Your Future Wallet Toolkit

The secret is in the sauce. Here are all my favorite money tools! 

Note: I've built relationships with some of my favorite companies on this list.  I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don't personally use or believe in. Using some of the links below may support our site.  We donate 10% of our revenue to nonprofits working on economic inclusion and equity. 

Investing (Robo-Advisor)

Betterment

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Overview:  Flexible, low-cost robo-advisor platform. Great for medium term investing, especially if you don't want to actively manage your own portfolio. 

Use this for: Investing for medium or long term goals (5 years or more). Betterment is increasingly adding new products, like high-yield savings and online checking accounts. Good option if you'd like to consolidate various types of products on a single platform. 

Pros:

  • Low cost robo-advisor - makes investing easy for the average person 

  • Enables you to set different investing goals with different time horizons and risk levels 

  • Intuitive UI and sign up process, lots of customizable automation features

  • Tax-coordinated portfolios

  • No account minimum

Cons:

  • Not for DIY investors - charges a 0.25% advisory fee. It would be cheaper for you to invest your own portfolio, but 0.25% is a good price for the service they are providing. Robo-advisors are a fantastic way to start an investing portfolio! ​

Perks: Sign up today to get your first $5,000 invested for free 

Investing (DIY)

M1 Finance

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Overview:  Free platform that makes it easy to invest across a diversified portfolio.  M1 allows you to create "pies" or baskets of ETFs/Mutual Funds/Stocks and invest a set amount (say $100) on a timeframe you choose (i.e. bi-weekly).  Their platform offers "Expert Pies" you can choose from, or you can create your own (for example to create a "Golden Butterfly" portfolio). 

Use this for: Investing for medium or long term goals (5 years or more)

Pros:

  • $100 minimum, no management fees 

  • Makes it easy to start investing in a diversified portfolio with small sums of money (they use fractional shares)

Cons:

  • Requires a DIY approach, may not be the right fit for investors who don't want to select their own portfolios 

Perks: Sign up here and get $30 towards your portfolio

Budget & Track Net Worth

Personal Capital

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Overview:  Free aggregation platform that allows you to track your net worth, budget and plan for your future.  Offers helpful visualizations about your investments, including allocation across different investment classes (i.e. stocks vs bonds) and industries. Perhaps the most valuable feature is that they show you exactly how much money you pay in investment fees each year across your accounts. 

Use this for: Tracking your net worth and understanding how much you pay in investment fees

Pros:

  • Shows you exactly how much you pay in investing fees each year 

  • Shows your asset allocation across different investing accounts 

Cons:

  • Sometimes can feel like information overload. I use them for a couple charts and ignore the rest

Perks: Sign up here and link at least one of your existing investment accounts to get a $20 Amazon gift card

Save

Ally Bank

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Overview:  Easy to use website offering high-yield savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit that are consistently the highest in the industry. Earn 0.50% for online savings, no minimum balance required. 

Use this for: Short-term emergency savings fund 

Pros:

  • Consistently high interest rate compared to a brick and mortar bank (like Chase, Bank of America, etc). I've been using Ally for more than 12 years and love their simple product

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer some of the other planning perks/financial calculators that other products offer 

  • May not be the right choice for you if you like to keep all your financial products (retirement, investing, etc at one financial institution)

Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Overview:  This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but the benefits far surpass this amount, including 100,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months, which is equal to about $1,250 in free travel credits. 

Benefits include: 

  • $50 hotel credit annually for new and existing card members when booking a stay through the Chase Travel Portal

  • 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal

  • 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries

  • 2x points on travel booked outside the Chase Travel Portal

  • 1x points on everything else

  • 10% points bonus annually based on your card spending, earned after you renew and pay your annual fee


Use this for: Travel, restaurants,  (just make sure to pay it off every month!) 

Pros:

  • AMAZING sign up bonus (worth $1250)​

  • A fantastic card for most people, especially if you travel and eat out regularly

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee. If you aren't using the benefits, you can always call Chase and ask to downgrade to their fee-free card after you use the sign up bonus  

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Citibank Double Cash Card

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Overview:  The best free credit card with high point rewards (2% back on everything).  I strongly discourage people from paying for a credit card when you can get amazing points for free. 

Use this for: Everyday expenses (just make sure to pay it off every month!) 

Pros:

  • Free

  • 2% points back on everything

Cons:

  • None! 

Cash Rewards

Rakuten

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Overview:  Shop at over 2,500 stores and get cash back with this handy desktop plugin. Rakuten is an affiliate marketing company that helps you earn rewards by shopping through their site. This may sounds sketch but it's totally legit (Google them to learn more about their business model).  Their partners include major brands like: Sephora, Nordstrom, Target, Macy's, Nike, H&M, Banana Republic, Express, Levi's, and more!  

 

Get $30 just for signing up and making at least one purchase in 90 days.  

Use this for: All your online shopping. Make sure to sign up for the Chrome browser extension to activate your cash back on eligible websites.  

Pros:

  • Get up to 40% cash back for purchases you already planned to make! 

  • Easy way to earn extra cash (in addition to credit card points)

Cons:

  • None! 

Honey

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Overview:  A free internet extension that finds coupon codes and helps you save money when making online purchases. No more Googling for coupon codes - Honey will automatically find them for you.

Use this for: All your online shopping. Make sure to sign up for the browser extension to activate your cash back on eligible websites.  

 

Pros:

  • Save extra money when making purchases online

Cons:

  • None! 

Page Last Updated: September 8, 2021