Most of us get to a point in our lives where we realize that we may not be making the best money decisions. You might find yourself deep in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, your savings isn’t where you want it to be or maybe you just feel stuck?
The good news, it’s the dawn of the information era…where you can find answers to anything with a simple Google search. There are more apps and online resources than ever. There is a personal finance tool for just about anything.
The bad news, there’s too many to choose form.
Which is best? Which is most relevant to you?
To make this easier on you, we’ll go over the best personal finance tools and resources for your money.
Best Personal Finance Book
Rich Dad Poor Dad
If you feel like you’re stuck in the rat race, then Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book and financial resource for you.
Written by Robert Kiyosaki in 1997, this book uses stories that compare his natural father, a highly educated, financially unsuccessful teacher, with his best friend’s father, an uneducated, yet highly successful businessman.
Robert Kiyosaki puts much of his focus on developing your financial intelligence so that you can build financial independence. He explains the concepts of assets vs. liabilities and good debt vs. bad debt in a way that is unconventional to most financial experts, but easy to understand.
A book like this doesn’t come without controversy. Robert Kiyosaki puts his own spin on our education system, economics and even investing that goes against most financial expert’s opinions.
To find out more about why this is on our list of best personal finance tools, check it out here.
Best Free Budgeting App
At the core of our financial success and failure, is our cash flow. Gaining insight and control over our income and expenses is where it all starts.
HoneyFi is a free budgeting app that tracks your expenses daily, create budgets, anticipate upcoming bills, build your balance sheet and so much more.
My favorite feature is how you can connect your account with your spouse or partner’s account. Lack of communication is one of the most common mistakes families make when it comes to their money.
HoneyFi seems to have solved this problem by allowing couples to message each other about transactions and even leave emojis for each other!
You can download HoneyFi from the App Store or go to their website here.
Best Online Insurance Site
Managing risk is how we build wealth. Some risk we can absorb and some we can avoid all together. But when it comes to the BIG risk, it’s best to transfer it.
Buying insurance is how you transfer your risk. You transfer it to the insurance company, in exchange for a premium payment.
Some insurance we’re required to get, like auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance.
Other types, like life insurance or disability insurance, are what we need to protect our income and our loved ones.
Whatever type of insurance it is, you want to know you’re getting the best possible rate for what you need.
Policy Genius is our favorite “go to” when it comes to shopping for life and disability insurance. They walk you through a step by step process that’s easy to understand so you know exactly how much you need.
Then, you get quotes of all the major insurance companies absolutely free.
If you need help, you can simply contact to speak to a live person.
Check out Policygenius here.
Best Savings Account Alternative
Betterment Smart Saver
It’s important to have cash saved for emergencies. The problem is, cash doesn’t earn you much in interest these days.
Holding your emergency fund in a savings account with little to no risk is key. But, when you want to maximize your return for your other short term savings, Betterment’s Smart Saver account is the way to go.
Betterment’s intelligent software analyzes your account to determine how much cash you need. Then, using their two way sweep, they transfer money in and out as you need it to pay your bills. This way, your excess cash isn’t going to waste, it’s maximizing it’s earning potential.
To see if you can improve on your cash savings, check out Betterment here.
Best Online Bank
These days, the bigger the bank, the more branches it has, the less you earn on your deposit.
Online banks are able to offer better interest rates because their expenses are less, plain and simple.
No branches means less employees…and the savings is passed to the customer. But, which one is the best?
Not all online banks are treated equal. Not all of them offer everything you need in a bank.
Ally Bank is ranked #1 for online banks. They offer everything you need…checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, home loans and even investing solutions.
To learn more about Ally Bank, just click here.
Best Personal Finance Tool to Plan for Retirement
Ok, this is a big one. Retirement planning is always a point of anxiety for most.
You may be saving toward retirement, but is it enough? When are you going to be able to retire? Have you even started thinking about it?
I’m sure one, if not all of these questions crossed our mind at some point.
Whether you want to retire early, or not at all, having a plan for a time when you no longer can work is part of building solid wealth.
Betterment is the top robo-adviser in the industry. Not only will they help you with your investments, but they’ll help you build your retirement plan.
You can connect directly with your 401k so all of your retirement accounts are working together, keeping your plan on track.
Find out how much you need to save for your ideal retirement here.
Best Personal Finance Tool to Start Investing
If you are looking for a way to force yourself to save and invest, Acorns is the best personal finance tool for you.
You simply connect a card to your account, and Acorns will “round up” your purchases and automatically transfer the excess change to your account. For example, if you go to the store and spend $25.50, Acorns will round up and transfer $.50 to invest.
They use low cost ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that can get you started investing. You won’t even know it’s happening.
If you’re a college student, Acorns is free to use and if not, it starts as low as $1 per month.
Click here to find out more.
Best Way to Lower Your Bills
An important piece of building wealth, is controlling your cash flow. Unfortunately, what that means is lowering your expenses.
While that might sound relatively easy, for some it brings a lot of anxiety. If only there was someone that could do it for us! Oh yeah! There is!
Billshark will literally negotiate your bills for you. Once you sign up with Billshark, they take that information straight to your provider and work to get you a better rate.
They look at all the hidden fees and no exactly what it takes to negotiate.
With an 85% success rate, you can say they know what they’re doing. They charge you only when they save you money. Once they’ve confirmed your lower rate, their fee is 40% of the savings. You keep the rest.
If you want to see if Billshark can lower the anxiety of dealing with your cable, internet, home security and other bills, click here.
Best Estate Plan for Beginners
Trust & Will
Getting a basic estate plan is more important than some might want to admit.
As soon as you buy a home, get married or have kids, you should get your estate plan.
Luckily, with companies like Trust & Will, you don’t have to go to a high-priced attorney to get one. Think “Turbo Tax for Estate Planning”.
Trust & Will starts by helping you decide which documents are right for you. Then, you answer some questions and out pops a will!
You can get a basic estate plan featuring a will for as low as $69.
See what documents you need by clicking here.
Best Tax Prep Software
As they say, there are two things that are certain in life, death and taxes. You can’t avoid paying your taxes, or at least filing a tax return without putting yourself at risk.
Turbo Tax is definitely the easiest to use tax prep software on the market. I’ve been using it for years and it always seems to get better and easier to use.
You can chat or talk to a CPA or representative to answer any of your questions. The way they navigate you through a complex tax return is outstanding. They ask you simple, easy to understand questions that help you work through each step of the return.
If you don’t have one of your tax documents, you can easily skip and come back to it, or even upload it directly from the institution!
Additionally, it integrates directly with a number of other services offered by Intuit, it’s parent company.
If you want to learn how you can file your taxes easily and at a low cost, click here.
Best Personal Finance Tool — Overall
The Money Assessment
One of the most common issues we’ve heard from clients, followers and friends is that they just don’t know where to start.
Most of the personal finance or financial independence information out there isn’t all that new…or even original. You’ve likely heard that you should have life insurance, a budget, an emergency fund, save for your retirement and so on.
But, what order should it be in? Financial resources are good and all, but we’re all different. We’ve all built our current finances differently. So how can all this “advice” be the same for everyone?
Well, that’s exactly why we built The Money Assessment. Some of this stuff applies to you and some of it doesn’t. This interactive tool will ask you a series of questions that result in the step YOU need to take and in what order.
In addition to that, we’ve also built our own DIY page for anyone that’s looking to take their money into their own hands and stop hoping for the best.
This page is filled with some of the same resources I’ve mentioned in this article, plus an ever growing collection of worksheets, videos, audio trainings and more to help you better understand your money and build a strong financial foundation.
To take your Money Assessment, click here.
There is an endless amount of resources out there for everyone to take control of their money and start building solid wealth. Knowing the best personal finance tools for you and your situation is what’s key. Start with knowing where you need to start and take it one step at a time.
Originally published at https://themoneytwins.com on May 31, 2019.