Free Financial Resources
Some say “The best things in life are free.” And what’s better than free things? Free things you can actually use.
Given the complexities of the world, we find it crucial for people to proactively plan their finances. We’ve also come to understand that financial plans don’t panic. That’s why we’re sharing free personal financial planning resources with you. Read on to learn about some of our favorite freebies.
From free finance articles and information to calculators and tools, Bankrate has it all. Hence the name, we find it a valuable resource for comparing rates on high-interest-rate savings accounts. You’ll also find calculators for your mortgage, retirement, investments, and more there. Just remember that the results you get from these calculators are only as good as the inputs, so be sure to double-check your numbers with your financial professional!
▶︎ Pro Tip: This is our go-to resource when recommending clients work with a new bank.
By law, the three credit bureaus are obligated to give you access to a free credit report once a year, and you can find them at annualcreditreport.com. It’s good practice to review at least one of your credit reports once a year but especially important when you foresee a new loan on the horizon. If you notice anything wrong with your credit report, you can address the error before you need to take out a mortgage or another loan, thus improving your odds of receiving that loan at a better interest rate so you can save more money over time.
Want a simpler tool to regularly monitor your credit? If you want to check your credit score for free, you might consider Credit Karma. If you create an account, they’ll also send regular updates via email when your credit score changes, plus reminders to check your accounts for accuracy and notifications if your information has been part of a company’s data breach. In addition to credit monitoring tools, you can also find tips for improving your credit score, personal finance articles, information on credit cards, and more from Credit Karma.
Looking to better understand a financial term or concept? Investopedia is much more than simple definitions! It also breaks financial theories down into easy-to-understand explanations. And many of the personal finance articles available are linked to other Investopedia pages so you can dive deeper into areas where you’d like to know more. You’ll also find educational courses, information on popular stocks, and more.
▶︎ Pro tip: Whenever we are introducing a complicated personal finance topic, Investopedia is the first place we consider sending clients. There are short videos, too, which can simplify even the most complicated material.
Similar to Bankrate — but with a focus on credit cards as well as interest rates — Nerdwallet also offers financial articles, calculators, and tools. It includes tips you can use to reduce spending, increase savings, educate yourself on insurance, and even make the most of your credit card points when you travel.
▶︎ Pro tip: When you’re debating how much money you’ll save using your debt repayment strategy, look at the credit card payoff calculator on Nerdwallet. This calculator can include multiple types of debt (mortgage, student loans, etc.) in addition to credit cards.
The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool is more than just a website: They also provide information via a newspaper column, podcast, and radio show. While their personal finance articles are based mostly on stock trends and tips, you’ll find informational and news-related articles, too. And they offer everything from how-tos with the information you need to start investing and save for retirement to “best-of” lists of bank accounts and credit cards.
Financial Article Library
Don’t Want to Go It Alone?
Don’t Want to Go It Alone?
Some of our favorite articles include:
- Busting the Biggest Financial Planning Myths
- Jason’s Financial Favorites: The Budget, Simplified
- Break in Case of Emergency
- Fire Drill: Investing with Dollar-Cost Averaging
- Modern Financial Planning: Dealing with Documents
▶︎ Pro tip: If you’re just getting started, you may want to begin with our “Back to Basics” series.
Budget Plan Worksheet
Cash flow management proves a stressor for many people — but it doesn’t have to be. We help our clients with a tool to give them more confidence, and we’re excited to offer you access to this same tool at no cost. You can download our Budget Plan Worksheet — an easy-to-follow resource to map out your budget — to gain more confidence with your spending and savings.
Why are we pointing you toward free resources? One word: value.
Remember when the big investment companies eliminated commissions on trades and dropped their trading fees to $0? This “race to zero” may seem like it made the news a lifetime ago, but it was just last year! It was a push in the finance world brought about by competition, bringing benefits to individuals by allowing them to invest without losing their hard-earned dollars to commissions and fees.
That got us thinking. We make it easy to share access to our free article library and Budget Plan Worksheet so you can pass these valuable tools along to others.
Not a client yet? See if our ensemble approach is right for you.