MMM Recommends

Products & Services | Books | Credit Cards | Phone Plans


We all know that Mr. Money Mustache is fairly good at Not Buying Unnecessary Crap. But what about necessary things, not to mention services and investment options? Many people ask me in emails which companies I like, so I thought it would be useful to put them all into one page which I can update as needed.

On this page, I list the stores and services that I actually DO use, just in case you want to check them out for yourself. I try to put some serious research into each of my choices as a consumer, but that still doesn’t mean they are automatically the best ones. If you see any areas where I could improve, let me know in the comments and I’ll look into it and possibly make the switch. If it’s a win, I’ll change my status to reflect the upgrade.

Affiliate Note: Some of these companies happen to offer commissions for online referrals. Other ones don’t. My goal is that this doesn’t affect my choice, but where available, I made point of using the right type of link so that this blog will get a credit if you end up becoming a customer. It’s a nice and fully optional way to help out this blog if you choose to do so.




Vanguard index funds,
Betterment one-stop investing setup,
Interactive Brokers for fancier brokerage needs.

Vanguard logo

For most of my investing life, Vanguard was THE one-stop shop for index funds of all types. They have the lowest expense ratio and the utmost respect for their customers. In fact, the company is legally structured as an investor-owned entity, meaning its responsibility is to YOU as opposed to an outside group of shareholders. Read around all you like – the smartest investors will generally recommend Vanguard funds.

You can buy them in three ways: directly through Vanguard if you create an account, directly through Exchange-Traded Funds through any brokerage, or as part of an automated solution like Betterment below.

Since 2014, I have been adding funds to a newer service called Betterment, which is basically a more user-friendly way to do very a solid form of index-fund investing.  With Betterment, you still end up holding mostly Vanguard index funds, but they handle automatic rebalancing and minimizing your tax costs. I’m very happy with the service. In exchange, Betterment charges a fee ($250/year per $100,000 invested). I feel their features are easily worth the fee, so I have continued to add to this account – I now have about $900k with the company.

Related Article: Why I Put My Last $100,000 into Betterment

I switched some of my stock holdings over to Interactive brokers (I was formerly using eTrade) in late 2020, at the recommend of a wealthy friend – mainly because of Interactive Broker’s amazing “margin account” feature. This, when used very carefully makes it seamless to borrow cash against your own shares at some of the lowest rates on Earth – currently 0.5-1.5% as I write this in January 2021, whereas eTrade is 8-9% (!).

I wrote an article about the experience (so far, so good). They currently have a 1% referral bonus for new deposits. You are welcome to read the details (and optionally sign up) using my referral link here.


Mortgages, Student Loan Refinancing, Etc: Credible


Refinancing your existing loans is boring but extremely profitable for you, so you should do it. First I’ll share the links, then I will explain my reasoning below.

Student Loan Refinancing <–$500 to $1000 bonus with this link!
Mortgage Refinancing
New Mortgage
Personal Loans <–$100 bonus (by gift card, see their terms here.)

(See their disclosures here) (NMLS No. 1681276)

Credible is a user friendly loan comparison service that is uniquely borrower-aligned:  you can compare actual prequalified rates across all the major providers which compete for your business, without filling separate applications for each lender or giving all of them your personal information. This keeps you off the spam mailing lists and can easily save thousands of dollars per loan that you refinance. 

Note: My previous recommendation in this area was SoFi, which is still offering great service, but Credible blankets across a greater number of providers, including SoFi.


Financial Tracking



Personal Capital is a financial tracking tool that I started using in mid-2013, and I still use it almost daily to get a snapshot of my “net worth”, just as a fun way to remind myself to relax about money and make the most of life.  It is similar to Mint (below), and it is also free to use. But it has a greater focus on investment tracking and investment advice, and in fact the software sort of functions as an investment teacher. 

If you link in more than $100k of investable accounts, the company will ask if you want them to hire them as a fee-based financial planner. All of it is optional, and you can just keep using the software for free if you prefer. but I found it interesting to go through the first free session on the phone with an adviser to learn more about what these wealth management companies actually do. I used this to write an article about the company and then opted out of future calls since I’m not a phone person :-)

Related Article: Personal Capital: the Investor’s Version of Mint?

You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a simple to use (but sophisticated under the hood) bit of budgeting software that uses the principles of human habits and behavioral finance to make you more conscious and efficient in your spending. Although I was born a weirdo and always favored saving over spending myself – sometimes to a fault, this software has built a fanatical following of happy users because it works perfectly for many people who have had compulsive spending problems in the past.

Related Article: The Uncommonly Effective Entrepreneur

Cell Phone Service


I switched to Google Fi in 2015 for worldwide, $20-per-month phone service that just works. I haven’t looked back since – amazing coverage, easy international roaming, and super simple billing.

I don’t have time to keep pace with ongoing changes in the cellular marketplace, so I teamed up with my friend Chris. He maintains his own list of the best cheap mobile phone plans on the Coverage Critic page here on MMM.

For readers up north, Chris keeps a separate list of recommended services in Canada.


Credit Cards for Cash Back or Travel


Every year or so, I get a new credit card with a $500+ signing bonus, and cancel an older one to avoid annual fees and just to keep life simple.

Thanks to a collaboration with a travel-hacking friend, we now keep a pretty rigorously updated list of the best rewards credit cards.

Currently (January 2020) my main cards are just the top-paying Capital One cards on the personal and business side.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is another great card in this top-tier category: I have gone through three of them in the last few years, collecting the bonus on each.


Car Stuff


Insurance: Geico is usually among the best for most cars, although for Teslas you should check out Tesla Insurance and Costco’s “Connect” insurance, which is what I am using as of 2023.

Best Car to Buy: For the cheapest possible driving experience while also having room for people and stuff, a 2010-2023 Prius is often the winner, especially if you need to do a lot of driving. Honda Fit is a close second (not quite as efficient, but also less costly).

And if you’re getting a NEW car, the electric Chevrolet Bolt is the best all-around car for the money, while the Tesla Model Y is the best overall vehicle with no compromises – IF you can afford to blow $50k without taking out a loan. Here’s a quick link to my Tesla referral code which provides a discount if you are considering a Tesla.

How to Get Rid of a Very Old Car, Very Quickly:

I recently used Peddle with great results, and have been recommending them to anyone who has a low-value, possibly even non-driveable car they just want GONE in exchange for $500-1000 of cash. Peddle works online and efficiently, arranges free towing and then typically sells off your car for parts and recycling. The catalytic converter is often the most valuable part, which is why even a dead gasoline car will still fetch a good sum.

Homeowners Insurance

As with car insurance, I suggest searching around for the best rates.

I have swapped out the house insurance several times in recent years. First I was with State Farm, but they raised the rates for no good reason one year. I restored the old rate by switching to ASI, but they too jacked up their rates unexpectedly after a year. So I switched to Safeco, and so far rates have been stable. I am paying about $500 per year for a $275,000 rebuild coverage with $5k deductible. (The property is worth about $400k in today’s market but a lot of that is the value of the land).


Health Insurance

Many people assume that they need to keep their jobs forever, because it is their source of health insurance. The good news is, this is usually not true. If you start by getting a quote at the national market exchange, you can find the baseline cost for your situation, which is often lower than you might expect. If you make under $100,000/year, there may even be substantial discounts.

What I do:

You may be able to get even more affordable coverage through the combination of membership with a Direct Primary Care physician (around $100 per month) and then a higher deductible Health Sharing membership with a company like Sedera (which reimburses you for medical costs that aren’t part of the DPC).

Related Article: Two Years Without Health Insurance (and What I Do Now)


Blogging – Web Hosting: Bluehost and ConvertKit


Bluehost has been good to us – Until March 2013 they hosted this rather busy blog (it reached 2.3 million pageviews per month) using the “Pro Plan” at $25/month.

Normal hosting plans are now down to under $4 per month due to a special high volume discount they have provided to readers of this blog. This includes massive space and no limits on traffic, and the speed is excellent (during an FTP test, I easily downloaded from the account at 16Mbits/sec even while the blog was running in the background, and even that was probably limited by my cable internet connection rather than Bluehost.

They have automatic installs of WordPress and all kinds of other software (such as the forum software we use) all built in, so it takes less than five minutes to set up a relatively fancy blog.

Nowadays with over 6 million pageviews per month, we have moved up to the Uber-powerful development/hosting combo platform called Pantheon.

But until you reach that first million, Bluehost is a great choice.


ConvertKit is a newer thing for me – a paid email service which allows you to send automated sequences of emails and manage a big list of customers/subscribers with a very nice interface. If you are managing a smaller list (up to 1000 customers), they have great free option you can try – see link above.

For larger lists like this blog, it can get expensive (I pay hundreds per month for my list of 120,000+), BUT, if it increases your sales even a small percentage and/or saves you a few hours per month of management time, it can be worth the expense. Plus, their support is extremely good, like they will migrate or set up your list for free, and you can jump on a screen-sharing Zoom call with an expert any time. If you want to see some of the user experience from the subscriber side, you can look at my own subscription page here and optionally join the MMM mailing list if you like.

Related Article: How to Start a Blog




Coursera: actual courses from various universities, made available mostly free

Khan Academy: a smart and personable guy just started making some YouTube tutorial videos to teach his family and friends, and it took off, eventually getting the attention and backing of Bill Gates. Nowadays they’ve got a video library with over 3900 videos in various topics and over 225 million lessons delivered.

EDX (a collaboration between Harvard and MIT): Big-name courses, made available for free – with options to pay a discounted fee to receive actual course credits.

creativeLIVE: A selection of neat-sounding courses in the Artsy arena (photography, business, design, photoshop, video&film). To complete the circle of this new online world, you’ll find Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi on there as instructors, teaching their stuff even as they continue to run their own businesses based on the idea of learning stuff online.

Duolingo: Mrs. Money Mustache has been learning Spanish (and brushing up on her French) using Duolingo.  It’s free language education for the world.  They currently offer free (and amazingly useful) courses in Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian.

Scratch: Jr. Money Mustache and Mrs. MM enjoy creating projects in Scratch.  It is a free programming language for kids and a really fun way to learn to create your own interactive story and games.  Jr. MM give it a thumbs up!

The Library: The library is a great place to find a lot of great free learning materials that don’t just include books.  Our local library offers free online courses.  Find out what your library offers.

Related Article: Interview with a CEO: Ridiculous Student Loans vs. The Future of Education


Banking: Capital One, Ally, or Schwab


For my personal checking account, I still use Capital One 360. It has been a fine bank, most notable for its very good user interface in transferring money between itself and up to three of your other accounts – you can push or pull large amounts (even six figures), whereas some banks place artificially low limits on these transactions.

Groceries: Costco


I like to get the expensive staples like olive oil, nuts, cheese and coffee at Costco once per quarter, which saves our family about $1000/year on groceries according to this article. For the smaller weekly runs, I’ve grown to really like the Kroger grocery chain (represented in my area by Denver-based King Sooper’s). It is much better than Safeway in many ways, especially organic food.

Related Article: Is a Costco Membership Worth the Cost?


 Everything Else: Amazon


I buy everything from furnaces to underwear at Amazon, because the efficiency of it cannot be beat. If you use the link here to start your Amazon search it will benefit this blog and all of its efforts, and many thanks for that.


Products & Services | Books | Credit Cards | Phone Plans

  • RockyMtnNeighbor October 16, 2014, 12:20 pm

    Another good source for cheap electronic-related things is We bought a wall mount to hang our 60″ flat screen on for $15 vs. Best Buy sells the exact same thing for $100 I think?? We buy all our speaker cables and ethernet cables from here too, along with the matching plugs, coverplates and such for figurative pennies compared to the standard big-box stores.

    • jj January 28, 2015, 11:33 pm

      Big thumbs up for Monoprice. Can’t beat em.

    • Adam February 27, 2015, 9:06 am

      Ditto. I love Monoprice. I also bought a wall mount for my TV there and it has done a perfect job holding my TV, at a fraction of the cost!

      In fact, a friend of mine used to own a multi-monitor display company where they would build systems for people who use several display units in their work, and they ordered many of the items they needed from Monoprice because they prices are so awesome.

  • Julian November 5, 2014, 7:13 pm

    Full disclosure MMM, are any of these recommendations paid? They all make sense but so many of them seem so random that it feels like maybe the company just paid for a spot on the page.

    • Mr. Money Mustache November 6, 2014, 7:16 am

      Thanks Julian, first comment since we enabled comments on this page 3 years into it! I hope there are many more to come.

      No, recommendations are not for sale on this page. They’re random just because they are things I have used and been happy with myself. Or in some cases, a reader has introduced me to something better what I knew about already.

      The page could probably use some reorganization though, as these have been piling up here for all this time.

  • yeisi November 26, 2014, 6:40 pm

    Do you have any readers in South America? I been following you intensively for the past month (i’ve read all the mayor post and keep discovering great stuff.. thank you). But, Even though me and my wife live fairly frugal (we have amassed large savings) cant find a good place to invest our money. Lending Club and the likes dont work for non us residents without ssn.
    What do you suggest for the rest of us? Is there a blog you know that deals with south americans mustachians?

    • Mark December 8, 2014, 6:06 pm

      There are difficulties with non-U.S. Residents investing in the US. Essentially you open yourself up to a double taxation situation in which you are taxed on the income of your US investments in the US and in your native country. There is a treaty with South Africa on this matter but I am afraid I do not know the details.

      If you had passive US investments (and it is an open question how you would actively manage US investments from there– but in the days of the internet who knows?) you could elect for a 30% withholding and not even be required to file a return.

      Still 30% is a pretty stiff bite.

    • claire May 7, 2015, 8:53 am

      Thank you!! Finally someone thinks about foreigners!!! I too live in South America! Though MANY of the MMM precepts apply, soooo many things seem, well… out of reach (LIKE A GOOD LIBRARY!!!!)

      I hate to complain, but perhaps some articles could contemplate this (that not all of us are US residents)? Thanks!!!

  • Amy November 29, 2014, 6:59 pm

    I just received my Moto G from Republic Wireless, which I had never even heard of until I read your blog. Wow! I’m going to save so much money! Thanks, MMM! The phone and service, so far, are just as good as any.

  • must_stash November 30, 2014, 9:04 am

    Just signed up for the capital 360 checking and saving. There is a black friday deal, sign up with a 1k in savings get a bonus $100, and $250 in checking plus 5 transactions get a bonus $100. Once I saw the MMM endorsement of capital360 I went for it. Hopefully it all works out, can’t beat a $200 gain on $1250!

  • Toshi November 30, 2014, 11:11 am

    An even cheaper fax option for occasional users is FaxZero. 3 pages (with ad-laden cover page) up to 5 times per day, for free.

  • WD December 1, 2014, 1:59 pm

    I tend to find better deals for many products on Google Express
    than I do on Amazon, but they only exist in a few cities right now. They go to the store for you and do not charge a markup as far as I can tell. You can get 3 months for free with a trial membership, and then 10 a month or 90 a year beyond that to get free shipping. You can also pay 5 per trip on shipping instead of a membership if you want.

  • James December 23, 2014, 4:51 pm

    I’m surprised that you recommend TurboTax. There are others that are free or 1/5 the price of TurboTax (depending on your filing needs), and equally easy to use. I’ve used either or for the past 9 years and been quite satisfied, despite having fairly complicated tax filings.

  • Ryan December 28, 2014, 9:16 pm

    MMM, thank you for sharing your helpful financial advice. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Sharebuilder’s automatic investment function. I’m grandfathered in to their advantage program which puts me at paying $12 per mo in commissions. I make 12 purchases per mo so I average $1 per trade. Thoughts?

    • KeepMoneySmellingMothy January 11, 2015, 9:36 am

      I was wondering the same thing. I’m also grandfathered into the advantage plan. I have about 8 trades a month. However I have three custodial accounts at the $4 per trade. So I only get them one stock each $100 per month. Anyone know of a better deal?

  • Hussain January 2, 2015, 7:42 pm

    For free unlimited incoming faxes to email I like:

    For free outgoing faxes I prefer:

    The free fax is limited to 3 pages + cover page and only 5 per day, but I rarely need more than that, they also have a paid fax for the rare occasion when I might need to fax something really long.

    This is another good resource for free faxing:

  • Joe January 5, 2015, 8:26 am

    I’d like to recommend you use as opposed to only betterworld books. It is a simple search engine that finds the cheapest books in the world. It even will compare shipping costs if you give it a list, and will direct you to combination purchases at various sites.

  • GetRichBrothers January 5, 2015, 9:47 am

    For Canadian banking services, has solid interest rates with no fees. I’ve also earned money from referrals as well which gives an extra opportunity for some cash flow if you have likeminded friends you recommend the service to. That said, I’ve never pushed a referral – I simply lay out the facts whenever I hear someone complain about bank fees they’re paying.

  • Joshua Hall January 22, 2015, 9:08 am

    Have you checked out Freedom Pop’s cell phones and service? ‘Just curious to know what you think. Their phone costs about $120, and they have an unlimited talk and text plan with 500 Mb of data for about $7 per month.

    • Mr. Money Mustache January 23, 2015, 9:41 am

      Yeah, I tried FreedomPop for a number of years, but had to remove them from this list of recommendations because they have what I believe to be an evil cancellation policy: There is no way to cancel your account via their webpage. They make you call a telephone number, which I found led to ridiculous wait times (I called on 3 different days and each time had to give up after 25 minutes on hold).

      I contacted their management and suggested they immediately add online cancellation as an option. The guy responded that they have no plans for that at this time, but they were planning to add more telephone support staff instead.

      In my opinion, this is not a customer-focused way of running the business so I can’t recommend FreedomPop until they fix that.

  • Tom January 24, 2015, 10:14 pm

    I wanted to let you know of a health costs sharing group called Altrua. The deductibles are low, 1000.00 on the first 10,000 up to a max of 3500.00 for a million in lifetime coverage. My wife and I pay 360.00 per month. It has been officially found to be exempt from Obama care’s penalties. The only catch, it is for healthy people only, who take good care of themselves, exercise, etc, which is probably most of the MMM community. I highly recommend it.

    An older, more established group is Medishare. Unfortunately you have to have a certain religious belief system to join. Altrua, according to my understanding, was formed to circumvent this requirement, requiring only that the member be willing to care for their neighbors. Good luck.

  • Tom February 2, 2015, 7:05 am

    Hey MMM

    I followed up on your tip about home owners insurance throught GEICO (ASI). I already have cars on GEICO, but calle dthem about transferring over my home coverage. They informed me that ASI is no longer affiliated with GEICO. Are you still with ASI? Would you still recommend? I’m just dow the rode in Denver and the best premium they quoted me was $1000 for a similarly valued home as yours, and the lowest deductible they could do was $2,500.

    • Mr. Money Mustache February 3, 2015, 4:56 pm

      Hey Jim, you might try Safeco – I used them for the last year of my other house and it was a very good experience. I will update this page.

      • Jim February 5, 2015, 12:37 pm

        Thanks for providing the updated home insurance info. So far, Safeco is providing the best quotes for me as well. Your zip is providing a nice discount for you! In Denver, for 5,000 deductible, 275K replacement cost, 500K overall value the best premium they can do is $1,077.

        • Mr. Money Mustache February 5, 2015, 3:42 pm

          Whoo! I’d be tempted to self-insure at that level … Another benefit of no mortgage.

  • Kyle February 5, 2015, 11:03 am


    did you take Sharebuilder off your recommend list or did i miss something.

  • HSmith February 28, 2015, 11:12 am

    Lots of those recommendations don’t work in Canada. More recommendations for the mustachians north of the 49th parallel?

    I will start with my own experience. I live in great Vancouver area. Very expensive region to live, so we have to be extra frugal.

    Cell phones –711 Speakout. I use the prepaid. I like it because it gives you control of the budget. The money you put in is good for a whole year and can roll over to the next year if you add any amount on top of it. I spent less than 10 CAD/mo on phone/text. data is 10/mo/100M.

    Land phone — I use italk BB. less than 15/mo, I do hours of international long distance calls.

    Banking –I bank with TD, but I won’t recommend it unless you have more than 5K always hanging around.

    Internet– If you want TV with internet, in Vancouver area if you can get Novus it is nice. They don’t cover a lot of buildings though. If not, Tech Savvy has better price and better download upload speed. If you go with Telus, although they advertise “from 30”, but the reality is the lowest plan costs 57/mo, that is if you bundle with TV or phone, 3 yr contracts, and lowest speed/data limits.

    TV– no winner to me yet. And I am not ready to cut the cable yet. Enjoy a good hockey game and food channel.

  • Josh Bennett March 12, 2015, 11:17 am


    What do you recommend for internet providers in the U.S.?

    My wife and I have been reading your website for a few months now and we are saving and enjoying the information!


    • Mr. Money Mustache March 12, 2015, 1:00 pm

      Hey Josh – tricky question as it is a fragmented market (different offerings in every city). The best I can suggest is to look carefully at all options in your area, take advantage of introductory offers, negotiate them back down once the rate rises, and keep your eye out for new entrants in the market.

      Also, don’t get sucked into “combo” packages, because you don’t need home phone or TV service – the Internet does everything for you (combined with a mobile phone).

  • Calstache March 21, 2015, 11:55 pm

    USAA has the best customer service and great rates for all types of insurance. You would need to be connected to someone in the military for some of their services.

    Q: You mention ING in some of your articles but they don’t show up here. I’m guessing it’s related to Capital One’s purchase of them, but is there a direct correlation to ING’s reputation and interest rates and what Capital One now offers?

    Capital One bought my mortgage for a condo. When trying to sell the condo, I was extremely disappointed with their trustworthiness, fed up with their customer service and all-around mad at them.

    Do you avoid using the financial companies that acted terribly in the last 10 years? I hope so!

  • Ashlee April 3, 2015, 8:09 pm

    Hi MMM – I really appreciate your site and while I’ve felt that I can’t really take advantage of all of your advice since moving overseas, I still read it for fun when I want to dream about being more fiscally wise.

    I know that you recommend investing in mutual funds and index funds, but I recently learned from my accountant that US citizens living overseas are not allowed to invest in mutual funds. I just wondered if you have a recommendation for a good backup strategy? I have less than $30k in savings total between my IRA and savings accounts, so it wouldn’t be anything substantial, but I still like the idea of putting my savings into the highest yielding option.


  • Rod Hoadley April 9, 2015, 12:26 am

    Mr. MM,

    I really love reading all your posts. I think it is the most refreshing stuff I read. I have been doing all the things you blog about for most of my life and thought I was a little strange. Reading your blogs just gives me more confidence that I am doing the right things. I hope to meet you at a retreat one of these days soon. My question is: it seems you don’t stress shopping locally when you need to purchase something. Do you believe in supporting “mom & pops” face to face?

  • Eric April 14, 2015, 1:11 pm

    Check out TaxACT as a cheaper alternative to TurboTax

  • Juan Denvah April 28, 2015, 9:49 pm

    MMM: Question from a follow Coloradan. I’ve lowered my car insurance considerably by getting rid of comprehensive and collision, but the biggest chunk of left has to do with the “uninsured motorist,” policy. Since this also covers me when I am biking (or so I am told) I am loathe to get rid of this particular coverage, though research this for the truth mostly shows personal injury lawyer sites out to scare up customers. While I generally follow Mustachian principles on insurance (i.e., only the minimum), high consequence but low frequency events are the only place that I think twice about this. This is important as CO apparently has relatively high rates of people not buying insurance. Right now I am willing to fork out $200 a year for peace of mind on this issue as getting to the bottom of the value calculation requires both more time and legal advice than I have the stomach for right now. I am wondering 1. if you avail yourself of this sort of policy, and 2. if not, why not?


welcome new readers

Take a look around. If you think you are hardcore enough to handle Maximum Mustache, feel free to start at the first article and read your way up to the present using the links at the bottom of each article.

For more casual sampling, have a look at this complete list of all posts since the beginning of time or download the mobile app. Go ahead and click on any titles that intrigue you, and I hope to see you around here more often.

Love, Mr. Money Mustache

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