How to move forward financially
This is where applying The Money Nerve® concept gets exciting. You want to move forward. But how? Bob Wheeler will be adding useful tools to catapult you in a new financial direction.
College Savings and 529 Plans: Leading college funding experts have gathered helpful material for students and parents who want to plan for college educations. The site has tips, resources and tools for parents to use to help find the best solution for their circumstances. Check out Affordable Colleges Online.
Improve Your Credit: Check out the first website to offer FREE credit scores and reports that are updated daily. Get customized credit-improvement advice, personalized savings alerts, and 24/7 wallet surveillance. A great service from WalletHub.
Powerful App for Managing Finances: Clarity Money helps you take control of your finances by cancelling wasteful accounts, lowering your bills, getting you better deals, and managing your financial life — all in one place for FREE.
Managing Money: Quicken is a great tool for personal finance and/or small businesses. Starter editions begin at $39.99. From budgeting to planning for the future, this software makes managing your money a snap – and helps move you toward that next step in your life. Quicken.
Financial Literacy: To become financially literate you need to understand some basic principles and apply them to different decisions in your life – whether it’s trimming your spending, stashing savings to buy a home, or building funds for your child’s education or your own retirement. Find links for different stages of life at MoneyGeek.
Stuck? Ever felt stuck and needed some new options? Get Unstuck! For a one-time fee of $49.99, you’ll receive interactive exercises, short and powerful videos, worksheets and more. Try this Virtual Coach app.
Make Money and Make a Difference: Check out this “new kind of investment firm – built on trust, focused on the middle class instead of millionaires, and founded on the idea that we can do well and do good at the same time.” Aspiration.
Recoup $ You’ve Spent: If you buy an item and it drops in price, some retailers will refund you the difference. But most of us don’t have time to track fluctuating prices. This super tool will do the tracking for you and will automatically request refunds so you can get your money back without having to do a thing: Paribus.
Credit Cards: Are you paying high annual fees or ridiculous interest rates on your credit cards? Here’s a list of the top 10 featured credit card offers for the current month from Best Credit Cards.
Reach Your Savings Goals: Pick a goal that you would LOVE to save for — whether it be a holiday or simply paying off a debt — then log your savings onto this app and watch your progress. Other savvy savers will cheer you on at Unsplurge!
Start Investing Today: Invest the way you want to — with small change, recurring deposits or a lump sum — and take advantage of automated portfolio management. Simple, reasonable fees with no minimums, no commissions, and no fees for adding or withdrawing funds. Check out the Acorns App.
Manage Debt and Prosper: Are you fighting debt and bad spending habits? Learn different ways to get out of debt and build a secure financial future by checking out the financial advice, numerous guides, and creative, frugal ideas offered at The Simple Dollar.
Retirement Calculator: Have you ever wondered if your current savings are enough for retirement? This easy-to-use calculator asks for less personal information than most retirement calculators and gives you an explanation of your results. Manage your retirement.
Real-Time Money Tracking App: Level Money automatically updates spendable cash as you make purchases each day, providing a simple, real-time picture of how you’re doing in order to stay in the black. For a visual of how much cash you actually have, get the Level Money app.
A Big-Picture App: Mint was one of the first free, web-based personal finance tools to help you track spending patterns, investments and more. Enter all of your financial accounts to quickly give you a complete picture of your financial health.
Invest in Yourself! Learn about financial tools like credit, saving and budgeting, and managing debt via Khan Academy through Better Money Habits.
Credit Scores: This site provides you access to your credit score for free and also provides tips for improving your score: Credit Karma.
On a personal note
Scholarships and Grants for Students: Discover available financial aid options and resources that can make college more affordable, such as scholarships, grants, loans and other funding. You’ll also find expert tips when applying for federal aid, including do’s and don’ts for completing the FAFSA® at Learn How to Become.
Financial Aid for Graduate School: More jobs will require a Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree by 2020. Need help achieving your academic and professional goals? Here is the place to find information that helps you make informed decisions about your higher education. Find the best financial aid for your graduate school needs at GoGrad.
Share Expenses Equitably! Splitwise’s mission is to make shared living and travel easier by providing neutral advice, fair judgement, and simplified expense sharing through web-based tools, calculators, and blog content – for free! How much more rent is the larger room worth? Who pays what for a meal or travel? Splitwise can help you decide.
Save While You Shop: This app collects coupon codes and sale information from a range of retailers. It lets you bookmark your favorite stores so you can check for any discounts while you’re shopping. Instead of printing out coupons, simply show the code on your phone while you’re checking out to get the deal. RetailMeNot.
Start Journaling: Ease your Money Nerve by journaling! These days journals can include photos, locations, weather, and tags, as well as text. Your journal can be a powerful tool to initiate change. Here is a Mac app that encourages you to write more and makes journaling a pleasure: DayOne.
Set and Track Your Goals: Streamline your life by using 7 scientifically proven goal hacks to achieve your personal and professional goals. This web-based program ($68/year) guarantees you will boost your goal achieving skills in 30 days in a motivated, systematic way. GoalsOnTrack
2 Quizzes: Learn more about your personal financial identity and then see how your life values drive your financial decisions. An Inc. article proposes couples take these two quizzes together, since money can be a source of conflict in relationships.
Proactive Healthcare Choices: Save money on out-of-pocket medical expenses. Learn what you should expect to pay for healthcare services in your area. Connect with providers who offer value while making informed decisions about your healthcare with the Healthcare Bluebook.
Password Security: As people conduct more of their business online, it has become increasingly difficult to create and remember login names and complex passwords. Here’s one option for a secure place to store all your passwords: LastPass.
Car Decisions: What’s your car worth? Do you plan to purchase a new or used car? First learn a vehicle’s value: Kelley Blue Book.
CA ACA Coverage: California residents can find Affordable Care Act coverage options here: Covered California™.
Business Partner Conversation: “Key Conversations: How to Talk to My Business Partner About Financial Decisions.” A similar approach can be used by couples who want to address financial decisions in a new way. Download the pdf file here.
(You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. If you don’t have it, download it for free here.)
Powerful Personal Finance App: This highly advanced and free app is ranked #18 on CNBC’s list of top disruptors (alongside Uber, Airbnb, SpaceX and Dropbox). Use it for budgeting, personal finance and money management on all devices and platforms (online, desktop, iPhone, Mac, Samsung Galaxy, Windows, iPad, tablets, etc.). Check out this review of Personal Capital.
College Student Budgeting Resource: Over 50% of students are stressed about whether or not they will have enough money to last through the semester — and over 69% of seniors graduate with student debt. Students, learn to budget, find out how to use credit wisely, and take advantage of tips and apps offered by this college student budgeting resource.
Personal Budget Software: This award-winning budgeting interface helps you get off the financial roller coaster. Get access to financial literacy classes, tutorials, a community of users, budgeting tricks, and more. Free for the first month and then $60 per year: You Need a Budget.
Budget Worksheet: This tool will help you define how your money ebbs and flows. Once you finish the exercise, you will be in a position to make new or different money choices to create the life you really desire! Download the pdf file here.
(You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. If you don’t have it, download it for free here.)
Monthly Budgeting: Here’s a handy tool from the AARP that allows you to track your monthly expenses. Click on “View Report” to print your results each month or to save them as a PDF file. Monthly Budgeting Calculator.
Savings Calculator: Use this calculator from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to determine the right amount to save on a regular basis to achieve your financial goals. FINRA Savings Calculator.
Calculating Social Security: Here’s a quick way to estimate your social security benefits. Simply plug in a few numbers to get a good idea about what you have already earned. Benefits Calculator.
Internal Revenue Service: For tax information and helpful tips: IRS.
Online Banking: Continue your financial journey by cutting out fees. Here’s a full-featured checking account with no monthly service fees, no ATM fees, and a competitive Annual Percentage Yield: Schwab Bank.
Online Savings: Start your journey toward financial freedom by increasing your savings. Here’s an award-winning online bank savings account with no minimum balance and a competitive interest rate: Ally Bank.
NY Online Savings: If you live in or travel to New York, you can set up a great online savings account with the country’s largest privately-owned bank that was established in 1850: Emigrant Bank.
Loan Calculator: Here’s a great tool to figure out how much you can afford each month on fixed-rate loans. Calculate what your loan payments would be for big-ticket items like cars or mortgages: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Mortgage Calculator: Thinking about buying a new home? This calculator takes property tax and PMI (private mortgage insurance) into account to calculate your monthly payments and much more. Comprehensive Mortgage Calculator.