This post contains all of the different financial tools that I use to help me out with the Zero Day Challenge. From credit cards to cashback services and investment tracking / advisors, there are tools that I use to improve my financial situation.
These tools are useful because they either reduce your costs via cashback, or will help you plan your investments. ALL of these services are free. A few of them have paid options. As a note, I use all of these products for free.
This page includes affiliate links. If you click on these links and sign up for services, I may be compensated. This helps cover the cost of running Zero Day Challenge.
You will not be charged any money for signing up for these services. In fact, you may actually earn bonuses not available to the general public.
General Finance Knowledge
To be honest, Reddit has a lot of really great resources. First, if you are looking for general personal finance knowledge, definitely check out r/personalfinance. Just realize that you’re going to ask questions from a group who will tell you to sell your $5,000 car to buy a $1,000 beater.
The next resource to check out is r/financialindependence. If you want to retire early and have some questions, this is a great place to ask. Again make sure you understand where these people are coming from.
Cashback Reward Programs
Ebates is the de-facto cash back shopping tool for the Internet. When you purchase an item through Ebates, you receive cashback that varies with the retailer. Ebates has deals with tens of thousands of merchants, so if you are buying something, odds are you can get a discount with Ebates.
Most people haven’t heard of EvoShare. They are very similar to Ebates, but your money is deposited directly into retirement accounts such as a Roth IRA, or your student loans. This is a great option to use if you have trouble controlling your spending.
Future Advisor is a startup financial services company. They offer customized portfolio guidance based on your age and risk tolerance. Their services are provided for free, and I have used them several times. They will analyze your portfolio, and provide a suggested asset allocation. They will also manage your portfolio and perform advanced tactics such as tax loss harvesting for a modest fee.
Cashback Credit Cards
Discover offers the best cashback rewards credit card. With double cashback rewards, you’ll earn 10% cashback in rotating categories. I’ve gotten 42% cashback with the DiscoverIt credit card, and you can even combine it with Ebates or EvoShare. Check out this post for more information.
If you sign up for the DiscoverIt credit card using my link, you will get a $50 bonus!
The Fidelity Visa is my go to credit card. It offers 2% cashback on all purchases, deposited directly into your investment accounts. I usually get a couple hundred extra dollars into my taxable account per year because of this card. You can also deposit these rewards into a tax-advantaged account such as a Roth or Traditional IRA, which makes the cashback that much better.
Beam is an exciting new banking startup that will offer 2% – 4% APR savings accounts. For comparison, most big banks offer 0.01%. They can do this because as a small startup, they don’t have to maintain corporate offices and $50+ million c-level bonuses. Sign up for their closed beta which will launch in October 2017. I’m extremely excited about their service!
I personally use Discover Bank for my emergency fund. Their savings account currently offers 1.1% interest which is better than most banks. In addition, they also have very competitive CD rates, plus a world class customer service division.