Over the years, I have used a huge number of tools and resources to manage money. Some have been great and some have been garbage. To help you save time and avoid the garbage, here are a few resources that I love to help you take control of your financial well being and achieve financial independence.
I am not affiliated with any of the companies listed here, so I will not get paid if you decide to sign up. These are simply unbiased recommendations based solely on my experiences with these companies.
Budgeting & Tracking: Mint
Mint.com is an offering by Intuit (of Quicken and Quickbooks fame). Use Mint to automatically track your spending, account balances, and credit cards. It is the best free cash management tool available online.
Manage Your Credit: Credit Karma
Checking your credit report should be free. CreditKarma.com gives you access to two of the three credit bureaus and updates your scores weekly. Plus, it shows you six credit factors that impact your scores with advice on steps you can take to improve your credit score.
High-Yield Savings: Ally Bank
When you escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and are able to build some savings, you will need a place to put that money and start earning interest. My favorite online bank for high-interest savings is Ally.com. There are no minimum balance requirements, very few restrictions, and their interest rates are among the highest available.
When you are ready to put your hard-earned money to work for you, it is time to start investing. My favorite is Fidelity, but no matter which investment firm you choose make sure they have a variety of funds with no transaction fees, lots of options for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), no fees for depositing or withdrawing, low (or no) minimum balances, and a straight-forward user experience that you can understand.