Products That Kick A$$
What up, what up, fellow finance nerds! I figured it was about time I created a page with all the products & services I love and use on a daily basis in hopes that it helps y’all out. I always get asked what kind of books I recommend, or services I use for banking or insurance, or even blogging, so now all your burning questions shall be answered in one awesomely updated spot :) Hope it’s useful!
Favorite Financial Stuff:
We’ll start out with my favorite bank and books, and then work our way down to other sexy products like blogging and making money from blogging… If there’s an area I missed, lemme know!
|USAA Bank — By far the best bank out there, in my opinion. I love their products, I love their customer service (always highly rated!), and I love how they provide anything financial I need. With over 15 accounts signed up to them myself, it’s a safe bet I’m never leaving! :) And you don’t need a military connection anymore for all their services either, just some of them (like their insurance). Many can now get their free checking and credit cards!|
I Will Teach You To Be Rich — Hands down the BEST book out there for the younger generation. It’s funny, educational, and just downright FUN to read. And a super easy one at that – which anyone with A.D.D. can appreciate (like me!). If I were to write a book, I’d want it to come out like this. Plus, bonus points with Ramit being a fellow PF blogger :)
|The Millionaire Next Door — One of my all-time favorite financial books. A bit dry & statistical at times, but the first book that really opened up my eyes and got the “lifestyle” part to sink in for me. The average millionaire isn’t what you typically expect (in fact, they’re quite the opposite), so if you like that kinda stuff, I def. recommend paging through it. Ya gotta have the mindset if you want the millions!|
|The Automatic Millionaire — This is my 3rd favorite financial book, and one I refused to read for quite some time. Just seemed too fluffy and so “look how easy it is to do!” kinda thing. But after being bored one day and sucking it up, I was VERY glad I did :) It’s kinda basic and on the lighter side, but if you’re one who needs someone to tell you in detail what to do – and you listen! – you’d be on the fast track to wealth in no time. Great book for any beginner.|
|The Richest Man in Babylon — Oh baby, a classic! This thing was written in like the 1920′s or so, and have sold in the MILLIONS so far – pretty crazy. Well, not crazy cuz it’s a GREAT book, but you know what I’m saying… This is another quick read and really differentiates itself by teaching financial principals through story telling (like fable stuff). Takes place thousands of years ago way before the World Wide Web and/or Mr. Dave Ramsey ;)|
|Kiplinger and Money — My two favorite financial magazines! If you’re one to learn a lot better in shorter spurts of information like I am, any of these guys will do the trick. I’m honestly subscribed to both of them PLUS 8 others (I’m a magazine addict) and they’re great reminders to stay on track and get motivated!|
|Mint.com — Next to my awesome budgeting spreadsheets, Mint is the next best for tracking your money and staying motivated ;) And the beauty about ‘em is that everything’s automated so you can get instant snapshots of where your money is every time you log on! (And it’s FREE) If I still wasn’t using my spreadsheet, I’d be all up on them.|
Personal Capital — This one’s the Mint.com of investments and NET WORTH. Which is also free, and pumps out a great snapshot of where all your money is automatically. I finally signed up after all my friends started raving about them and I’m glad I did – it’s dope!
Outright — If you’re looking for a Mint-like service, but for *business* accounting, Outright is the one you want! Really simple recording of all income and expenses to keep you on track, and they’re totally free too. I can’t tell you how much time (and stress!) I’ve already saved since using them – I’m even on their testimonial page! :)
Credit Sesame — The best place to check and monitor your credit score – for FREE :) They’ll even email you when it goes up or down, pretty cool. Check ‘em out and see if you can beat my 788!
eHealth Insurance — Many of you probably get health insurance through your employer, but if you’re ridin’ solo like yours truly, I’d recommend giving eHealth a shot first when looking to pick some up on your own. When I blogged about needing to get some (and not knowing *where* the heck to start), a handful of people raved about them and said it’s where they got their insurance too. So I gave them a try and 30 mins later I was all set! They’re like an insurance aggregator, and I ended up choosing BCBS through them – cool stuff.
Blogging Products I Swear By:
I use all of these guys for BudgetsAreSexy, as well as other online projects I work on. Big fan of them and have never had a problem yet…
|WordPress — The ultimate (and free!) blogging platform. It’s the best in usability, the best for tweaking and updating designs and templates, and the best in SEO and other related back-end stuff that you’ll come to learn and like as your blog gets bigger :) I left Blogger.com for WordPress and have never looked back! (PS: There’s also a WordPress.com, instead of .org, which is perfect for beginners too)|
|Thesis Theme — This is the template I use for the look and feel of BudgetsAreSexy. It’s a bit more costlier ($200ish?) than other templates out there – esp the free ones WordPress offers! Haha… – but it’s CRAZY tweakable and you’d be amazed at the sites you visit that also use Thesis in the back end :) Another thing I love about it is how well it’s set up for SEO – very important when your blog becomes your business.|
Go Daddy — I’ve been using these guys for over 12 years now, and have yet to experience a problem with them. I know some people hate their CEO, but it’s hard to deny how reliable and awesome their services are – esp. when it comes to domain names (I have all 50+ of my urls with them!). I’ve also used their hosting for most of my sites too, though Budgets is currently on a friend’s server (if it wasn’t, it would be w/ them).
Great eBooks out there:
|31 Days to Build a Better Blog — An eBook by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger. It’s designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 daily tasks to turn your site into the page view powerhouse you’ve always dreamed of :) Costs around $20.|
|ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging — Another book by Darren Rowse – he’s good, what can I say :) This one’s packed with practical activities and exercises to do in your first week to make sure your blog is heading in the right direction. It’s broken down into 7 days and give you a total of 32 achievable tasks to take on. Also $20ish.|
The 2nd Best Money Blog Out There ;)
Being in the blogging game for over 6+ years, I come across a LOT of articles about money. Most of them are alright, but “alright” is pretty boring at the end of the day – you want to have fun while reading about finance! That’s what’ll keep you motivated!
So the goal of this site is simple: I only feature the AWESOME stuff on it :) Every week I add up my favorite articles, blogs, videos, pictures, quotes, and any other piece of personal finance that sucks you in and spits you out a more enlightened – and entertained – individual. In other words, I pass along the “rockstar” content.
You can check out the site here: RockstarFinance.com. Think of it as a collection of visual bookmarks for money articles. We share the best, and filter the rest!
*Some of the products above I get paid for if you sign up, and others I don’t. But know I only promote those I truly believe in, so I have no problem pimping ‘em out! ;)