Three Tools That EVERY Personal Finance Blogger Should Have

Today I wanted to talk about three of the things that every personal finance blogger should have.

I have been reading a number of personal finance blogs only to find out that they do not have some of the really basic things that I think we need if we are talking about personal finance.

1. ING account

2. Budget

3. Rewards Credit Card

In order for you to really make the most of your finances you need to stay on top of things. I use all three of the tips I am talking abut and I must say that they really do make a difference in my financial life.

ING account

ING offers you a great, low hassle online accounting system. The most important thing I think is that if you open an ING account with $250 then you earn a bonus $25 just for opening a new account. This means you make a 10% return on your money with just a few minutes of work!!!!!

In order to get the bonus you must use a referral link from someone who already has an ING account (like me!!!) so if you are interested in getting that account just email me or leave a comment and I will send you a referral link.

ING offers a savings account, CDs and a checking account and they are all FREE. The best part to me the Electric Orange checking account because it is great for budgeting. With my account all I have to do is go online and set up a payment and ING sends the check. I do not have to worry about my checkbook or getting stamps because ING takes care of all of that for me.

Budget

You need to know where your money is going plain and simple. Many people tend to get scared at the mention of the word budget because they are not really sure what a budget is. They think that a budget is scary and will only prevent you from enjoying your life.

In reality, having a budget is one of the most financially liberating things you can do for yourself. I recently revised my budget to make it into a zero based budget so that I had better control of my finances. Now that every dollar is accounted for I can relax my mind because I know what I have money for.

If an emergency comes up I already know ahead of time if it can be covered by my emergency fund or not. I do not have to wonder if I have enough money to cover food for the month because that has already been set up in the budget.

When all the bills come in I simply glance at them to make sure the amounts are all reasonable and to check for any unauthorized charges. The bills are all paid either through ING or from a rewards based credit card, which is then paid off via Electric Orange checking from ING.

Rewards Credit Card

I know that many people will frown upon the use of credit cards but please hear me out. A credit card is simply a piece of plastic. It cannot walk or talk or hold a gun to your head so YOU are in control here. How you treat your credit card will determine what happens in your financial future.

You need to be responsible in your use of the credit card in order to make  the best use of your credit card. I use my rewards cards for ALL of my purchases so that I can make the most of the various cash back purchases.

I got the CHASE card which gives you the opportunity to earn a bonus $50 if you can wait to cash out when your rewards get to $200. This not only motivates you to keep working towards the bonus but it teaches you to live by the principle of delayed gratification. You can either cash out when you get to $50 each time OR you can wait to get to $200 and cash out and get a $250 check!!!!!!!

Author: Lulu

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4 Comments

  1. I love to use ING but my company does not offer direct deposit so I would have to mail them my checks, which is a pain.

    I thought that you would include CreditKaram, since it is very important for people to know their credit score at all times.

    nobrainerdeals’s last blog post..Dyson DC18 Slim Vacuum for $248.99

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  2. @ NoBrainerDeals
    You can still use ING even if your company does not have direct deposit. Simply deposit your checks with your local bank and add that bank to ING. Then you do a free transfer from inside ING from your bank.

    I sometimes get checks sent to me and I deposit them in the bank at Walmart, then when they clear I log into ING and transfer the money that way for FREE.!!!!!

    If you decide to do this please let me know so I can give you a referral link.

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  3. If I decide to leave Citibank (I recently blogged about their new interest rate hike, as did Mr. Pants in a Can), I’ll look into that Chase card…I think you need to be picky about the rewards program you choose, because some of them are cryptic/complicated or just plain unachievable. Like the Chase thing…would probably take me 2 years to build up $200, but I could live with that. It’s money-for-nothing after all – at least to someone like me who pays off her balance in full every month. So thanks for the heads-up!

    MoneyMateKate’s last blog post..Regifting Quandary – Advice Wanted

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  4. @ MoneyKateMate
    It actually built up faster than I thought with Chase and I was so happy to get the bonus.

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