The Best Tools to Manage Your Money, Life, & Hustle
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.
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- Best money Tools
- Best Hustle Tools
- Best Life Tools
- Best Blogging Tools
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. (Learn more about getting started with Chime). Every time I use the Chime Debit Card it rounds up my purchase to the nearest dollar and puts in in savings. Right now they also offer a double round-up 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.
Qapital -for setting and reaching money goals
If you don't want to open up a new bank account, then Qapital can help you reach savings goals. Once you have the Qapital App installed and a bank account (or in my case three) connected you set up a goal or goals. I currently have two, one to save for taxes #selfemployed and one to save for spending money when I travel hack my way to Paris. Then you set savings rules for each of your goals.
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For example, I have a round up to the nearest $2 rule, a guilty spending rule -when I buy Dominos, and a savings rule for every time I hit my step goal with FitBit. There are tons of different savings rules you can set up and the best part is Qapital is free to use. Bonus, when you use my link you'll get $5 after your first savings.
Qoins - for paying down debt
One way I'm making extra debt payments is with Qoins. When you sign up for Qoins, you connect your bank account and then spend as you normally would. Qoins will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put that change towards an extra debt payment.
Basically, Qoins will help you pay down debt faster by applying an extra payment for you by using your spare change. There is a $1.99 charge each month. However, they take it out of the spare change they set aside for you so you never see a charge in your bank account. If there isn’t at least $10 in your Qoins account they will roll that amount into the next month free of charge.
Learn more on How Qoins Can Help You Pay Off Debt Faster
SoFi - for refinancing
If you have private loans or your debt to income ratio allows, consider refinancing with a company like SoFi. Learn more about what it's like to refinance with Sofi. Refinancing my bar loan with SoFi ended up saving me over $1,000. Use my link to refinance your student loan and you'll get a $100 bonus.
YNAB - for budgeting
There are tons of budgeting tools and apps, after trying Mint, I turned to YNAB and finally got my budget under control. Since my money wasn't changing much I went on to budget with a spreadsheet. Until, I became self-employed and had to figure out budgeting with an irregular income. I once again turned to YNAB and have finally gotten back on track, not to mention I LOVE all the new updates. My favorite new feature is the ability to set goals for either a set amount or an amount by a certain date, so you can see if your saving is on track.
If you want to check it out YNAB offers a free 34 day trial so you actually have time to figure out if you like it and if it will work well for you.
These are the tools I use and the courses I've taken that I love to help me earn more money.
Grammarly - be a better writer
I use Grammarly as a second pair of eyes to help me clean up and proofread 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.
30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success
Personally, I found the course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success extremely helpful to get me started. It breaks everything you need to do, step by step so that by the time you get to pitching for jobs you are prepared and successful. For me, the course paid for itself when I got my first freelance writing job. I now earn between $2,000-$4,000 per month (check out my income reports) with freelance writing.
Lyft - for earning money driving
Driving with Lyft is a great way to earn some extra cash. 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. Get started driving for Lyft.
Bookscouter - for selling your 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.
Contena - for finding freelance writing jobs
I used Contena when I was working my 9-5 and getting started freelance writing. It made it easy to find freelance writing jobs to pitch. While it's not a cheap Contena it is definitely worth it if you don't have a ton of time to spend looking for freelance writing jobs to pitch.
Contena pulls together pretty much all of the available freelance writing jobs out there into one place and will even notify you via email of ones in your niche. They also provide an estimate of how much you will make with each job.
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)
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.
Winc - for wine delivered 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.
Checkout51 - for saving on groceries
You download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, "new deals" come out. Go through and star the items that are on your list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.
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 love. While I do use some other tools as well, these are the ones I'm kinda obsessed with. I also 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 I'm 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. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Tailwind - for sharing on Pinterest
Tailwind had been a game changer for me, I went from 10,000 impressions on Pinterest to over 100,000 impressions and have seen traffic to my site grow as well as email subscribers. The ease of use to schedule pins and track analytics has been awesome. Learn more about Tailwind.
Pinterest Strategy Guide - for doubling your site's traffic
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 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. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Theme, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.