Betterment – Low-Fee Investing
I used to think that getting access to high-performing, optimized investments was only for those who had $10K+ to invest with an investment advisor. That’s still an option, of course, but I’m severely fee-allergic. That’s what I love about Betterment. They low-cost investments are a function of the advent of robo-advising, and as a result, they’re able to deliver maximum net returns. Plus, they offer tax-loss harvesting, which is an unheralded feature of Betterment that could greatly impact (in a good way!) your tax bill in April.
Personal Capital – Net Worth Tracking
It can be tough to track all of your investments, assets, debts and account balances. I was excited to come across Personal Capital, where I could view easy-to-digest dashboards of all of our retirement accounts, investments, debts, bank accounts and more. And, they have a neat tool that will analyze the fees you pay on your retirement accounts, which can sabotage your returns if you don’t monitor them. Plus weekly email updates with digestible financial news help you stay informed with what’s going on in the markets.
LearnVest – Budgeting and Planning
DIY personal finance can be a great option for some, but sometimes it’s helpful to get the advice of a professional that can review your specific situation. This is where LearnVest is great. They give you an option to create a budget and track and organize your expenses (automagically), as well as an offer for super affordable financial planning and advice from their team of CFPs (Certified Financial Planners). Great option for the DIYer who wants an extra set of (professional) eyes.
Prosper – Peer-to-Peer Lending
I’m hesitant to advise taking on new debt, but life happens and there are situations in which you’re faced with little choice. Or, maybe you have high-interest loans (credit card debt, perhaps?) that you want to consolidate into a simpler and lower-rate fixed loan. That’s where Prosper comes in. We’ve used Prosper several times throughout the years when we’ve wanted or needed to free up cash flow.
FreshBooks – Small Business Accounting
Looking for a lightweight, yet still ultra-powerful cloud-based accounting software? Look no further than FreshBooks. As you build your side hustle that will supplement your financial independence, this software will give you the tools to painlessly invoice your clients, manage expenses, track your finances and more. Homegrown spreadsheets to track your side hustle will only get you so far; you will need software like this. (Plus investments like this are tax-deductible business expenses!)
QuickBooks – Business Accounting
One of the core tenets of this podcast is exploring alternative or supplemental income streams. Whether you’re just getting started with your business, or especially once you start to grow, you’ll need some accounting software to help you keep track of your business. QuickBooks is a leader in their space with the legacy reputation to boot.
SiteGround – Web Hosting
For the longest time, I hosted my marketing clients’ WordPress websites that I built (side income stream!) on GoDaddy due to the super affordable hosting packages. Starting in late 2016, I switched my websites and my clients’ websites away from GoDaddy over to SiteGround based on some reviews I read about SiteGround’s signature support and blazing-fast speed. I was skeptical that there would be any noticeable impact on support and speed, but I was impressed from the minute SiteGround’s support team migrated the sites over. Pages load noticeably faster on my WordPress websites, so if you’re looking for a great option to inexpensively host a WordPress site for a side project you’re working on (which I HIGHLY encourage, by the way!), check out SiteGround for some great deals.