Since we have benefited from various books, products, services, and software, we thought that we’d put our favorite resources in one place. We suggest that you bookmark this page since we plan to add to it as we find new gems to share.
The One Week Budget (book) – Written by Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, this book has lead thousands of people through the process of building a complete money management system in only 7 days!
Get Your Money Right (book) – Written by Kembala Evans. Read our full review of Get Your Money Right here. Get Your Money Right is not another system. It is a practical look at what we all face on a day-to-day basis in regards to money, the mistakes we make, and how, by well-informed decisions and actions, we can take every aspect of our financial life and make it work toward our goals.
The Secret to a Successful Budget (book) – Written by Craig Ford of “Money Help For Christians”. You can read our review of this extremely helpful book here. Whether you are looking for a resource to approach a budget for the first time, have failed at budgeting many times before, or are an experienced budgeter looking for a fresh perspective, this book is certain to provide you with a wealth of information.
Quicken – I have used Quicken to help manage my finances for the last 9 years! The best feature of Quicken is the ability to connect to practically any bank (credit card and some loan accounts included) and download all of your transactions. This makes it easy to set up and track a budget, prepare a tax return, and even keep track of your investments and rental property. You can even let the program track your expenses and suggest a budget based on previous months.
Finovera – A relatively new entrant into the financial software space, Finovera promises to be a one-stop-shop for your personal finance needs. It connects to all of your accounts and even keeps track of the bills. You can pay online (through a connected bank), track your spending, organize your documents, and even get alerts for various situations!
Mint – Owned by the same company that owns Quicken (Intuit), this software does many of the same things. However, the great thing about Mint is that it is an online tool (rather than Quicken, which you download to your desktop).
Starting An Online Business
We talk a lot about increasing your income, becoming your own boss, and having more than one client (income stream); well, here are some things that will make that transition a lot easier.
GoDaddy – The most basic thing that you must do when creating or promoting your business online is have a domain – that’s the address for your website. GoDaddy is the leader in this area with their search options, suggestions, and the ease of selecting the perfect domain (more on that below with LongTail Pro)!
HostGator – All of my websites are hosted on HostGator. Automatic WordPress installation, free unlimited email accounts, and excellent customer service (chat, email, and phone) made them my top choice when I first started out! If you use the coupon code “KNSFINANCIAL25” (with no quotes), you will receive 25% off of your order! So be sure that you sign up for a couple of years in order to take full advantage of this sale.
Bluehost – I have actually never used Bluehost, however, it receives the most recommendations (behind Hostgator) when the topic of hosting comes up. I know many people who use them and are extremely satisfied. So if there is some reason why you don’t want to go with HostGator, this would be my next recommendation.
Thesis Theme (DIY Themes) – One of the biggest mistakes I made when I created my first website was not finding a professional looking theme. Basically, I found the best looking free theme that I could and waited a couple of years before spending a few dollars to upgrade the look of the site. Once I did, the Thesis Theme was the easy choice! It was easy to customize, and their huge forum meant that I could find any answer that I was looking for. They have made some changes, but I still use Thesis on about 80% of my sites!
Backup Buddy – The biggest nightmare of any website owner is to have your site go down for some reason! Backup Buddy is the perfect protection to have if this ever happens. You can set up automatic backups or create one right before making a major change. The great thing about it is that you can send your backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, or a host of other online storage providers, or simply download them to your computer. They also make the restoration process a snap, as well as site migration!
Studio Press – Over the last couple of years, Studio Press has become one of the leaders in WordPress themes. They are known for creating very professional looking themes that are fairly easy to use and customize. The great thing about them is that once you install the Genesis framework, you can change up your theme quick and easy!
LongTail Pro – So you’ve picked your domain, hosting, theme, and you even have your site backed up. What’s the point if you aren’t getting people to visit your site? That’s where LongTail Pro comes in. LTP will help you to choose what keywords to target in your writing and other marketing. Not only will it help you pick keywords that represent your business well, but also ones that are possible for you to rank for in the search engines, and get tons of people to your site!
LeadPages – This is by far the fastest and easiest way to create high-quality landing pages and sales pages for your website! Once you get people visiting your site, you only have a few seconds to convert them into subscribers or customers, and LeadPages is the most effective way to do that. You can create sales pages, lead pages, landing pages for free resources, opt-in boxes, and a whole lot more! They even have a way for you to collect email addresses and distribute your information products via text message!
Market Samurai – Like LongTail Pro, this is another tool that will help you to discover what keywords you should target and what it will take to rank for them. You also have the ability to see how competitive certain phrases are, so you don’t go wasting your time trying to compete for an extremely difficult keyword.
Aweber – This is the most popular and powerful email marketing service around. Aweber provides exactly what you need to build and market to your list! With the ability to send email blasts of your blog posts, newsletters, one-time broadcasts, and even auto-responders, Aweber will help take your business to the next level of professionalism and service.
InboxDollars – The site that rewards you for all kinds of online activities! Use InboxDollars to search, take surveys, play games, and a host of other activities, and you will start earning money just from using the web. Also, use our link and get a $5 signup bonus!
Swagbucks – My absolute favorite of all of the reward sites out there. My wife and I have earned hundreds of dollars in Amazon Gift Cards over the last few months through this site. Similar to InboxDollars, Swagbucks rewards you for searching, taking surveys, watching videos, and interacting with their sponsors. They have a much larger user-base than most other reward programs, which means you’ll always find new ways to earn rewards. Also new members get a $5 sign up bonus for signing up through our link!
IZEA – If you have a blog or social media account, IZEA allows you to connect with brands who will pay you to introduce them to your audience. Being paid to update Facebook, tweet, blog, or even post a new picture on Instagram sounds like a dream (or scam), but IZEA has created a marketplace where this is possible!
Paribus – If you shop at Amazon, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, or any of the other popular online stores, you have to sign up with Paribus! You simply connect your accounts to Paribus and any time you make a purchase, they check the site daily to see if the price drops. If it does, they automatically send an email requesting a refund of the difference. They’ve made 4 claims for me so far and each one has been successful – they do all the work, you just sit back and collect your refunds!
Slidejoy – This is an app that takes over the lock screen of your Android phone and displays a news story or promotion. The more you use your phone (even if you don’t view the posts), the more rewards you earn. You can then cash in those rewards for cash via PayPal or gift cards at various stores (Amazon, Starbucks, WalMart, eBay, CVS, Playstation, etc.)!
Credit Sesame – They offer a look into your credit history and offer tools and products based on your financial situation. You should definitely sign up just so you can get a glimpse at your credit score and track any changes to your credit report!
Credit Karma – They offer a look into your credit history and offer tools and products based on your financial situation. You should definitely sign up just so you can get a glimpse at your credit score and track any changes to your credit report!
Capital One 360 (Formerly ING Direct) – An online bank that allows you to stash your money away for various goals – they even allow sub-accounts on the savings side so you can allocate your savings to up to 25 different purposes! They connect to your traditional bank account or you can request a debit card to access your money.
Lending Club – A peer-to-peer lending site that allows you to borrow from everyday people who are, in turn, lending money through the site as an investment. So if you are looking to borrow money or make small investments, check out this site.
Prosper – A peer-to-peer lending site that allows you to borrow from everyday people who are, in turn, lending money through the site as an investment. So if you are looking to borrow money or make small investments, check out this site.
Scottrade – A low commission investing service.
E*Trade – A low commission investing service.
Sound Mind Investing – A website, book, and service dedicated to investing based on biblical principles!