I commonly get asked for recommendations about what financial resources or apps to use. These can range from money saving tools to online brokerages and everything in between. With that in mind, I created this list of some of the top resources out there to help manage your money.
Think of it as a one-stop shop to find great products and services to save and/or make thousands of dollars. You will notice I’ve broken them into sections to make browsing a little easier.
I’ve used many of these tools and have found them to be quite useful. Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means Frugal Rules will be compensated if you sign up for a service. This does not impact pricing or service. Thank you for your support of the site.
Money Saving Websites
We all like to save money, though aren’t always aware of all the available options. Here are some tools to help you keep more money in your pocket.
Republic Wireless. How much is your monthly cell phone bill? We used to pay $170 per month through Verizon. That’s no longer the case. Republic Wireless is a no-contract cell phone provider that has leveled the playing field for cell service. Republic Wireless has cell phone plans as low as $15 per month and they pay you back for unused data.
Expedia. We love to travel in our family. Our first stop when planning a trip is usually Expedia. We’ll use it to compare prices and find cheaper places to stay within a city. That saves big money when traveling with a family. You can find flights, hotels, rental cars and more.
Synchrony Bank. Key to saving money is actually saving money and letting it earn interest. Rates have been horrible for years, but having a high-yield savings account is vital to your financial stability. Thankfully, there are some options that pay something decent. My favorite option is Synchrony Bank. Synchrony Bank pays at least 1.15% on your spare cash, you can automate transfers and, the best part, they have no minimum balance requirement.
VRBO. We’ve started to use VRBO when we travel as a family and absolutely love it. Not only is it often the same as or even cheaper than the cost of a hotel, it’s more comfortable. We’ve found lovely spots in major cities like Denver and San Diego that have been a good deal and absolutely places we’d stay again. Explore VRBO now for your next vacation.
Investing in the stock market is vital to building wealth. Many don’t start out of fear or lack of funds – don’t let that be you. Here are some online brokerages I’ve used and recommend.
Motif Investing. I’ve been with Motif Investing for over a year and love their philosophy – theme based investing at a low cost. You can open a Motif Investing account for as little as $250 and start right away. Sign up through this link to create your own motif and start investing today.
Personal Capital. Personal Capital is Mint with a twist.
Not only can you track spending and budget, but it also helps you with investing. Personal Capital analyzes your portfolio to find lower cost funds and has a killer net worth graph on your home page. If monitoring the entirety of your finances in one place is important, Personal Capital is the tool for you.
Betterment. If you’re new to investing, or investing with little money Betterment is for you. Betterment is a robo-advisor which means they manage all the facets of investing for you so you can start building your wealth. They also have a no minimum balance requirement so you can open an account for as little as you like.
Ally Invest. Are you a DIY investor? If so, Ally Invest, formerly TradeKing, may be the option for you. At an industry low $4.95 per trade, or $3.95 if you trade more than 30 times per quarter, Ally Invest is difficult to beat. If you like to trade stocks, or are saving for retirement, Ally Invest is worth a look.
Debt and Credit Repair
Paying off debt takes a lot of work. I know as I paid off $45,000 of credit card and student loan debt. If you’re paying off debt, here are some tools to help you get there quicker, or repair your credit.
LightStream. LightStream is a part of SunTrust Bank and offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000 that can be used for almost anything. Whether it is consolidating debt, buying a car or financing a home improvement project, LightStream is a good option to consider. LightStream only lends to consumers with good to excellent credit and offers some of the best rates around, especially if you sign up for AutoPay.
Payoff. If you have a good credit score, as low as 660, but need to kill your debt, Payoff is a solid option to consider – with rates as low as 8%. Payoff goes a step beyond other consolidation companies by providing you a member advocate to be a resource as you payoff debt.
Lending Club. Lending Club is one of the major players in the debt consolidation space. Lending Club is available in virtually every state and has no hidden fees. With rates as low as 5.99% and average credit availability, Lending Club is worth checking out if you’re paying off debt.
Blogging and Small Business
I’ve run this site for over three years and help run a small business with my wife for six years. We rely on a lot of tools to help us run our sites and business. Here are some of those tools.
Bluehost. If you’re a new blogger or are starting a business and need a small site, Bluehost is a great option to consider for your hosting needs. They’re also considered one of the top web hosting companies in the space. You can host your site for as low as $2.95 per month when you sign up through my link and they can have you up and running in less than ten minutes.
GoDaddy. If you run a small business you need to have a web presence. GoDaddy is the place to go to find a domain name. I’ve used GoDaddy for years and have all our domains through them. They commonly run specials – such as your first year for $1, so make sure to watch for those.
Freshbooks. Freshbooks is a lifesaver for our small business. It allows us to track income, send invoices, watch who has viewed those invoices and many other things. The beauty of Freshbooks is when you connect it to PayPal, Freshbooks allows you to only be charged a 0.50¢ PayPal fee instead of the typical 2-6% fee they charge. That alone is worth the savings.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Do you run a website and want to find ways to make money blogging? Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money blogging. I’ve more than replaced my day job income with affiliate marketing. My good blogging friend, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, makes over $50,000 per month (yes, per month) all thanks to affiliate marketing. If you’d like to learn how to start making money through affiliate marketing is a must-take class to get started. Click here to learn more about the class and how you can start making money blogging.
Aweber. If you run a blog, Aweber is a must have tool. You want your readers to be able to receive your posts and newsletters. Aweber simplifies that. I use Aweber myself, after going the traditional Feedburner route when I began. This is a common mistake many bloggers make. If you sign up through this link you can try out Aweber for $1 for the first month.
EHealthInsurance. Like it or not, we’re responsible for our own health insurance as a small business. Wading through which insurer to choose is a major hassle. EHealthInsurance simplifies a lot of that and you can have a new insurer in less than 30 minutes. They aggregate a variety of insurers so you get to choose the plan that works best for your situation.
Life insurance plays a major role in wealth planning. The last thing you want is to pass unexpectedly and leave your family unprepared. Here are some options for your life insurance needs.
PolicyGenius. helps democratize life insurance by lowering the cost for us as consumers. I used to work in the life insurance industry and know how salespeople are compensated. PolicyGenius gets rid of all that and works on your behalf to get the best rate available – often at a significant savings.
USAA. My wife and I love USAA. We’ve been members with them for over 15 years. We also have parents who’re USAA members, so it runs in the family. One of the products we have through USAA is life insurance. They offer a quality product with stellar customer service at a great price. The membership standards are a bit tough, though if you can join life insurance is one of the many quality products they offer.
Make Extra Money
Who doesn’t like to make extra money? Extra money can help pay off debt quicker, invest sooner or fill your pockets with a little extra spending money. Here are some resources to make extra money.
Uber. Do you have a relatively new car? Have you been driving for at least three years? Do you like meeting different people? If you answered “yes” to all those questions you can make money driving for Uber in your spare time. Click here to create an account and see if you qualify to drive for Uber.
Swagbucks. Do you spend a lot of time online? Do you shop online? Swagbucks allows you to monetize that time. Swagbucks lets you earn cash back for a variety of things from using their search portal (which is powered by Yahoo) to shopping through their online portal. You can either cash out your earnings or redeem your cash as Amazon gift cards. If you sign up through my link, you receive a $5 startup bonus. Ebates is very similar to Swagbucks, click here to get started and earn a $5 startup bonus.
Pinecone Research. You’ll never get rich making money on surveys, though it can provide a little spending money each month. One such survey site is Pinecone Research. You can take surveys through Pinecone research and cash out as money or different gift cards and prizes. They also send out free products to review from time to time. Click here to sign up for Pinecone Research. There are many other reputable survey sites you can use to make a little extra money – such as: VIP Voice, Earning Station, OneOpinion, Opinion Outpost, ProOpinion, Harris Poll and Reward TV.