Below are some of my personal favorite products, services, and companies that I have used and/or know to be valuable. These tools have saved me money, helped me manage my finances, and allowed me to make a living working from home. I hope you find them as useful as I have!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. However, I only recommend products/services/companies that I have personally used and verified and believe would add value to my readers’ lives. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
Airbnb: I’ve had awesome experiences with Airbnb and met some great people on my trips. I much prefer staying in someone else’s cozy home to an unwelcoming hotel room, especially if I’m saving money in the process! Use my link to get up to a $40 travel credit for your next reservation! You can also sign up to be a host; Airbnb can be a great way to earn some income on the side! Travel with Airbnb.
Wikibuy: I don’t know how I ever shopped online without Wikibuy; I can’t imagine all the great deals I must’ve missed out on before it! Wikibuy is a free Google Chrome extension that offers coupon codes, cash back, and searches websites for better offers from other sellers. It’s such a lifesaver! Even though I’m not shopping much right now (got that real frugal budget going) it saves me money every time I do. Do yourself a favor and don’t shop online without Wikibuy! Save with Wikibuy.
Ebates: Ebates is another one of those online shopping tools that I don’t know how I ever lived without! They have over 2,000 stores available for cash back and more than 10,000 money-saving coupons. I earned cash back on several products/services I purchased just setting up this blog. Along with Wikibuy, Ebates is another online shopping must have! Save money with Ebates.
Honey: The third tool I use to save money shopping online is the Honey Chrome extension. That’s right – every time I shop, I have three tools looking out to make sure I never miss the best deals online. Never miss a deal online with the Honey Chrome Extension.
$5 Meal Plan: I started using $5 Meal Plan to spice up meal time and to make cooking at home less stressful (I always wait to make food until I’m super hungry and grumpy – that’s how much I don’t like to cook). It’s been a great and super cost-effective investment for me! They have several meal plan options (I’m signed up for the gluten free right now) and you get a new meal plan in your email inbox every week. For $5 a month, it’s a real lifesaver! Make meal time less stressful with $5 Meal Plan.
Tropical Traditions: One of my secrets to maintaining an all-organic diet on a budget is shopping in bulk through sites like Tropical Traditions. It took me a while to get used to it because it feels like a lot of money up front when buying in bulk, but it definitely saves money in the long run! Learn how to eat healthy on a budget with Tropical Traditions.
VIPKID: One of the ways I currently make money working from homeis teaching English online with VIPKID. I’ve been teaching with VIPKID since February 2017, and I love it! If you enjoy working with kids and would love to work from home, then this may be the perfect opportunity for you! The schedule is super flexible, you just have to be available for a minimum of 7.5 hours per week during peak times in Beijing. I’ve had such a great experience so far, and I’ve made awesome connections with my students! Learn about teaching with VIPKID.
PeoplePerHour: I love the layout and personal features of the PeoplePerHour profile. This site has been a great resource for me to earn some extra income with freelance writing and web design, but the beauty is that you can find clients for any skill you have to offer! PPH allows you to send 15 proposals per month for free, or you can post fixed-price services called Hourlies for others to browse and purchase. If you’re looking for a work-from-home opportunity and have been thinking about freelancing, PPH is a great starting point! Find clients on PeoplePerHour.
Uber: I’m an Uber driver, and it’s been a really fun and rewarding side hustle for me! I don’t do it as often anymore because I’m focusing on other side hustles now, but if you’re looking for a way to earn some extra cash and like meeting new people, this could be a really cool money-making venture for you! Join now to become an Uber driver.
Pinecone Research: I use Pinecone Research to earn a littleextra money online completing surveys. There are a lot of survey companies out there that aren’t worth your time, but this isn’t one of them. Pinecone Research is a legitimate survey site that pays for each survey you complete. Earn money completing surveys with Pinecone Research.
American Consumer Opinion: This is another survey company that I highly recommend. Just like Pinecone Research, American Consumer Opinion is a legitimate survey site that pays for each survey you complete. Join and start earning today.
Undebt.it: I recently started using Undebt.it to create a trackable debt repayment plan, and it has been super motivating! All you do is enter your budget with your debts/loans, choose a repayment plan (Debt Snowball, Debt Avalanche, or other) and enter your payments. Undebt.it will track your progress using handy charts and graphs that show your progress on individual accounts and overall. I’m obsessed with watching my “Overall Progress” bar increase! And the best part is that the basic edition (what I use) is FREE! Manage your debt with Undebt.it.
CapitalOne 360: I usually use local banks and credit unions for my banking needs, but I decided to open a CapitalOne 360 checking account in 2017 (both because I needed a way to receive international payments and because they had a promotion going on to earn a couple hundred when you deposit a certain amount within your first 60 days – love me some free money!) and it has been amazing! I work for a company overseas, and CapitalOne has made it super easy to receive payments consistently. Mobile banking is a breeze, customer support is excellent, and they stand by their tagline – straight up checking with no fees. I highly recommend using a CapitalOne 360 account!
Personal Capital: Personal Capital is a free financial management software similar to Mint, only way better! With Personal Capital, you can easily track your net worth (which I recommend doing if you’re not already), plan for retirement, manage your investment portfolio and much, much more! It’s like a one-stop shop for all your financial needs. Join Personal Capital today for free!
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: This course was created by none other than Michelle-Schroeder Gardner of Making Sense of Cents, notoriously known for her incredible financial tips and jaw-dropping income reports; Michelle makes over $100K from her blog per month, and $40K+ of that is affiliate income. That’s insane! I signed up for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing within the first month of launching my blog because I knew affiliate marketing was going to be part of my monetization strategy early on, and my blog has definitely been better off because of it! It’s never too early to start educating yourself and investing in your blogging business. If you’re looking to make money through affiliate marketing, there is no one better to learn from. Check out the course details here!
Bluehost: If you’re looking to start a blog of your own, then self-hosting is the way to go. Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies, and you can start your own blog with them for just $3.45 per month. You’ll also receive a free domain name when you sign up through my link and purchase a 12-month or longer hosting plan. For more information, visit my tutorial on How to Start a Blog and Set it up for Success.
StudioPress/Genesis: The Genesis Framework, created by StudioPress, is one of the most secure and flexible WordPress themes available. It’s highly popular among bloggers (I use it, coupled with the Foodie Pro child theme) and extremely customizable, so you don’t have to worry about your blog looking just like someone else’s. StudioPress has also created a ton of free plugins that make it super easy to edit your site yourself – no coding required! Find the perfect StudioPress theme for your blog!
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights: I use this free plugin to tracking my blog traffic with GoogleAnalytics. This helps me see what people are most interested in and where they go when they visit my site. Setup is quick and easy and I can view my traffic directly in WordPress. See how MonsterInsights can benefit your blog!
Social Warfare: Before switching to Social Warfare, I was using a free social sharing plugin that did NOT look attractive and that slowed down my site’s load time. I made the switch because Social Warfare is only $29 a year and they have a 45-day money back guarantee. Suffice to say I did not use it! Social Warfare’s sharing icons look amazing, and you can choose to stick them to the top, bottom, or side of a page so people don’t have to scroll around trying to figure out how to share your content. My favorite part is that you can choose one picture for each post to share on Pinterest and social media so, again, people don’t get lost trying to find the right picture while sharing your content. Learn more about Social Warfare’s killer features!
Pretty Link: Pretty Link is a must if you plan to monetize your blog via affiliate marketing. Pretty Link allows you to shorten those ugly affiliate links using your own domain name, which looks super…well, pretty. It also tracks hits on each link, even in emails and on social media, and provides an analysis of where it came from, the browser, and more. You may want to upgrade to Pretty Link Pro at a later date, but starting with Pretty Link Lite is free.
ConvertKit: ConvertKit has been a serious lifesaver for my blog! I did a LOT of research on the best blogging tools out there and read several horror stories from people who started out using a free email service provider and had a really difficult and horrible experience when they were ready to upgrade. If you decide to start a blog or you already have a blog and you’re ready to get serious about your email list, then I highly recommend using ConvertKit! Master email marketing with ConvertKit.
Canva: Canva is the amazing tool that I use to edit all the photos on my blog. It’s easy to use, cloud-based, and absolutely FREE. There is a subscription service, but I haven’t found a need to use it yet. Even if you’re not a graphic designer (and I’m definitely not), you’ll find Canva simple and intuitive! Design like a pro with Canva.