Recommended Products

As a personal finance blogger, I know a thing or two about financial products and blogging tools. This page is a collection of all my favorite products. It is updated regularly as I find new great products.

Many (but not all) of the products below include affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you use my link. Don’t buy anything or apply for any accounts you don’t need, but if you do find something you like I’d appreciate if you let me refer you!

Investing and Banking

Lending Club – I’m a big believer in diversifying your assets, and one of the best ways to invest in something other than the stock market is to open a Peer to Peer lending account. I’ve had good results with Lending Club myself, and I recommend it to anyone looking to invest. And don’t forget to try my Lending Club Profit Calculator.

Everbank Checking, Money Market, and CDs – The most important thing when looking for an FDIC insured product for me is the interest rate. The higher the yield, the more money I make. That’s why I love Everbank and their Yield Pledge. That pledge states that their checking, money market, and CD products will be in the top 5% as measured by the Bankrate Monitor’s National Index. Simply put, I know I’m getting a great yield with Everbank and I don’t even have to shop around.

Credit Cards

Before I recommend anything, I want to be absolutely clear about rewards credit cards. Credit card rewards are for people who pay off their bill every month. If you carry a balance on your credit card, just get one with the lowest APR you can find. However, if you pay off your card every month then look at the following rewards cards:

American Express Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred – These are great cards for increased rewards when buying groceries, gas, and shopping at some department stores. There are two versions of this card: the Everyday and the Preferred. Rewards are better on the preferred version, but there is an annual fee. You can also earn extra rewards by referring your family and friends to get the card. I personally use this card all the time.

Capital One Quicksilver – Most cards give you 1% back on most purchases, and then increased rewards at certain stores depending on where you shop. The Quicksilver is much more simple. They offer 1.5% back on everything. If you don’t want to concern yourself with using different cards at different stores, just use the Quicksilver everywhere.

Blogging

Avada WordPress Theme – After years of the same WordPress theme and no updates, I become concerned about the security of my site. I looked at a few different WordPress themes, and in the end I decided Avada was the best looking site with the most features, while also providing SEO optimization and security. The theme is constantly receiving updates with new features and bug fixes, and there is a huge community of users. Whenever I build a website for someone else, Avada is always my first theme choice.

Udemy for HTML/CSS – If blogging is simply a hobby, then you can probably get by without knowing any HTML or CSS. However, if you are serious about blogging then you’ll probably want to know some HTML and CSS so you can customize the look of your website. I use Udemy any time I want to learn something new, and my favorite programming courses are taught by Mark Lassoff. He has great courses on HTML and CSS, Javascript, PHP/MYSQL and Android.

ManageWP – I have multiple websites and they are all run on WordPress. I even do a little web design and manage sites for a few other people as well. Instead of manually logging into all these sites to update plugins and do backups, ManageWP makes it easy to do everything with just one login. You can add up to 5 websites free to try it out, and it’s very reasonably priced if you want a paid plan.

Gravity Forms – Most themes, including my favorite Avada, come with a built in contact form. There are also some free contact form plugins that are acceptable. However, if you want to build any kind of customized forms, there is nothing better than Gravity Forms. I use them on all my websites, and I highly recommend them for anyone with multiple websites or specific custom forms they want to create.

Spend Money to Save Money

Angie’s List – I’m a homeowner, and I’m a big DIYer so I like to do most of the work around the house myself. Unfortunately there are some things I just can’t do like plumbing, pest control, and HVAC repairs. When I’m looking for a reliable, affordable contractor, there’s nothing better than Angie’s List. Some companies even offer coupons exclusively for Angie’s List members, so the membership can pay for itself.

Mouth Guard – I got hit with a huge dental bill after a Frisbee knocked two of my teeth loose. A mouth guard would have either prevented the damage (and pain), or the company would have paid my dental bills up to $10,000. If you play sports, even just for fun, I strongly recommend a mouth guard.

Hair Clippers – This is for all the guys out there. Why spend $20 a month, or $240 a year having someone else cut your hair? You can buy clippers for under $20 and do it yourself.

Other Recommended Products

Shower Mirror – I shave in the shower, and I couldn’t do it without this incredible shower mirror for just $10. This not only helps me shave, but is also super helpful when I’m cutting my own hair. This little thing might be the best $10 I’ve ever spent.

Dollar Shave Club – When I’m using my shower mirror, it’s nice to have a sharp razor blade that didn’t cost me a fortune. I get great, cheap razors shipped to my house every month with the Dollar Shave Club.

Wall Mount for TV – I don’t even watch a lot of TV, but I want my house to look nice and there’s nothing better than a beautiful TV mounted on the wall. If you buy a mount at Best Buy, you’ll probably pay too much. I bought this wall mount from Amazon; it works great and I paid half of what I would have paid in a local electronics store.

Second Monitor for Your Computer – If there is one single item that has increased my productivity over the last few years, it is having two monitors for my computer. Once you’ve used two monitors you’ll never go back. Do yourself a favor and get a second monitor. I’ve linked to a highly rated 22-inch monitor on Amazon for about $130, but any second monitor will do!