Working in the software world, I’m no stranger to all of the software tools available to me. The same is true for personal finance. When you’re trying to get a handle on your personal finances, you need to be aware of all the tools you can use to your advantage.
You can use these tools to learn how to save more money and become better at managing your finances.
In this article, I’ll try to outline every personal finance resource and tool I’ve seen so far. You don’t have to try every single one of these today. Instead, I recommend that you bookmark this article and come back to read it again and again.
Over time, you’ll figure out which tools work best for you and slowly improve your finances over time.
That’s the key. No single tool will solve your money problems; however, with time and discipline, you can slowly change your mindset on money and reach important goals. It takes time to form great financial habits.
Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.
Allow these personal finance tools to teach you how to save more money.
No one gets anywhere in life without the people they surround themselves with. The same can be said about what tools your bring into your life. A carpenter isn’t the same without his tools. Knowing which tools work best for you is an important part of the battle.
Financial tools can teach you how to be better with money. For example, Credit Karma and Mint can be an important first step if you’ve never used online financial tools before.
Credit Karma can keep you updated on your credit score and teach you how to improve. I’ve been able to move my credit score above 800 points by keeping track and using their advice. Even more importantly, Credit Karma has given me the curiosity I needed to learn more about credit in general.
I can give similar credit to Mint. Mint was the first application I used to get a complete picture on my finances. While I have since switched to Personal Capital, Mint taught me to consider my net worth and track my spending.
If you start exploring some of the tools I’ve listed below, you’ll start having these same a-ha moments. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Using these tools can plant a seed in your brain to flourish over time.
When you’re first learning to budget, you want to find something that works for you. If you don’t like using a tool, you’ll be much more likely to fail. Try these tools, find one you like, and stick to it.
- Every Dollar
- Level Money
- Best Free Budget Templates & Spreadsheets
- 10 Free Household Budget Spreadsheets
- Budget Simple
Credit Card Resources
If you currently don’t have a credit card, I recommend browsing all of these resources. You want to learn as much as possible about credit cards before you get one. These resources will help you choose a great first credit card for your personal financial situation.
- Credit Karma
- Credit Sesame
- Annual Credit Report
- Credit Card Forum
- Nerd Wallet
- Wallet Hub
Debt Education and Repayment
Ideally, you would learn the basics about debt before you have it. However, a lot of us weren’t fortunate enough to do that. Use these resources to learn about debt and the best ways to repay it.
- Dave Ramsey
- Student Loan Hero
- Best Debt Blogs
- Top 10 Debt Blogs
- You Can Deal With It
- Debt Repayment Calculator
- Ready For Zero
When you think about frugal living, please remember you don’t have to give up your lifestyle to be frugal. It’s quite ok to take a more hybrid approach and be frugal with some things and less frugal with others. Frugal doesn’t mean cheap.
- The Minimalists
- How a Year of Extreme Frugality Changed Us
- The Ultimate Frugal Living Guide: 18 Tips for Extreme Penny-Pinching
- 9 Daily Extravagance Habits Frugal People Don’t Have
- Frugal vs. Cheap
- How to Be Frugal – Ten Tips to Get Started
If you don’t know about IRAs or HSAs, you’ll want to browse through the resources below. Educate yourself about the basics of investing and keep reading throughout your life.
- Seeking Alpha
- Morning Star
- Khan Academy
- Motley Fool
- MSN Money
- 7 Online Investment Classes That Make You Smarter About Your Money
- Options to Build your Retirement Savings
- 20 Free Online Finance Courses
Every now and then, it’s a good idea to play around with some retirement calculators and check your status. You may find some opportunities to retire earlier than you imagined.
- CNN Money Retirement Calculator
- Personal Capital
- Compound Interest Calculator
- The Best Retirement Calculators
- Smart Asset Retirement Calculator
- Early Retirement Calculator
- Retirement Simulator
- Simple Retirement Calculator
Student Loan Education & Repayment
When you first take on student loans, it’s easy to forget you have to pay them back. Four years is so far away. However, we all know paying back student loans can prove difficult. Check out these resources and you’ll realize you’re not alone.
Track Your Net Worth
Much like budgeting, giving yourself a complete picture of your finances is always great. These tools will help you monitor your financial progress.
- Personal Capital
- Net Worth Share
- Free Net Worth Spreadsheet
- Net Worth Calculator
- What is my current net worth?
- Yahoo Net Worth Calculator
As humans, we’re master of tools. When we need help or want to do something faster, we build a tool and use it.
Sometimes we need help. That’s why tools are important. With tools, we improve our lives. In a sense, we upgrade our bodies to more easily perform tasks.
Much like a hammer is an extension of our arm, these personal finance resources can boost the power of our brains. Instead of keeping a mental picture of your net worth, you can use a tool like Personal Capital to maintain an accurate number.
Embrace these tools and any tools you may find in the future. There’s simply no good reason to avoid them.
I’ll update this list from time to time with new resources I find along the way. If you have any recommendations for additions, please let me know and I’ll make an update.
[Featured Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/@randomlies]