Discover financial and productivity tools to take your money management skills to the next level with less time and hassle.
Managing money is just like any other job or task - you need the right tools to do a good job.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of fantastic tools to help you make smart money decisions and stay super organized.
In this episode I’ll give you 5 of my favorite financial and productivity tools that I use on a regular basis. They’ll help you simplify investing, pay bills on time, stick to a spending plan, and stay organized for tax purposes, so you can take your money management skills to the next level with less time and hassle.
5 Online Tools to Manage Money and Fix Your Finances
Tool #1: Carousel Checks
If you’re a regular reader or listener of the Money Girl podcast, you know that I love online bill pay and rarely write paper checks. However, I do keep a few paper checks on hand in case I need to pay someone quickly who doesn’t accept a credit or debit card or even have a bank account.
Buying a package of checks from the bank is expensive and typically includes way more checks than I will ever need. So I was excited to find Carousel Checks because they offer up to 80% off bank prices and have orders as small as ½ box of quality checks for $3.99. When you order online, all you need is your bank routing number and your account number(s), and the package arrives safely at your door.
But I recommend that you take advantage of free online bill pay so you can make payments with a couple of clicks and cut of the cost of checks, envelopes, and stamps altogether. Plus, you can schedule payments in advance so you never miss a bill due date, which is key to maintaining or building great credit.
Tool #2: Annualcreditreport.com
And speaking of your credit, you can get your credit report for free every 12 months from 3 of the nationwide credit agencies at annualcreditreport.com. This is the official credit site where you can view or download your credit files from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
I have a sister-in-law who’s also named Laura Adams. Many years ago I found some of her information on my credit report. Ever since then I’ve been diligent about checking my credit reports on a regular basis.
Since you can get one report per year, and there are 3 nationwide credit agencies, I pull one from a different agency every 4 months. For instance, I get my report from Experian in January, from Equifax in May, and from TransUnion in September.
That allows me to check my credit 3 times per year instead of just once. You get the chance to find errors or fraudulent activity more quickly than waiting a full year to pull reports from all 3 agencies at once.
If you want to see what’s in your credit file and protect yourself against errors that may be pulling down your credit scores for free, you should definitely take advantage of annualcreditreport.com. And by the way, checking your own credit never hurts your credit score.
See also: 5 FAQs About Your Credit Score