Looking for the best financial resources when it comes to budgeting tools, banking, investing, financing, courses, worksheets, and more? We've got you covered.
Here at Clever Girl Finance, we get asked all the time about what tools and resources we trust and would recommend. And so to help answer that we've compiled our favs below. Why are they are favs? We trust them, use them, and love that the focus is all about customers first.
This list also includes our most popular selection of financial wellness resources that we've created in-house.
Let's get into these resources are Clever Girl Finance approved resources which include:
- Financial wellness resources
- Checking and savings accounts
- Budgeting & bill reduction tools
- Credit building tools
- Credit monitoring tools
- Robo-Advisor investment platforms
- Life insurance platforms
- Personal loans & debt consolidation
P.S. This post contains some affiliate links from brands we trust & love that help us grow Clever Girl Finance! Please see our disclosures for more information.
Our financial wellness resources
Financial wellness is all about setting yourself to succeed when it comes to achieving your financial goals. We have created some great tools to help you do just that.
The Clever Girl Finance Roadmap
Improve your money mindset, your finances, and your life using the 6 core components in our detailed and actionable Clever Girl Finance roadmap. The goal of this roadmap is to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to handle your money, get out of debt, and create a sound financial future for yourself.
Personal finance and budgeting worksheets
Get access to our ever-growing worksheet library of 40+ personal finance and business worksheets, as well as our best budget templates. We have a variety of worksheets for you to use as you work on your financial goals and plans.
Online finance courses
We offer 30+ online personal finance courses for free. You read that right! Our courses are 100% free. They include bite-sized videos, worksheets, coaching call replays, and access to our epic community.
Checking & savings accounts
Chime offers a checking and savings account which we are huge fans of! Here's why.
Why we like Chime
- With Chime, you get a cool looking Chime Visa Debit Card and an FDIC insured deposit account that can be managed entirely from your smartphone. Plus you also get a savings account that helps you save money without thinking about it due to automatic transfers.
- Their automatic savings program lets you automatically transfer a percentage of every paycheck to your savings account. And with RoundUp, your spare change to the dollar goes straight to savings.
- Chime will send you notifications real-time via text message as transactions are made on your account which is a great way to get reminded about your money goals and to track your spending.
- There are no fees ever. No overdraft. No minimum balance. No monthly service fees. No foreign transaction fees. No transfer fees. We are huge fans.
- You can get your paycheck early. When you receive a direct deposit to your Chime account, you are eligible to receive your funds up to two days early. No waiting for your money while it sits in some mysterious electronic limbo, no paper checks lost in the mail.
- You can also take advantage of their SpotMe feature which allows you to overdraw your account you to $100 fee-free if you need to.
Credit Karma high yield savings
You probably already know Credit Karma as they are well known for their highly reviewed credit monitoring product. However, did you know they offered a savings account?
Why we like Credit Karma
- Your account** is 100% free, no matter your balance. Free sounds good to us.
- There's no minimum to open.
- Your account is FDIC insured up to $5 million.
Budgeting & bill reduction tools
Billshark is a service that can help you save up to 25% on monthly bills in just minutes. They work to negotiate the price on your internet, wireless phone, TV, satellite radio, and more. It's always worthwhile to see if you can lower your monthly recurring bills and then repurpose the money you save towards your financial goals.
Why we like Billshark
- You can use their online calculator to estimate your bill savings easily.
- It's easy to upload your bill info so they can get to work negotiating on your behalf.
- There are absolutely no fees until your bills are successfully negotiated!
Credit building tools
Self helps people establish or rebuild their credit by offering a credit-builder account that makes it easy, safe and affordable to build credit.
Why we like Self
- Self's credit-builder account provides you with a small loan with monthly installments. This loan is secured by a certificate of deposit (CD) that is equal to your loan amount.
- When you're approved for the loan, the money is saved in the CD until all your monthly payments are made.
- Those payments are reported to the credit bureaus to establish and build payment history. At the end of the term, you get your money back from the CD.
- Self is online in all 50 states and easily accessible on your smartphone.
- We love them because their process is straightforward - no gimmicks, no hidden fees and most importantly they offer full transparency on how they can help you improve your credit.
Credit monitoring tools
You've probably heard about Credit Karma, right? Well, they offer a free credit monitoring service that's actually fun to use and provides a pretty good ballpark of your overall credit standing.
Why we like Credit Karma
- It will send you alerts as your credit changes, new accounts are opened or new inquiries are made.
- It also provides tips on how to best improve your credit and has a great user-friendly app.
- Credit Karma makes money from the vetted financial service products they suggest to you but you never have to pay to use their credit monitoring services.
- We love them because they are widely reviewed pretty much everywhere and we use them ourselves!
- Note: Credit Karma is based on the Vantage 3.0 Score from Experian.
Robo-Advisor & Investment Platforms
blooom is an online platform that helps to manage your retirement online in a simple, affordable way—giving people the confidence to make smarter decisions with their hard-earned dollars. Their goal is to bring simplified financial services to the millions of neglected savers in the US.
Why we like blooom
- No jargon, no confusing charts, or mental math calculations. They firmly believe that you deserve to simply understand what's in your retirement account.
- No conflicts of interest. They are not associated with any big banks or financial institutions. As a fiduciary, you are their #1 priority.
- The unbiased experts at blooom can help you get your 401k or IRA on the right track.
Robinhood is an online investing platform that provides a variety of ways for you to put your money to work. You can make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Why we like Robinhood
- You get mobile access to the markets with their app which allows you to invest commission-free in individual companies or bundles of investments.
- Everything you need to manage your assets is available in a single app.
- You can set up customized news and notifications to stay on top of your assets as often as you'd like.
- They also offer other various financial products like a cash management account and the ability for experienced investors to invest in gold, options, and more.
M1 Finance is a money management platform that offers a variety of products and services. However, we really like their investment tools. Their product is customizable, easy to use, and automated so you can serve your unique financial needs.
Why we like M1 Finance
- You can create your portfolio with any stock and/or ETF, for free - no commissions and no fees.
- You can leverage their algorithms to invest your money with intelligent automation - which means investing more consistently over time.
- They also give you the option to invest your money on a fractional basis and start small, growing your portfolio over time.
Life insurance platforms
Ladder is the smart, modern way to insure your life that leverage technology to get you the best rates for term life insurance. You can apply online and get an instant decision -- giving yourself financial peace of mind that you have the coverage you need.
Why we like Ladder
- The insurance you need today may be quite different than what you’ll need five years from now. For this reason, Ladder gives you the ability for you to ‘Ladder’ easily: which means you can apply for more coverage or decrease your coverage as you need it right in your account. You may also be able to qualify without needing a medical exam.
Ladder allows you to:
- Calculate your life insurance needs
- Get a life insurance quote
- Complete a full application
- View and manage your policy over time
Haven Life offers term life insurance coverage issued by MassMutual, one of the country’s oldest and most reliable life insurer.
Why we like Haven Life
- They have a big focus on overall life wellness
- With your policy, they give you access to no cost or discounted services to help you live a healthier, more protected life.
- You also get access to a customized, state-specific, legally valid online will.
Student loan refinancing
With LendKey, you can refinance your federal and private student loans into one convenient loan at a great low rate. Lower interest rates mean lower payments and thousands saved over the lifetime of your loans
Why we like LendKey
- They partner with credit unions and local community banks and focus on the customer first.
- There are no loan origination fees when you refinance with them.
- You get flexible repayment options based on what works best for you.
- Your refinanced loan is funded through their network of credit unions and community banks.
- Speaking with a loan specialist anytime you need to is a great option they offer.
Personal loans for debt consolidation
Upgrade provides consumers with access to affordable personal loans with low fixed rates that never change. Personal loans can be used to pay off high-interest debt or other expenses.
Why we like Upgrade
- They offer fixed interest rates on loans.
- There are no prepayment fees if you choose to pay off your loan early.
- Loans are typically funded within one business day.
Note: Personal loans for debt consolidation should be used strategically. For instance, to consolidate debt into a lower interest rate or payment. Ultimately, personal loans for debt consolidation just shift debt from one place to another. So it's important to run your numbers to make it makes sense, be aware of any fees involved and create a debt repayment plan that you can work through.