Categories
Manage Money

4 Things You Can Spend Money on That Will Actually Make You Richer

Saving money is great, but it won’t make you rich.

No matter how many dollars you put into a savings account, the national average .05% interest you’d earn won’t expedite your millionaire status.

And cutting your costs can only go so far, explains Certified Financial Planner Robin Hartill (who is also an editor and financial advice columnist here at The Penny Hoarder).

It can definitely help with your short term goals, she says, but if you want to be truly richer, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. By diverting some of your cash into these assets, you’ll be on a faster path to your financial goals.

1. Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

Investing is a smart way to make you richer. “Spending money by investing it in the stock market and earning returns can compound into even more money,” Hartill says.

While the stock market does go up and down over days, weeks and months, over time, the returns tend to rise.

If you haven’t started investing and have some money to spare, you can start small, then build your way up. In fact, you can get started with as little as $100 with an app called M1 Finance .

We like M1 Finance because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.

Plus, with M1 Finance, you’re able to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in funds you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

It takes two minutes to sign up , and it’s totally secure.

Plus, when you use the link above, M1 Finance will give you a $30 sign-up bonus once you deposit $1,000 into your account.

2. Spend $10 to Buy an Apartment Building

Take a look at some of the world’s wealthiest people. What do they have in common? Many invest in large private real estate deals. And here’s the thing: There’s no reason you can’t, too — for as little as $10.

A company called Fundrise lets you get started in the world of real estate by giving you access to a low-cost, diversified portfolio of private real estate. The best part? You don’t have to be the landlord. Fundrise does all the heavy lifting.

Fundrise’s Starter Portfolio has a minimum of only $10 and is geared toward first-time real estate investors. Your money will be invested in the company’s Flagship Fund, which already owns more than $250 million worth of real estate around the country, from apartment complexes to the red-hot housing rental market to larger last-mile e-commerce logistics centers.

As tenants pay their rent, you could earn money through quarterly dividend payments, and over time, you could earn money off the potential appreciation of the property. Since 2014, Fundrise investors have earned roughly $100 million in dividends alone.

So if you want to get started in the world of real-estate investing, it takes just a few minutes to sign up and create an account with Fundrise .

3. Use This Secret Debit Card

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.”

4. Give Your Family $1M

This is one of those occasions when spending a little bit of money each month can pay off later.

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’d 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 Policygenius,

Some policies start at less than $20 per month.* The peace of mind of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

Policygenius offers life insurance policies that don’t require the usual medical exam, so you don’t even have to get up from the couch. Click here to get a free quote from Policygenius .

Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

 

Categories
Manage Money

Don’t Get Distracted by Dogecoin — 6 Actually Legit Ways to Boost Your Net Worth

Okay, we’ll admit it: We’re not really into Bitcoin or Dogecoin or Ethereum or whatever. We don’t care what Elon Musk tweeted today.

We’re just as interested in cryptocurrency as we are the Cryptkeeper or Krypto the Superdog.

Go ahead, call us old-fashioned. We just like regular money, that’s all. The kind that folds. The kind you can use to buy a Big Mac or a plane ticket or a new pair of shoes.

Oh, and our landlord and our power company and our car insurance company? Turns out they like regular money too, and they expect us to pay them with it. Every single month.

So, go ahead and track the ups and downs of Bitcoin or Dogecoin, if that’s your thing. That’s cool, it’s a free country. But for us, that kind of sideshow is just a distraction from the real work: Making better financial decisions and growing our money — our real money.

Here are six legit ways to boost your net worth:

1. Use This Secret Banking Account

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.”

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. 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. Spend $5 to Buy a Company

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.*

5. Add $225 to Your Bank Account Every Month

image_2
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

If we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.

It’s too good to be true, right?

But we’re serious. A website called 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 you can easily earn up to $225 per month watching videos.

Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. 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.

6. Cancel Your Car Insurance

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 by canceling with your current provider.

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.

 

Categories
Manage Money

4 Things You Can Spend Money on That Will Actually Make You Richer

Saving money is great, but it won’t make you rich.

No matter how many dollars you put into a savings account, the national average .05% interest you’d earn won’t expedite your millionaire status.

And cutting your costs can only go so far, explains Certified Financial Planner Robin Hartill (who is also an editor and financial advice columnist here at The Penny Hoarder).

It can definitely help with your short term goals, she says, but if you want to be truly richer, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. By diverting some of your cash into these assets, you’ll be on a faster path to your financial goals.

1. Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

Investing is a smart way to make you richer. “Spending money by investing it in the stock market and earning returns can compound into even more money,” Hartill says.

While the stock market does go up and down over days, weeks and months, over time, the returns tend to rise.

If you haven’t started investing and have some money to spare, you can start small, then build your way up. In fact, you can get started with as little as $100 with an app called M1 Finance .

We like M1 Finance because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.

Plus, with M1 Finance, you’re able to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in funds you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure.

Plus, when you use the link above, M1 Finance will give you a $30 sign-up bonus once you deposit $1,000 into your account.

2. Spend $10 to Buy an Apartment Building

Take a look at some of the world’s wealthiest people. What do they have in common? Many invest in large private real estate deals. And here’s the thing: There’s no reason you can’t, too — for as little as $10. 

A company called Fundrise lets you get started in the world of real estate by giving you access to a low-cost, diversified portfolio of private real estate. The best part? You don’t have to be the landlord. Fundrise does all the heavy lifting.

Fundrise’s Starter Portfolio has a minimum of only $10 and is geared toward first-time real estate investors. Your money will be invested in the company’s Flagship Fund, which already owns more than $250 million worth of real estate around the country, from apartment complexes to the red-hot housing rental market to larger last-mile e-commerce logistics centers.

As tenants pay their rent, you could earn money through quarterly dividend payments, and over time, you could earn money off the potential appreciation of the property. Since 2014, Fundrise investors have earned roughly $100 million in dividends alone.

So if you want to get started in the world of real-estate investing, it takes just a few minutes to sign up and create an account with Fundrise .

3. Use This Secret Debit Card

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.”

4. Give Your Family $1M

This is one of those occasions when spending a little bit of money each month can pay off later.

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’d 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 Policygenius,

Some policies start at less than $20 per month.* The peace of mind of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

Policygenius offers life insurance policies that don’t require the usual medical exam, so you don’t even have to get up from the couch. Click here to get a free quote from Policygenius .

Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

 

Categories
Manage Money

Americans Are Finally Paying Off Their Debt, and Credit Card Companies are Scrambling

If you’ve got credit card debt, you know how painful it is. It’s the most expensive kind of debt you can have, and your credit card companies are just getting rich and fat while they gouge you with high interest rates.

Wouldn’t it be great to turn the tables on them? Well, now a lot of people are. More and more Americans are simply paying off their credit card balances, and that’s making credit card companies like Capital One, Citibank and Chase really, really nervous. That’s because their whole business model is based on gouging you.

“Americans are paying down their credit card debt at levels not seen in years. That is good news for everyone but credit card issuers,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Many card issuers rely on growing card usage and balances for their revenue, and they are wondering if the pandemic trends will turn into a long-term shift.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a little revenge and make your credit card companies sweat for a change? Now you can, and it’s easier than you think.

Credit cards charge you harsh interest rates that routinely rise north of 20% APR. But if you owe your credit card companies $250,000 or less, a website called Fiona will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off all your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have significantly lower interest rates (Fiona rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster.

Plus: No credit card payments for you this month!

They’re Getting Awfully Nervous

These days, credit card companies are sweating bullets because Americans’ credit card balances are falling. They shrunk by a whopping $49 billion in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, according to data released last week by the New York Fed,

Overall, credit card balances are down nearly 15% compared to a year before, according to the credit reporting firm Equifax.

For big credit card issuers like Capital One, Discover and Synchrony (the largest issuer of store credit cards), balances are down by 17%, 9% and 7% compared to a year ago, those companies reported.

Why is this happening?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, banks expected delinquencies to surge, forcing borrowers to rely on their credit cards to make ends meet, The Wall Street Journal reported. But then the government stepped in with stimulus checks and expanded unemployment benefits. It allowed borrowers to pause payments on mortgages and student loans. So that surge of delinquencies never happened.

Now, “it appears that many households are working to reduce their revolving debt balances, and this is happening across the board,” the Fed wrote.

How to Beat Your Credit Card Company

If you’re interested in getting a personal loan to wipe out your credit card balances, it helps to have a good credit score.

A free website called Credit Sesame makes it easy to put your credit score on track to reach your goals. Within two minutes, it’ll give you 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).

Now, with Fiona , you don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan — and comparing your options won’t affect your score at all.

It takes less than a minute and just a few questions to see what loans you qualify for — you don’t even need to enter your Social Security number. You do need to give Finoa a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.

Stop shoveling money into high-interest credit card payments. Cackle along with the rest of us as credit card companies express deep concern in earnings calls, sweating over their plummeting profits.

Revenge is sweet.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He paid off all his credit cards, and wow did it feel good.

Categories
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.

Categories
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. Find Out if You’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
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. Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

Investing is a smart way to make you richer. While the stock market does go up and down over days, weeks and months, over time, the returns tend to rise.

If you haven’t started investing and have some money to spare, you can start small, then build your way up. In fact, you can get started with as little as $100 with an app called M1 Finance .

We like M1 Finance because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.

Plus, with M1 Finance, you’re able to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in funds you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

It takes two minutes to sign up , and it’s totally secure.

Plus, when you use the link above, M1 Finance will give you a $30 sign-up bonus once you deposit $1,000 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. 

Categories
Manage Money

“Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.” — Will Smith