Thank you for attending the Financial Wellness Lunch & Learn sessions at Uponor. Below you’ll find links to some resource that will help you. In full disclosure some of these are my referral links:
February 2014 Session
You can review the PowerPoint from today’s session in this pdf. Please note that it is made available here solely for your personal, non-commercial use.
Get free mobile service, mifi hotspot and/or home internet from FreedomPop. You buy the equipment and get basic service free. You can upgrade to low-cost premium plans.
No-Name Mobile Carriers
A few mobile companies you may not have heard of include:
Use CamelCamelCamel.com to get price history for any item on Amazon.com
Discount Gift Cards
Use GiftCards.com to buy legitimate discounted gift cards for major brands.
Online Cash Back Shopping
I operate Pocket Your Dollars Rewards, where you can earn an additional percentage in cash back with most every online purchase.
Free Amazon Prime Trial
Get a 1-month free trial account if you haven’t had Amazon Prime in the last 13 months
Free Amazon Student Account
Students can get a free Amazon Student account.
Free Amazon Mom Account
Moms and caregivers to kids can get a free Amazon Mom account with 3 months of free shipping
Pocket Your Dollars Shopping Lists
You can get free weekly shopping lists that align the best sales with all available coupons and discounts
GasBuddy.com tracks the lowest gas prices near you.
Find current dining coupons and discounts at:
June 2013 Session
You Need a Budget (affectionately called YNAB)
This is the software I use to manage my family’s budget and for cash management of my business (I use Quickbooks for my formal business accounting). You can download a free 34-day YNAB trial; no credit card is needed to access the trial. If you want to learn more about it, read my YNAB review. Plus, my review includes a coupon that will save you 10% off the one-time $60 fee, should you decide to buy it after the free trial.
Ready for Zero
I mentioned the debt snowball yesterday and Ready for Zero is a free tool that organizes and tracks your debt snowball progress. This tool didn’t exist when I was getting out of debt otherwise I would have used it alongside YNAB, as they serve distinct purposes (for the record, YNAb didn’t exist when I was getting out of debt either. I tracked everything in a gargantuan homemade Excel worksheet)
Mint.com is a free expense tracking tool. Using read-only access to your bank transactions it automatically categorizes your spending. It’s owned by Intuit – the makers of Quickbooks, Quicken, and Turbo Tax – so it uses bank level security and is a trusted brand. One thing that’s nice is you can set budget limits, like $80 per month on eating out, and be sent notifications if you go over (set the notification to go to your spouse. That will motivate you not to overspend, won’t it?) :) . Again, this tool is free – so the price is right. I used this tool before You Need a Budget, but prefer the forward-looking feel of YNAB as I work to save toward my goals.
Bank and Investing Tools
Capitol One 360 (formerly ING Direct)
We keep our emergency fund in a Capitol One 360 savings account. We have an interest-bearing FDIC insured savings account. We automatically deposit into it from our main checking account at the credit union (I dumped TCF years back and went whole hog with my credit union). I like this account because it takes 3-5 days for the money to transfer out and back into your checking account. That’s kept me from using these funds to cover potentially bounced checks, but yet it is liquid enough to cover any bona fide emergency.
PS – If you prefer to store your cash in a Capitol One 360 checking account, they do offer a $50 signup bonus if you make 3 transactions in the first 45 days. The bonus is not available for the Capitol One 360 savings accounts.
If you are paying monthly fees on your checking account, then consider a fee-free credit union or the online bank Perkstreet. Because Perkstreet doesn’t have the overhead of brick & mortar buildings it offers 2% cash back on DEBIT card purchases. Yes, for real.
We didn’t talk about investing yesterday, but I’ll tip you off to the most affordable way to manage your own investments. Betterment.com is like Scott Trade, but much, much cheaper. Betterment does not charge per transaction fees, but instead charges a flat percentage based on the balance in your accounts. I also like that you can set goals in Betterment, specify your time horizon and it will adjust the risk level of your investments as you approach the goal; it also tells you if you are on track to meet the goal. If you open a free Betterment account via this link, deposit $500 and let it sit for 90 days, then you’ll get a $50 bonus.