Disclaimer: this page does contain affiliate/referral links. I use all these products myself and wouldn’t recommend a shady product just to make $5. We’re both worth more.
Get your knowledge up
Reading is one of the easiest ways to start building (or expanding) your money knowledge. Here are some of my favorite money and business books. And yes, I of course included my own.
- Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together, by Me
- The Thin Green Line, Paul Sullivan
- When She Make’s More, Farnoosh Torabi
- The Index Card,
- The One-Page Financial Plan, Carl Richards
- The Rules of Money, Richard Templar
- Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss
Easy ways to start saving more
- First tip: good old fashioned automation. You may be able to do it yourself by logging in through your company’s portal to check your paycheck or make changes to your retirement contributions. If you can’t figure out how to do it alone, then speak with HR to get a portion of your paycheck routed into your retirement account and a savings account.
I automate a portion of each paycheck directly into my 401(k) and another chunk goes into savings each month. I also prefer to keep some of my savings at a different bank than my checking because it makes me less likely to skim a little bit off the top.
- The other way I automate savings is by using Digit. Read my full review here. I do encourage you to cash out the money you saved using Digit each month and move it into a savings account earning at least 1.00% APY. Leaving it with Digit month-to-month isn’t doing your money any favors.
- While not exactly a savings tool, I also recommend having Venmo and ensuring your inner circle of friends do as well. This makes it much less nightmarish to split bills with buddies or collect money for utilities from your roommate. Read my full Venmo review here.
- Stop wasting your money with silly fees or 0.01% APY on savings accounts. You and your money deserve better. There are lots of bank accounts out there offering better. Personally, I use an Internet-only bank that reimburses my ATM fees each month and I separately have a savings account with Ally earning 1.00% APY.
- Like many a money nerd, I do have a tiered strategy for using credit cards to earn cash back or miles. The cash back earned throughout the year usually gets deposited into my travel savings fund or used to buy Christmas presents. Some of the cards I use include Discover it (I optimize the 5% back, especially for Amazon purchases), Capital One Venture card for travel (this does have a fee after year one), Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel (a hefty fee though, so be sure it’s worth it). Keep an eye out for no foreign exchange fees on cards you’ll use for travel and be sure to take advantage of all the perks. For example, the Reserve card offers a $100 rebate when you use it to pay for TSA pre-check or Global Re-entry.
Non-Credit Card Cash Back Options
Cash back for online shopping
- Ebates & Mr. Rebates: Only use these sites for purchases you plan to make anyway, not as a justification for shopping because you’re getting a few bucks back. Learn more about stacking cash back here.
Not exactly a cash back solution, but reduces shipping costs
- Amazon Prime: This is really a product I’d only recommend for the avid Amazon shopper (often a city dweller) or a fellow dog mom because most of the products are a lot cheaper than at local pet shops. The perks of Amazon Prime include: free two-day shipping on Prime eligible products, access to streaming movies and TV shows, a Kindle library and streaming music (but I usually just use free Spotify). Read my full Amazon Prime review here.
I’m a podcast junkie (thanks work commute). Here’s a taste of some of my current favorites (not all of which have to do with money):
- Planet Money
- Death, Sex & Money
- Afford Anything Podcast
- The Tim Ferriss Show
Favorite Money Blogs
- Making Sense of Cents
- L Bee and the Money Tree
- Cashville Skyline
- Millennial Boss
- Financially Blonde
- Financial Samurai
- Club Thrifty
- Budgets Are $exy
- 1500 Days to Freedom
- Mom and Dad Money
- Rockstar Finance
Favorite Miscellaneous Blogs
Image from Unsplash