We receive a lot of questions about what tools we use and recommend. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our favorites. Whether you’re looking for the best budgeting, banking and student loans, investing, or blogging tools, you’re in the right place.
We’ll update this page regularly and will add new tools as we find them. Of course, it’s up to you to check them out and make sure they are right for you. That being said, we hope you find these resources as valuable as we think they are. Enjoy!
Our Personal Favorites
Best Money Tools: Personal Capital
If you haven’t checked out Personal Capital’s FREE financial tools, you are seriously missing out. This super sweet software helps you track your spending, uncover hidden investment fees, and monitor your net worth. And like I said, they’re totally FREE! We use it. We love it. We think you will too.
Best Coupon/Cash Back Site: Ebates
I absolutely love Ebates! Every time I shop online, I make sure to click through Ebates first. There, I find all kinds of great coupons to save, plus I get additional cash back at places like Amazon.com, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and more. By stacking rewards with the best cash back cards, I earn save even more. Signing up is free, so how can you go wrong?
Best Cell Phone Service: Ting
Paying too much for cell service? Look no further than Ting! We’ve used several different discount cell phone carriers, and Ting has been our favorite. Billing is based on usage, and plans start around $15 per month. Plus, the coverage and service is better than what we’ve experienced from other discount carriers. Plus, you’ll get a $25 Ting credit just for signing up!
Best Savings on Health Insurance: Liberty Healthshare
When our health insurance rates skyrocketed due to Obamacare, we had to look for other options. After searching for months, we settled on Liberty Healthshare. We’ve been with them for a few years now. So far, the coverage works and it is saving us thousands.
Best Money Saving Tools
Best Free Credit Score: Credit Sesame
Tracking your credit score is important, and Credit Sesame is an easy place to do it. We’ve used Credit Sesame’s free tools for years, but they also offer a paid plan if you want a more in-depth review. We get an update on our score about once a month, plus they send notifications if any new accounts are opened.
Best Life Insurance Rates: Policy Genius
As former employees in the funeral industry, we know how important life insurance can be. Generally speaking, we suggest term-life insurance for most people. Policy Genius is a great way to compare different companies so you get the best rate.
Discount Cell Phone Provider: Republic Wireless
Although we have personally switched to using Ting, Republic Wireless presents another great option for saving on your cell phone bills. Plans start as low as $15 a month, and they’ve added a bunch of new phones you can choose from. I’d also give them a serious look before making your cell phone decision.
Best Investing Resources
Best Investing Site for Beginners: Wealthfront
Wealthfront is an automated investment advisor that makes investing easy, offering managed portfolios at low prices. After learning about your risk tolerance and time horizon, Wealthfront will build a diversified portfolio that is personalized to your needs. You’ll also get your first $10,000 managed for free.
Best Low-Cost Trading Platform: TradeKing
If you enjoy trading stocks, TradeKing is a great spot to get started. With extremely low commissions, a solid trading platform, and top-notch customer service, TradeKing is hard to beat. This discount brokerage offers $4.95 trades and up to $1,000 in free trade commissions for new accounts.
Best Place for Hard to Find Investments: Motif Investing
We think the themed investment concept behind Motif Investing is super cool! With no minimum balance requirements and low commissions, Motif is the perfect solution for beginners and seasoned investors looking for exposure in hard to find niches. Plus, you’ll get up to $150 for opening an account!
Best DIY Retirement Accounts: Vanguard
With super low fees and a wealth of options, Vanguard is the best place for DIY investors to hold their retirement accounts. In fact, many of Vanguards funds are so low, other low-cost providers include them in their own offerings. We’ve used Vanguard for years, and recommend them if you’re not afraid of DIY.
Best Banking and Student Loan Resources
Best Place to Refinance Student Loans: SoFi
We think SoFi is the best place to refinance your student loans. Their underwriting criteria makes it possible to provide refinancing solutions that may not be available with other lenders. Best of all, they have great rates that potentially can save you thousands. Fixed rates start at 3.50% APR while variable rates start as low as 2.20% APR.
Best Online Savings Account: BBVA Compass Bank
Tired of earning zilch on your savings account? It’s time to try a BBVA Compass money market account. Here, you’ll earn 0.65% APY on your money. It isn’t huge, but it’s a lot better than the 0.01% APY you’re probably earning now.
Best Place for Personal Loans: SoFi
We don’t normally recommend using personal loans unless you’re using it to strategically get ahead. However, if you’re going to use one, we recommend trying SoFi. In addition to their student loan program, SoFi also offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. With no origination or prepayment fees, SoFi personal loans are hard to beat. Fixed rates as low as 5.95%-12.99% with variable rates between 4.80%-11.40%.
Best Blogging Resources
Best Blog Hosting for Beginners: Bluehost
Bluehost is a good all-around company for starting a blog because they’re cheap and easy. Hosting charges start at less than $4 a month, which is a super cheap way for you to start out! If that wasn’t enough, they’ll even give you a FREE customized domain name with your new account.
Best Website Themes and Framework: Genesis Framework
The Genesis Framework by Studiopress is a powerful WordPress framework that we use on all of our blogs. It’s fast, secure, and easy to use. It is a paid feature, and you can typically get both the framework and your favorite child theme for about $75-100. We highly recommend building your website on the Genesis.
Best Mailing List Provider: ConvertKit
We recently switched from Mailchimp to ConvertKit, and we couldn’t be happier. ConvertKit is designed with bloggers in mind and makes the task of email marketing easy. It’s super simple to use, and you can effortlessly segment your list exactly the way you want it. That way, your subscribers are getting targeted emails that relate directly to their interests. Honestly, we love it!