1. Manage your finances
    Use Mint for getting a complete view of your finances. CreditSesameCreditCreditKarma, and Quizzle for free credit score tracking. Quizzle always tries to sell something; others are better. The score they provide is not the same as the FICO score but is highly correlated. Use Splitwise or Buxfer for splitting bills with friends. Vanguard has a great selection of index funds. Matrix ITA for airfare prices. yapta for tracking airfare prices over time.
  2. Get three free credit reports every year
    Set a google calendar event to get a free report every four months rotating between Equifax, Transunion, and Experian (major credit report providers) via annualcreditreport.com. Each company is bound to provide you with one free report once a year.
  3. Return policies are really lax in CA (and the US in general)
    Buy almost anything including electronic gadgets like phones and laptops to try. If you don’t like it just return it within a set time period, usually 15 days or 30 days, for free.
  4. Healthcare
    The US has one of the most expensive health cares in the world. Employers provide health insurance – medical, dental, and vision. For healthy individuals, usually, the less expensive plan (HMO) is a better option. Dental insurance usually covers two teeth cleaning per year for free. Vision insurance covers one vision test, which is usually not free but with a nominal co-payment. Medical insurance usually covers a physical checkup.

To be continued to part 4 (Retirement accounts, investing, Things to do in and around California)