The Toolbox

I have provided links to resources that contain more information on a topic or a product or service that may help you out.  I’ll do my best to make sure that the items to consider here are quality resources.

Give me your feedback on what adds value for you and what does not and we will continue to improve the links provided here.

Thanks.

Online Shopping Sites & Tools to save

CashBackMonitor is a site to monitor the best cash back deals for online shopping.

Rakuten browser extension allows you to accumulate cash rebates by shopping at affiliate sites that offer members discounts.

Honey browser extension also saves you money by automatically searching for online coupons when you check out.

CamelCamelCamel is a browser extension that tracks Amazon prices and alerts you when products hit your price point. For people not in a hurry waiting for deals.

GoodRx to save on prescriptions

Automobiles

Check for safety recalls on your vehicle at NHTSA or via Check to Protect

Get a vehicle history report from AutocheckCarFax and / or vehiclehistory.com before buying a used vehicle

Consumer Reports to check vehicle liability ratings with an online subscription or free at your local library

Check lemon laws for your state at AutoSafety.org. Normally lemon laws cover new cars not used cars.

Firms such as Carmax.com and Carvana.com aim to take all of the stress out of the car buying process by using fixed no haggle pricing and easy pickup or delivery of vehicles.

Apps such as Gas Buddy allow you to join an online community that reports the price of gas at various stations.

Other ways to save gas include membership clubs (such as Costco) that sell members gas that is often 5% lower than the competition.

Online auto loan payment calculators to run scenarios ahead of time so you know what you can expect to pay. Here is another Auto Loan Calculator.

Maintenance costs for cars

Depreciation Calculator

Home & Internet Security & Safety

Affordable security systems / cameras to consider include the following:

Simplisafe

Ring

Alfred

Piper

Wyze

If you do use a security system, be sure to let your insurance agent know as you may be eligible for an insurance discount.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled millions of dehumidifiers because they have resulted in hundreds of fires. Make sure your dehumidifier is not on the Dehumidifier recall list.

Password protection / management

Dashlane

Last Pass

Help with Identity theft at the ID Theft Center.

Hardware dual authentication security keys for another layer of online protection include Yubico and Google Titan.

Investment Portfolio analysis tools

PortfolioCharts – has analysis tools allowing you to back test portfolios from 1970 including safe withdrawal rates

PortfolioVisualizer has a Monte Carlo analysis tool to test different portfolio mixes including safe withdrawal rates

EarlyRetirementnow has a Safe Withdrawal rate series that provides a lot of useful concepts regarding portfolio management in retirement

Insurance

Policygenius.com is a website that offers term life insurance quotes from reputable insurance companies.

Lemonade for Home and renters insurance

Floodsmart is a site to investigate and buy flood insurance.

MetroMile to pay for insurance by the mile (for those that drive less) rather than paying a flat amount

HealthIQ.com is another firm to consider to obtain life insurance quotes at a better rate for the health conscious individual.

InsureMyTrip is a site to consider insuring an expensive trip, especially cruises and overseas travel

CLUE Report – get a copy of your CLUE report to see what insurers are using to rate you as a customer for Homeowners and Auto Insurance

Check for Your Unclaimed Property

To look for this money you can try a site such as missingmoney.com to do a general search of all states.

Also try unclaimed.org to select specific states where you have lived or worked.

There are other types of unclaimed funds that won’t be listed with state governments.  In many cases this would be unclaimed property from the federal government and affiliate agencies.  This could represent pension benefits, tax refunds, bank accounts from failed institutions, etc.  A good site to search for these funds would be at usa.gov/unclaimed-money.

Student Assistance

StudentLoanPlanner.com is a website geared to help students deal with student loans and a payback plan.

CommonBond helps with student loan consolidations and refinances

Some sites to search for scholarships include: unigo.comgoodcall.com, and scholarships.com

Also myscholly.com has a relatively inexpensive monthly subscription service that allows you to get lots of matching scholarships. Also try collegeconfidential.com

Do CLEP testing and earn college credits. Collegeboard.org. By just taking a test you can get credit and save the time and money of taking the class. Also DSST exams can get you college credit as well by taking a 90 minute exam

The Evans scholarship is an amazing scholarship. For more information try: http://www.wgaesf.org/site

Learn about the federal student loan forgiveness rules and the rules around federal aid at Studentaid.gov

Refinance your private (not federal) student loan to a better fixed rate at Sofi or Credible

Savings Account Rates & Banks

BankRate is a good website to compare interest rates offered by online bank savings accounts

Cuna.org shows you where to find a credit union in your area

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to complain against a bank or financial institution. They are required to reply to your compliant.

Budgeting & Net Worth Tracking

MINT

YNAB

Personal Capital

Freeze & monitor your credit

You can check AnnualCreditReport.com once per year for free for each of the three major credit bureaus.

Also if you sign up for Credit Karma or have certain credit cards such as Discover, you can get your credit score regularly to keep tabs on it.

Three Major credit bureaus to freeze your credit:

Transunion

Equifax

Experian

Travel

ScottsCheapFlights for travel deals.

VacationsToGo for last minute deals.

GetService to get airlines to make you whole for a problem

CostcoTravel to book travel and to book car rentals at competitive rates and often no fee for additional drivers

Turo to rent cars from individuals on your next vacation rather than a car rental agency

Google.com/flights to search for the best fares to any destination

AirFareWatchDog to watch for flight deals

Kayak Explore to search for flight deals from your city

FlightAware lets you track your flight throughout the day to know if there are flight delays

Complaints

The Better Business Bureau is often a good place to start in order to get a company to respond to your complaint.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a good place to file a complaint against a lender or financial services company that is not addressing the issue you have with them.

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