Recommendations

Here are some of things that I use to live a rich life cheaply. The recommendations on this page are services that I use myself and have positive experiences with. Disclosure: Some of the below links are affiliate links.

Budgeting/Tracking Expenses

Personal Capital
Many personal finance bloggers make a budget. I’m a little too lazy to do that. Plus, my wife and I are already frugal so we rarely spend things on frivolous things. And when we do, it’s okay, we have enough slack in our budget to handle things like that. We don’t stress over every little purchase. Personal Capital is a great way to track some of our expenses and to see how our net worth has grown. It’s a free service but they may have a representative call you to offer an additional service. I just said thanks, but no thanks. It’s not that I think that it’s a bad service, it’s just that I prefer to DIY.

Transportation

Zipcar – If I didn’t own a car (and in NYC many don’t need one), I would definitely become a Zipcar member. You can have the freedom of having a car when you need it without the hassles of car ownership.

Geico – Every time I’ve gone to compare car insurance premiums, I find that Geico has the best price. I also have homeowner’s insurance through them so I can a multi-policy discount.

Uber – I don’t often take car service, but when I do, I do like Uber. I can’t say that it’s the cheapest, but it is very convenient and so far, the drivers I’ve encountered have been great. One BIG reason I like Uber is that there is an option to request a car with a car seat and being a parent, that is a plus! P.S: if you sign up with my link, you can get $20 off your first ride.

Communication

Cricket Wireless – I went from paying close to $200 for 5 phones in an AT&T Family Plan (and some phones didn’t have a data plan) to paying $95 for 5 phones on Cricket. And you know what? Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T so it’s the same network! I’m paying half the price for similar service.

Ooma – Yea, I know many people don’t use landlines but I like to still have one…just in case. Plus, my wife and I often have our phones on vibrate and we don’t want to miss an important call. Obviously we don’t use it too much so refuse to pay big bucks for it. I pay a little over $4 for Ooma service which is just taxes/fees. You will have to buy an Ooma Telo device though.

Shopping

Card Pool
You can use this site to purchase discounted gift cards to various stores. For example, you can get 20% gift cards to Burlington Coat Factory and 25% off gift cards to Ann Taylor. Before you go to Cardpool to buy a gift card, go to Topcashback to get cash back for purchasing the gift card. Another site that sells discounted gift cards is Raise.com.

New Raise Customers! Save $5 off your first order of $25+ with code SAVE5

Ebates is one of the top cash back websites and you will get $10 when you sign up and spend $25. If you refer your friends and family to the site, you can get a referral fee also. It’s basically a website which will reward you for shopping online. They are generally run by companies that get a commission for sending you to the retailer’s website. The retailer gives these companies a referral fee for sending them business, and in turn, the portal gives you a portion of the fee Another excellent shopping portal is Topcashback. There is no sign up bonus but sometimes their site offers larger cash back

Books

I’m a personal finance nerd. These are the books that have influenced how I invest and how I handle my money:

Financial

Vanguard
I have most of my money in Vanguard accounts. I love their low fee index funds. Read more about low cost investing in my posts below.
Why Index Investing?
Investing: So Easy a Dead Person Can Do It
When Being Cheap and Lazy is Better

Capital One 360 , Ally Bank, and Discover Bank
I have way too many online accounts! I used to open them chasing the highest rates. Online savings/checking accounts will almost always beat the interest rates at a Brick and Mortar back.

Earn a few extra bucks by doing what you would do anyway…search for things online.

Bing Rewards

Swagbucks.com

Read my post about the above for more details.