My Favorite Financial Apps, Books, Blogs & More

by J. Money -

cash money

This is a page of alllll my favorite financial resources out there. The best blogs, apps, services, books and a handful of other great sites I’ve come to be obsessed with over time…

We’ll start with my favorite bank and apps, then work our way down to the best $$$ books and then blogs and then finally some other resources I check out consistently. Hope this helps!!

Last updated 5/29/18

Favorite Financial Apps & Services:

USAA USAA Bank — My favorite financial institution ever. I love their products, I love their customer service (always highly rated), and I love how they provide anything financial I need. With over 10 accounts signed up to them myself, it’s a safe bet I’m never leaving :)
Mint (FREE) — If you’re new to tracking your money, Mint is a great place to start. They automate all your accounts so you can see where your money is at all times, and they help you to budget and track your net worth as well.
personal capital Personal Capital (FREE) — If you’re looking for a more robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go. They’re like Mint but on steroids, and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. Most personal finance bloggers love and use them since they automatically give you a snapshot of where all your money is along with super helpful graphs. Check out our review here. Digit (FREE) — This service has exploded on the scene and automatically helps you save money without lifting a finger. I was hooked from the second I tried them and have since saved over $4,000 so far, averaging about $200/mo. Highly recommend if you suck at saving! My full review on Digit here.
acorns Acorns — Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. You sign up and connect your accounts once and it’ll do the rest! They’ve invested over $400 for me so far, and my full review of them can be found here.
honey savings Honey (FREE) — This is by far my favorite coupon service. Any time I’m about to check out and buy something online, I click the Honey button and it scours the ‘net for all coupons and applies the *best* one to save me the most money. It literally takes seconds and I never have to Google search anymore :) You can see my write up of them here.
paribus Paribus (FREE) — You know how sometimes you buy stuff, and then 3 seconds later you find it cheaper elsewhere? Or you forgot a coupon or companies play the “price drop” game on you since they know your profile? Well Paribus fixes that :) You sign up to them once, and they’ll go out and get your money back for you. See our full review here.
credit karma Credit Karma (FREE) — The best place to check and monitor both your credit score AND credit report. Super easy to stay on top of it all, and plenty of calculators and simulators to help you get your score higher over time. You can see my full review here.


Favorite Financial Books:

I will teach you to be rich 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. like me can appreciate ;) If I were to write a book, I’d imagine it would look a lot like this. (Ramit’s also a PF blogger)
millionaire next door The Millionaire Next Door — One of my all-time favorite books. A bit dry & statistical at times, but the first book that really opened my eyes and got the “lifestyle” part to sink in. 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 millions!
automatic millionaire 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 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 ;)


Favorite Personal Finance Blogs:

Other Great Sites [that I built ;)]

Non-Money Blogs I Follow:

Hope this was useful!

*Some of the products above I get paid for if you sign up, and others I don’t. I only ever pimp the stuff I’m obsessed about though, as nothing else makes the list!

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Irving Rivera March 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Excellent Directory.
I will dare to add a securities broker, I guess you use USAA for that?


2 Christina Owen March 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I’m also a fan of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and YNAB budget software.


3 J. Money March 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

@Irving – Ooooh, good call! Yes, I do use USAA cuz I love having everything in one spot like that, BUT if I weren’t with them then I’d totally be with E*Trade. I have a soft spot for them having worked there many many years ago, and even then their stuff was top of the line. I can’t even imagine how awesome it is now! So thanks for the tip – I’ll go and add them up now :)

@Christina Owen – Yes, both very awesome products too! I’ve never peaked into either of them, but I know they both have some pretty hardcore fans :) Maybe I’ll add a “Products other people recommend” section at the end? Thanks for the tips.


4 Carrie - Careful Cents March 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Awesome set of resources here, J$. I recently found Outright and I agree, it’s excellent software for business accounting.


5 Frugal Fries March 14, 2012 at 12:12 am

I love Mint, my only vice is that I can’t integrate my Ontario student loan with it–the work around is super lame!

Since conquering my student debt is like the magnum opus of my financial life, this is a deal breaker!


6 Ryan March 14, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’ll second YNAB. We’ve only been using it a month, but it’s totally changed the way we budget.


7 J. Money March 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

@Carrie – Careful Cents – Glad you like it too! It’s my new best friend right now, I can’t even say how much happiness it’s brought in my life so far, haha…
@Frugal Fries – Ahhh, good to know! I wonder if it’s just a matter of time until that one’s approved like the rest too? Or if it’s a lost cause? Either way sorry to hear :(
@Ryan – Yeah? I think they have some hardcore fans… maybe I’ll poke around it more and consider adding it up if I fall for them. Thx for the info :)


8 Rick March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

Surprised you didn’t add Rich Dad/Poor Dad — that and the Millionaire Next Door seem to be the only two poles that all personal finance orbit around (the world boils down to either “save a lot and amass decent wealth by the time you die” or “develop other income streams that don’t require your time and effort”).
More practically, I just did a 401k rollover through a site I read about on another blog — I thought that their comparison tool was awesome, and I ended up moving my 401k to Zecco and saving a ton–a firm I didn’t even know about until using the FiPath tool. Worth taking a look at if you haven’t done so already.


9 Christina Owen March 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I think YNAB has a 30 or more day free trial if you want to check it out.


10 Ryan March 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm

@J – Yeah, indeed! Before, we didn’t have a budget (fo’ shame), unless you consider flying by the seat of your pants and hopefully the timing of paychecks works out well “a budget”.

So after researching, (I actually found the YNAB link here on B.A.$.) the one month buffer idea is what really sold me. How cool is it to have all the money you need to pay your bills the month before they are due?

You truly don’t need the software to do this method (it does make it much easier to track), but the YNAB folks have a free pdf book on their site that explains how the process works. So if you’re good at excel you could probably whip out your own template.


11 J. Money March 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

@Rick – HAH! Rich Dad Poor Dad was actually the very first book I read on business/money yearrrrrrs ago before I even knew what blogging was :) I actually did enjoy it, but I remember not knowing exactly what to do next? And then of course it was all on real estate and we know what happened there, so it would be interesting to go back and read it again with a fresh perspective… but prob. still won’t add it up here ;)

RE: FiPath — Yeah! Great team over there too – I actually talked w/ one of their biz guys a couple of weeks ago, very friendly and seem to really have a good product there. They’re pretty unique in what they’re doing, and they’ve spent a TON of time researching and making sure they have a quality product. I bet they’re very successful and help a lot of people – glad you got something out of it!

@Christina Owen – For sure, I’ll have to do that :) Probably got a lot better since I first heard of them 3+ years ago too.

@Ryan – Hah! Isn’t that funny – I do remember linking to them a while back (maybe in my budget spreadsheets page?) so that’s awesome you found them and even better you like ’em! Glad you’re up and rollin’ now bro!


12 Captain Mike March 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Great list…thanks! I agree with the list completely but with extra emphasis on how amazing USAA is. The customer service is stupid awesome and I try to find excuses to call them to talk about my finances. Its like a financial therapy session and its hard not to feel great afterward. The only thing they don’t absolutely kick butt at is there stock trading setup. It’s gotten better over the last couple years but I bet they could really rock like etrade if they wanted to.

Thanks again for the list and keep the great posts comin’!


13 Hank March 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

These are great recommendations and a great idea to show us a glimpse behind the BudgetsAreSexy curtain how you make the empire run. Thanks to you….I tried out Outright. Awesome service! I’m definitely digging it! Thanks!


14 J. Money March 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

@Captain Mike – Glad you enjoy them! Loving your use of adjectives too, haha… USAA *is* pretty stupid awesome ;) Damn glad they’re around for us.
@Hank – AWESOME!! I’m so glad, bro! I check Outright like twice a week now and it’s soooo easy to stay on top of and just SEE where all your money is coming and going. Which is great when you have all kinds of expenses and revenues streaming in from online projects – it was getting hard as hell for me to track, haha… let me know what you think about their weekly reports they email too – I love ’em. They’ll tell tell you how much you’ve earned (or gone down!) on a weekly basis – pretty motivating either way ;)


15 Tyler S. March 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Hmmm I’ve been thinking about some kind of PF book to get started with.. I Will Teach You to Be Rich #1 eh? Might have to get it a shot.


16 Kathryn C March 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm

hey quick question on wordpress, what offline software do you use that’s compatible with wordpress, if any? You know, if the internet is down for 2 seconds, I melt if I can’t work on my blog.
Thx JM


17 J. Money March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

@Tyler S. – Go for it! It’s pretty entertaining too :)
@Kathryn C – Haha… I actually don’t use any offline software w/ Wordpress that I know of anyways. If my internet is down, I just write everything up in Word or do my 1001 emails/etc until it’s back up again. Or I hit up my iPhone ;) If you wanna shoot over specific stuff you think would be helpful, I can ask around and see if I can find and answer for you? And you hitting up FINCON 2 in Denver by chance? Hope so! :)


18 Fifi June 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm

50+ URLs!? What do you use all of those for?


19 J. Money June 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Some of them are other sites I own and manage, others are 50% completed and waiting for me to do something on, and then the rest are ideas I have brewing 24/7 ;) It’s an expensive hobby to stay on top of, but ya never know which will take off an more than make up for it all, eh?


20 Otis Allen July 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I read the millionaire next door and I will teach you to be rich. Thank you for the recommendations!

I loved the millionaire next door it is truly an eye opener. I loved that it was a 20 year study.

I was not greatly impressed with I will teach you to be rich. The author does not practice what he preaches (he is an entrepreneur but he recommends others having salary jobs).

Thanks again! Another great one is The Truth About Money 4th Edition by Ric Edelman.


21 J. Money July 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Glad you liked (most) of them! :) Not gonna put words in Ramit’s mouth, but I’d imagine it’s because most people can’t succeed being entrepreneurs nor do they want to be which is why he’s talking to the general masses in my opinion… I could be wrong though. Either way the book really stood out to me. I’ll have to check out The Truth About Money – haven’t heard of it yet, so thanks!


22 Aaron December 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

He who has the highest credit bureau score does not win. 788 in your case may be awesome look at the FICO chart on how a score is tabulated. It is kinda NOT something to be proud of. I am in foreclosure area of banking and I can tell you that the score differnce between someone who is fine on their mortgage and another who is about to loose their home can be less than 20 points, like in the 700s and still loosing their home. Also consider that once you are debt free, pay cash for everything and have $1 million in the bank in liquidity….who cares what your credit bureau score is?


23 J. Money December 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm

True indeed, my friend. It’s only important when you want to borrow a crap ton of money ;) You should check out this post we recently did if you like the whole credit score debate – I bet you’ll fit right in there: Does Your Credit Score Matter If You Don’t Do Debt?


24 @freepursue May 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for feeding this year’s reading list with some good picks. Read ’em. Loved ’em.


25 J. Money May 9, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Thanks for the kind words – glad you’re enjoying them!


26 Phil January 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm

I like the Outright (now GoDaddy) interface, but without the ability to reconcile, I can’t rely on it for my bookkeeping. Unfortunately, I’ll have to continue using Quickbooks. Any thoughts?


27 J. Money January 31, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Sorry, I just use outright mainly :(


28 Randy Klug February 7, 2015 at 3:36 pm

A comment on Outright.. I don’t know how you get it for free but the site states that it costs $9.99 per month. I’ve had it in the past and Yes, that is what they charged me. I feel their service went down hill since they sold out to Go Daddy. that’s been a couple of years ago and that’s when they started charging for the service.


29 J. Money February 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Good catch! I hadn’t updated this page in a while so I made the adjustment… I still love and use them personally, but I agree I haven’t seen any new improvements or anything these past cple of years… Though I just use the bare bones of what they offer anyways – my business stuff is pretty clear cut :)


30 Linda February 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

USAA is for veterans and eligible family members. Anyone else you’d recommend for checking/savings, etc.?


31 J. Money May 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm

I’ve heard great things about and also – check them out :)


32 Megan May 16, 2015 at 3:50 am

My husband and I have been on a personal venture to find creative ways, sometimes uncomfortable ways to pay off debt. We have a lot of student loans but recently paid off every credit card, started an emergency fund, 3-6 month fund, and then crap, January 1 he lost his job. So thankful for that emergency fund but truly want to get on with things to begin massively paying on that student loan debt. Ugh. Faithful we’ll be able to take off once a job offer has occurred as previous to applying it we would have received an F for effort and knowledge. We too love Dave Ramsey (though many of his following have proven to be crazy nuts, he no as I’ve met him and agree with his values) and your blog. We love your honest transparency and on fire approach. I’m certain many have been blessed by this venture you’ve created.


33 J. Money May 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Awww, well thanks for stopping by and letting me know – it helps me keep going with it :) And sorry to hear about your husband, but what a great out look! And bad ass you paid off all those debts and have a solid foundation now! Hard to argue that Dave is helping a lot more people in this world than most. Would be cool to meet him in person one day :)


34 still pedaling September 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

I sent the following to my children and then thought – I should send it to you also! Right up your alley!

Another goody by a favorite author! Why didn’t I know this stuff 20 or 30 years ago??? But you have a chance to learn it while you’re still young enough to benefit so take some time to read and digest. The reading isn’t hard; the learning to do it maybe something else.

BTW, David Van Knapp has laid out some free lessons also.

Your oldest fan,
Still pedaling


35 J. Money October 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Hey friend! Will check it out – thanks :) I’m more of an index fan than a dividend one, but something tells me the lessons apply no matter your strategy. Thx for thinking of me!


36 Mario April 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

What do you think about Sharebuilder (now called Capital One Investing, but, you know, it will always be Sharebuilder to me)? Everyone always mentions E*Trade or Scott Trade or something like that but never Sharebuilder. I seem to be the only person using it. What do you guys know that I don’t?


37 J. Money April 18, 2016 at 11:38 am

Hah! I don’t know much about them to be honest with you, but a ton of new places are coming onto the scene that are super cheap, or even free: and come to mind first. I’ve long stopped buying up individual stocks myself now that I’m an index guy… Shout out to Vanguard! ;)


38 Gregory L. Tipton April 30, 2016 at 4:11 am

What is the best checking account site that you recommend that does not require you to be a member of the military like USAA?


39 J. Money May 4, 2016 at 7:44 am

I like what Simple is doing a lot – that’s where I’d be if i weren’t with USAA.

Here’s our review of them:

People also say great things about Ally bank too ( as well as Capital One 360 because of their “sub accounts” you can open up to help save/organize better:

Really depends on how comfortable you are going the online route vs traditional banking :)


40 Richard May 20, 2016 at 10:11 am

I’m a bit of an alternative money maker myself. I left school at the age of 14 but have traveled in over 20 countries and lived in about 5. I used to get paid to help guys overcome their fear of approaching and meeting women. The most I was paid per hour was 150 pounds or about about $218 an hour. The average I earned for one to one coaching was about 70 pounds an hour or $100 an hour. There are many good guys out there who have made great fortunes who lack the knowledge/experience to be able to approach and build attraction with attractive strangers. I’m so glad I found this blog. It is the best and most genuine and informative one about making money. As a natural charismatic, enthusiastic people liking person I’ve realized that sales is my best bet. Have you any info on selling financial services as that is what I would really like to get into. Thanks for any pointers. R


41 J. Money August 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Hah – nice! It’s true that us men need some help in that department, haha…

As for selling financial services, I mean, if you’re super passionate and genuinely *care* about helping people with it, sure – that’s a great avenue to go down and you can make some BANK at it! Unfortunately many people just follow the $$ though and then start doing sketchy stuff because it usually pays the most :( Particularly in the insurance/investment side of things.. I don’t have any articles that go into it all if that’s what you’re looking for, but you can def. find stuff online. Plenty of ways to make decent money in the financial world.


42 Dave Man August 6, 2016 at 1:45 am

Robinhood is a great new investment app that it’s completely free to trade. No transaction fees = more money to invest!


43 J. Money August 8, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Yup! Def. a good one…

And you can’t go wrong when Snoop Dogg is a backer of it either ;)


44 Warren Franklin September 19, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Great recommendations, I have used and personal capital for a while, but some other great resources here. A few good book recommendations as well. Thanks for all the advice. WF


45 J. Money September 11, 2017 at 10:52 am

Glad you find it helpful, Warren :)


46 bob September 8, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Hi–like to add a book read -finance related—–MARGIN OF SAFETY—-BY; SETH KLARMAN.


47 J. Money September 11, 2017 at 10:53 am

Thanks for the addition :) Never heard of before, but sounds like an investing one, eh? I tend to stick to my “boring” index funds and don’t even dare try timing or hacking the market, haha…


48 Jess @ Minimise With Me May 12, 2018 at 4:48 am

I was interested in looking at Mint and knew I’d find what I needed at Budgets are Sexy. Thanks J and extra thanks to you for the book recommendations. Three of the four are top ones for me and I am adding the 4th to my audible list :) Can’t get enough of those finance books!!


49 J. Money May 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Hey – very cool!! You’ll have to let me know what you think about it :)

Another I keep meaning to add to the list is “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. Not really a finance book, per se, but one that would definitely change your life/career/money for the better if you follow the overall tone of it :)

Here’s a mini-review I did on it last year if you wanna check it out – it really affected my life!


50 Jim August 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm

Hey J. Money What would you recomend if you didn’t qualify for USAA ? My father served but did not join USAA.
Thanks you rock!


51 J. Money August 7, 2018 at 6:14 am

Is he still alive? He can hook you up if so! If not, there are other online banks doing some pretty cool stuff out there. Check out Simple Bank and Chime – they’re relatively new in the online space and are using technology to make the banking experience much easier/better for people. I’ve never used them personally since I’m with USAA, but they’ve got pretty solid fan bases.

If you like being able to walk into banks, I’d hit up your local credit union and see what they offer. Most of them are pretty good since they’re not-for-profit organizations and specifically set up to help the community :) Just depends on what you’re really looking for.


52 Christym February 20, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Here are some books to help you save money:
The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczan
Cut your Grocery Bill in Half! by Steve and Annette Economides
Make a Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, and Madeline Westover
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer by Susie Martinez, Banda Howell and Bonnie Garcia.(Also, Don’t Panic, More Dinner’s in the Freezer)

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey–This book was a life-changer for us. We will be completely debt free, including our mortgage in one month. (Actually paid off house in 2017.We are paying off a car)I can’t wait! Now, we didn’t give up credit, because that was never a problem for us, but his book gave us easy steps to take to ditch debt. We are both 51 and working hard at getting those retirement accounts loaded.
Some of these books may be out of print. Just go to your library or Ebay.


53 J. Money February 21, 2019 at 6:44 am

YES YES YES!!! Many excellent ones in there! Congrats on almost being debt-free! And even doing it in opposite order there, haha… Baller.


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