​Recommended Resources

reach financial independence

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 used) or have had close friends use and enjoy when I offer them help with their finances.

I’ll make updates and changes to this page as needed.

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, some times I am offering a discount code or promotion to help you save some money. In no way is the cost higher because it is a referral. Again, everything on this page is something I personally use or know about by directing friends to use and they have a positive experience with.

​INVESTING

Finding the right broker is critical to your long term investing success.

By finding the best fit for your goals and need, you will be more likely to grow your wealth in the stock market.

Below are the 4 online brokers I highly recommend you look into for your investing needs.

Betterment

​Betterment was one of the first of the robo-advisors.

They do it all for you – build you a portfolio, invest your money, rebalance, tax-loss harvest, and more.

All you have to do is answer a few questions and link your checking account.

​Betterment is great for those new to investing and want the work done for them.

Acorns Broker Chart

​Investing with Acorns is investing with a twist.

​The main benefit with ​Acorns is you can invest with small amounts of money. As little as $5 at a time to be exact.

You can even invest your spare change. When you link your bank account, Acorns will round up your purchases and transfer the round up to your investing account!

​Acorns is perfect for those on a tight budget to get started investing. ​

M1 Finance Broker Chart

​M1 Finance brings something revolutionary to the online broker world. 

​You create a customized ETF or stocks portfolio to be exactly what you want. ​

You also have the option to chose from custom portfolios created by experts.

You can do all this without paying a fee. That’s right, no trading fee for buying stocks!

​M1 is perfect for those who want a systematized investment at no cost. ​

Webull Broker Chart

​Webull is shaking up the investing world.

They offer truly free investing and mountains of charts and research to help you grow your wealth.

Add in investor education, paper trading accounts and games and challenges, Webull is a great place to invest.

Webull is perfect for active investors looking to keep the cost of trading to a minimum.

dave ramsey investing strategy maze

​Online Broker Comparison

​​Be sure to also check out my online broker comparison chart for more detailed information on these brokers.

There you will find advantages and drawbacks to each as well as a frequently asked questions section.

​INSURANCE

​Insurance is the most overlooked part of a person's financial life.

But it is critical that you have the right coverage because insurance is a safety blanket for your wealth.

Don't make the mistake by having no coverage or too little coverage. Use these services to get the right coverage for your needs.

liberty mutual resources

​Liberty Mutual is my go-to choice for getting free quotes.

The process is simple and gives me a baseline for what I should be paying for auto and homeowners coverage.

And this helps me to know if my current insurer is charging me too much.

Take 10 minutes and click the button below to see what you should be paying for coverage.

And then make the switch if it is lower. ​

ehealth resources

​Shopping for health insurance is a lot easier when you use eHealth Insurance. ​

While you could go to the Affordable Care Act website and try your luck at understanding things there, chances are you better served by using eHealth Insurance instead.

B​y using this service, you get multiple health insurance quotes quickly and easily.

For me, it was a much friendlier and informative user experience than using the ACA website.

Bestow Logo

Life insurance should never be overlooked when you have a family or loved ones who depend on your income.

But going through the hassle of getting life insurance was never easy.

Thanks to Bestow, the process is much easier.

Spend 15 minutes online and your will get free quotes from different top rated life insurance companies.

Before you know it, you can rest easy knowing your loved ones are taken care of.

Breeze Disability

​While life insurance is the coverage most people talk about, disability insurance is actually more critical.

This is because you have a much greater risk of getting disabled and losing income than you do of passing away prematurely.

Because of this, it is critical you look into disability coverage.

Breeze makes it easy by allowing you to get free quotes online.

By streamlining the process, you get more done and save money at the same time.

MONEY MANAGEMENT

Taking control of your money starts with how you manage it. 

For most, this means picking the right bank and budgeting your income and expenses.

But there are a lot of banks out there, and not every budget is good.

Here are the best banks to consider as well as a budgeting option that will amaze you.

capital one resources

​Capital One makes banking simple.

With both online checking and savings accounts that don't charge fees, you can have your money work for you.

As an added bonus, both accounts pay you a higher than average interest rate, regardless of your balance.

I've been banking with Capital One 360 for close to 10 years and have never had an issue.​

As a bonus for new customers, you will get $25 when you open an account using the link below.

CIT Bank

CIT Bank is another great option when it comes to online banking.

They regularly lead the nation with one of the highest interest rates on their savings account.

And now that they offer a free checking account, they can be your complete banking solution.

In addition to checking and savings accounts, you can save money in their high rate CDs as well.

​The bottom line is you can't go wrong by choosing to bank with CIT Bank.

tiller

​If you want to budget but can’t find a program that meets your needs and updating an excel spreadsheet is too much work, say hello to Tiller.

It works off Google Sheets and downloads your transactions for you.

You have complete control over the secure spreadsheet, meaning you can add graphs, pivot tables, you name it.

And since it is a Google Sheet, it is easy to share with your family.

It’s free to try for 30 days and only costs $5 a month thereafter.

Worthy Bonds

Most bank accounts pay an interest rate that makes you wonder why they even offer interest in the first place.

A better place to save your money is with Worthy Bonds.

Worthy invests in small businesses using your money and pays you 5%.

That's right, you earn 5% interest on your money.

​I use them for a portion of my emergency fund to help me earn a higher interest rate.

If you are a looking for a safe alternative to a savings account, look into Worthy Bonds.

Best Savings Account Comparison

Savings Account Comparison

Be sure to check out my Savings Account Comparison guide for more information on finding the perfect savings option for you.

There you will find advantages and drawbacks to each as well as a frequently asked questions section.

MAKE MONEY

We all want to make more money. The problem is deciding how to do it.

I've been making money on the side since college (and that was way back in 1997)!

Technology has changed a lot of things, but one thing remains true. You can make money with side hustles.

You just have to find the best ones.

Here are 4 of my favorites.

swagbucks resources

​Swagbucks is an online portal that allows you to earn cash for doing various tasks. 

With Swagbucks, you can do many different activities to earn “​SB” which you can redeem for gift cards or cash through PayPal.

To earn your ​SB, 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 ​SB right away!

By using the link below, new members get a $5 signup bonus!

survey junkie

Survey Junkie is one of the most respected online survey sites out there.

After opening your free account, you will begin to receive surveys to take every day.

The surveys pay out between $0.50 - $2.00 each and you earn money for completing your profile.

While you won't get rich taking surveys, spending a few minutes every day taking surveys could earn you an extra $100 a month. ​

Click on the button below to create your free account and start making money!

Fetch Rewards

​Fetch Rewards is a new player on the money making scene.

I tried it out and it has quickly become one of my favorite side hustles.

Simply grocery shop as you normally do and then scan your receipt.

You will earn points for the items you buy and can earn bonus points for buying certain brands.

After you earn enough points, redeem for a free gift card to one of your favorite retailers. ​

Right now, they are offering a $2 bonus to new users. Just enter FETCH2K after clicking the link below.

Shopkick Logo

Shopkick is another shopping app that allows you to earn free gift cards.

But they do things a little different.

You can earn kicks (what they call points) for walking into store, scanning barcodes, buying things, even shopping online.

Once you earn enough kicks, you redeem to one of many retailers.

You can earn a bonus 250 kicks by entering the referral code: EARN591181 using the link below.

Just complete a store walk in or product scan within 30 days for your bonus.

Online Paid Surveys

​Best Online Survey Sites

If surveys interest you as a way to make money on the side, you have to read this post.

I highlight the 11 best online survey companies and walk you through the best tricks to maximize your earnings.

The result is while others struggle to make $50 a month, you can make $100 or more.


make extra money

51 Ideas To Make Money Starting Today

There have never been more ways to make extra money.

The bad news about this is having so many ways can make it overwhelming to pick the few that make the most sense for you.

In this post, I walk you through the best 51 ideas that will make you anywhere from $25 to over $1,000 a month.

SAVE MONEY

​Saving money is the key to getting ahead financially.

If you are spending everything you make, you will never get ahead and as a result, never enjoy financial freedom.

Below are a few of my favorite ways to save money easily.

Trim

​Trim is a powerful assistant that will help you slash your spending.

Not only will it review your spending, looking for services to cancel, but it will also negotiate some bills for you as well.

For example, Trim touts it saves customers an average of $30 per month on their cable bill.

That is $360 a year!

If you want to lower your expenses but don't know where to start, give Trim a try!

Truebill Logo

​Truebill is a direct competitor to Trim. 

So why recommend this service as well?

While they are very similar, there are some differences.

For example, Truebill will monitor service outages for you and get you compensated as a result (think cable going out).

They also offer an electric saver which allows your to pick a lower prices electric provider if you live in a state that allows this.

On average, Truebill users save $512 a year using their service.

Rakute

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a website that offers you cash back for shopping through their portal.

The cash back 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.

New users​ receive a free $10 gift card to Target, Walmart, Kohl’s or Macy’s!

ibotta logo

​Ibotta is a great app that helps you to earn cash back shopping. 

It began as a grocery app, helping you to earn cash back on items you buy at the grocery store but has evolved into a one stop app for all your shopping needs.

Simply use the app to find products you are buying and then scan your receipt and collect your money.

They also offer bonuses to help you earn money faster.

New users get a free $10 bonus when you earn $10 in cash back.

cutting monthly expenses

​How To Slash Your Expenses The Easy Way

If you are serious about cutting your spending, check out this post I wrote on slashing your spending.

I walk you through the simple steps you need to take to cut $1,000 or more from your monthly budget.


how to save money fast

​115 Ways To Save Money

​Saving money is easy when you have a guide.

In this post, I give you over 100 actionable ideas to start saving money today. By the time you finish reading it, you will have a handful of ways to start saving money.

​CREDIT CARDS AND CREDIT SCORE

If you are disciplined with your spending, you can be rewarded by using credit cards.

For most, the best options are either cash back or travel rewards cards.

Below are guides to the best credit cards in each category.

Of course, don't forget about the importance of good credit. Having good credit ensures you save the most money when you take out a loan. 

Here you will find my favorite free credit service.

Cash back credit cards offer a great benefit.

Earn a set percent of cash back every time you use your card.

Use your cash back as a statement credit, or get the balance mailed to you as a check.

Whatever you choose, finding the right cash back credit card can make a difference in your finances.

Click the link below to find the best cash back card for you.

If you enjoy traveling, then finding the right travel reward credit card is critical.

With the right card you will maximize points or miles earned so you can travel the world at a reduced price.

And many travel credit cards offer sign up bonuses that will help you real your goal faster.

Click the link below to find the best travel reward credit cards.

If you are in debt, finding a balance transfer credit card can help you dig out of debt faster

With many cards offering reduced interest rates, you will see more of your monthly payment go towards your balance and not interest.

And this means you not only save money, but you get out of debt faster. 

Click the link below to find the best balance transfer credit cards. 

credit sesame

​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 to personal finance and Credit Sesame helps you do just this.

​RETIREMENT

Funding and planning your retirement are big milestones in your life. 

Because of this, you don't want to leave things to chance.

The resources below will help you take control of your retirement so you have the money to live your life on your terms.

Personal Capital Logo Updated

If you plan to retire one day, you have to take advantage of Personal Capital.

Their free service allows you to see all of your balances in one place and gives you your net worth up to the minute.

And it doesn't end there.

You can get advice on your investment asset allocation, insight into the fees you are paying, and a detailed and customized retirement plan exactly for you.

Click the link below to learn more about Personal Capital or sign up for free.

Blooom Logo

Before Blooom, you were left on your own when it came to your employer sponsored retirement plan.

Sure they would give you basic guidance, but when it came to picking investments or managing the account for optimal growth, you were on your own.

Luckily Blooom is here to pick up the slack. 

They will work with you to ensure your retirement plan is set up to give you the best chance of reaching your financial goals.

Click the link below to learn more or to sign up.

​PERSONAL FINANCE BOOKS

​Educating yourself on personal finance is critical if you want to improve your finances.

Below are my favorite books and that ones I recommend to you and my friends.

If you are feeling a little unsure where to start, go with The Richest Man In Babylon or Think And Grow Rich.

From there, you can choose any of the remaining books.

7 investing steps

​This is my own book I wrote on the subject of investing. 

We tend to make investing much more complicated than it really is.

In this book, I outline and detail the 7 steps you need to use in order to be successful in the stock market.

The 7 steps are easy to follow and you can start taking the steps to investment success in a few short hours after reading the book.

Or you can make changes as you read along.

Grow Your Wealth

​We all wealth, but we don't know how to get there.

And with everyone telling us of a different path, many times we get frustrated and give up.

This book solves this problem.

It walks you through 10 simple steps that will help you to build wealth and reach your first million dollars.

From there, the sky is the limit as you will continue to build wealth and have your money work for you.

richest man babylon

This book by George Clason is a must read for everyone. 

It started out as informational pamphlets and then was put together into a book back in the 1920’s.

The concept is that it provides 7 principles related to personal finance that helped a regular guy back in Babylonian times better manage his money.

The principles are relevant today still even though they were written in the 1920’s.

The book is put together in a story-like fashion and it is an easy read, along the same lines of Aesop’s fables.

live it up

​Another great book about investing. 

Paul Merriman writes clearly and anyone can get something from this book even if they have no investment knowledge.

The chapters are short and the book is designed to allow you to jump around and still understand the concepts.

 Throughout the book he shows you how to build a portfolio and even offers samples of different investments to choose from so you can easily build a portfolio that meets your needs.

think grow rich

This book by Napoleon Hill usually finds itself on a top 10 list of must read finance books. 

Interestingly however, is that this book was originally written in the 1930’s as a self-help/motivational book.

Mr. Hill interviewed successful men during the time to help motivate others to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding their lives.

Because it is about becoming successful, it ties in nicely with personal finance.

millionaire next door

This book is a personal finance classic. 

Dr Stanley interviewed millionaires to see how they really live and manage their money.

He then put these findings into this book and the information is incredible.

The typical American millionaire is nothing what you would think.

It shows that appearances are deceiving and that saving you money is your best option for becoming a millionaire.

Your Money Or Your Life

This book is great for anyone looking to improve their finances.

It takes you on a 9 step journey that looks at your past life, current life and future life and has you create a map for better finances.

By looking at your money differently and using the simple formulas provided, you will have a plan to grow your wealth beyond your dreams.

This is a must read for anyone looking for financial independence.


Everyday Millionaires

​This book is a good one to read after you read The Millionaire Next Door.

While TMND shows you the results of studying millionaires and offers some examples, Everyday Millionaires talks with millionaires.

The entire book is interviews of the wealthy and the lessons they learned and how they made it.

By reading their stories first hand, you get motivated to follow in their footsteps.