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Manage Money

If Your Credit Score is Under 755, Do These 5 Things Before Tomorrow

You really try to be responsible with your money.

But, no matter what you do, your credit score never seems to make it over that 755 hump.

Yup — you’ve got some algorithm spitting out a three-digit number that’s basically controlling your entire life. We get it: It’s frustrating.

And here’s the thing — a score over 755 could save you thousands of dollars. But, don’t give up just yet. We’ve got some moves that will help.

Best of all? You can do all these things before tomorrow.

1. Write a Love Letter

…to your creditors.

If you generally have a pretty solid credit history, save for a few missteps, then sending a well-executed goodwill letter to those you owe could help get you back in good graces with them and improve your credit score.

You’ll want your letter to cover the following bases:

  • Explain why and how long you’ve been a loyal customer of the creditor.
  • Take responsibility for the mistakes that led to the blemishes on your credit history.
  • Describe the steps you’re taking to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.
  • Appeal to their sense of empathy. Show that you want forgiveness but also that you are determined to do better going forward. Show them you deserve this!
  • Keep your letter clear and to the point.

Don’t forget to include important information, like your account number and the date and amount of the missed payment you want removed from your credit history. Once you’ve written your goodwill letter, address it using the information on the creditor’s website.

2. Let This Site Show You Exactly How to Improve Your Score

Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different and for different reasons. One person’s credit score might be under 755 because they have an error on their report. Another person’s credit score might be under 755 because they have a bill in collections.

That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.

Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.*

Then there are people like Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana who, in using Credit Sesame, found a major error on her report. The site helped her fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score nearly 200 points.*

Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 755 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.

A woman types on her computer as her toddler lays on the floor with building blocks around them.
Getty Images

3. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month

No, like… the whole bill. All of it.

While you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates. But a website called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.

4. Raise Your Credit Scores — Instantly

Improving your credit scores can take a lot of time and effort, and for what? Where do you even start?

We found a way you could potentially add points to your credit scores right now — which could make more of a difference than you think.

Credit scores are split into five categories: very poor, fair, good, very good, or exceptional. Getting tipped over the edge into the next-highest bracket can save you thousands of dollars on a mortgage or car loan. It also can help you qualify for a better credit card — one that gives you points or cash back.

Experian® — you know them from your free credit report — has a free feature called Experian Boost* that gives you credit for the phone and utility bills you’re already paying to your Experian Credit Report. This helps show lenders you have a history of making on-time payments — an important factor in credit-score calculations. In fact, users who saw a FICO® Score increase with Experian Boost added an average of 13 points to their FICO Score** instantly.

You might be thinking: What will 13 points even do for me? But the difference between a “fair” and “good” credit score is ONE point, and that can make all the difference.

Here’s how it works: When you create your free account, you’ll link up the bank account you use to pay your phone and utility monthly bills. Experian Boost then looks for bill payments that wouldn’t otherwise be reported to the credit bureau, such as cell phone and utility bills, and adds them to your Experian Credit Report. (Your info stays completely private and encrypted, by the way.)

By reporting these on-time payments, Experian has already added more than 39 million points to people’s credit scores — see if you can add points to your credit scores today.

5. Pay off Debt by Saying Goodbye to Your Car Insurer

If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year.

OK, we can hear you laughing from here. Who has time to do all that?

But seriously, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change all the time. Ipso facto — you’re paying too much.

Thankfully, a free website called Smart Financial will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes.

All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then Smart Financial compares prices from dozens of companies to find you the best price.

Smart Financial says it saves its users up to $715 a year.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

Who’s laughing now?

 

Like Cooper and Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

*Results may vary. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost.

** Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more at Experian.com.

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Save Money

5 Money Moves That Billionaires Love to Make (and You Should Too)

In case you missed trivia night at the bar this week, here are fun “Did ya know” facts about some of our favorite rich people:

Ellen Degeneres worked a number of jobs before getting her big break. Think: Waitress, house painter, vacuum cleaner seller and legal secretary.

A young and ambitious Dave Ramsey was forced to file for bankruptcy. Then the bank asked him to hand over $800,000.

Then you have Richard Branson, who quit school at 16 to start a youth-culture magazine. He handed out the first edition for free.

Now, these three are collectively worth something like $5.5 billion dollars.

How can I do that?

Well, here are five moves that most billionaires know the like the back of their hand.

1. Buy a Company (Even If You’re Not a Tycoon)

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy pieces of other companies for as little as $1.

That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.1

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”2

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.*

2. Get Free Money From This Bank

a woman logs into her bank account on her cell phone.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?

Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

3. Invest in Real Estate (Even if You’re Not a Millionaire)

The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows when the whole thing might crash?

It would be nice to diversify and invest some of your money in real estate, but don’t you have to be wealthy to do that?

Now you can invest like the 1% does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in private real estate — specifically, in apartment buildings it co-owns with its investors — and you only need $500.

You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolio through their online dashboard — like a 54-unit apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, or a 30-unit waterfront property in Stuart, Florida. And you don’t have to experience the headaches that come with being a landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting for you.

DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, real estate has outperformed the stock market for the past 30 years.

So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500. Sign up here to start investing today.

4. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

A woman puts her hands in her hair as a sign of distress in this illustration.
Getty Images

You might not think your credit score is that important. In fact, you might not think much about it at all. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? Unfortunately, those three little numbers play a huge role in whether you’ll be able to do that.

And if you have an error on your credit report (one out of five reports do), that could stand in your way.

Thankfully, a website called Credit Sesame will help you detect any errors — for free. It shows you why you have the score you do and gives you personalized tips to steer you in the right direction.

Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report this way. Using Credit Sesame, she was able to fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.

Now she and her husband feel like they’re in a better position for their biggest goal — purchasing a house. It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.

5. Cancel Your Car Insurance

Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But, who has the time to look around for around a new company?

A website called EverQuote makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your driving record, and it’ll show you your options.

Doing this could save you up to $610 per year on your insurance. Seriously.

It takes just a few minutes to look at your options and see how much you could save. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

1Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.

2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.

For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

*Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. 

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

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Save Money

3 Ways to Cut Your Monthly Bill The Car Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

If you’re like most people, your car insurance bill is something you pay each month without giving a second thought.

But that’s a mistake.

Because there’s so much competition — unlike with cable companies, for example — there are lots of discounts available for savvy consumers.

You might know things like raising your deductible or removing collision coverage can save you money on your monthly premiums, but we bet there are a whole slew of other strategies you’ve never heard of.

Here are 3 strange ways to get cheap car insurance.

1. Cancel Your Car Insurance — Now

Car insurance rates are some of the lowest they have ever been. And you probably wouldn’t know that unless you went looking for new insurance last year.

Which means your car insurance company has been letting you auto-pay every month without ever telling you that you could be paying them way less (and why would they?).

What you should be doing is shopping your options every six months or so — it could save you some serious money. Let’s be real, though. It’s probably not the first thing you think about when you wake up. But it doesn’t have to be.

A website called Smart Financial makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and your age, and it’ll show you your options.

Using Smart Financial, people have saved an average of $715 a year.

Yup. That could be $700 back in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.

2. Scratch Your VIN Into Your Windows

Yes, we’re telling you to deface your ride for cheaper insurance.

Cars with their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched into the windows are less likely to get stolen, so many insurance companies offer a discount for completing the process.

Note: this only applies to comprehensive policies, which cover theft, and not on more basic forms of insurance.

Getting this done at the dealership is expensive, so purchase a DIY etching kit online, or contact your local AAA and police departments to see if they have any workshops coming up.

3. Get a Little-Known Discount

Which organizations do you belong to? Where do you work?

Whether you’re a member of AAA or AARP, chances are you can get a discount on your car insurance. Check with your employer and alumni association, too.

Even warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club have partnerships to get their members discounted rates.

If your car insurance company doesn’t currently give you a discount for things like this, check a site like Zebra.

Zebra will check with 100 car insurance companies to see who will give you the best rate, depending on the the organizations you belong to and where you work.

The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.

If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.

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Manage Money

6 Money Moves to Make Before June 30, 2020

Time flies, and the end of the year will be here before you know it. Now’s the time to make a few smart money moves before June comes to a close.

Here are six strategic steps you should take if you want to start July strong.

1. See if You Can Get Money From This Company

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?

Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

2. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

3. Here’s How to Knock Up To $715/Year Off Your Car Insurance in Minutes

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.

If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again.

And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

4. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

When it comes to your credit score, it’s important to stay organized and keep tabs on it. After all, it’ll play an essential role in any big purchase you want to make — whether that’s a home or a car.

So if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — try using a free website called Credit Sesame.

Within two minutes, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).

James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.

Want to check for yourself? It’s free and only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.

5. Invest Like a Tycoon (Even If You’re Not Rich)

Imagine if you had bought one share of Amazon for $18 when the stock first went public. Today, it would be worth more than $20,000 — despite all the ups and downs in the stock market.

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

That’s why a lot of people use the app StashThey make it easy, plus they’ll give you $5 of stock in Amazon or Google (or another company of your choice) just for opening an account. 

The best part? When these companies you invest in profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.

Enter your email address to quickly sign up (you only need to deposit $5 into your investment account to get the $5 bonus).

6. See if You’re Wasting $690/Year on Homeowners Insurance

You’re probably wasting money right now. And it’s probably on something you’d never expect — your homeowners insurance policy.

This isn’t something you actively think about — you just know you’re required to have it.

The problem is, you’re paying too much. Luckily, an insurance company called Policygenius makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying. It finds you cheaper policies and special discounts in minutes.

In fact, it saves users an average of $690 a year — or $57.50 a month. It’ll even help you break up with your old insurance company. (You’re allowed to cancel your policy at any time, and your company should issue you a refund.)

And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Policygenius will make sure you have what you need.

Just answer a few questions about your home to see how much money you’re wasting.

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Manage Money

The 6 Biggest Money Secrets Most Rich People Won’t Tell You

Life would be a whole lot easier if someone would just Venmo us $1 million, but unfortunately the chance of that happening is, well, probably zero. (Venmo doesn’t allow transactions that large anyway.)

But even though our chances of becoming a millionaire are slim, we can still manage our money like one. No, we’re not going to tell you how to buy hundreds of shares of Apple stock. Or how to pick out the perfect yacht.

These are simple money moves any normal, non-millionaire person can make today. Each secret can get you closer to achieving your big goals.

Take a look:

1. Use This Secret Banking Account

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash.

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe, plus they give you up to 100x the normal interest rate on your balance.

Need to buy groceries? Get extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

This card used to have a huge waiting list, but you’re now eligible to sign up for free.

Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

2. You Can Buy an Apartment Building (Even If You’re Not Rich)

This year has been a rollercoaster. Historically, though, real-estate investing offers the best long-term returns. (Does the name Rockefeller ring a bell?)

That’s why we like investing with pros like DiversyFund. They’ll help you make long-term investments in apartments and office buildings all over the country  — and you don’t have to be a millionaire. You can get started with only $500.

You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a 200-unit apartment complex in Killeen, Texas or a 59-unit building in San Diego. And you don’t have to be the landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting.

Because they know how to ride out the market’s ups and downs, they’ve historically seen annual returns of 17% to 18%, though they can’t make any promises.

As a partial owner, you make money on rent payments and when property values go up. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and own your first apartment building.

3. You Should Cancel Your Car Insurance

When was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? Was it more than six months ago?

If so, you’re probably overpaying — by hundreds of dollars. Yep. Experts say you should compare rates twice a year to get the best deal.

Twice a year? Yeah, we don’t want to do that either.

A website called EverQuote makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your driving record, and it’ll show you your options.

Doing this could save you up to $610 per year on your insurance. Seriously.

It takes just a few minutes to look at your options and see how much you could save. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

4. You Can Buy Another Company for $1

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company. 

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.*

That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1. The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends. 

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.**

5. You Can Give Your Family up to $1M

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a term life insurance policy.

You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.

Rates start at just $16 a month. The peace of mind knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.

6. You Can Quickly Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

You might not think your credit score is that important. In fact, you might not think much about it at all. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? Unfortunately, those three little numbers play a huge role in whether you’ll be able to do that.

And if you have an error on your credit report (one out of five reports do), that could stand in your way.

Thankfully, a website called Credit Sesame will help you detect any errors — for free. It shows you why you have the score you do and gives you personalized tips to steer you in the right direction.

Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report this way. Using Credit Sesame, she was able to fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.

Now she and her husband feel like they’re in a better position for their biggest goal — purchasing a house. It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.

*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

 

Categories
Manage Money

Here’s How to Get Rewarded With $5 in Amazon or Twitter Stock This Week

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy pieces of other companies for as little as $1.

That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Twitter, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.1

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”2

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.*

1Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.

2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.

For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

*Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. 

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

Categories
Manage Money

These 4 Legitimate Companies Will Give You Free Stocks

We’re all about freebies around here. Free gift cards? Heck yeah! Free money? Sign us up! Free stocks? Even better — they could increase in value over time!

And before you ask: Yes, there is a such thing as free stocks. We know, we know. It sounds too good to be true, but you just have to know where to look — and that’s where we can help you.

We researched the best, most legitimate investment companies, apps and trading platforms that offer something for free:

1. Stash: Get $5 in Amazon or Google Stock

Imagine if you had bought one share of Amazon for $18 when the stock first went public. Today, it would be worth more than $20,000 — despite all the ups and downs in the stock market.

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. They’ll give you $5 of stock in Amazon (or another company of your choice) just for opening an account. 

The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.

How to claim your free bonus: It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and get your bonus stock — you may even just get a share of the “next Amazon.”

With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”2

2. Robinhood: Get up to $200 in Free Stock

Here’s the thing about millionaires: They know the sooner you start investing, the better. And we found a company that will give you free stock to get started. An investing app called Robinhood will give you up to $200 worth of free stock in companies like Visa, Microsoft and GE, just for downloading its app and opening a free account.

Robinhood is free and easy to navigate, which is why more than 10 million people use it — including both news junkies looking to outsmart the market and people who want to carefully put a few bucks away in a long-term investment.

How to claim your free stock: It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and see how much free stock you can get.

3. Acorns: Invest 15 Cents and Get $5 in Bonus Stock

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: 15 cents? How’s that going to do me any good?

Well, that leftover change from your morning coffee and evening grocery hauls could turn into more than $1,000.

That’s what happened when Penny Hoarder reader Jeremy Kolodziej opened an investment account with Acorns. The app’s round-up feature bumps each of your purchases up to the nearest dollar and puts the spare change into the stock market, which helped him mindlessly save $1,076 in about 20 months.

“It’s a virtual coin jar,” he says. “You don’t even think about it.” He used the spare change to pay for two vacations.

Plus, Acorns will give you a bonus $5 in stock!

How to claim your free stock: When you sign up for Acorns through The Penny Hoarder, you’ll get a $5 bonus.

4. Webull: Get up to $1,600 in Free Stock

Are you new to investing? Or are you an experienced trader who keeps tabs on the stock market? Either way, there’s an app you ought to check out. It’s called Webull, and it’s a commission-free stock trading platform that’s super easy to use.

If you sign up and deposit $100 into your Webull account, you’ll get two free stocks. Each has a value ranging from $8 to $1,600. It’s like a lottery. You might suddenly find yourself getting a $1,600 stock for free — a nice bonus to help you build your investments!

If you’re not quite ready to dive in head-first, you can try out Webull with the equivalent of digital Monopoly money. You start with 1 million fake dollars’ worth of virtual money in your account. You can practice with a stock-trading simulator and test out different investment strategies without the risk of losing any of your real money.

There are no commission fees, so you can buy and sell stocks and ETFs for free. If you’re a newbie, Webull offers seminars and an online community. If you’re more experienced, it has a bunch of tools and intuitive charts you can use to steer your investments.

There’s no minimum investment required to get started, and it takes only minutes to sign up.

1Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.

2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.

For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

*Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. 

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk. 

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Save Money

9 Lessons to Take From Millionaires Who Are Really Good With Money

 

Life would be a whole lot easier if someone would just Venmo us $1 million, but unfortunately the chance of that happening is, well, probably zero. (Venmo doesn’t allow transactions that large anyway.)

But even though our chances of becoming a millionaire are slim, we can still manage our money like one. No, we’re not going to tell you how to buy hundreds of shares of Apple stock. Or how to pick out the perfect yacht.

These are simple money moves any normal, non-millionaire person can make today. Each tip can get you closer to achieving your big goals.

Take a look:

1. They Become a Real Estate Tycoon

This year has been a rollercoaster. Historically, though, real-estate investing offers the best long-term returns. (Does the name Rockefeller ring a bell?)

That’s why we like investing with pros like DiversyFund. They’ll help you make long-term investments in apartments and office buildings all over the country  — and you don’t have to be a millionaire. You can get started with only $500.

You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a 200-unit apartment complex in Killeen, Texas or a 59-unit building in San Diego. And you don’t have to be the landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting.

Because they know how to ride out the market’s ups and downs, they’ve historically seen annual returns of 17% to 18%, though they can’t make any promises.

As a partial owner, you make money on rent payments and when property values go up. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and own your first apartment building.

2. They Use This Free Tool to Add 300 Points to Their Credit Score

When it comes to your credit score, it’s important to stay organized and keep tabs on it. After all, it’ll play an essential role in any big purchase you want to make — whether that’s a home or a car.

So if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — try using a free website called Credit Sesame.

Within two minutes, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).

James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.* “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.

Want to check for yourself? It’s free and only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.

3. They Find Out If They’re Overpaying

Millionaires always have access to the most exclusive services. They’re not pushing a cart around the store or cutting coupons; they have people to do that for them.

But even if you don’t have pros on staff, you can still get that kind of privilege — for free.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert any time you’re shopping on Amazon or Walmart and are about to get ripped off?

A free service called Wikibuy will.

Wikibuy’s free alerts can be added to your browser. Before you check out, it’ll check other websites, including Amazon, Target, eBay and others to see if your item is available for cheaper. It will also show you coupon codes, set up price-drop alerts and even let you see the item’s price history.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new TV. You’re ready to check out, and you assume you’re getting the best price. Here’s when Wikibuy will pop up and let you know if you’re about to overpay. It will even automatically apply any known coupon codes to your order.

So far, Wikibuy has saved users more than $70 million.

You can get started with Wikibuy in just a few minutes to see if you’re overpaying online.

4. They Cancel Their Car Insurance

When was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? Was it more than six months ago?

If so, you’re probably overpaying — by hundreds of dollars. Yep. Experts say you should compare rates twice a year to get the best deal.

Twice a year? Yeah, we don’t want to do that either.

A website called EverQuote makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your driving record, and it’ll show you your options.

Doing this could save you up to $610 per year on your insurance. Seriously.

It takes just a few minutes to look at your options and see how much you could save. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

5. They Get Free Money From This Company

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe. How much does your current bank offer you?

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process? Do yourself a favor and deposit $100 into an Aspiration account today so you can start taking advantage.

To get started, enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

6. They Add Money to Your Wallet Just for Watching the News

It’s been a historic year in news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves an expert in respiratory illness or a political mastermind.

And research companies want to pay you to keep watching the news. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with InboxDollars.

It’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about them. You just have to answer honestly, and InboxDollars will continue to pay you every month.

This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid people more than $59 million.

Enter your email address here and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

7. They Leave Their Family up to $1M

Oh, to be a millionaire. Look, not all of us have the money to set up trust funds for our loved ones. But you could still give them up to $1 million with term life insurance.

You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Fabric.

Rates start at just a few bucks per month. The peace of mind of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Fabric.

8. They Get up to $200 in Free Stock

Imagine if you had bought one share of Amazon for $18 when the stock first went public. Today, it would be worth more than $20,000 — despite all the ups and downs in the stock market.

Here’s the thing about millionaires: They know the sooner you start investing, the better. And we found a company that will give you free stock to get started.

An investing app called Robinhood will give you up to $200 worth of free stock in companies like Visa, Microsoft and GE, just for downloading its app and opening a free account.

Robinhood is free and easy to navigate, which is why more than 10 million people use it — including both news junkies looking to outsmart the market and people who want to carefully put a few bucks away in a long-term investment.

It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and get your free stock — you may even just get a share of the “next Amazon.”

9. They Find Out if They’re Overpaying for Homeowners Insurance

If you’re a homeowner, you probably have home insurance, but you hardly ever think about it. That’s good — it means you haven’t needed to use it. But it also means you don’t know if you’re being overcharged for it. 

It’s easy to find out, though. To see if you’re overpaying for your policy, check out  a website called SmartFinancial. It’s a digital marketplace where you can get quotes and compare rates to make sure you’re getting the best price. 

Homeowners can save hundreds of dollars when they switch home insurance companies this way. It takes just two minutes to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all your options side-by-side. Get started here. 

 

 

Categories
Save Money

7 Lessons to Take From Millionaires Who Are Really Good With Money

Life would be a whole lot easier if someone would just Venmo us $1 million, but unfortunately the chance of that happening is, well, probably zero. (Venmo doesn’t allow transactions that large anyway.)

But even though our chances of becoming a millionaire are slim, we can still manage our money like one. No, we’re not going to tell you how to buy hundreds of shares of Apple stock. Or how to pick out the perfect yacht.

These are simple money moves any normal, non-millionaire person can make today. Each tip can get you closer to achieving your big goals.

Take a look:

1. Take Money Out of Your Checking Account

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe. How much does your current bank offer you?

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process? Do yourself a favor and deposit $100 into an Aspiration account today so you can start taking advantage.

To get started, enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

2. Leave Your Family up to $3M

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.

But you could still leave them up to $1 million in life insurance.

You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But this take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $3 million with a company called Haven Life.

We hear people are paying as little as $14 a month. (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.)

Begin by telling Haven Life your birthday and email address to get a free quote and see how much life insurance you can leave your loved ones — even if you don’t have seven figures in your bank account

3. Get up to $500 in Free Stocks

Imagine if you had bought one share of Amazon for $18 when the stock first went public. Today, it would be worth more than $20,000 — despite all the ups and downs in the stock market.

Here’s the thing about millionaires: They know the sooner you start investing, the better. And we found a company that will give you free stock to get started. An investing app called Robinhood will give you up to $500 worth of free stock in companies like Visa, Microsoft and GE, just for downloading its app and opening a free account.

Robinhood is free and easy to navigate, which is why more than 10 million people use it — including both news junkies looking to outsmart the market and people who want to carefully put a few bucks away in a long-term investment.

It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and get your free stock — you may even just get a share of the “next Amazon.”

4. Ask This Company to Help Pay off Your Credit Cards

If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape… 

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster.

5. They Cancel Their Car Insurance

If you need to free up some extra room in your budget, one of the easiest places to start is to cut back on your monthly bills — like your current car insurance.

In most places, it’s straight up illegal not to have it, so you’ve probably accepted that you’re going to pay through the nose for it. But you don’t have to.

A free website called Savvy will help you find the best rates — in just 30 seconds. In fact, it saves people an average of $826/year.

All you have to do is connect your current insurance, then Savvy will search hundreds of insurers for a better price on the same coverage. It’ll even help you cancel your old policy and get you a refund from your current insurer. Best yet: This is totally free.

Take Lourdes Robles-Velazquez, for example. The single mom lives on a tight budget. She was paying $205 a month to insure two Toyota Priuses — hers and her daughter’s. By comparing prices, she knocked $80 off her monthly car insurance bill. That’s nearly $1,000 in savings per year.

If you find a better deal, you can switch right away and don’t have to wait for your next renewal or even your next payment.

6. Use up Your Entire Paycheck

No, we’re not talking about going to Whole Foods and buying out its fancy cheese supply (though that’s the first thing we’d do if we had $1 million). Instead, we’re talking about creating a zero-based budget, a budget that finds a place for your every dollar.

You’ll want to start by tracking a month of expenses. How much do you (or don’t you) have remaining? Then, consider your financial goals. Do you want to save money? Invest money? Pay off debt?

Work backward to cut your expenses until you can achieve that goal. It might take some patience, but it’ll pay off.

7. Add $225 to Your Bank Account Every Month

Here’s the thing about millionaires: they never pass up an extra paycheck. What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch videos on your phone?

It’s too good to be true, right?

But we’re serious. Swagbucks will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.

Swagbucks won’t make you rich, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos. That’s money you can store in your savings account or start investing.

It’s already paid its users more than $438 million.It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

 

Categories
Save Money

If You’re Broke, Here’s How to Create a $1,000 Emergency Fund

When you’re broke, it feels like you’re always going to be broke. It’s a never-ending cycle. You don’t have money, so you miss a bill and rack up a late charge — that you can’t pay. Because you’re broke.

The first step toward getting yourself out of this cycle is to build up a little financial cushion. Let’s call it your emergency fund. How’s $1,000 sound?

Even if you feel like you’re stuck, we’ve got eight tips to help you out. And if you follow them all, you could have an extra $1,000 (or more!) in two months’ time. It’ll be worth it — and it doesn’t have to be hard.

We’ll break it down for you week by week:

Week 1: See if You Can Get Money From This Company

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 5% back every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?

Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

Week 2: Withdraw $5 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

That’s why we like the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1.

The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your investment account.

Week 3: This Research Company Will Pay You up to $225/Month to Watch Videos

This week, you’re going add a little extra cash to your savings stash. But guess what? You don’t even have to leave your couch.

InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put toward paying down your debt. Everything helps.

InboxDollars won’t completely pay off your credit cards, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

Week 4: Let This Website Pay Off Your Credit Cards

A woman lays on the grass with credit cards surrounding her.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

No, like… the whole bill. All of it.

Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a website called Fiona could help you pay them off tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online.

It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

Week 5: Knock Up to $715 Off Your Car Insurance in Minutes

Two young women driving a convertible car
Image Source/Getty Images

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again. 

And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year. 

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

Week 6: See if the Government Owes You Money

A crisp dollar bill being held out over a pair of blurred out sneakers.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Let’s start with the most fun option. One you might even have fantasized about: Someone comes along and just hands you the money.

We know it sounds far-fetched, but we’re serious. State treasuries throughout the U.S. have more than $43 billion in unclaimed funds, according to The New York Times. Just sitting around! Waiting for you to come play lost and found.

Wanna check for yourself? Go to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website, and enter your name and state.

Penny Hoarder reader Kelli Howell heeded our advice and found money in her husband’s name. He was entitled to $56 from a matured insurance policy. Sure, it’s $56, but that’s not bad for an unexpected check, right?

When you’re trying to build an emergency fund, you can’t beat free money.

Week 7: Download This App to Get Up to $500 in Free Stock

If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500!) if you know where to look.

Whether you’re got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.

Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.

What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.