… find money and save time.
Here are my ground rules:
I don’t recommend ANYTHING unless I use it myself and I see a huge time-and-money benefit.
That’s why this list is so short. A lot of products are crap. Here is a teeny-tiny list of things that are genuinely awesome.
I’ve divided these into categories:
- View All Your Accounts in One Place
- Save Hours on Daily Errands
- Start Your Own Blog
- Self-Employed? How to Buy Health Insurance
- Feed a Malnourished Child: Coupons for a Cause
View All Your Accounts in One Place
How can you keep track of your money? Use Personal Capital to view all of your accounts — including your bank accounts and investment accounts — in one convenient spot.
The Personal Capital dashboard will show you:
- Your account balances
- Your asset mix (stocks, bonds, alternatives)
- A graph of how much your portfolio is growing
And it’s totally free. Sign up now, and use this dashboard to track your investments.
Save Hours — and Save Money — on Daily Errands
Shop Online: Online merchants don’t have the overhead of a brick-and-mortar store, so they offer substantial discounts. (They don’t have to pay rent, electricity, a cash register, and a zillion other costs.) They pass the savings onto you.
I buy EVERYTHING online: toothpaste, moisturizer, my blender. It gets delivered straight to my doorstep, which is awesome. It’s like having a personal assistant who runs all your errands.
Start Your Own Blog
Interested in launching your own blog?
You’ll need to buy a domain name and hosting. This will cost between $50 – $150 per year, depending on what type of hosting package you get.
You can get a free domain name and hosting, but it will be on the annoying “example.wordpress.com” or “example.blogspot.com” domain. This looks unprofessional and likely will result in your blog never getting many readers. (Think about it: How many “major” or “mid-size” blogs have an “example.wordpress.com” or “example.blogspot.com” address?)
I’ve used four blog hosting sites: Netfirms, GoDaddy, Bluehost and Hostgator. Of the four, I’ve had the best experience (fastest upload speeds, best customer service) with HostGator.
If you’d like to use HostGator, enter the coupon code “AFFORDANYTHING” for a 25% discount on any web hosting package 12 months or more.
Buy Health Insurance if You’re Self-Employed
This is a huge topic, so I recommend you read my article for complete coverage about how to buy health insurance if you’re self-employed.
Long story short, I compare prices on eHealthInsurance, which consolidates tons of choices.
Feed a Malnourished Child: Coupons with a Cause
You know that I’m normally not a fan of savings-and-deals sites. Frugality is part of a consumer mindset: it keeps you focused on buying stuff. And I encourage my readers to focus on creating something amazing for the world, rather than consumption and consumerism.
So I never thought I’d recommend a coupon-and-deal site. But Save1 changed that. When someone shops from Save1, the company provides a healthy meal to a malnourished child. Since October 2012, Save1 has provided more than 95,000 meals to malnourished children, both in the U.S. and around the world.
It partners with non-profit aid organizations such as Action Against Hunger, Feeding America and Feed My Starving Children, all of which have a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator. The partner that really caught my eye, though, is Project Peanut Butter, a nonprofit that focuses on feeding severely starving children in Sub-Saharan Africa. The inexpensive and high-calorie paste that Project Peanut Butter delivers is recognized by both UNICEF and the World Health Organization as “the most effective method to treat severely malnourished children.”
If you’re going to use a coupon website, I recommend Save1.com. You’ll be supporting nonprofits that feed malnourished children at the same time that you shop.