People make all kinds of resolutions at the start of a new year: that they are going to eat healthier, travel more, spend more time with their family, but no resolution is as important as the one to get your financials in order.
It’s one of those resolutions that is easier said than done, which is why it’s so important to approach this goal with concrete plans.
Here are 11 things to do immediately to get on the right track. Just think of how ahead you’ll be come 2020.
1. Don’t think about it, just start saving as much as you can
We know, you get lectured all of the time about the importance of saving money. Wouldn’t it be nice if saving money was actually fun, not some boring thing you were told to do?
That’s exactly the premise of the new app Long Game. Start saving money using the app (it helps you automate pulling money out of your checking account), and you’ll start earning points which you can use to play games. This is where the app get’s really good: Start winning at the games and you’ll earn prizes like cold hard cash (up to $1,000,000).
To get started, download the app, link your bank account, and open your own FDIC-insured Long Game savings account. You’ll even get 300 free bonus Coins when you join plus up to 3,000 free bonus Coins after making your first deposit.
Turn saving money into something that is actually fun with Long Game today
2. Make it a goal this year to not just save your money, but to grow it
It’s impossible to get ahead financially just by saving, it’s critical to start investing your money in order to grow it. With Stash you can start investing in the market and watching your money grow with just $5. Stash allows you to buy a fraction of a stock or an ETF instead of having to invest in a whole share.
Starting with $5, you can work with Stash to build an investment portfolio that reflects your interests, beliefs, and goals. Think $5 won’t get you anywhere? By investing just $5 a week, and assuming your portfolio grows by an average of 5% per year (a pretty modest growth rate), your portfolio will be worth a staggering $17,274 in 30 years.
3. And then reassess where you are keeping your money
Sometimes it feels like the bank is out to get you with all the overdraft and service fees they tack on. Your bank is supposed to protect your money, not eat it.
If you’re sick and tired of paying banking fees (and who isn’t), you need to try out Chime the mobile bank which guarantees it will never charge its customers a single fee. Say good-bye to overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, service fees, foreign transaction fees, and transfer fees in 2019 when you move banks
Another huge benefit of Chime is that it allows you to receive your paycheck a full two days early. For those times when you are in need of extra money in a pinch, those two days can make all the difference.
4. Do literally whatever you have to do to pay down your credit cards
If you have credit card debt–no matter if you are doing everything else right–we are here to tell you your finances are in trouble. Make 2019 the year you do literally whatever it takes to get out of debt–and it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.
Digit is an app that automatically pulls small amounts of money from your checking account throughout the month to start paying off your credit cards. The small amounts Digit pulls out during the month will add up big time over the course of a year. On average, Digit users are able to accumulate $2,500 just by doing this. By 2020, you will be doing a jig out of happiness for how much you have been able to pay off.
5. Protect your things (and your budget) with insurance
While you may love your Apple AirPods, so do would-be thieves, who would just love to swipe the $150 gadget from you at the gym, or out of your bag. They were expensive enough the first time, you don’t want to have to replace them!
Thankfully, by paying for renters insurance with Lemonade that starts at just $5 per month, you no longer have to stress about that. Lemonade allows you to invest in the things that you love from those Apple AirPods to a favorite pair of sneakers to a vintage guitar, and if they get stolen or damaged in your home, they’ll be covered. The best part? Lemonade covers your stuff outside of your home, too. Consider it a massive security net for your budget.
6. Stop wasting money on everyday essentials
One of the biggest budget busters for people isn’t the big ticket items, but the little every day items they have to buy all of the time, like groceries.
Just think of how much better your finances would be if you could cut your grocery bill dramatically?
Well, Ibotta is a great hack to do exactly that. Simply shop as you normally would, take a picture of your receipt and they’ll find you great cashback deals for things like milk, beer, and pasta.
The deals extend beyond the grocery store, too. For instance get up to 6% cash back on Amazon devices when you shop with Ibotta.
To help you get started, Ibotta is offering a massive $10 bonus for new users!
7. Reassess how much you are paying for your essential bills
Cell phone bills are inevitable, and, unfortunately, so is getting ripped off by your cell phone provider. The truth is, cell phone providers know they are ripping you off, and are willing to lower your bill, all you have to do is ask.
Still, who actually wants to spend their precious free time negotiating down their cell phone bill? That’s where BillShark comes in. BillShark’s team of bill negotiation experts have an 85% success rate when it comes to lowering people’s bills (besides cell phone bills, they’ll also negotiate down your cable and internet bill, among others).
People have saved hundreds of dollars annually by using BillShark. And because BillShark only charges 40% of the savings they find for people, you only have to pay for the service if they end up actually saving you money. Bottom line: you have nothing to lose.
8. And also protect your family
Life insurance is so important, but too often people don’t realize that until it’s much too late. Make 2019 the year you stop putting off getting life insurance.
Bestow makes it so easy to figure what the best life insurance for you is. Quickly get a quote and sign-up and literally get coverage within minutes if you qualify (with other companies this can take weeks). Pick the plan that is best for you whether it is a two year plan or a 10 or 20 year plan. Insure your life for the price of your morning coffee and protect your family in the event anything happens to you. Trust us, you’ll be able to sleep better once this is done.
9. Stop letting your car insurance bills take you for a ride
Like a lot of people out there, your car insurance bill is probably one of your monthly essentials that is taking a big bite out of your monthly budget. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was taking a smaller bite?
One of our favorite tools to do just that is Gabi, which shops for the best car insurance deals for you – saving its customers an average of $720. All you need to do is connect your existing insurance policy and provide your driver’s license number. In minutes, you’ll get different options that you can switch to, helping you save a lot of money.
Plus: They’ll also let you know if you currently have the cheapest policy.
$720 in your pocket sounds mighty nice!
10. Stop ignoring your 401(k) once and for all
When was the last time you checked your 401(k)? You likely haven’t lately because you don’t understand what you are looking at when you do (don’t worry, the confusing jargon and pie charts stump us all).
This is the year to take control of your retirement savings once and for all.
Which is where Blooom comes in. Blooom is a robo-advisor that does the work for you. It stays on top of your 401(k) plan and optimizes your investments every 90 days. It helps you meet your financial goals without all the hard work. Get started with an entirely free analysis of your 401(k) plan so you can understand your investments and uncover unnecessary fees. For only $10 per month after that Blooom will optimize your investments and minimize what fees you pay.
Take control of managing your retirement before it’s too late. Let Blooom manage your 401(k)
Feature Image: Twenty20
9 Side Gigs That Let You Earn $250+ A Month Without You Leaving Your Couch
Working side gigs from home can be incredibly lucrative. But sorting through all the scams, particularly when it comes to participating in paid surveys, to find legitimate opportunities, can be difficult.
To make life easy for you, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to make up to $250 (plus earn awesome rewards) from home.
The trick, especially when it comes to earning money from surveys, is to sign-up for multiple opportunities at once because the real money is in working lots of income sources at the same time.
So here we go, the best side gigs you can do from home that you can start right now…
1. Survey Junkie
When you need extra cash fast, Survey Junkie is by far your best option.
They have tons high paying surveys available from recognizable household names. Best of all, the cash out threshold is just $10 (1,000 points) so it’s easy to always have money coming in quickly. That extra cash can be huge if your budget is feeling a little tight.
2. Long Game
People spend billions of dollars a year playing mobile games (yes, that’s correct, billions with a b). That money doesn’t amount to much of anything (except for some time playing Candy Crush), but wouldn’t it be nice if you could play games on your phone and have your wallet be the one that sees a boost for a change?
That’s exactly what the new app Long Game does. Start saving money using the app, and you’ll start earning points which you can use to play games. This is where the app gets really good: Start winning at the games and you’ll earn prizes including cold hard cash (up to $1,000).
On top of getting to play games, you’ll be earning interest on your savings while you start to build a nice nest egg for yourself.
To get started, download the app here. All new users get 300 free bonus Coins plus get up to 3,000 free bonus Coins when you make your first deposit. Make your first deposit today (it can be just $5) to get this awesome bonus!
Let’s be honest – if you’re reading this, you’re really just looking for a good way to make some decent money. Your best bet is going to be InboxDollars.
They’re a market research company that’ll pay you top dollar for every survey you complete and they let you cash out quickly. If you need money right now, taking three surveys with InboxDollars is the quickest way.
It pays to keep a copy of your receipt every time you go shopping. That’s because a popular cash back app called Ibotta will reward you for taking photos of your receipt. The app scans your receipt for deals and then instantly applies cash back to your account. It works with a ton of retailers, from Walmart to Costco, so there is no shortage of stores you could be earning cash back from.
To help you get started, Ibotta is offering a massive $10 bonus for new users! This one is essential.
5. Shopper’s Voice
Taking online surveys via Shopper’s Voice® let’s you earn awesome rewards like coupons, samples, and free stuff–all from the comfort of your home.
6. Take some surveys
One of the most profitable and fun survey sites online is Survey Junkie. They’ll pay you for sharing your thoughts and opinions with companies you use everyday so you’re earning decent money while actually enjoying yourself. Being able to redeem points for PayPal cash is also a nice touch.
It’s a great option if you’re looking for quick, easy money.
What are you going to do with all this extra cash if you don’t have a savings account yet? Consider joining a 100% free bank like Chime which does more than practically any bank when it comes to helping its customers save.
Unlike traditional banks, Chime operates fully online and doesn’t have any physical branches. That means something amazing, that they are able to offer 100% fee-free banking. Chime’s “Automatic Savings” feature saves you money by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar and then transferring the change to your Savings Account. It’s a dead-simple way to save.
You can also get your paycheck two days early when getting paid via direct deposit. If your fridge is bare right before payday, those two days are huge.
8. Even Financial
One of the biggest mistakes that people making is putting purchases that they can’t afford on high interest credit cards. A better option might be to consider a personal loan, that comes with a lower interest rate if you have a credit score over 660.
A great way to find out what kind of loans you might qualify for is via EVEN Financial. EVEN isn’t a lender itself, but rather a technology platform that helps to match people to the loans that are right for them. The best part? It is completely free to use. No gimmicks, no hidden fees. The best deals are for people with a credit score of 660 or above.
The loans offered are between $1,000 and $100,000, lasting between 24 and 84 months. Interest rates start at 4.99% which is much lower than most credit cards.
9. Ipsos i-Say
Some people say surveys are time-consuming. If you don’t have much free time but still want to earn, Ipsos i-Say is a good option.
They send activities less frequently but they are always surveys with great rewards. It’s a good option if you value your time and would rather take higher paying surveys less regularly.
They payout with great rewards like Visa prepaid cards, Amazon gift cards, PayPal funds, Starbucks e-gifts and more.
Final Thoughts (TL:DR)
The quickest way to earn – Survey Junkie
Make cash with your phone – Swagbucks
Get paid to save and play games – Long Game
Top site to make money at home – InboxDollars
Earn money grocery shopping – Ibotta
Earn coupons, samples and free stuff – Shopper’s Voice®
Let a free savings account work for you – Chime
Get a quick financial helping hand – EVEN Financial
Earn in your (limited) spare time – Ipsos i-Say