Money tools to manage your money, eliminate debt, save, budget, and grow your money. This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click we may get paid.
As a life-long wealth-builder and financial coach for sixteen years, I’ve been testing out the latest and greatest money tools for going on two decades now.
The best tools have stuck around because they are that good
Many money tools have come and gone, but a few have stuck around because they are that good. These tools have made a profound impact in my own personal finances and ability to build wealth, as well as the thousands of wealth builders I have worked with over the years.
Here’s a little secret. Building wealth requires a willingness to look at your money and tell it what to do. These tools facilitate that process, simply and effectively.
Wealth is for everyone
Wealth is for everyone, and it begins with income. Once you’ve started earning, implementing tools that help you save and grow your money can make building wealth simple and efficient.
Keep in mind that wealth is a spectrum. Where ever you fall on it is just perfect. Many people begin their wealth building journey in debt, or living paycheck to paycheck. Others make a lot of money, but have nothing to show for it because they don’t know how to manage it or make it grow.
Some overspend. Some over save. And then there are those who are great at putting money away for retirement but don’t know how to invest.
Tools that meet you where you are on your wealth building journey
Regardless of where you are on the wealth spectrum, the tools I am going to share with you meet you where you are. They can support you with debt elimination, saving, spending smart, and even getting started investing.
You’ve got to tell your money what to do
Use one of them or use them all. What matters in the game of building wealth is that you regularly put money toward debt elimination, savings, retirement, and investments. Even if it’s just a little bit of money, managing your money, aka telling it what to do, is how to reach the finish line of financial independence, which is the point when work becomes a choice.
So let’s get started!
Start with awareness
Wealth building begins with awareness. If you don’t know what is happening with your dollars then how can you tell them what to do?
Knowing how much is coming in and going out of your bank accounts is where wealth begins, because it enables you to put what is left over to its highest and best us. In my best-selling book Simple Wealth, I call the money you have left over your Impact Number, because this is what makes wealth building possible.
Put your dollars to their highest and best use
The highest and best use of your dollars is always going to be a combination of debt-elimination, saving, and creating residual income. To do any of these things, you need to know how much you are earning, how much you are spending, and what is left over, so that you can put it to its highest and best use.
This is why the first wealth building tool is the wealth strategy template.
Money Tool #1: The Wealth Strategy Template
Tell your money what to do
The wealth strategy template is an auto-calculating excel spreadsheet that shows your complete financial snapshot on one page. Download it at www.financialimpact.com/resources and input your income, expenses, debts, savings, retirement, and investment accounts.
Once you have done that, the template will auto-calculate your Impact Number and Financial Independence Number, or how much you need to save in order to stop working.
Update the balances on all your accounts on the wealth strategy monthly, or when you have a money date, as well as adjust your income and expenses to reach your financial goals.
The goal of the wealth strategy is to help you plan where your money should go in order to reach your financial goals. You can enter how much you want to put each month toward assets like savings, retirement, and investments and see how your income and expenses impact your cash flow, and therefore your ability to build wealth.
I love using the wealth strategy because I can easily see where my money is going, how much I need to save today for expenses tomorrow, the balances on my accounts, and if I am on track to reach FI when I want.
–> Get the wealth strategy template
Money Tool #2: Mint
Track your actual spending
Where the Wealth Strategy is a great tool for planning, the second tool I want to share with you is great for accountability. This tool is called Mint, and it’s a free online financial wellness tool and app that tracks actual spending, budgets, and progress toward your goals. Mint organizes all your financial accounts in one place, so you can easily see where your money went and how much was spent in different categories such as food, housing, transportation, personal, entertainment, and more.
Mint has been around for many years and is the OG online financial wellness tool. I’ve tried many spend trackers over the years, but I always come back to mint for its ease of use, the ability to set rules for categorizing expenses, saving time, and its engaging user experience.
Money Tool #3: Decluttr
Get paid for unwanted stuff
The next tool I love is Decluttr. I discovered this company at FinCon a few years ago and have been a super fan ever since. This tool makes it fast and easy to sell things you no longer want or need like books, electronics, even old CD’s.
If you are looking for quick cash, or to clear some space in your home, Decluttr does both. Simply scan the barcode or enter the device you want to sell and Decluttr will show you what they will pay you for it and even create a shipping label.
Use this link to get a free $5
Money Tool #4: Aspiration Bank
Implement a spending strategy, get cash back, save on bank fees
My next tool, Aspiration, packs a multi layered punch. Many people tell me that they struggle with overspending or sticking to a budget. I often hear people say, “I just don’t know where all of my money goes.” Well folks, Aspiration is the solution. This online bank account operates like a preloaded debit card, which makes budgeting absolutely fail proof.
Simply transfer the amount of cash you want to spend for the week, month, or time period of your choice from your personal checking account to your Aspiration account. Then, use your Aspiration account, and only your Aspiration account, for spending. Once you have spent the money you have given yourself for the time period, it’s gone until your next transfer. No more spending.
This spending strategy is a throwback to the old school envelope system, where you would put the week’s cash for groceries in one envelope, the week’s cash for gas in another envelope, entertainment cash in another one and so one. Once the cash was gone you had to wait until you got paid to replenish. Both the envelope and Aspiration spending strategies prevent overspending because you can’t spend money you don’t have!
But wait, there’s more! With Aspiration, you choose your fee, even if it’s $0. And their Aspiration Plus card gives you 10% cash back on all purchases at companies that do good things for the planet. That’s five times the industry average.
Click here for a welcome bonus up to $300
Money Tool #5: Rakuten
Get paid to shop
Rakuten used to be called Ebates. This is a browser extension that, when installed, searches for discounts on things you are buying and deposits the “savings” into your Paypal account. I love getting cash-money for things I am already going to buy!
Just be careful that you don’t shop more because of the cash perks! It is still spending even when you get cash back. 🙂
Click here to get $30 when you make your first purchase through Rakuten
Money Tool #6: Sofi
Start investing with less
Sofi. I love Sofi because you can buy fractional shares of stocks like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Nike, and Hershey. That means that if you want to own a piece of the biggest companies, you can now buy in without having to purchase a whole share. Not to mention you can also buy REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and BDC’s (Business Development Corporations) on Sofi’s platform.
Remember that investing in the market comes with risk. Unlike money in savings accounts, which is FDIC insured, money in investment accounts is subject to market conditions. Only invest what you can afford to lose.
Click here to get $25 worth of free stock when you fund your account with at least $100.
Money Tool #7: Coinchange
Earn a return on your crypto holdings
Cryptocurrency is gaining more and more traction as the world begins to accept that it is here to stay. Coinchange is an exchange where not only can you buy crypto currency, but you can earn a return on your holdings as well. As of this writing Coinchange is offering 17.1% APY on both USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT).
Note that cryptocurrency is an investment, and all investments can go up in value and down. Make sure that you only invest money you can afford to lose.
BONUS! Money Tool #8: Bankrate
Financial products and information website for consumers
Bankrate is the consumer’s go-to website for all things money.
From the best high yield savings accounts to the most up to date mortgage loan interest rates, you will see nothing but the best financial institutions, promotional offers, and personal finance products and services on bankrate.com.
I use it myself for consumer financial information and reviews on financial institutions, as well as the latest rates and offers in the marketplace.