Managing your money can be as simple as using pen and paper, but let’s face it: using tools makes it a whole lot easier.
These are some of the tools that we use every day to manage our finances, learn how to save money, and make more money.
Some of these products are affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything extra, but I get a small amount of money for referring you there.
This is a super handy money-saving program that you can download right to your phone or use online. They offer rebates on lots of types of grocery items. My favorite thing about it is that while they offer a lot of rebates on name-brand things, they also offer rebates on generic items like bread, milk, and vegetables. You’re not likely to find coupons for those things! I always check this before I plan my grocery list. And, it’s free to use!
Betterment is the main place where I keep all of my non-retirement investments right now. I like it because you can choose whatever goals you want (for us, it’s a general emergency fund and a house down-payment fund), tell them how much you’ll need and when you’ll need the money, and it’ll automatically choose the right stock/bond allocation for you. The interface is super sexy and dummy-proof.
I also really like that the fees are low, and you can get started with any amount you want (we started with just $100).
Craftsy is one of my favorite platforms for learning new skills. They have a ton of cooking and gardening-related courses. I’m using both of these skills to help me save money by growing my own food and cooking at home, because one can only eat so many hotdogs and PB&J sandwiches.
These courses are much more in-depth than your typical TV shows. They teach you entire styles of cooking using examples that you can then adapt to new recipes. Plus, they have a lot of free courses (like knife skills), and they always have courses on sale for hefty discounts.
One of my favorite new techniques is freezer cooking. Whenever there’s a sale on ingredients, I load up on them and look up FreezEasy meal plans using that type of protein. When I get home, I spend a few minutes making up meals, and I have tons of hassle-free dinners for many nights to come. It frees up a lot of time for me to do other things – like make money!
MyFreezEasy is another related product, but it offers a bit more. It’s a subscription, but it lets you get brand new meal plans each month, so you get to choose from a wider range for even more time-saving goodness!
I don’t know how I did stuff before Focus@Will. When I came home each day from work, I was just too pooped to do anything other than veg out in front of the TV. Obviously, to make extra cash, you need to be awake and able to concentrate and work – and this is doubly true for freelancers.
The music is a bit weird at first, but it’s fully customizable and you can choose from many different types of music depending on your tastes. Give it a good try for at least a couple days, and try telling me that it doesn’t help!
This has been an amazing resource for learning more about the ins and outs of freelance writing. They have an fantastic community of helpful writers in a forum, pre-recorded courses and other resources, a no-BS job board (I got my highest-paying client from here!), and discounts on in-depth training.
BAFB’s Get Started in 28 Days course was what I used to take my very first steps in the freelance writing world. It’s a simple concept: each day, they email you with a lesson and one homework assignment. As long as you do the homework assignment, you’ll be a freelance writer by the end of the course. Simple, but it worked!
Freshbooks is the program I use to manage my business. It makes my invoices more professional-looking that doodling an invoice on the back of a receipt, or trying to cobble together something quickly in Word. Plus, they partner with Paypal to make it even cheaper to receive money right to your account! It’s paid for itself many times over in saving me time and money.
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