Before we dive head first into F.I.R.E and having financial peace, lets take a look at some budgeting and investing tools you should use and that I use daily in order to insure my financial goal are meet. The reason I wanted to have this as my first post is because I will be making a lot of references to it in future posts and wanted to lay down the ground work with some tools of the trade. After all you don’t just start building a house without first learning what tools you need for the job.
Same applies to finance and any other aspect of your life, you need to know what you will be using first before you just dive right in. The lists below are just things that work for me, and I hope that by sharing them it will help others through their financial journey as well.
Below will be a list of some of the budgeting and Investing Tools that I will be referring back to quite often on many posts to come. I figured it would be best to talk about them now and get them out of the way early so that way everyone is on the same page about what financial tools I am referring to and where they can be found if the need arises.
For my investments I really consolidated down to about two platforms Webull and Charlesschwab because these two worked best for me. There maybe others out there that may work for you better than the list I have below. My advice on anything you read whether it is on my blog or someone else’s do your own research and come up with you own conclusions for what works best for you and your family.
Webull is one of my favorite trading platforms. Webull is a stock trading mobile app that offers a commission-free trading platform. They offer intuitive stock charts with plenty of technical indicators and tools for customizing your charts. They are SIPC insured and are regulated by the SEC and FINRA. I highly recommend them to anyone. And if you sign up using the affiliate code above we both get free stock that could be valued up to $1k. Free money just for singing up!
Robinhood is a free-trading app that lets investors trade stocks, options, exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrency without paying commissions or fees. For most people Robinhood is a great way to start investing commissions free and to get the most bang for your buck.
Charlesschwab is probably one of the biggest brokers that I will mention on here. I personally have used them for a quite a bit and now that they are commissions free, it really makes them a huge contender in the brokerage market. They also have possibly one of the best customer serivces teams I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.
This is a must have for every DIY investor looking for low-cost access to a financial advisor. Future Advisor software provides personalized recommendations to help you diversify your portfolio, which you can follow or not follow as you see fit. You’re eligible to sign up for the software if you have at least $5,000 in investable assets. FutureAdvisor manages the assets you transfer into the account for a flat annual fee of 0.5% of the managed assets, billed quarterly at 0.125%. When you transfer your assets into the account, FutureAdvisor works to consolidate them into accounts with its partners, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade.
For budgeting I use two sources, in this case the spreadsheet and Mint. I have used you YNAB and I loved it, however it just was not for me. The reason I use two different sources of software to do my budget is because they both should tie out. If they do not, I know I have a problem and I have to balance my books per say and figure out where I am off. I understand this maybe a bit much for some people ;however, this method is what works best for me. Usually some people just pick Mint, YNAB or the spreadsheet and stick with it.
And at the end of the day if it works for you, and you stick to that method and budget then that is all you need.
Custom excel spread sheet:
This is a spreadsheet I have found on Reddit (will post link to original once I find it again). From here I took this spreadsheet and modified it to make it my own. I also recommend anyone reading this blog do that as well. It will become your best friend and it will quickly become one of the many tools you will use to keep track of your personal finances. Click here for the link
Hands down, the free Mint app from Intuit Inc.—the company behind QuickBooks and TurboTax—is an effective all-in-one resource for creating a budget, tracking your spending, and getting smart about your money. You can connect all your bank and credit card accounts, as well as all your monthly bills, so all your finances are in one convenient place.
You Need a Budget:
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a very unique budgeting app. YNAB as it is commonly refereed to; helps you get out of that paycheck to paycheck cycle most people find themselves in, pay down and manage your debt, and plan for the unexpected. It’s built around a fairly simple principle: Every dollar has a “job” in your personal budget, be it for investing, for debt repayment, or to cover living expenses.
These are just some of my information tools and what I hope will be a great starting point for my reads to go out and find their own. I use these tools almost daily to make smart financial decisions. I also never make an investment unless I fully understand what I am investing in and what the risks are, some of these tools are here to help you do just that.
Whether investing independently or keeping abreast of business news, Yahoo! Finance provides an extremely competent and comprehensive offering. This intuitive site supplies the basic tools for any investor without requiring a subscription making it a go-to site for financial information. You can also use your yahoo mail to create a free yahoo finance app that will help you gather more information about your stock and you can even add your portfolio from across different platforms to see how your overall portfolio is doing.
Investors who want to increase their income through dividend-paying stocks may appreciate help in narrowing their choices. While, most brokerage firms will offer pre-screened lists of stocks or self-guided tools that help you screen for stocks based on dividend yield. But if you’re looking for even more data and analysis, consider a site that’s made dividend-paying stocks its sole focus then Dividend.com is the site you should go to. It will also be one of the sites I will refer to a lot.
The Simple Dollar:
This blog is a resource of 101 courses in investing, banking, loans, insurance, credit, etc. I think the simple dollar is a great starting point for making well-informed and strategic investment decisions. I check here quite often, and I am always amazed by how much I learn from this blog and surprised by what new investing ideas I get from just reading their articles.