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Recommended Financial Products

Credit Cards
We are just starting to try to really maximize our credit card rewards, so I will give details on that later, but prior to that we used a pretty simple system with two credit cards.

The card we use for most purchases is the Citi Double Cash card. It basically earns 2% cash back on all purchases, which is pretty darn good.

The only purchases we use a different card for are gas and groceries. That's because the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card earns 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 of spending) and 3% cash back on gas. Six percent back is amazing, and I like that we don't have to deal with annoying rotating categories. It's also very handy that grocery stores sell gift cards for just about everything, which lets us get 6% cash back on most of our major purchases. Annoyingly, it has a $95 annual fee (recently increased from $75), but it is worth it if you max out the grocery rewards.

If you sign up through us, you can get a $250 sign-up bonus (unless the offer recently changed).

We use Chase for pretty much all of our banking needs. We know they are a big, soulless, evil corporation, but it is so handy having branches everywhere. Just make sure you avoid all their random fees, which is relatively easy.

All of our investing is done on E*Trade. I started using them a long time ago when Washington Mutual/Chase started charging me for trades and have never seen any reason to switch. We're big fans of their 2000+ no load, no transaction fee mutual funds, which are sufficient for all of our investment needs.

We strongly encourage you to manage your own finances and invest in low-cost, broad index funds, but if you aren't interested in doing it yourself, we recommend you try one of the new "robo-investors." They can potentially save you money compared to traditional financial advisers, who may not have your best interest at heart, and they will do fancy things like "tax loss harvesting" to reduce your taxes.

Financial Tracking
We've been using Quicken for years, and are pretty happy with it. It has a couple quirks, but overall, we like it. Unfortunately, for 2018 Quicken is switching to a subscription model, so you have to pay for it every year. Due to that annoying quirk, we no longer recommend you start using Quicken, unless you can get your hands on the 2017 version, which should work fine for years to come.

Due to Quicken's annoying subscription model we now recommend Personal Capital (affiliate link). We recently tried it and are really impressed. It makes tracking your finances quick and easy. Best of all, it's FREE. If you're interested, it also offers some pretty in-depth investment analysis.

Tax Preparation
We use TurboTax and have never had a problem. It makes doing your taxes fast and easy, and We've seen multiple people get much bigger refunds when they used it to double check their paper returns.

If your taxes are fairly simple, you can file your federal return online for Free with TurboTax  (affiliate link).

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