Tools I Use

This page contains resources that I have found useful in my journey as a Family CEO.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning they will earn me a small commission (at no extra cost to you). I never recommend products or services unless I use them personally and can highly recommend them.

Investing

• When it comes to investing I believe in simplicity and low costs, and for those reasons I’m a diehard Vanguard investor. People who invest with Vanguard are passionate about the company. Here’s why.

Sources of Found Money

• Mr. Rebates is a great source for online coupons and you’ll earn a 1% to 30% cash back rebate on what you buy online when you go through Mr. Rebates first. I’ve used Mr. Rebates since 2006 and I never shop online without first visiting the site. It’s free to use and you’ll earn a $5 bonus just for signing up.

• Ebates is a site much like Mr. Rebates above. I usually check to see which site is offering better cash back before I shop. The current signup bonus for Ebates is $10.

• MissingMoney.com is a reputable site where you can check for money you may be owed from things like closed bank accounts, uncashed checks, insurance policies, and utility deposits. You can read about our experience here: How to Find Unclaimed Money (We Did!)

Managing Money

• Quicken and Quicken for Mac I’ve used Quicken money management software for at least 20 years, and probably a lot longer. I use it to reconcile our bank account and track our spending. I’m addicted to the reports feature. I also use Quickbooks to keep the books and do payroll for my husband’s business.

• It’s Deductible from TurboTax is a simple way to keep track of and value your charitable donations. Better yet, it’s free to use. (See how I use it here.)

• Charity Navigator evaluates and rates over 5000 charities based on their financial health, transparency, and accountability. I use it to track the charities we’re involved in, like Kiva and CFCA.

Blogging

It’s tempting to start out blogging on free platforms like Blogger or Typepad. But if you want to do anything with your blog (especially make money) you need to 1. choose a blogging platform 2. get your own domain name and 3. arrange hosting. By doing these things you will own your site and will maintain control over it. While blogging this way isn’t free, it’s still very, very affordable as you’ll see below.

WordPress.org WordPress is the gold standard of online platforms. I’ve seen statistics that say that 24% of the web runs on WordPress. WordPress is free, but there are two versions. With WordPress.org you’ll need to arrange your own hosting and domain name, which is a good thing because of that previously mentioned control issue. With WordPress.com that stuff comes free but it’s a bit like being on Blogger or Typepad in that you don’t own your site. Plus you’ll be charged for lots of little extras you might want to do. So WordPress.org is the way to go.

GoDaddy.com A domain name (which is your URL or web address) is available through a variety of places, including through most web hosting companies, which we’ll get to in a minute. I don’t like tying my domain names to a hosting company in case I change companies, which I have had to do once before. I now have all of my domain names (i.e. www.thefamilyceo.com, www.thefamilyceoblog.com, and www.juliemayfield.net) through GoDaddy. Domain names at GoDaddy start at $7.99/year. You can also get cash back on your GoDaddy purchase by first going to Mr. Rebates or Ebates and then clicking through to GoDaddy from there. (As I write this Mr. Rebates has the higher cash back at 12%, but that can change.)

Media Temple It’s important that you have a reliable hosting company since that is what keeps your blog online. I started out with Bluehost, which is who many beginning bloggers use. After a while I began having reliability issues with them so I switched to Media Temple in 2013 and have had zero issues since that time. I love them. I currently pay $20/month for my hosting.

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