefits of shopping around and I did so. To my surprise, there were other insurers that were less costly. One was Allstate. My wife and I have been with them for over 4 years now and not only is their service and response amazing the couple of times we’ve needed them, but their price is always the lowest when we shop around. You can get a free, no hassle quote here and see just how much you could save by switching.
Liberty Mutual Insurance: Another great insurance company is Liberty Mutual. While we don’t currently use them, I have in the past. Service was great and the price was competitive. I have many friends that still swear by Liberty and trust their input as they have high standards when it comes to things like this. You can get a free quote from Liberty Mutual and see how they compare to others.
Capital One 360: I’ve been with Capital One 360 since 2001. Back then they were ING. I started off with a savings account and now have a checking account too. They are my main bank. Everything they do is great and since it is an online bank, they offer better interest rates. I was concerned when Capital One bought ING a few years ago, but they have held to their promise of not only keeping the same philosophy of ING, but making the banking experience and offers even better. If you want to open up an account, you can use my referral code and earn a free $25 when you deposit $250. That is a 10% return on your money!
Credit Sesame: Knowing your credit score it critical when taking out loans. The higher your score, the lower the interest rate and the more money you save. Until recently, you had to pay for your credit score. Not any longer. You can sign up for a free account with Credit Sesame and get your credit score for free! Knowing your credit score and building it over time is one of the keys of personal finance and Credit Sesame helps you do just this.
Online Business Resources
If you are considering starting your own website, I have some help for you. These are the products I use to keep my business running smoothly.
Genesis (Studio Press): If you want to be online, you need a website. Luckily WordPress makes starting a website easy. In fact, you’d be surprised at just how many sites you visit are actually WordPress sites. But even with a site, you need theme. This is what your visitors see when they visit your website. There are many options out there including free themes. But many aren’t updated and as time passes, they become vulnerable to hacks. This is why I like Genesis themes. Yes they cost money, but they are always updated and they have a large following. So as you tinker around with things, you have plenty of support. The best part – you don’t need an advanced understanding of web design to build your site. Genesis makes it easy.
Big Scoots: Once you have a site, you need to find a place to host it. There are many options out there. I’ve tried over 5 in the short time I’ve been blogging. Most have had issues. One had horrible customer support. Another would constantly try to upsell me on a higher priced hosting package. Another was unreliable. In the end, I found Big Scoots. I’ve had zero issues with them and their customer support is incredible. I won’t be going anywhere for long time if they keep amazing me like they have.
eHealth Insurance: If you are self-employed, you most likely need to get your own coverage for health insurance. You could go to the Affordable Care Act website and try your luck at understanding things there – I’ve personally had many issues with the site – or you could use eHealthInsurance instead. By using this free service, you can get multiple health insurance quotes quickly and easily. For me, it was a much friendly and informative user experience than using the ACA website.
Personal Finance Books
I love writing about personal finance but I also love reading about it as well. Below are a few of the books about personal finance I love to read. I tried to keep this section short – so I am only including the books I re-read on a regular basis.
Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money, Paul Merriman: While this investing book doesn’t get the hype other investing books do, it is by far one of my favorites. It is a super easy read and you learn about portfolio construction and how to create an investment portfolio that will be right for you. The great thing though is that you can jump around between chapters and still follow along. He even offers some sample portfolios for you to start using today. If you are serious about investing, you should consider reading this book.
Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill: This book was written as self-help/motivational book back in the 1930’s. The goal of the book was to help people suffering through The Great Depression get back on their feet and become successful for the first time or become successful once again. To do this, the author interviewed various successful people during that time and noted the lessons learned. Even though it was written over 80 years ago, it is still a top 10 classic and easily its lessons are easily applied to personal finance. If you want to be successful, you need to check this book out.
The Millionaire Next Door, Dr Thomas Stanley: This book is one most people turn to when they want to understand what the typical American millionaire is like. Don’t be fooled by what you see on television or online or what you read in the magazines. The real millionaires in American were interviewed by Dr. Stanley and his findings were compiled into this book. If you want to learn the real eye-opening ways millionaires in the US live, and trust me, it is far from how the media portrays them, this book is a must read. You can buy it on Amazon.
The Richest Man In Babylon, George Clason: If you enjoy reading Aesop’s fables and other short stories that have a timeless message, than The Richest Man In Babylon is for you. It was originally written in the 1920’s as a series of pamphlets before being combined into a book. It is about a man in ancient Babylon and how he learned to handle his finances. It provides 7 timeless lessons on personal finance that will help you to better manage and handle your money. While the story is fictional, the lessons are real. You can pick this book up on Amazon.
Multiple Streams Of Income, Robert Allen: This book has its critics and while I am not a fan of everything in this book, I do like its overall message. In fact, I re-read it every few years just to relight the fire inside me for developing streams of income. The thinking goes, if you can have money coming in from various streams, like your job, investments, a side hustle, etc., you will never be reliant on one to survive. So if you lose your job, it’s not the end of the world as you will still be bringing in an income from your other streams. You can find this book on Amazon.
7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey: While not a personal finance book specifically, this book will help you in every aspect of your life. You will better understand how you interact with people and how others interact as well. You will better understand how to communicate with different people, get your message across so that both of you get what you need. It isn’t a quick read, but the time you spend reading it and learning will pay off greatly in the years to come.