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financial toolbox

The Financial Toolbox

These are the tools we use to manage our money. This list is updated regularly to make sure it represents the best of the best.

We've built relationships with some of our favorite companies on this list. As a result, we've been able to support our creative habits through referrals at no cost to you. We greatly appreciate you using these links if you're going to try one of the companies below - it helps us keep the lights on.

Our Books

Mastering Mint

Mastering Mint Mastering Mint is a comprehensive guide that will teach you everything you need to know about budgeting effectively.

The book also provides guidance on how much you should really pay in rent, setting realistic goals, and how to plan for retirement.

Learn More

The 10 Day Debt Reduction Plan

The 10 Day Debt Reduction Plan There are tried and true strategies for destroying debt and we’ve outlined all the best ones for you.

Refinancing your credit card debt and plugging your spending leaks can go a long way.

Learn More

Our Favorite Tools

Betterment

Betterment The perfect tool for a beginner or hands off style investor. Some people don't have time manage their investments. In fact, it usually doesn't make sense since 79% of all money managers don't beat the market!

Start Investing Our Review

Roofstock

Roofstock They bring years of experience running REITs to your rental property purchases. Every property has a tenant, is certified and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. They also screen and negotiate with property managers so you get a high-quality team for a good price.

Laura and I have already purchased two rentals through them and plan to buy more.

Get Cash Flow Our Review

Personal Capital

Personal Capital This is the Mint.com for investors. They will track your investments, analyze your investments and suggest ways to improve things like your 401k allocation. I use this as a tool to monitor my diversification and risk levels. This is for more advanced investors.

Plan Your Future

Digit

Digit Digit will automatically determine when is the best time for you to save and do it for you. Text it like a personal assistant and if it doesn't know how to respond a real person will. It's all the best saving aspects of Acorns without the fees.

Automate Saving Interview

Advanced Investing Tools

Vanguard

Vanguard Vanguard is owned by their funds so they are uniquely aligned with the interest of their investors. As a result, Vanguard funds usually have the lowest fee rate in their category. Mind you, signing up is more work and requires more decisions than Betterment.

DIY Invest Best Funds

Fundrise

Fundrise Did you know that investors with 20% allocated to real estate outperform those who only invest in stocks and bonds? Diversify without the dramatics of actual tenants with minimums starting at $1,000.

Invest In Real Estate Our Review

Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St This is our favorite research tool. Use it to research stocks like a boss.

They put an enormous amount of effort in making investing research easy, approachable and understandable. The interface is also beautiful. It's also free so there's a lot to love here.

Do the Research

Motif

Motif Want to customize a bit more than Betterment but still want solid diversification? Buy an idea with Motif. With Motif you can buy into bundles of stocks such as "Socially Responsible", "Alternative Energy" or "World of Sports".

Start Building

Automate and Optimize Your Debt

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing If your student loan interest rate is above 5% you need to try and refinance it. SoFi boasts student loan rates as low as 3.625% APR.

Best of all, SoFi will cut $200 off your balance if you use this link. We're good like that.

Get Refinanced Interview

Lending Club

Lending Club The banks had a monopoly on personal loans until Lending Club came along. Now you can get a loan sourced from normal people and invest in the loans of normal people. If you're looking to refinance, there's no better place.

Ditch the Bank

Create Your Business

LegalZoom

LegalZoom Incorporate your family and create your personal LLC. Use it to save on taxes and grow your income. This company saves you monstrous amounts of time as well as fines by helping you do it right. Focus more on your business and less on the paperwork.

Build a Business

FreshBooks

FreshBooks We use FreshBooks to track our business income and expenses for tax purposes and invoice for things like podcast ads.

If it wasn't for the time it saves us, we'd have to hire someone to manage our business paperwork. It syncs with your bank account like Mint so it's easy and highly automated.

Get Paid

Bluehost Website Hosting

Bluehost Website Hosting The cheapest hosting that you'll find with an unparalleled level of customer support. If you're looking to start an online business, this is the first thing you need. Remember, a business doesn't become profitable by spending all it's money.

Build a Site

99 Designs

99 Designs This is where the Listen Money Matters logo and dollar sign graphic was born. It's way cheap to create a design competition and I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with multiple designers all pitching me logos. I only paid for the logo I liked.

Find a Designer

best books on money

Budget Like a Pro

Mint

Mint A really great free budgeting tool. I use it and if you're just starting out, I think you should too. If budgeting scares you, just follow our step by step budgeting guide - Mastering Mint.

Automate How to Budget

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

You Need a Budget (YNAB) The budgeting tool for the person that budgeting doesn't work for. YNAB has a unique approach towards budgeting that's based on forming positive habits. If you don't live in the US, this tool is for you as it supports multiple currencies.

Budget Different Our Review

Cards and Accounts That Excite Us

mySmartCash

mySmartCash The infamous card without fees - I found it. ATM and Foreign Transaction fees getting you down? Fidelity refunds all of them. They even care about their customers.

ATM Smarter

Amazon Mastercard

Amazon Mastercard Since I buy everything from my toilet paper to my gifts with them it only makes sense for me to amass their credit card rewards points. The points convert directly to dollars you can take off a future item you want to buy.

Get Rewarded

Traveling the Right Way

Zipcar

Zipcar Instead of having your car slowly lose value and pay for annoying things like gas, just get a car for cheap when you need it. It would probably be better than the one you would own anyways (i.e.: BMWs). Use this link and get $25 free in driving credit.

Drive Cheap

Hipmunk

Hipmunk There are few things more frustrating in life than buying airplane tickets. Hipmunk cuts through the bullshit. With Hipmunk it's super easy to find the cheapest flight for your schedule in less than 15 minutes.

Fly Cheaper

Groupon Getaways

Groupon Getaways I got a trip to Australia from here in 2012 and a 10-day trip with airfare, hotels and activities cost the same per person as it would have if I just bought round trip airfare alone.

Get Deals

Viator

Viator Whether you’re on vacation or at home, you can use Viator to find out awesome stuff that’s going on near you for crazy discounted prices. I use the site religiously when I’m on vacation and as a result I’ve found some pretty badass places.

Have Fun

We Like to Eat the Good Stuff

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh Get chef inspired meals delivered to your door without worrying about what ingredients you need or where to find them. Each dinner also comes with full color instructions so you can cook it like a boss. Save $25 on your first offer by using the coupon code FRESH25.

Easy Meals

Fresh Direct

Fresh Direct Not only do I demand fancy food but I don't want to have to go to a damn super market and lug all that stuff home. I buy what I want, I don't get upsold to and I save time. Best idea ever.

Be Lazy

Badass Productivity Tools

Evernote

Evernote We talk about evernote all-the-time. 90% of our Business is organized in Evernote. I even use it heavily for my day job. Digitizing documents? It's the way to go.

Get Organized

Dropbox

Dropbox Cloud storage to share files between your computers, your family and your friends. Never forget a file on another computer or lose it to a disaster again. Dropbox is my mobile office.

Be Everywhere

Trello

Trello It's impossible to keep everything in your head and we also don't think it's worth trying. Everything we want to do we write down and for the business we track everything in Trello. Works extremely well for our small team.

Plan Better