Here are some services and products we love using and highly recommend to our readers and friends. We may get a small commission if you choose to use our referral links.
We care about two things when deciding how to invest our money. #1 is automatic investments, #2 is low cost index funds. Wealthfront takes care of us in both of these frontiers for a management fee of 0.25% (compared to the industry average of 1-2%). If you're busy with 10,000 other things going on in your life, take 30 minutes today and sign up for a Wealthfront account. It's a "set and forget" strategy, and we currently have ~$180,000 of our portfolio invested with Wealthfront. Bonus points, the links here are referral links which will give you the first $15,000 of investments managed for free!
We know that buying groceries and cooking at home is significantly cheaper than eating out at restaurants. We also know that making a trip to the grocery store can become a 3 hour project, even worse if you go without a shopping list. In addition, grocery store trips can be dangerous for your wallet because the stores are highly strategic about placing high margin, overpriced items in ways that make you want to pop them into your cart without a second thought. Enter Instacart! Order online and get your groceries delivered right to your doorstep. Clicking here will give you $10 off and free delivery on your first order.
We don't own a car, so ride sharing apps like Uber are our friends! We're also lucky to have easy and quick access to Uber in San Francisco. Uberpool matches with you other riders based on your trip route, and is usually at least 40% cheaper than UberX. We take Uberpool 99% of the time but we splurge on UberX for airport trips - missing flights is just not worth the $10. Here's my referral link to get a free ride if you're new to Uber!
Lyft is a great alternative to Uber! We generally take Lyft Line (Lyft's pooling service) and always compare prices between Lyft and Uber before choosing a ride. Here's a link for $5 off your first ride!
Airbnb stands for "Airbed and Breakfast," which is exactly how they started. Now, Airbnb is a massive ecosystem around the world with locals hosting travelers as guests in their own homes. Some Airbnbs are "entire house" listings, which means you will have the whole place to yourself, very close to a hotel experience. Other Airbnbs are shared listings, which means you'll likely get a private room within someone's house. We have stayed in Airbnb homes all over the world - New Zealand, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Malta, Los Angeles, San Diego and Kelowna. We've even hosted guests at our place in San Francisco! Airbnb prices are usually cheaper than hotels (always check to verify), and interacting with locals who give us insider tips on their cities has enriched our travels significantly. If you're new to Airbnb, click here to get free travel credit!
Google Sheets is a free online spreadsheet tool. We use this to collaborate on all aspects of our finances - budgeting, tracking expenses, forecasting, modeling different scenarios, etc. Writing down your numbers (start with Income, Expenses, Savings) and setting a financial plan is Step #1.
Chase Sapphire cards are our favorite travel rewards credit cards! Both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve are great cards, but the Reserve card has a higher annual fee. Compare the features and benefits, and depending on how much you travel, see if the extra fee is worth it for you. Chase Sapphire cards also have a *huge* bonus of 50,000 points for each signup. That is $625 in free flights and hotels when you book through their rewards site.
The United MileagePlus card is offering 50,000 bonus miles on signup. We've churned through this card to get around $1,500 of free trips so far. United has cheap fares within North America, but they also have great deals to Europe. In August 2015, during peak travel season, we found round trip tickets from San Francisco to Stockholm for $600/person. You can find even cheaper fares during non peak times! When you travel on United with these miles, you also get other sweet perks like a free checked bag, priority boarding and passes for United airport lounges.
The Chase Freedom card is great if you'd rather get cash back in your account instead of travel rewards. It has no annual fee, and you can get up to 5% cash back for special bonus categories. So far in 2017, the bonus categories have been gas stations, commuter and local transportation, grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants and movie theaters. 5% cash back is pretty sweet on these everyday expenses. You get 1% cash back on all other categories, and there's even a $150 signup bonus. Yay free money!