We’ve compiled a small list of books and websites that we love and from which we’ve learned a lot. Below those recommendations you will find another list of discount codes! From Uber and Airbnb to Wealthfront and Transferwise, these will help you save money and live better. After that, all of the fantastic tools that make this website possible.
All links open in new tabs because we have common decency, common sense, common courtesy, we are nice people, we love you, and it’s just the right thing to do.
If you would like access to the spreadsheets we use to calculate investment returns, an explanation of the compound interest formula we use, an explanation of the inflation rate we assume, or the graphs and formulas we use to generate the graphs on the site, just ask.
- Jack Bogle: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
- Bogle is the founder of Vanguard and effectively the inventor of the index fund. He is a legend in the investment world and a champion of passive investing.
- Burton Malkiel: A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- This book is a true classic in the investment world, a ‘one book says it all’ text. Malkiel worked at Vanguard for much of his life and is now the Chef Investment Officer (CIO) of Wealthfront.
- Charles Ellis: Winning the Loser’s Game
- Charley Ellis founded Greenwich Associates, seems to have either graduated from or worked for every Ivy League university, and has made a name for himself both as an investor and as an author.
- How to retire by age 30 (and so, so much more): Mr. Money Mustache
Tools and Apps
- Mint– Keep track of your budget, your accounts, your credit score, and your bills. All in one place!
- Level Money– Does basically the same thing as Mint– geared toward millennials.
- AwardWallet– helps you keep track of all of your award miles and points in one place.
Discount codes: let’s help each other save money.
These 21st-century firms are simplifying our lives and saving us money. We can invest those extra dollars in our Roth IRAs and make our future-selves better off! By signing up for these sites with the following links, you will get special discounts and bonuses. On our end, we’ll be rewarded for inviting you. It’s a win-win: so, let’s improve each other’s wallets and lives!
Note that some of these promo-invites will appear as invitations from the creator of WLI, Louis DeFelice, about whom you can read a few lines in About.
- A ride-sharing service, like Uber; more popular on the West Coast and virtually always cheaper than a taxi! $50 toward rides with Lyft.
- A ride-sharing service, like Lyft; more popular on the East Coast and also cheaper than a taxi! Want to make extra money on the side? Try driving for Uber! Riding? First ride free. Driving? Varying sign-up bonuses.
- A worldwide home-sharing network. Stay in a French villa or crash on someone’s couch. Pay less than you would for a hotel and meet a friendly local host! Get $35 off of your stay.
- A 21st-century investment firm that invests your money in a well-diversified portfolio of index funds for an impossibly small fee. Like Betterment, Wealthfront takes care of your money efficiently, so that you can trust that your finances are responsibly cared for while you get on with your life. Get $15,000 managed for free.
- Another human-oriented, tech-savvy, easy to use, inexpensive investment firm. They invest your money for you so that you can get on with your life while your money grows in the background. Expect a broadly diversified portfolio of ETFs that includes automated tax-loss harvesting, rebalancing, deposits/withdrawals, and customization to your unique situation. Get up to 6 months free.
- A cheap, quick, and easy-to-use international money transfer service. The fee starts at $3.00 and then grows slowly after you transfer $250. TW totally beats ATMs and currency exchange kiosks. Get your first transfer free.
Tools we use to run this website and our lives
Logo + Design: Michael Walker, at Design by Walker, designed that beautiful logo you see up in the top-left corner. We can tell you with total sincerity that Michael is hardworking, efficient, and talented, but his work will speak for itself if you click here. If you want to get in touch, email him here and tell him we sent you!
Hosting/Domain: SiteGround has treated us well, offers comprehensive services (including email addresses) for a great price. Their customer service is outstanding, too.
Platform: WordPress is the standard for a reason. The reigning king of all website content management systems, it’s an open source tool with tens of thousands of plugins that allow you to create just about anything on your site. And it’s free. Good God Almighty.
Stats: Google Analytics is free, essential, and has more tools than we’ll ever know how to use.
Email Subscriptions: MailChimp is easy to use, powerful, and free.
Password Management: LastPass is free, badass, necessary, and we shall never part from them. If you really must know, LastPass securely stores all of your passwords in their ‘vault,’ allowing you to access them with a single master password. Additionally, LastPass will let you know how secure your passwords are, warn you when you’re using the same one too frequently, generate secure, new passwords for you on command, automatically fill in your passwords when you arrive at a website, and so, so much more.
Computer Data Backup: Backblaze backs up your entire computer, automatically, for just $5/month. You can tell it to skip some folders or files for backup, and you can pull file versions from any time during the last 30 days that Backblaze has been running. We seriously love this service, and discovered our need for it the hard way.
Physical Data Backup: LaCie Rugged Mini USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 1TB External Hard Drive
Data Transfer: WeTransfer offers free, uncompressed sharing up to 2GB.
Proofreading: Grammarly instantly checks for 250 types of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. We use the free version, which offers plugins in Safari, Chrome, Outlook, and plenty of other places, meaning we make Facebook statuses, write emails, and post content to WLI with Grammarly constantly watching out for us in the background.