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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 Take Money Out of Their 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 $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 leave them up to a $1 million in life insurance — and you don’t even need to have the money in the bank.

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 $1 million with a company called Bestow.

We hear people are paying as little as $8 a month. (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.)

It takes just minutes 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. Find Out If You’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

How often are you even using your car right now? Regardless, there’s one thing we’re nearly certain of — you’re overpaying on car insurance.

That being said, shopping for car insurance is a pain which is why we like using a free service like Gabi. In just a few minutes you can see if any other companies are offering a cheaper rate with the same coverage and deductibles you already have.

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.

Wondering how much you could save? Head over to Gabi, and start browsing your options. It takes all of two minutes.

5. 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.

6. 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 commercial real estate — specifically, in apartment complexes that it owns — and you only need $500.

Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.

So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500.

7. Stop Paying Your Credit Card

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

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.

8. Get up to Free $500 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 $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.”

9. Grow Your Wealth By Learning From Others

Two woman sitting next to each other in an office-type setting, and they go over material on a cell phone and laptop.

One of the best ways to get your money in order? Learning from others! These could be the millionaires themselves, personal finance experts or real-life people who’ve had success. Search the internet for blogs and websites, listen to podcasts and read books.

Here are a few of our favorite resources (ahem, besides ourselves):

“How to Money” podcast

“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

“The Side Hustle Show” podcast

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“The Money Nerds” podcast

“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel

Categories
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. 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 $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 leave them up to a $1 million in life insurance — and you don’t even need to have the money in the bank.

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 $1 million with a company called Bestow.

We hear people are paying as little as $8 a month. (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.)

It takes just minutes 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…

Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a website called Credible could help you pay them off tomorrow (up to $100K).

Here’s how it works: Credible 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.

Credible 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.

5. They Don’t Waste Hundreds on Homeowner’s Insurance

A neighborhood at sunset.
Getty Images

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.

Policygenius’ policies start at just $25/month. 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 get started.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Grow Your Wealth By Learning From Others

Two woman sitting next to each other in an office-type setting, and they go over material on a cell phone and laptop.

One of the best ways to get your money in order? Learning from others! These could be the millionaires themselves, personal finance experts or real-life people who’ve had success. Search the internet for blogs and websites, listen to podcasts and read books.

Here are a few of our favorite resources (ahem, besides ourselves):

“How to Money” podcast

“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

“The Side Hustle Show” podcast

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“The Money Nerds” podcast

“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel

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: Cancel Your Current Car Insurance

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

People love to tell you to shop around. “You should be getting three different quotes to get the best price on car insurance,” they say.

Sure, this sounds like good advice. Here’s why it’s wrong: Comparing only three companies isn’t nearly enough. We suggest comparing 40. But who has time for that?

A company called Gabi will do it for you for free. It gets people an average of $825 back in their bank accounts a year — and you’ll get the same coverage you already have.

It doesn’t matter when you last renewed; you can get a check from your old company for the time left on your previous policy. (Read: They probably owe you money.)

You don’t have to make any calls or fill out any forms. It takes two minutes to see how much Gabi can put back in your pocket. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

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.

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Save Money

This Woman Saved $85,000 Before She Turned 19. Here’s Exactly How She Did It

Many Americans aren’t good at saving money.

This information isn’t new.

Let me give you a refresher: 33% of Americans have nothing tucked into their savings accounts, according to a 2016 GoBankingRates survey. And 35% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.

So we’re taking notes from this 19-year-old NewRetirement.com recently wrote about. Robyn Bri has saved more than $85,000 to date.

Granted, Bri has lived at home, but she’s also hustled hard since she was 8 years old.

“The first time I bought something with my own money, it immediately had more value to me because it was something I had to work to get, so I took better care of it,” she told me in a recent email exchange. “I think that’s what motivated me to start getting jobs and saving my money for certain things.”

Here’s how to save money like Bri.

1. Open a Separate Bank Account

Bri says she keeps her money in a savings account and tries to stash money in it as frequently as possible.

I asked about her strategy for determining how much goes away and when. She says she plans to automate the process one day, but for now she just does it by hand.

“I usually will tell myself, ‘Okay, you just made this much money. You have to put at least this much in savings, then budget the rest into checking and into my spending budget,’” she says.

She keeps her money for everyday expenses in a checking account.

Here’s how you can save: Open an online savings account and deposit $10. Heck, roll your quarters if you have to.

There are a bunch of great online banking accounts, but one of our favorites is Aspiration because they offer an interest rate around 100x what a normal bank offers — plus there are no monthly fees.

Plus, by separating the money from your checking account, you’ll be much less likely to make a withdraw.

The goal is to make your money work for you, which Bri has already learned by 19

2. Put $1 Into the Stock Market

Bri says she has two self-investing accounts with Merrill Edge.

One is a Roth IRA, and the other is a self-guided account. She also invested in Apple stock when she was 16.

However, she admits she’s always been a little hesitant about the process. “…It’s a risky business, and the more you put in the more you can lose, but at the same time the more you can gain,” she says.

She advises people to research. She also suggests taking online quizzes to see how much risk is worth taking.

“I always make sure that I never invest all my money,” she concludes on the matter.

Here’s how you can save: If you want to start investing, but feel slightly intimidated like Bri, try using Stash. This company can help you buy a piece of Amazon, Google or any other company for $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 at least $5 into your investment account.

3. Earn an Extra $225/Month

At age 8, Bri started doing odd jobs for her neighbors.

Since then, she’s worked as a pet sitter, babysitter, housesitter and waitress. Bri estimates she works 28 to 32 hours a week and earns something between $3,000 and $4,000 each month, according to SFGATE.

I asked her how she manages to stay on top of her priorities. (In addition to her side gigs, she was also a successful student and volunteered.)

She says, “For me, I really had to stay organized and on top of my phone calls, emails, texts, etc. Writing everything down and using a calendar to stay organized was definitely crucial. With so many different things going on, if I don’t write one thing down I could screw up a whole day.”

Here’s how you can save: 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 it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone.

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.

4. Cancel Your Car Insurance

NewRetirement also reports that Bri doesn’t blow her money on clothes or entertainment expenses.

“Mostly I just tell myself, ‘I don’t need that; it’s not a necessity — you can live without it,’” she says. “But I do allow myself to have a small budget once a month for things like transportation, going to the city for a day, etc.”

She’s sure to calculate necessities into her budget, too, like her phone bill and gas.

Here’s how you can save: We already know that skipping our daily latte could save a fortune, but did you know that you could save a ton by changing how your car insurance works?

Fortunately, a service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work.

Once you link your insurance account to Gabi, it will:

  • Scan your existing insurance plan.
  • Analyze what coverage you have.
  • Compare the major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $720 per year for its customers. Not too shabby.

5. Consume Tons of Personal Finance Advice

How did Bri know about all of these smart money moves? She said she read a ton of advice in books and on blogs (like The Penny Hoarder, right?).

But actually she says her all-time favorite book is “Rich Bitch.” “It’s an easy read, and the best part is it’s interactive, so as you read you are advised to write stuff down, start planning/getting your finances on track.”

Here’s how you can save: You can never know everything.

On personal finance matters, we have taken notes from some of our favorite “zillionaires” as well as these books and these podcasts.

Cheers to Bri, who’s headed off to George Washington University this fall on a full-ride scholarship. She has an on-campus job lined up and plans to find another gig along the way.

Categories
Save Money

7 Money Secrets Every Married Couple Should Know Right Now

Congratulations! You’ve said your vows. You’ve thrown that bouquet (who knew Grandma could jump like that?). You’re even rocking a nice tan from your honeymoon.

Now married life really begins. Like it or not, your finances are a major factor in your marriage. According to Dave Ramsey, 86% of couples who got married in the last five years started out in debt.

It’s OK. Take a deep breath. We’ve put together some of the biggest money secrets that every couple needs to know.

Are you ready to get started? Just say “I do.”

1. Give Your Spouse $1M

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How will they 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 can’t afford $1M in life insurance. But rates start at just $8 a month at Bestow.

The application takes just minutes, but 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 Bestow.

2. Create a Fun Account

Saving is tough, and having a spouse doesn’t make it any easier. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

We talked to one guy with a different story. In just nine months, Samuel Demenywas able to save up $1,250 — without even thinking about it.

His method? Banking with someone like Aspiration . This free debit card gives you 100x the normal interest rate and up to 10% cash back every time you swipe.

Demeny said he and his boyfriend planned to use the money to help pay for an upcoming move instead of having to use credit cards.

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

3. Put $1 in the Stock Market

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 investment account.

4. Let This Company Get Rid of Your Credit Card Debt

Sometimes “for better or for worse” includes taking on your spouse’s credit card or other high-interest debt. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, take those balances down in a smart way.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit card and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

If your credit score is at least 620, you can borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) . The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, know that checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

5. Don’t Waste Hundreds on Homeowner’s Insurance

A neighborhood at sunset.
Getty Images

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 Lemonade makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying.

Lemonade’s policies start at just $25/month. And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Lemonade will make sure you have what you need.

Just answer a few questions about your home to get started.

6. Cancel Your Car Insurance

How often are you even using your car right now? Regardless, there’s one thing we’re nearly certain of — you’re overpaying on car insurance.

That being said, shopping for car insurance is a pain which is why we like using a free service like Zebra. In just a few minutes you can see if any other companies are offering a cheaper rate with the same coverage and deductibles you already have.

You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s license, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.

They save customers an average of $670 a year. Take two minutes and see how much Zebra can save you.

7. Make a Budget

No matter how much money you make, the first thing you should do as a married couple is create a solid budget. It’s important to first get a clear idea of where your money is going, then create a plan and stick to it.

We get it, though. Budgeting isn’t fun. But you don’t need to spend hours on end playing with complicated Excel equations. The 50/20/30 budgeting method makes it super easy. It’s one of the most straightforward budgeting strategies, and it offers a lot of flexibility.

Here’s how it works:

  • 50% of your income goes toward essentials.
  • 20% goes toward financial goals.
  • 30% goes toward personal spending.

Once you get the hang of it, you can tweak the ratios to fit your specific situation. Some people like to put more toward their savings, while others need a bit more for expenses. Take some time to find what works best for you and your goals.

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10 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 Take Money Out of Their 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 $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 leave them up to a $1 million in life insurance — and you don’t even need to have the money in the bank.

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 $1 million with a company called Bestow.

We hear people are paying as little as $8 a month. (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.)

It takes just minutes 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. They Cancel Their Car Insurance

How often are you even using your car right now? Regardless, there’s one thing we’re nearly certain of — you’re overpaying on car insurance.

In fact, you could be wasting nearly $900 this year.

Luckily, we found an app called Jerry, and it can tell you if you’re paying too much on your car insurance. In fact, Jerry says it finds that people, on average, are overpaying by about $887 a year. 

Penny Hoarder writer and editor Robin Hartill was able to cut her bill by $70 per month for the same basic coverage.

“It found a policy for me at a different company that I had tried getting a quote from on my own, she says. “I’m not sure what kind of magic Jerry wrangled, but it saved me around $70 a month. That’s more than $800 that I’m planning to add to my emergency savings over the next year.”

Once you sign up, you don’t have to worry about shopping around for insurance again. Jerry will automatically do that for you. Also, it won’t cost you anything — it’s all free.

And if you’re worried about ditching your current policy, know you can back out at any time, even before your policy runs out. In fact, by law, insurance companies have to give you a refund for the remaining unused days on your policy. If there are any cancellation fees involved (these are usually small), Jerry will let you know.

Signing up is easy. When we tried it, it took less than two minutes, then Jerry took care of the rest. All we had to do was type in a phone number, then answer a few basic questions about vehicle type, level of education, etc. 

To find out if you’re getting ripped off (and how much you could save), start with the online questionnaire, then see your final price. 

4. They Don’t Waste Hundreds on Homeowner’s Insurance

A neighborhood at sunset.
Getty Images

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.

Policygenius’ policies start at just $25/month. 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 get started.

5. Spend $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 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 investment account.

6. Stop Paying Your Credit Card

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

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.

7. 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.

8. Add $225/Month to Your Bank Account

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. 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. 

InboxDollars 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 $56 million.

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

9. Get up to Free $500 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 $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.”

10. Grow Your Wealth By Learning From Others

Two woman sitting next to each other in an office-type setting, and they go over material on a cell phone and laptop.

One of the best ways to get your money in order? Learning from others! These could be the millionaires themselves, personal finance experts or real-life people who’ve had success. Search the internet for blogs and websites, listen to podcasts and read books.

Here are a few of our favorite resources (ahem, besides ourselves):

“How to Money” podcast

“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

“The Side Hustle Show” podcast

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“The Money Nerds” podcast

“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel

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Save Money

This 7-Day Savings Challenge Is The Best Thing You’ll Do This Week

Not all of us are born to be organizational wizards, but if you want to get ahead with your money, you’ve got to get it under your control. It’s the only way you’ll get any of the big stuff done, such as paying off debt, taking a real vacation, buying a house or saving for retirement.

We get it, though. Not all of us keep everything neatly filed, color-coded, alphabetized and prioritized. And you don’t have to be.

Here are seven things you can do — in seven days — to get your finances under control:

Day 1: Create an Emergency Fund

We know, we know. None of us have a lot of extra money right now, so creating an emergency fund is not exactly easy.

Just start small.

Can you put $10 in a savings account today? We recommend using an account that’s not tied to your main checking account so that you’re not tempted to withdraw the money.

There are lots of good accounts these days, but we like Aspiration. They offer an interest rate that is 100x better than anyone else, there’s no fees and they give you up free cash every time you swipe your card.

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.”

Day 2: Withdraw $5 and Buy 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 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.***

Day 3: 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.

Day 4: The Easiest Day of the Challenge — Give Your Family up to $1M

A million bucks? Easy? Those probably aren’t two thoughts you normally put together. But seriously, today is the easiest day of our challenge.

It sounds too good to be true, but a company called Bestow could help you do this using something called term life insurance. This is something you can check off your list in minutes.

You can get a free quote from Bestow until you’re 54 years old, but the sooner you take care of this, the cheaper it will be. (We hear some people are getting it for as little as $8 a month.)

Today was meant to be simple, so go ahead and take the rest of the day off.

Day 5: 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 service called Gabi does all the shopping for you to find cheaper insurance — with the same coverage and deductibles you already have. And it saves customers an average of $825 a year.

You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s license, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.

Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings. No more shopping.

Day 6: Put an Extra $225 in Your Pocket Every Month

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.You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with Swagbucks.

They’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 Swagbucks will continue to pay you every month.

This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid to watch the news.

Day 7: Stop Paying Your Credit Card Company

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

Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a company 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..

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Which Fitness Chain Has the Best Gym Membership for Your Budget?

Despite years of adding “lose some weight” to my list of New Year’s resolutions, I have yet to join a gym.

Not to make excuses (well, let’s be real — everyone who wants to avoid the gym is making excuses), but I’m incredibly indecisive when it comes to spending money on myself.

Except when it comes to food.

But getting in shape requires making a decision and a commitment to putting in the work. And it takes an investment — in time and often in money.

With so many options out there, how do you pick the best gym membership for you?

Our Guide to Finding the Cheapest Gym Membership

Let me start by saying choosing a gym is a very personal decision.

Size might be a significant factor. Location might be also important to you — maybe if you pass the gym along your normal commute, you won’t be going out of your way.

Well, to help make your decision a bit easier, we compiled information from six national workout chains so you can compare availability, costs and features.

Some gyms provide free trials, so be sure to take advantage of those offers before signing up for a membership.

Writer’s note: Individual membership costs are published as listed online as of May 17, 2019, and they are subject to change. Rates may vary based on location and current promotions.

1. Youfit Health Clubs

Where: Youfit Health Clubs has more than 100 locations in 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

How Much: The base membership fee is $10 a month. The premium tier (known as “Lime Card” access) costs $21.99 a month. When you sign up for the base membership, you’ll also pay for first and last month dues. Initiation fees vary depending on the membership package.

What’s Included: Depending on location, these clubs include top-of-the-line equipment, free weights, group fitness sessions, express circuits, personal trainers, tanning beds and childcare. Premium members can also bring a free guest with them for every visit and can visit any YouFit location.

Try It: Get a free guest pass for one-time use.

2. Planet Fitness

Where: Planet Fitness has over 1,800 locations in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada and the Dominican Republic.

How Much: Monthly dues are $10 for just one location or $19.99 to use any location. Annual fees are $39.99 and the start-up fee is $1. The $10 membership has no commitment.

What’s Included: These gyms include cardio and weight-training equipment, plus fitness training programs for all members. Some locations include massage chairs and tanning services. Many locations are open 24 hours a day.

Try It: Find the location nearest you.

3. Crunch Fitness

Where: Crunch Fitness has more than 300 locations for its regular gyms and 30 locations for its Signature gyms (which include more classes, upgraded amenities and more). Its gyms are located in 30 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and four Canadian provinces.

How Much: A base membership is $9.95 a month, a Peak membership is $21.95 a month and a Peak Results membership is $24.95 a month. Enrollment fees vary from $10 to $49.99 depending on your membership level. The annual fee is $78, prorated at $6.50 a month.

What’s Included: Depending on what type of membership you choose, you can take advantage of multiple perks at this gym, including a training orientation with a fitness expert, group fitness classes, online video workouts, tanning and Hydromassage. The Peak and Peak Results memberships can be used at multiple locations.

Try It: Try a free one-day trial.

4. LA Fitness

Where: LA Fitness has more than 675 locations in 27 states, Washington D.C. and Canada.

How Much: Monthly fees start at $24.99 for single-club access or $29.99 for multiple clubs within the same state. Initiation fees are $89.

What’s Included: Gyms include state-of-the-art equipment and cardio areas, group fitness classes, indoor heated pools, whirlpool spas and saunas. Some have kids’ clubs, juice bars and basketball and racquetball courts.

Try It: Find your local club to request a guest pass online.

5. 24 Hour Fitness

Where: 24 Hour Fitness has over 400 locations in 13 states — California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, New York and New Jersey.

How Much: Monthly fees start at $29.99, but can vary based on location and membership level. Members pay a one-time initiation fee, which starts at $29.99, and there’s also a $49.99 annual fee.

What’s Included: Gyms include studio and cycle classes. Most facilities also have an indoor lap pool and a Whirlpool. Members can take advantage of personal and group training. Get access to digital workouts you can complete at home without stepping foot in an actual gym. Parents of children ages 6 months to 11 years can drop their kids off for supervised fun time at nearly every location.

Try It: Use this three-day free pass.

6. Anytime Fitness

Where: Anytime Fitness has more than 4,000 locations in all 50 states and 36 countries across six continents. (That’ll likely soon change, as the chain recently announced plans to expand to Antarctica.)

How Much: Membership starts at $29.99 per month, but prices vary depending on location and current promotions. According to Anytime Fitness’s spokesperson, the average membership is $40 a month. Members also pay one-time initiation and key activation fees, which vary depending on the franchise.

What’s Included: Members have access to cardio machines, weights and strength training equipment, as well as classes and wellness programs. Some locations offer tanning and personal training. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Try It: You can get a free seven-day pass.

Other Alternatives to Popular Chain Gyms

If none of these chain gyms suit your fancy, you could always join your local YMCA or set up a home gym to get your workouts in.

You could also incorporate fitness into your daily routine by trying one of these nine inexpensive gym alternatives. Running is one of the options on that list; this post on tips and tricks for finding discounted running shoescan help ease your stride.

Or you could lace up those shoes and march right into the gym!

Originally published on The Penny Hoarder.

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21 of the Absolute Best Freebies We’ve Ever Found Online

Man, there’s nothing better than free stuff. Like when you’re walking through a mall’s food court and an employee offers you a bite-sized morsel of bourbon chicken impaled on a toothpick?

Always take the bite-sized morsel of bourbon chicken. Always. Every single time. You don’t even have to be hungry. Right?

The point is, we all love free stuff. But not all free stuff is worth loving.

After extensive research, our crack staff of freebie-ologists have put together this sweet list of quality freebies for you. Only the finest freebies are allowed in this list. From coffee to coconut oil to diapers, here’s the ultimate list of our favorite free stuff online.

1. Free Godiva Chocolate

Free Godiva chocolate — what could be better?

We’re pretty sure free Godiva chocolate is handed out every day in heaven. Probably those chocolate salted-caramel truffles.

Even better: This offer isn’t a one-time deal. Once you sign up, you get free chocolate every month at participating locations, plus birthday chocolate!

2. Free $225 in Cash

If we told you you could get free money just for watching 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. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.

InboxDollars won’t cover your full rent, but it’s possible to get 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 earn a $5 bonus to get you started.

3. Free Ice Cream

We’ll never, ever pass up an opportunity for free ice cream. If we ever do, you should go ahead and start making our funeral arrangements. This is free ice cream we’re talking about!

When you download the Slab Happy Rewards app from Marble Slab Creamery, you’ll get free ice cream just for signing up. After that, you’ll earn points for each dollar you spend, and you can cash them in for $5 off future purchases.

4. Free Credit Score

No, really. Hear us out.

If you’ve ever tried to get your credit score, you know most services make you sign up for a trial or charge you an outrageous amount of money. But it’s your credit score! Where do they get the nerve?

Credit Sesame will give it to you for free. And it takes about 90 seconds.

You’ll also see a credit report card, so you can check for errors. Finding and correcting just one could give your credit score a significant boost!

5. Free Gift Cards

What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, they hand you a mile-long piece of paper, and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.

But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Chipotle and dozens of other retailers.  

And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.

When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn a free bonus, and you’ll be well on your way to your first gift card.

Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?

6. Up to $500 in Free Stocks

When you download the Robinhood 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.

Robinhood doesn’t charge commission fees, meaning you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, there’s no minimum investment to sign up.

7. Free Scratch-off Tickets

There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets — scritch scritch scritch scritch— but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.

Instead, try scratching free tickets through an app called Lucktastic. Every day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.

8. Free Pizza

You can get a free personal one-topping pizza on your next visit when you sign up for Chuck E. Cheese’s More Cheese Rewards program.

In addition to free pizza, you’ll get a $10 reward for every three visits when you spend over $20 and unspecified treats on your birthday and half-birthday.

Everyone forgets the half-birthday.

9. Free $10 for Sharing Your Receipts

We know it sounds strange, but Ibotta will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

Here’s how it works:

Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.

Bam. Cash back.

Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.

10. Free Baby Diapers

Is your family growing? Create a Target baby registry to get over $100 in free baby stuff!

Even better, when your due date is eight weeks away, you’ll get a 15% discount on any items remaining on your registry.

11. Free Coffee

Want to try a bag of some of the best coffee in the country — completely free?

You can get a 2-ounce trial of Blue Bottle’s famous beans for nothing at all.

It’s part of their monthly subscription service, so you’ll need to enter your credit card info, but you’ll get an email before Blue Bottle charges you and sends you more coffee. Just cancel your subscription if you don’t want to keep getting coffee.

12. Free Bare Minerals Makeup

It’s safe to say that lookin’ pretty ain’t cheap. Whether you’re purchasing lipstick or foundation, blush or primer, you’re bound to rack up a pretty penny — especially if you want the good stuff.

Before you buy anything else, check out Bare Minerals. The company wants to give your wallet a well-deserved break with a free five-piece customizable Everyday Minerals makeup kit sample(based on your skin tone). You’ll just pay for shipping.

Not interested in a makeup kit? It’s giving away free eyeshadow samples, too!

13. Free Baby Shoes

Is there anything cuter than baby shoes?

That’s a firm no.

Little Wanderers, an independent retailer, stocks some adorable footgear — and you can snag a pair for free by using our code PENNY1.

Choose from some fringe boots or a pair of high-top sneaks. There are even some miniature snow boots with fur. So cute!

14. Free Pancakes

Who doesn’t like pancakes? IHOP has pancakes. If you join the chain’s e-club, called Pancake Revolution, you get a free stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity Pancakes. You get the same thing on your birthday, and on each anniversary of signing up.

15. Free Kind Granola Bar

This is #kindawesome.

This free Kind granola bar isn’t necessarily a freebie for you, but a gift you give to someone else for being kind. Get it? You’re doing something kind for someone who did something kind — paying it forward without paying a thing.

16. Free Shampoo

If you sign up for Pantene’s email list, the company will mail you free samples of shampoo and other products.

17. Free Dog and Cat Food

No longer content with only feeding humans, Rachael Ray is venturing into dog and cat food these days. Her “Nutrish” brand is gourmet, natural, nutritious pet chow.

You can request a sample of her dog or cat food here.
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18. Free Baby Leggings

Head over to BabyLeggings.com and throw a pair in your cart. At checkout, just use the code “PENNY1,” and you’ll only have to pay for shipping.

19. Free Roast Beef Sandwich

Hungry? Arby’s has an email list. If you sign up for it, you’ll get a free Roast Beef Classic with the purchase of a drink. (Arby’s will also send you coupons.)

This is one of the only offers on this list that requires you to buy something to get something else for free. But hey, you’re going to need something to wash down your free roast beef sandwich.

20. Free Dunkin

Do you run on Dunkin?

Join the DD Perks program to get a free beverage when you sign up and on your birthday. Plus, you’ll earn points for every purchase and get a free beverage for every 200 points.

21. Sephora Beauty Products

Oooh, Sephora.

Become a “Beauty Insider,” and you’ll have your choice of a free beauty kit from Fresh or Marc Jacobs on your birthday.

Adapted from the original post at The Penny Hoarder.