Get By With a Little Help From the Web: Sites and Programs to Help You Financially
by Kenneth Medford III
In continuation of our article about sites and programs to help you with housing, I’ve put together a few resources to help your wallet. As we’ve said, being able to budget well is the difference between running in place and achieving your financial goals.
Check out the links below for a collection of sites, programs, and resources to help you financially.
Websites and Programs for Financial Assistance
Pride is a powerful thing. It can make you dig yourself into a far deeper hole than you ever really need to be in. Pride can also keep us from seeking and utilizing help that is available to us. In order to move forward, sometimes we have to get out of our own way. Here are a couple programs that can help.
A government program for those with disabilities and/or those age 65 or older. Per their website:
“Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program funded by U.S. Treasury general funds. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the program, but SSI is not paid for by Social Security taxes. SSI provides financial help to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.”
This program is useful for taking some of the stress off the shoulders of those with disabilities. The benefit even applies to children, so those needing financial assistance caring for minors with disabilities can also lighten their load.
Here is an awesome breakdown on the difference between SSI and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) from the National Council on Aging along with an FAQ.
The link above will give you a list of various programs ranging from local state assistance to loan assistance, military (active and veteran) programs to living assistance, and everything in between. I specifically did a search for financial assistance since that’s kind of the whole deal here, but you can also fill out the Benefit Finder survey HERE to see if there are other applicable programs that can help you out.
Now I know going through government programs can be a headache, nightmare, [insert negative comparison here], but if times are hard and you need a leg up, you gotta do what you gotta do. Both my girlfriend and I have benefited from such programs in regards to medical debt, and it was a game changer for us. The money that freed up allowed us to create an emergency fund that has kept us out of that kind of medical debt and a savings account that sent us to Japan. If they’re offering, there’s no reason you shouldn’t shoot that financial shot.
Resources and Sites to Help You Save on Expenses
Student Loans and Refinancing
With federal student loan payments deferred until January 2022, many students with privately held loans are missing out on capitalizing on principal only payments. That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the record low interest rates to refinance your student loans. (Need help figuring out whether or not refinancing is for you? Check out this article.)
Nav.it likes Juno because they use group buying power to negotiate better student loan rates, starting at 1.04%.
Sites to Help You Protect Your Financial Legacy
Legacy planning is a financial strategy that prepares people to pass their assets to a loved one. If you can leave behind an inheritance to your descendants, that constitutes generational wealth. Your strategy for creating generational wealth? Totally derived from your ability to implement a strategy where your loved ones lose as little as possible in the transfer of wealth.
Nav.it likes Trust and Will because it has a variety of options to fit every family’s needs. Whether you need to create a trust to protect a more sizeable amount of assets or set up a guardianship because you have babies, Trust and Will can walk you through the process and set you up, entirely online.
Part of protecting your financial legacy is insuring that your loved ones are covered financially if you pass. 65% of young adults between 21-32 that don’t have life insurance, and with the National Funeral Directors Association putting the median cost of a funeral at $8,755 and cremation costs a median of $6,260, it’s not wonder people are turning to GoFundMe.
We like Bestow because you get a free quote and can get covered immediately if you’re approved. It’s quick, efficient, and most importantly, the application is done entirely online.
A One-Stop Shop for Insuring Your Assets
Whether you’re looking for home insurance, car insurance, renter or homeowner’s insurance, or even insurance for Fido (your dog), Young Alfred has you covered.
Young Alfred is an online marketplace that let’s you easily compare and buy all different types of insurance.
Sites to Save on Travel
For Accommodations: Weigh your options.
Booking– Suggests getaways but is also a great platform for price shopping.
Airbnb – Stay in a private apartment in the middle of a city or a yurt on the Pacific Coast Highway. Options are limitless
Hostelworld – You don’t have to crash in a bunk bed. Many hostels now have single rooms with private bath accommodations. The best resource for finding budget-friendly hostels around the world.
For flights: Stay flexible timing your travel. You’re more likely to score a deal that way using one of these platforms.
Google Flights – Price compare across different airlines and set up price alerts.
Skyscanner – If you’re not 100% sure where you want to go (or when) then start your search here. You can search “Everywhere” and get a breakdown of prices based on state or country or search an entire month for the cheapest flight.
Holiday Pirates – No matter where you’re based this is a great cheap flight website so be sure to check here for more deals.
Saving on Travel Insurance
As a remote team, Nav.it employees love to travel. When the pandemic hit, we also realized how important travel insurance is. We like World Nomad because it’s simple & flexible trip insurance for international or domestic travel, that you can buy & claim from anywhere in the world.
AARP $12 Annual Membership (for those younger than 50)
The American Association of Retired Persons is a non-profit interest group that focuses on issues facing the elderly. They offer an annual membership as a way for people nearing or in retirement to gain access to things like discounted insurance and medical care.
In the words of Mackenzie Stewart, “AARP offers discounts on a lot of other things. Like a lot a lot. I found discounts on prescription medication, prescription glasses, cruises, hotels, retail, dining, financial services, car insurance, gas and the plethora of free resources they provide on their site through their blog and newsletter.”
AARP’s target audience, those 50 and Over, can sign up for free but the rest of us have to pay to get in. Luckily, an annual membership is only $12.
To read more about the specific benefits of an AARP membership, check out this article here.
Sites and Resources to Increase your Financial Knowledge
For those of you that maybe don’t need financial assistance but need more knowledge on what to do with the money you have, I’m with you 100%. We hear words like budget, invest, etc, but you might not know exactly how to get into any of that. Here are a couple sites I love to use for clarifications.
They kick in the door talking that Nav.it language:
“Make all the right money moves
Need expert money advice, helpful tools and tailored insights to answer your money questions? Turn to the Nerds.
Let’s crush your money goals. Where do you want to start?”
With that intro, you can jump into credit cards, insurance, investments, and more. A simple click takes you to the info you need to make the best financial decisions for your wallet. As a Navigator, finding places that speak in human language is important, and NerdWallet does a great job of making more complicated concepts easier to digest.
Need something to complement your Nav.it education? Check out NerdWallet.com
Another like-minded site that I love to check out is The Penny Hoarder. Their “About Us” page definitely speaks to me:
“Founded in 2010, The Penny Hoarder is one of the nation’s largest personal finance websites. Its purpose is to help people take control of their personal finances and make smart money decisions by sharing actionable articles and resources on how to earn, save and manage money. For three consecutive years, the Inc 500/5000 has ranked The Penny Hoarder one of the fastest-growing private media companies in America.
The Penny Hoarder envisions a world where there is less money stress. The Penny Hoarder’s mission is to empower people to make smart choices with their money.”
My favorite part of The Penny Hoarder is their focus on some of the morality of money. The “Dear Penny” section is a fantastic combination of educational, heartbreaking, and inspiring. One of their most recent posts about a 22 year old that asked whether or not they should share becoming a millionaire with their parents was quite the read. Many of us know how it may feel having people look at you different or ask you for money when you land a good job, but that “two comma club” as they put it is definitely a different wave.
For the rest of us dealing with everyday money issues, they have a wealth of money making/saving/budgeting tips that will be inline with Navigators looking to achieve a variety of financial goals. Check them out next time you need an outside of the box idea to complement your Nav.it knowledge.
There is a literal sea of content on Reddit, and it’s almost too easy to drown in it. The cool thing is, you can join just about any subreddit (specific pages of the site) you want, and, as long as you follow the provided rules, you can soak up the knowledge. Here are a few of my favorite subreddits when it comes to making money moves.
r/povertyfinance – This one is one part cautionary tales and one part solutions. If you find yourself in dire straits with your finances, I would suggest checking out situations others have been through and even making a post about your personal situation to see what others might have for you.
r/personalfinance – This is usually a problem solver/finder thread for me. I’ve come across issues here that never even crossed my mind, and the responding redditors are usually pretty good at coming up with reasonable solutions. If you have a question about how to fix a situation where you might have been taken advantage of, this would be the place to go.
r/financialindependence – This, of course, is a must join for anyone looking for. . .well financial independence. The redditors here are really good at considering the ever evolving issues with building your savings, finding investments, and/or budgeting to achieve your financial goals. If early retirement is one of your goals (and let’s be honest, it’s everyone’s goal), check them out and see what tips and tricks you can pick up to add to your arsenal.
For money mindfulness
Shameless self-promotion here, but if you want an app that has all of these resources all in one PLUS money coaches download Nav.it. Nav.it helps you build good financial habits to spend less, save more and pay down high-interest debt. By changing your behaviors around your money, you’ll build a strong money mindset to help you navigate any obstacle along your journey.
Take what you need and leave what you don’t. It’s one of my favorite ways to deal with information. . .and most people. Grab some info here to level up your financial strategies and get your wallet to where you want it to be.
Writer, rhymer, gamer: the easiest way to define the man known as Kenneth Medford. I’m a simple man who loves to learn and loves to help and I wander the digital world trying to find ways to sate my hunger for both. Basically, I’m Galactus but helpful.
Check out my other work here or reach out to me on LinkedIn.