Personal Finance Stack
Based in the beautiful city of New York transformation states that sustainability is at the core of everything it goes. But is that really the case?
Mo’ money, mo’ problems. Do you know how much money you save and spend? If not, these applications will manage your finances for you.
There are a million fancy expense tracking apps out there. I've tried them all, and nothing beats a good old Google Sheet.
I use this Google Sheet to track my account balances, debt, fixed costs, variable costs, returns, disputes, giftcards, and todos. Copy my template from here.
I use the following applications to help fill this sheet out.
Do you have multiple credit cards, checking, and savings accounts that make it hard to group your expenses by category?
Mint aggregates transactions across my accounts and categorizes them for me. It does a good job out of the box, but if you want more specific categories, then you have the option to customize. I download all my transactions for a month as a CSV. Then, I open it in Google Sheets, sort by the category, add each item and/or category to my Finance Google Sheet.
Mint falls short when it comes to tracking investments because the integrations always fail and case problems for me. It's not a big deal because Wealthfront picks up where Mint leaves off.
Wealthfront is the most fun tool to use on this list. It tracks my 2 Wealthfront accounts, IRA and Individual Investment Account, as well as my Robinhood, Vanguard, Merrill Lynch 401k, and Fidelity 401k.
Wealthfront also connects to my credit cards, checking, and savings accounts. It shows the high level account balances, but doesn't show the specific transactions, which is why Mint is necessary.
Wealthfront has a unique dashboard that shows your net worth today and your net worth at retirement. It takes into account any major life events, like higher education, marriage, and buying a house too.
It's fun to play around with the numbers to see how it will impact your future plans!
Sign up here and get $5,000 managed for free.
I use Robinhood for trading stocks.
Sign up here and get a free stock randomly worth between $3 and #225
Vanguard is well-known for their ETFs. The majority of my investments outside of my retirement accounts are in my Wealthfront Individual Investment account followed by Robinhood. However, I not only diversify across asset classes, but also investment platforms in case of technical difficulties, like Robinhood had this year.
Merril Lynch / Fidelity
I primarily use Fidelity for my 401k. My previous employer used Merrill Lynch, which I rolled over to Fidelity for easier tracking.
Applying to graduate school? Use ScholarShare to save money into a tax-free growth, low fees, and smart investments from a flexible college savings paln. I just started using it, so I don't have a strong opinion on this yet.
I have a Chase checkings account, savings account, and the Sapphire Preferred credit card.
I use an American Express Gold credit card. American Express lives up to it's reputation as being on the customer's side.
My tech stack has changed since the year before because I've changed. Previously, I worked at a risky startup where I wasn't as confident investing. There were two apps that I used heavily that deserve a honorable mention: Acorns and Stash. If you're in college, a new grad, or new to investing, I recommend you check them out. They're good alternatives to Wealthfront and Robinhood. I stopped using them because I wanted to downsize the number of accounts I had to check at the end of every month and miss them.
I previously used Acorns to round. up each of my purchases when I was in college and my first job out of college. It helped me start investing even though I was mostly focused on paying off my school loans at the time.
FAANG stocks are expensive. I remember wondering who could afford to buy a share of Google, and then I discovered Stash. This app lets you buy partial shares of companies. For example, you can buy a quarter of a Google stock and pay a quarter of the price.
There's no one-size fits all personal finance task because everyone's financial situation and relationship with money is unique. Here are a few other personal finance stacks I recommend:
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