Welcome to The Practical Saver Resources section, a curated list of the tools and websites I strongly recommend for building wealth, cutting expenses, and managing your finances. I have tested every recommendation on this page. Many of the resources listed here are crucial to running my family's finances and my blog's. My family's finances and my blog won't be here today if not because of these products.
Before digging into the awesome resources I know and trust, an important disclosure:
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not use these FREE products or spend any money on any paid ones unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Financial Health Check Up
Spentapp. Is one of the main reasons that my wife and I were able to pay off $40K debt and saved over $70K, at the same time, in 2.5 years under a single family income of $31,000/year. It automatically analyzes our expenses, identifies where we make mistakes, and recommends financial decisions, which we always use to make positive changes
Blooom. How much fees do you pay on your 401k? If you don't know the answer, chances are you are paying too much. If so, now is the best time to get a 401k fee checkup. Blooom will analyze your current retirement plan and uncover unnecessary hidden fees for FREE. The sooner you save money from not paying fees, the more chance your retirement money will grow.
Budget and Wealth Management
Acorns. Got cents? Then, you can start investing with Acorns. The automatic roundups make saving and investing so easy. Be surprised by how quickly those small pennies can add up. I started a couple of months ago and my Acorns account has $1,900+, with a return of 12.5% in 7 months.
Betterment. Looking for financial advisors focused on long-term wealth management and retirement solutions with fees so ridiculously low you can’t afford to pass? Then, Betterment is for you. Just tell your financial life and what you're investing for, and it will provide you a portfolio to meet those goals. As simple as that. Your investment plan should reflect your needs. Betterment will do that for you.
Personal Capital. It's the smart way to track and manage your finances. Over 1.4 million people use Personal Capital to track over $350 billion. That's a lot of people and money. It has award-winning financial tools (that are FREE) to easily manage your entire financial life in one place.
Money Saving Websites
Ibotta. A FREE app that allows you to earn cash back or rewards from the item you purchase. Remember that you get cash back when you buy the products that are in Ibotta. You'll also get bonus when you complete certain tasks. As of April 2018, I've made over $600 with Ibotta.
PlateJoy Plan. Whether you want to feed 3, 4, 5 or more people, you can make a meal plan that will keep you on your budget. That's what PlateJoy is about. My family has saved thousands of dollars so far with this plan. We only pay $7 a month with 2 weeks being free. You'll get meal plans straight to you along with the list you need to create your meal.
Ebates. Ebates is probably one of the most well-known cash back sites out there. Ebates offers some of the highest cash back dollars or rates around. I managed to pull in $150 in a month from Ebates between referrals and shopping.
Mint SIM. If you are trying to cut your phone bill, your best bet is Mint SIM. I have used it for a couple of months and it serves its purpose. For just $15/mo, I get unlimited talk and text plus 2GB/mo of 4G LTE. My Mint SIM plan will save me $1,020/year or $85/mo. Click here for my review.
Paribus. Want to get your savings back when the prices of the product you just purchased drop? Paribus can and will do that for you. It will automatically track your receipts and make a reimbursement request when the product price drop. When I first used this app, Paribus found more than $12 for reimbursement. I got my savings back a couple of days later. Cha ching.
Swagbucks. Swagbucks pays you to do just about everything. Search the web, take surveys, watch videos, shopping online, trying promotions, etc. You earn points redeemable for gift cards or cash back. In just 3 months, wife and I earned $100 worth of gift cards and we didn't have to do a lot to earn that.
Money Making Websites
MyPoints. It is one of those surveys I can't forget to mention when it comes to legitimate survey sites. Just a couple of months ago, I was able to make two $50s on two different surveys not to mention the additional $5 I obtained from taking the first five surveys. Yes, earn a $5 BONUS after taking the first 5 surveys.
MySurvey. It is the world’s No. 1 paid survey site. Since it started in 2014, it has paid over $32M + to its worldwide members. It is no wonder why it has over 350,000 Facebook followers. I have made over $70 in just a 2 months even when I only spend a couple of minutes every week on this site.
American Consumer Opinion Panel. This is my wife and I’s favorite. In the past, we made around $150-$175. ACOP is very straightforward and certainly is one of the legitimate paid survey sites out there. You can test and own new products for FREE. It has more than 7M active members, over $30M has been paid out, and 20M+ surveys taken.
Vindale Research. Vindale is also my favorite. I have made over $1,100 with this survey panel (click here for the full post). I have gotten multiple $50s in the past as well as $10 and $15 payouts for individual surveys. Most of the time though, I do get paid around $1 per survey. But let me tell you that every single dollar adds up. Sign-up and get a $2.00 BONUS right away.
Debt Management Websites
Credit Sesame. When you need to find your credit health and credit score, Credit Sesame offers a fast and easy way to get your credit information for FREE. It also lets you know if you are overpaying your credit and loans. Think of it as a financial check without any costs attached.
SoFi. If you are looking to refinance your student loans, consolidate your loans, get personal loans with lower interest rates, or something else, your best stop is SoFi. You can easily get the best rates in under 2 minutes.
Upstart. Personal loans are among the best resources you can use to pay off your debt fast and pay less interest. Last time I checked from Credit Karma, Upstart has a 4.8 out of 5 stars from 571 reviews, 4.5 of 5 for application process, and 5 of 5 for customer service. It's designed for young borrowers with short or no credit histories but with promising degrees and financial futures.
Bluehost. Start your blog for as low as $2.95/mo instead of the regular $7.99/mo. That's 50% off of the regular price. Plus, you'll get a FREE domain, 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, and more. Last year, I earned more than $34,000 from blogging by spending at most 15/hrs per month. Set up your blog in 15 minutes or less with my FREE blogging tutorial.
Tailwind. I started from 0 views to around 170K before my first year of blogging. I credited that, mostly, with Tailwind. If you sign up through my link, you will also get $15. You can subscribe for just $9.99/month when you sign up for a year. I'll tell you that Tailwind is a game changer for my blog.
MyThemeShop. For fast WordPress theme, I trust no one but MyThemeShop. My site's speed and page load went from 4.9s to 886ms. When you purchase a theme from MyThemeShop, you can use its plugins for free on your site.
How to start a blog. This blog post discusses the steps to create your blog posts in less than 15 minutes. You can get your blog up and running in no time. In this post, you'll learn the tips and tricks to get you started with monetizing your blog. You'll also learn why it's best to go for Bluehost than a free blog account.
Best blogging tools for bloggers. In this post, I discuss the free and paid blogging tools that a blogger needs to have to get his/her blog to a whole level. All the tools here are the ones that I have used for my blog. While I always like to use free ones over paid ones, I had to purchase some tools because of their functionality and ease of us.
My blog pays for everything. This post is my story on how blogging has contributed in our lives. I discuss the different expenses that blogging pay for and what my family is able do with the money that we save from our blogging and our day jobs. One thing I'll tell you is that because of blogging, we were able to buy a house and have my blogging money pay the monthly mortgage on our house.
Is Blogging For You?: The Truths About Blogging. They say that blogging is not for all. Yes, I believe that's true. Blogging is designed for those who have time, patience, dedication, and discipline. I should say a ton of patience. Not all bloggers will succeed and some will succeed. This post was made to provide readers a glimpse on what it is like to blog and whether blogging is really right for them.
How Blogging Can Improve Your Marriage. I am so happy that I blog because it has dramatically helped my wife and I improve our relationship. My blog wouldn't be where it is now without the help of my wife. All of my successes and failures and everything in between on blogging is because of the never-ending team up between me and my wife. This post discusses how blogging has improved our marriage.
Make Money Blogging : The Simple Guide. So, when you've already set up your blog, do you know where to go or what to do? This post discusses what you need to do after your blog is done in its initial stage. Many bloggers started blogging without any knowledge on what they need to do to get their blog exposed, seen by people, etc. This post has it.