This is the website that trumps all others when it comes to analyzing your financial accounts, and it does it all in one place. We have all of our accounts synced with Personal Capital, and I log on daily. It’s bank-level secure and uses read-only access. (In other words, no ‘actions’ can be made on the underlying accounts, only activity can be viewed.) Oh, and did I mention…it’s FREE.
This is the brokerage we use here at the Nickels household, and it’s proven to be a great value as well as easy to use. Opening an account is simple. Go to their website and click “Open Account”. Seriously. For example, you can open an IRA account with no minimum deposit, with an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account (or direct deposit) of at least $100. It walks you through the process…super easy. Plus, they don’t nickel-and-dime you to death.
This is the best ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ investing manager I’ve come across. You set up a monthly deposit, tell them your investment goals (emergency fund / retirement / build wealth), and it does EVERYTHING for you. They invest in solid index funds (no overhyped mutual funds here!) and handle asset allocation and diversification, rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, etc. And they do it all for a low, “myshinynickels-approved” expense ratio, anywhere from 0.15% to 0.35% depending on your account balance. If you’re new and a little overwhelmed by investing, start with Betterment.
I didn’t find this site until after our debt was eliminated, but I’ve heard great things, so I checked it out. It’s very cool. If you’re set on destroying your debt, this is the tool for you. It tracks your debt accounts, calculates your debt-free date, and shows you a visual of your progress. You can even link your checking account, and make payments right from their site. And it’s FREE…just how I like it.
We check our credit report every year (you get one FREE checkup annually) just to verify that all is in order. If you find any errors, you can send corrections directly from the website.
Want to start your own blog? Many bloggers, myself included, use BlueHost. Because, well, they’re the best. Little to no site down-time, the interface is easy to use, and the pricing is very competitive. And they don’t have national TV ads with scantily clad female race-car drivers. ‘Nuff said.
This handy little guy dropped our summer electricity bill by more than 30%. It “learns” your preferences and stops heating/cooling if it detects that you’re not home. This model connects to the internet, so we’re even able to control the thermostat while we’re away.
(Confession: This connectivity is especially handy if you’re feeling lazy. I’ve adjusted our thermostat with the app in my phone while laying in bed. I know, I know. So shoot me.)
When we DIY our auto repairs, we shop here. We’ve purchased everything from brake rotors and pads to radiators. They walk you through make, model and drill down to the part you need. There are OEM and aftermarket options, and any order over $50 gets FREE SHIPPING.