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Vanguard – When it comes to investment companies, Vanguard is the best in the game. Their low-fee and expansive investment options are unmatched. The only downside to Vanguard is their slightly-difficult-to-navigate website. If you’d like to start investing today, check out my step-by-step Vanguard 101 course.
M1 Finance – Founded in 2015, M1 Finance has recently revolutionized the investment game. Their platform is completely free and offers robo-advising and asset reallocation features. It is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool for managing and growing wealth. There are absolutely no commissions and it’s highly customized. You can invest in a number of pre-built portfolios or various stocks and ETFs. Check out my M1 Finance Set Up Guide or Sign up here!
Robinhood – This mobile investment platform was one of the first free trading services. Similar to M1 Finance, Robinhood charges no commissions and gives you access to thousands of stocks and ETFs. Robinhood has recently branched out to offer products such as options trading and cryptocurrency. Robinhood’s main disadvantage, however, is its lack of robo-advising and asset allocation features. If you sign up using this link you’ll receive a free stock!
If you have never heard of travel rewards, I highly suggest that you check out my post on how to get started. If you are already familiar with travel rewards, read on!
Credit Land - Want to stay up to date on the best credit card rewards? Credit Land is an awesome resource that tracks current offers and organizes cards based on preferences (e.g. travel rewards, cash back, flexible travel). Check out my blog post on how I used ONE credit card bonus to travel the world for FREE!
AwardWallet – The best place to keep track of all your airline miles, hotel points, transferable points, and flexible-spending points. This free software aggregates all of your credit card rewards onto one comprehensive platform. Keeping track of your points and miles has never been easier. Start tracking your credit card rewards today with this signup link.
AwardHacker – This website is a free tool to help search for flights with award availability. The platform is easy to use and extremely helpful in deciding how to utilize your airline miles or transferable points.
AwardMapper – This website was designed to maximize your hotel points redemptions. Similar to AwardHacker, this software makes the hotel search 10x easier when figuring out where to spend your hotel points.
Personal Capital – This free, easy-to-use portfolio management tool aggregates all of your financial data and helps to track your spending, net worth, and investment accounts. Keeping track of your money has never been easier. With 1.6 million users and growing, this platform is becoming a leader in its industry. I have been using Personal Capital for years and highly recommend it. Use this link to open up your free account today!
Mint – This free, online software is the best I have found for tracking your spending. Link your credit cards and accounts to get live updates on your spending habits. You can also manually enter your expenditures if you pay in cash or if you don’t want to connect your accounts. Seamlessly track your spending, build a budget plan, and export customized spending reports. Mint’s platform is friendly and intuitive for any user. Start tracking your spending today.
Stratus - An awesome, engaging new platform for managing your money. Stratus is an all-in-one application that allows you to plan your financial future and understand how your money is being spent. Instead of a boring old budget, Stratus allows you to set money goals and pushes you to achieve them. They have really gamified personal finance and I'm excited to see what they come up with next -- check them out!
Undebt It - This is a completely free, mobile-friendly debt snowball calculator that generates an easy-to-follow payment plan - so you can finally eliminate your debt. I actually met the founder of this company on FinCon and he was a great guy. If you're deep in debt and not sure where to start, let Undebt It do all the heavy lifting for you! Sign up for your free account and get started today.
Fiology - This site provides a 52-week, comprehensive guide to financial independence. The content has been crowdsourced from influencers across the entire financial independence blogosphere (myself included). You can take it week by week, or stay up for 72 hours straight consuming life-changing content -- the choice is yours! If you want to learn everything you possibly can about financial independence, Fiology is the site for you.
Uber – Due to its enormous scale, Uber offers the best service for ride sharing. The company operates in over 72 countries and 650 cities. Where there is a taxi, there is an Uber. The best part is, an Uber ride can sometimes cost up to 80% less than a taxi. Download their mobile app and start saving money on rides today. If you use this referral link you will receive a $10 credit toward your first ride.
Turo – If you’re familiar with the Airbnb platform, Turo runs essentially the same business model, except it’s for cars. Renting someone’s car might sound strange to you at first, but welcome to the new economy! The price to rent a car on Turo is often 50% lower than that of a rental car agency. There are three options for car pickup: (1) Car owner delivers to custom location, (2) Owner delivers to a nearby airport, and (3) Pick up the car at owner’s location. Turo is available in nearly every major city in the United States. Use this link to receive $25 credit upon signup!
Airbnb – This is hands-down my favorite site for accommodation. Basically, people offer their entire homes, spare rooms, or even couches for rent. Price ranges vary depending on whether you want to stay in a penthouse suite or on somebody’s futon. All hosts are vetted thoroughly, and one serious offense will ban them from the platform completely. The company operates in over 191 countries and 34,000 cities around the world. What’s the best part? You can save up to 90% by staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. I have paid $12 for one night of accommodation and $400 for an entire month! Sign up with this referral link and receive $40 off your first qualifying stay.
Homestay - Although it's not as widely used as Airbnb, Homestay is a great option for someone looking to stay in hosted accommodation. The host is always home and breakfast is included. If you're checking out a new area and want some local insight from your host, Homestay could be a great option for you. Check it out for yourself when you're booking your next vacation!
Venmo – Currently the leader in mobile-only cash transfer apps, Venmo makes money-sharing as easy as the click of a button. The PayPal-owned software connects directly to your primary bank account to quickly send and receive money. I personally use Venmo for splitting expenses with friends such as restaurant bills, gasoline, and vacation bookings. If you’d like to start using Venmo today, click here.
Cash App – Strikingly similar to Venmo, the Cash App offers seamless peer-to-peer payments. I personally use Venmo more than the Cash App, but that is primarily because most of my friends use Venmo. Either app is great for quick money transfers between two parties. If you’d like to sign up for the Cash App, use this link and receive $5 after your first transaction.
Roofstock - This is my #1 recommended site for finding deals on single-family homes for investors. It's completely free to register and check out properties. My favorite part is that these properties are typically NOT listed on the MLS, only on Roofstock's private listings. That means you can snag deals that nobody else even knows about! Check it out for yourself and sign up!
Best Side Hustle Ideas
Host on Airbnb – If you have a second home, a guest room, or even a couch, you can earn additional income each month on Airbnb. You will be screened as a host, just as all of your renters will be thoroughly screened. You could earn anywhere between $500 and $2,000 per month depending on location and rental quality. I have had nothing but great experiences as a host. Guests are typically respectful of the property due to their short stay and the risk of receiving a bad rating. If you’d like to make extra money renting out your place, sign up here.
Rent your car out on Turo – If you have an extra car, or don’t use your car often, think about renting it on Turo. I’ve seen earnings up to $1,500 in one month in a populated city with a nicer car. Turo protects your car from physical damage up to its cash value and provides $1 million in liability insurance. If you’d like to earn some extra money from your vehicle, sign up here.
Drive with Uber – Want to work a flexible schedule or supplement your primary source of income? Driving with Uber is a great way to work on your own schedule and earn extra cash. You will be screened via a background check and after you’ve been approved, you’re reading to start earning money driving. Before you start driving, make sure to fully understand your auto insurance policy. Some carriers refuse to cover an accident if it is Uber-related. If you’ve done your research and Uber sounds like a good opportunity to make some extra cash, use this signup link to get started.
Drive with Lyft - This is Uber's #1 competitor and we all know competition is great for side hustlers. While you're out driving have both Lyft and Uber open and choose your next ride based on the pay. Lyft is a great option for those living in/near cities. Many drivers have actually reported higher earnings on the Lyft platform. Sign up as a driver today!
Deliver with UberEats – UberEats is a food delivery platform created by Uber that grants customers access to food deliveries from restaurants within their local area. Although UberEats deliveries typically earn less than Uber rides, this platform is a decent option for someone with a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle. If you live in a hilly area, don’t deliver UberEats by bicycle (unfortunately I learned this from experience). Click this link to start delivering with UberEats. Please enter my invite code: codyb2495ue, it costs you nothing and helps me out!
Deliver with DoorDash - Just like Uber and Lyft, this is a direct competitor to UberEats. Again, my #1 suggestion is to have multiple apps open at once while you are out delivering. Then, decide on your next trip based on which one pays the most. Signup is super easy and vehicle type is flexible based on location. Sign up here!
Deliver with GrubHub - Yet another delivery service to add to your repertoire! The more the merrier, right? Honestly once you start stacking these services on top of each other you can start to pick and choose your trips and earn extra money. GrubHub is actually the dominant food delivery service in America right now. Add a third service to the mix!
Fiverr - One of the most well-renowned sites for freelance digital services. This could include anything from creating a one-page document, to editing an audio clip, to building an entire website. If you have any kind of digital skill whatsoever, you can earn quite a bit of money on Fiverr! Even if you don't there are plenty of unskilled gigs available as well. Try it out for yourself!
Freelancer - This online digital marketplace is similar to Fiverr in that it connects freelancers with online tasks. The one cool thing I like about Freelancer is their 'Contest' and 'Project' features. A 'Contest' allows for multiple freelancers to submit their work and the best is chosen. A 'Project' designates one freelancer and is often more comprehensive in scope. Interested in making some extra money?
TaskRabbit - This is a service where people hire others for physical services such as moving and packing, furniture assembly, home improvement, and any other general handyman work. Even if you're not handy, you can easily get hired for things like shoveling, raking, heavy lifting, and basically any other household chores. Task posters and 'Taskers' are vetted carefully for each parties safety. If you don't like working on a computer, this is an awesome way to earn extra money! Check it out!
Survey Junkie - You won't get rich, but Survey Junkie pays you for filling out fun, quick little surveys. The average survey takes 10 minutes to complete and pays anywhere between $1 and $3. If you're vegging out in front of the TV, might as well fill out some surveys to earn some extra bucks. Check it out!
Swagbucks - This is another site that offers paid surveys (although in my experience they pay less than Survey Junkie). However, you can conveniently earn points (called Swagbucks) when you: Shop your favorite stores, Search the web, Answer surveys; Discover great deals; Watch videos; and Play games. It's definitely worth checking out if you want to make a bit of extra money. Sign up here.
Udemy - This online learning platform is amazing. With over 80,000 courses and 24 million users, you can learn literally anything on Udemy. Whether it be programming, marketing, fitness, data science, you name it! If you're interested in learning and gaining new skills, definitely go check it out and sign up!
Building a Website
Namecheap - An alternative to GoDaddy that offers domains for $12.88 per year. Although I have less experience with this company, their customer service and compliance has been great. It's easy and seamless to purchase a domain and then point it to my web host. DO NOT host with Namecheap, only use them to purchase your domain. Ready to buy your domain? Click here.
GoDaddy – This website is a great option for buying a domain due to their friendly interface and great customer service. I recommend only using them for domain purchases though. They charge an annual fee of $14.99 per domain. However, DO NOT host your website through GoDaddy’s web hosting service because it is terrible. But hey, at least they’re doing something right. If you’d like to purchase a domain from GoDaddy click here.
SiteGround – This is the best website I have used for hosting a domain. I typically buy my domains through GoDaddy and then host them on SiteGround. The process is simple and SiteGround provides great website speed and customer support. They offer hosting packages from $4.95 per month, but I’d recommend the “Go Big” $7.45 per month option if you plan to expand your audience or have multiple sites. Get hosting with SiteGround today with this link.
WordPress.org – For website creation and customization, WordPress.org is a must-have. Do not mistake this software with “WordPress.com”, which is a hosting service. I honestly don’t know what I would do without this program. Their website customization through thousands of plugins, templates, and themes is unmatched. If you use SiteGround for hosting, you can install the WordPress.org software on your website for free and get editing right away. Click here to download WordPress.
Monetizing Your Website
There are three primary ways to monetize your website: Affiliate Programs, Advertising, and Selling Products. Want to learn more about building and monetizing a website? Check out A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Your Online Business!
ConvertKit - When it comes to email marketing, ConvertKit is the cream of the crop. This software provides everything you'd ever need including easy-to-design email courses, broadcasts, and automations. If you're ready to take your email marketing to the next level, click here to sign up!
MailChimp - For a newbie, MailChimp is the way to go. This email marketing tool is FREE for anyone a) with less than 2,000 subscribers or b) who sends out less than 12,000 total emails per month. Although not quite as powerful as ConvertKit, Mailchimp is certainly a viable option for the cost-conscious entrepreneur. Get started today!
All of these websites are affiliate program aggregators where you can find affiliate links for your favorite products or services.
The websites below are advertisers that match your content with relevant ads. Do some research to see which one fits your brand!
WooCommerce - I have used WooCommerce for almost two years now with my disc golf business and I have absolutely no complaints. They have a simple, intuitive, and dynamic interface that allows you to sell your product in the best way possible. If the default WooCommerce doesn't have what you're looking for, you can solve the problem through one of the dozens of paid plugins. If you sell products through your website, WooCommerce is the way to go. Sign up here!
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