Photo by Fabian Blank
If you consistently have more than $1,000 in your checking account at the end of each month, give yourself a deserved pat on the back.
You’ve done it! You’ve broken the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, and you’ve got a little cushion to work with.
Now it’s time to think about some bigger, longer-term goals. What do you want to accomplish next with your money? Do you want to focus on saving up even more? Investing? Planning for retirement?
Here are some easy ideas to help you take the next step:
1. Invest Like a Tycoon (Even if You’re Not Quite a Millionaire Yet)
Maybe you’ve thought about investing some of that cash, but you’re not sure where to start. We found a company that helps you become a real estate investor — and you don’t have to tens of thousands of dollars on hand.
You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500. Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be invested in portfolios of real estate around the United States.
You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina. As tenants pay their rent, you can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation of the property.
And you don’t have to be the landlord, either. Fundrise does all the heavy lifting.
It’s a great way to get started in the world of investing now that you’ve built up a bit of savings.
2. Leave Your Family $1 Million in Life Insurance (Policies Start at $5/Month)
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.
Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million in life insurance with a company called Bestow. Policies start at just $5 a month.
You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security 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, pushy sales calls or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
3. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
You’ve finally got some money in the bank, but do you still have lingering debt? We found a company that will pay your credit card bill this month. No, like… the whole bill.
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 that 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.
You’ve finally found some financial footing, so don’t let your credit card company take that away.
4. 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’ve 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.