There are so many great tools and apps out there to help with your finances and your life. Here are the ones that I use, love, and highly recommend.
These are the tools I used to help manage my money.
Chime – for saving
Chime works by starting a spending account (takes 5 minutes) and opting into the automatic savings plan. Every time you use the Chime Debit Card it rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and puts in in savings. Right now they also offer a 10% bonus on those savings. All those withdrawals add up over time. Chime is free to use, with no monthly fees. With Chime, you end up saving money without having to think about it.
Qoins – for paying down debt
Qoins does the heavy lifting for you, it focuses on paying off debt. Qoins will help you pay down debt faster by applying an extra payment for you by using your spare change. It rounds up what you spend to the nearest dollar and sets aside that amount to be applied towards your debt once a month. There is a $1.99 charge each month they will apply a payment on your behalf, but they just take it out of the spare change so you never see a charge to your account. If there isn’t at least $10 in your account they will roll that amount into the next month free of charge.
Capital One – for my emergency fund
I use Capital One for my online savings accounts. What I really like about Capital One (besides the good interest rate) is how easy it is to have separate savings goals and accounts for those goals. Right now I have one for my emergency fund, one for my semi-annual car insurance bill, and a travel fund.
SoFi – for refinancing
If you have federal student loans and are struggling with your payments, consider utilizing an income-driven repayment plan at least temporarily.
If you have private loans or your debt to income ratio allows, consider refinancing with a company like SoFi. I wrote a review about my experience refinancing my bar loan with SoFi. Refinancing with SoFi ended up saving me over $1k. Use one of my links to refinance and you’ll get a $100 bonus.
Qapital -for setting and reaching money goals
Qapital is an app that lets you set goals, like pay off debt or save for a vacation. Then you can set rules so that the app automatically saves for you. Some of my favorite rules include saving when I hit my step goal each day for my Fitbit, saving when I spend on a guilty pleasure like iTunes, and saving when you come in under budget for whatever you’ve budgeted for. Qapital makes it easy to not only set money goals but to actually reach them too.
These are the tools I use to help me earn more money.
Grammarly – for cleaning up my writing
I use Grammarly as a second pair of eyes to help me clean up and proof my writing/typing. The best part is that it is free to use. You can install an extension on your web browser and it will check any writing you do online. While there is a paid premium version, you can get by with the free version for a long time. I only recently upgraded. If you want to know more about Grammarly, you can read my review.
BookScouter – for getting the most money when selling books
Whenever my library of books gets a bit too crowded, I like to go through and grab the ones I know I won’t reread and sell them. I use BookScouter to see where I can earn the most money selling my books. You enter the book’s ISBN number into BookScouter and it compares the prices it would get from various sellers, making sure you fetch the most money possible for selling that book.
Lyft – for earning money driving
I love how easy it is to just turn on an app when I feel like driving and make some money. I wrote an entire post about driving for Lyft. It includes what you can expect during the application process, what it’s like to actually drive and the many perks of driving with Lyft. Read the review or go ahead and get started driving for Lyft.
Rover – for earning money playing with puppies
Rover is a website that connects pet sitters with pet owners. I did a video tutorial on how to use the site as pet sitter and the accompanying post goes over what makes Rover a great side hustle. Read and watch the post or get started petsitting.
30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success – for jumpstarting your freelance writing business
I took this course from Gina Horkey and have been on a runaway train of freelance writing ever since. It’s because of this course I was able to go from novice to full-time freelance writer in less than a year. You can read my review of the course here.
Because life is about balance. It can’t always be about debt repayment, making more money, or saving. These are my favorite life tools (don’t judge me for the wine)
Winc – for wine delivered straight to your door
I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I’m very pro free wine.
The Skimm – for staying informed
I don’t have cable and while there are tons of news stories floating around social media, there are also tons of fake news stories floating around social media. I’ve been a loyal Skimmer for over three years. The Skimm is a news source that shows up in your email first thing in the morning M-F. It gives you a 5-minute rundown of what’s happening in the world and links to legitimate news sources if you want to learn more about a topic. They also include book recommendations and other fun tidbits. I start every day with my coffee and The Skimm. I <3 it so much.
Book of the Month – for a fun read every month
I really enjoy reading but going into a bookstore is just dangerous to my bank account. This way a get a new book every month. I find it encourages me to read even more but doesn’t involve buying a ton of books at once. You can get started for $5 your first month. You just pick your book out of the 5 options between the 1st and 6th of the month. Then they ship your book to you for free on the 7th. If nothing interests you then you skip a month, no biggie.
Blogging can be a challenge and there are tons of tools to help you with new ones being developed each day. Here is what I am currently using and I work hard to keep this list updated if anything changes.
ConvertKit – for email marketing
I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page. One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don’t count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. Since pricing is typically determined by the number of subscribers this could drive up your costs significantly.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – for monetizing your site
Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while still working to implement everything I’ve learned, I’ve already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource.
BoardBooster – for automating Pinterest
While I love using CoSchedule to promote my new posts, I use Board Booster to help me stay active on Pinterest. Boardbooster pushes out other people’s pins for me and helps me to get my pins pushed to several different boards quickly and easily. I spend maybe 2-4 hours a month updating it, and it has resulted in more than doubling my site’s traffic.
Pinterest Strategy Guide – for doubling your site’s traffic using Pinterest
While BoardBooster is the tool I use to rock Pinterest, this Pinterest Strategy Guide is what taught me how to rock it using boardbooster. I had tried using BoardBooster in the past and found it confusing and really didn’t see the value. Once I got this strategy guide it was like a whole new side of Pinterest opened up to me and it has been huge at my improving my site and it’s traffic and I cannot recommend it enough. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive way to invest in improving your site’s traffic, this strategy guide is the way to go.
Thrive Themes Membership – For easily creating beautiful sites that convert
I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on WordPress.org sites.