In order to get the most out of your money and reach all your financial goals you need the best tools available. This page contains everything you’ll need to take your finances to the next level.
While I may receive a small commission if you sign up for anything using this page, nothing here is listed just so I can make a buck or two. Everything you’ll find on this page is either something I personally use, or have enough intimate knowledge of that I feel comfortable recommending it to my friends, family, and of course…my readers.
This page will be updated often as I’m always on the lookout for new and better tools to help me manage or make money. So check back often!
Budgeting & Managing Your Finances
Mint.com – Mint.com is probably the most widely used tool to track spending and maintain your budget. I’ve been using Mint for over 5 years now and my finances would be a mess without it! Connect all your banking, credit card and investing accounts and keep tabs on all your activity in one place, for free. For more, read my complete review of Mint.com here.
Personal Capital – Personal Capital is a very similar service to Mint, with some significant differences. Personal Capital is much better than Mint for tracking investment activity and performance. If you have over $100,000 in investable assets Personal Capital even offers high quality, and personalized investment advice from one of their advisors. While I’m not quite eligible for that service, Personal Capital still has plenty to offer. My favorite feature is their 401k fee analyzer which shows just how much of your future returns are being lost to fees being charged by the mutual funds you’re invested in. One look at that and you’ll be motivated to optimize your 401k investment choices, trust me! Sign up for Personal Capital Here. (Click here to read my full Personal Capital Review!)
Brokerage & Investment Services
TD Ameritrade – I’ve had an investment account with TD Ameritrade since the turn of the century (literally!). They offer $9.99 trades, a boatload of commission free ETF’s, free dividend reinvestment (DRIP), and great customer service. You can open a brokerage account with as little as $500 or IRA account for $0. Sign up for TD Ameritrade Here.
E*Trade – More than just a talking baby… E*trade has also been a brokerage of mine for some time. $9.99 trades, free dividend reinvestment and everything else you’d want out of an online broker. $500 is all you need to open a brokerage account with E*Trade, and like Ameritrade, Retirement accounts can be opened with $0. Sign up for E*Trade Here.
Betterment – If you’re a newer investor, or just want to take a more passive approach to investing. Betterment is the place for you. They help you determine your risk tolerance and then help you get started investing in an appropriate mix of funds (with very low fees). You can simply set up a monthly contribution and relax. They’ll do the dirty work for you. The best part of Betterment is that they have your interest at heart, which makes it a great place for the long-term investor who wants to benefit from a buy and hold strategy. Sign up for Betterment Today & Receive a $25 Bonus!
Capital One 360 – The too big to fail banks are looking for every way possible to make more money through charging fees to you, their customer. Thankfully, those of us who care about their money can turn to online banks. Captial One 360 offers both free checking and savings accounts that pay interest and help you avoid nasty fees. For more, read why Capital One 360 is my favorite savings account.
EverBank – Everbank is another high quality bank that consistently offers among the highest interest rates on your money without oppressive fees. Checking, Savings, Money Market, CD’s whatever you want, Everbank has it and they’ll probably pay you the most interest on your money for it. If you don’t want to be bothered checking around all the time to see if your bank is paying you a respectable rate, just get your money with Everbank and you won’t have to worry any more. Sign up for Everbank Here.
Charles Schwab – Schwab has a great combo of a free, interest bearing checking account combined with a brokerage account. They charge you no fees on either account and trades are only $8.95. The best part is that to get all the benefits of the free, interest paying checking account, you don’t even have to use the brokerage account. Mobile check deposit, interest and amazing (American based) customer service make Schwab a great choice for your money. Sign up for a Charles Schwab account here.
Geico – A subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Geico is one of the nation’s largest and most well respected insurance companies. I have both my car and homeowners insurance through Geico and have never had a complaint. They (at least for me) consistently have the lowest rates of any company and of course, you can always get a quote for free, so why not see how they rate for you?
HostGator – HostGator provides some of the most affordable, and most reliable website hosting on the internet. They provide the hosting to this site and I haven’t had any downtime or problems in the almost two years I’ve run this site. If you’re looking to start a blog or website, Hostgator makes it simple to install WordPress and get yourself up and running. If you run into trouble, they have very responsive customer service reps 24/7 who can answer your problem. I’ve had to rely on them multiple times and each time they’ve answered my question extremely quickly and clearly. Sign up with HostGator and Get your Website Started Today!
GoDaddy – The domain thefirstmillionisthehardest.net was purchased at GoDaddy. While I wouldn’t recommend having your website hosted with GoDaddy’s hosting service, they’re still the #1 place to purchase domain names from. Make your website a reality by purchasing a domain from GoDaddy now.