- Mint.com – Use this free tool to track where all your money goes. I have been using it since 2009. Now tracks credit score for free as well.
- Personal Capital (affiliated) – A free portfolio-management and net worth tracking tool. A really slick interface and great tool for optimizing your asset allocation based on risk preferences and retirement goals. I check this about once a month… a nice supplement to Mint.com.
- Ally Bank – A branch-less bank with no ATM fees and great rates on savings accounts and CD’s.
- Vanguard Investments – Pioneers in index investing. Very low management fees. Investor ownership model puts your interests first.
- Blue Host Web Hosting (affiliated) – This is who I use to host this site. Very easy to set up a WordPress site, and reasonably priced at $4.95 per month. Very happy with proactive customer service and overall experience.
- Good Guide – A website to help you find safe, healthy, green, and/or ethical products. A refreshing cut through all the greenwashing and marketing noise. The more you know…
- Feedly – RSS reader… subscribe to me!
- Goodreads – Social network for books…. when will we get a quality one of these for movies??
- AdBlock – A free browser plugin that blocks nearly all advertisements and speeds up browsing. Life changing.
- Strava – Track your bike rides / runs / hikes, and follow your friends too. Great GPS app with useful metrics to analyze your performance, plus following friends and tracking progress helps you stay motivated.
- Pymetrics – Play neuroscience games for 30 minutes and get a free career profile. Innovative cool stuff.
- Waze – A GPS navigation app for driving. Some glitches, but generally the best one out there to save you precious time on your commutes, errands, and trips. It saves you time by watching traffic patterns from other users and rerouting accordingly.
- Chromebooks – Google’s super cheap laptops that operate on the cloud and save you money in the long run.
- Republic Wireless Phones (affiliated) – Compared to other smartphone plans on the market, I estimate that Republic Wireless saves over $7,600 every ten years. Given how uncompetitive the cell phone service provider market it is, I’m all about sticking it to the man with this disruptive technology (runs over wifi + cell networks, saving everyone money).
- The Millionaire Next Door – by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko – How most people become millionaires (hint: smart money decisions, not necessarily high salaries). A personal finance classic.
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street – by Burton G. Malkiel – An investing classic. Why it is almost impossible to beat the stock market consistently and what you can do about it.
- Literary Fiction – Pardon the non sequitur, but do you like literary fiction? Me too. Here are some of my favorites. I also put this literary awards analysis together (checkout the tabs across the top).
- New Yorker Fiction Podcast – Monthly short story read and discussed by a writer and editor. The commentary is equally as good, if not better than the actual story.
- New Yorker Poetry Podcast – Same deal as fiction podcast, but with poetry, and the writer actually reads one of their own and picks one from someone else. Good stuff.
*I’m not affiliated with any of the authors (unfortunately), but I might get a small kickback from Amazon if you buy something. You should definitely check your local library first.
- Vox.com – News explainers heavy on charts, a little sensationalist and silly at times.
- New York Magazine – Nice blend of culture, news, and opinion. Used to be a big fan of Jonathan Chait when I was into politics.
- Evox Television – These guys asked me to be a contributor to their site, so of course I love them. They are about “conscious television entertainment and products promoting healthy lifestyles, sustainable development and green living.” Run by a bunch of people looking to put some good karma into the world. Hope to see them continue to grow.
- New York Review of Books – Longform classic
Instead of follow all of this super closely, I love just picking up at the end of the year. Here are the websites that allow me to do that.
- Fiction Award Winners (novels)
- Film Comment (films)
- Pitchfork Media (music)
- Largehearted Boy (list of lists)
Effective altruism is about giving to high-impact charities. Would you rather give $40,000 to a charity that provides one guide dog for the blind or give that money to a charity that cures 1,000 people of blindness? That is the basic idea.
- GiveWell – Really thorough charity evaluation service that picks the top 3 most effective charities in the world.
- The Life You Can Save – Another charity selection service with a few more options.
- Giving What We Can– A third selection service somewhere in the middle of GiveWell and The Life You Can Save