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These Tax Experts Could Help You Take Taxes Off Your To-Do List — and Get the Most Out of Your Return 

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Tax season is here again. 

And based on what 2020 threw at us, it may feel like filing our taxes is going to be even more complicated than usual. Which is why there is no shame in calling in an expert to help navigate the murky waters of your 2020 tax returns. 

You don’t even need to leave your couch to get the expert advice you need to file with confidence. If you want to file with the help of a real tax expert, or let an expert do your taxes for you from start to finish, TurboTax Live has you covered. 

Yep. You can talk live on your screen with real tax experts thanks to TurboTax Live. So no matter what your unique tax situation may be, whether you have questions about big life changes, investments or deductions, a real live tax expert will be there to help.

You Did a Lot This Year: Let TurboTax Live Experts Help You Get the Most Out of It 

You probably know TurboTax as the DIY way to get your taxes done right — and it still is. But TurboTax Live takes it a step further by having real tax experts available to help with your taxes — or even do it all for you. 

There are several options to choose from, but all you need to do is answer a few simple questions, and TurboTax will help you find the right tax solution for you. Whether you have a single W-2, are self-employed or somewhere in between, you’ll get the right amount of help you need.

With TurboTax Live, you can talk live on screen with experts to get unlimited advice about your tax situation and get answers to your questions. 

Like, what does getting married or having a new baby mean for your taxes? Or what should you do if you sold stock for the first time? 

If you don’t need an expert to do your taxes for you, you can still have an expert give a  final review of your return before you file. Either way, you can be confident your return is done right.

So while yes, 2020 was a doozy, doing your 2020 taxes doesn’t need to be. Get started here to let TurboTax Live experts help, or even do your taxes for you, so you can get your maximum refund, with minimal stress. 

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Save Money

This Company Will Pay You to Skip Laundry Day

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As if you needed another excuse to not do the laundry today, here’s a totally valid one — Californians can actually make money for skipping a load. 

How? Well, just by wearing your jeans a third (or fourth) time, you’d be giving the energy grid a break. And one company wants to say thanks — in cold hard cash. 

If you have a utility account with PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison (which cover nearly every county in California), a company called OhmConnect will pay you to hold off on doing laundry. 

OhmConnect is a free service that will text you when a lot of people in your area are using power. Your job is to simply use less electricity for about an hour a week. You could turn off your A/C, grill chicken outside for dinner or — you guessed it — wait to do your laundry until tomorrow, during odd hours. 

Here’s How to Get Cash from OhmConnect

  1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect account here.
  2. Sync it with your online utility account through PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison. You must have an online account with one of these electric companies to qualify for OhmConnect.
  3. Wait for OhmConnect to text you during high-energy-consumption hours
  4. Head outside, or at least turn the TV off until the hour is up. Heck, you can even play games on your phone during this hour — just resist plugging in any electronics.
  5. Profit! OhmConnect rewards you with cash, prizes, gift cards and more.

This all works because the California electricity market (or California ISO) pays OhmConnect to help them avoid turning on an expensive, dirty power plant. The company then passes the savings on to you.

If you want to automate the process, you can even connect a smart thermostat or plug and let OhmConnect do this automatically. Even connecting some of your biggest energy-hogging devices to a smart plug can help you save $350 a year — effortlessly.

But you don’t need a smart device to save: The more you do, the more money you can make.

Enter your ZIP code here to open a free OhmConnect account, then sync it with your online utility account to start earning cash. Your whites can wait until tomorrow.

Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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The One Thing Every Millennial Should Do if They Want to Own a Home (It Costs Nothing)

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Owning a home is no small feat — especially after the financial apocalypse and dismal job market millennials have persevered through. Twice. 

And yet, despite all odds, millennials are now the biggest group of homeowners in the United States, according to 2020 research by the National Association of Realtors. 

How did they do it? Well, everyone follows a different path to homeownership — but there is one thing most home-owning millennials have in common: a good credit score. 

Without a good credit score, getting approved for a mortgage is going to be tough. And getting a decent interest rate is going to be even harder — meaning a homeowner could be paying tens of thousands of dollars more for their home than someone with excellent credit. Yikes. 

That unnecessary debt is avoidable, though, and it will cost you nothing to start improving your credit score. 

In two minutes, you can sign up for a free Credit Sesame account and get personalized tips on how to improve your score. You’ll also be able to see any of your debt-carrying accounts, plus any marks or errors holding you back (it’s more common than you’d think).

So for millennials ready to take the next big step in their life and stake a claim on a piece of property, make sure your credit is on track. Credit Sesame can help you bump it up — making homeownership more attainable.

Can you see a white picket fence in your near future? Then take 90 seconds to sign up for a free Credit Sesame account. The sooner you get started, the closer you’ll be to your goal of a good credit score — and homeownership.

Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a first-time millennial homeowner, somehow!

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Save Money

This Website Could Loan You Up to $40,000 in Just a Few Days 

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When you need a loan, finding one — and getting approved — can bring as much anxiety as the thing you need the loan for. Whether it’s for debt consolidation, medical expenses or big home projects, waiting weeks just won’t cut it. On top of it all, big banks may charge you insane rates after making you jump through qualification hoops. 

There’s another option, though. If you need to borrow up to $40,000, a website called Fiona can help you get a loan through a company called LendingClub. You can save an average of $1,000 on interest payments1, plus, you could get your money in only a few days — talk about relief! 

Fiona will also show you additional offers from other lenders — because comparing your quotes can help you save even more money in the long run.

How to Borrow up to $40,000 and Pay Off Debt Faster

Getting started is simple. The application process only takes a few minutes, and you’ll see your loan offers immediately. Once you choose your loan, you could see your money in just a few days. 

It costs nothing to apply, and it won’t affect your credit score, either. And by the way, your information is totally safe — the website uses higher encryption security than many banks.

Interest rates with LendingClub start at 8.05% — way better than the 20% or more your credit card is charging you — and many people may actually improve their credit scores when they take out a personal loan and make their payments on time each month. These lower rates can save you an average of $1,000 in interest payments and help you pay off your debt faster.

If you have a credit score above 600 and need a loan, let Fiona find your offers in only a couple of minutes. You can get approved and see your money in just a few days.

1 On average, personal loans from LendingClub Bank are projected to be offered at an APR of 15.99% (based on loan approval amounts in aggregate) with an origination fee of 5.30% and a principal amount of $13,411 for loans with term lengths of 36 months, based on current credit criteria and an analysis of historical borrower data between September 2020 and October 2020. For credit card purchases made in October 2020, the average APR was 20.23%, according to publicly available information published by TheBalance.com. If you pay off a credit card balance of $12,700 with an APR of 20.23% over 36 equal monthly payments, you will pay $4,345 in total finance charges. If you obtain a loan with a term of 36 months and an amount financed of $12,700 (principal amount of $13,411 with an origination fee of $711) at 15.99% APR, you will pay $3,372 in total finance charges over the term of the loan, a savings of $973 as compared to the average credit card.

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Save Money

3 Simple Ways to Make $652

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Everyone would love a little bit of extra money, but there always seems to be a catch that comes along with it.

It shouldn’t have to be this way. That’s why we created this list of three simple ways to put a few hundred dollars back into your account. 

They range from plain old fun to super practical — either way, they are simple ways you could make more than $600 without too much effort on your part. 

Which easy-cash opportunity will you start with?

1. Get Paid up to $80/Month — Just for Sharing Your Opinion 

Taking surveys might not sound like the best way to make money, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch — or pretending to be interested in your partner’s new favorite show — why not click a couple buttons? It could earn you up to $80 a month. Seriously.

There are a bunch of paid survey sites out there, but one of the best we’ve found is Survey Junkie

They’ll ask you questions about things like, what kind of laundry detergent you use, or if you prefer Pepsi or Coke. You get points for answering, and many people accumulate enough points to request a check within a few hours. 

More than 10 million people already use Survey Junkie, and it has 4.5/5 stars on TrustPilot.

Give it a try by visiting Survey Junkie and clicking the “Join Now” button. It’s free. 

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 You Could Knock $489/Year From Your Car Insurance in Minutes

When’s the last time you checked car insurance prices?

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

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

Using Insure.com, people have saved an average of $489 a year. That’s more than $40 off your premium every single month

Yup. That could be nearly $500 back in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.

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Save Money

Saying No to These 5 Things Could Put $3,104 Dollars in Your Savings This Year

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Saying yes can feel really good. 

You can say yes to a new job, yes to a proposal, yes to more freshly grated parmesan on top of your pasta. 

But you know what feels even better sometimes? Saying no. 

Saying no is powerful. Saying no is a statement. And saying no can save you a ton of money. Just how much? It depends on how often you can say no to these situations:

1. Say No to Expensive Car Insurance and Save $489/Year

When’s the last time you checked car insurance prices? Try shopping now and say no to your overpriced car insurance policy. 

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

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

Using Insure.com, people have saved an average of $489 a year.

Yup. That could be $500 back in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.

2. Say No to Paying Full Price and Save $1,825 This Year

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert when you’re shopping online at Target and are about to overpay?

That’s exactly what this free service does. It says no for you.

Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it’ll check other websites, including Walmart, eBay and others to see if your item is available for cheaper. Plus, you can get coupon codes, set up price-drop alerts and even see the item’s price history.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new TV, and you assume you’ve found the best price. Here’s when you’ll get a pop up letting you know if that exact TV is available elsewhere for cheaper. If there are any available coupon codes, they’ll also automatically be applied to your order.

Using it’s savings estimate tool, you could save between $365 and $1,825 every single year, depending on how many online purchases you make. 

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

Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the extension using the links provided.

3. Say No to Paying Your Credit Card Company

Your credit card company is getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help you say no to those insane interest payments.

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

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.

4. Say No to Low Interest Banking Accounts and Get $100

Low interest banking accounts are all too common. You can make just pennies on your money. But with an account from a company called Aspiration, you can finally say no to those measly interest rates — and earn a sign up bonus, too.

So, how’s an extra $100 and 16 times the average interest sound? For free? Seriously. Aspiration will give you $100 just for opening a new debit card.

Sure, a lot of debit cards offer sign-up bonuses throughout the year, but they often require you to jump through hoops with minimum requirements that feel impossible to hit.

But Aspiration makes it simple. To earn your $100, here’s all you need to do: Open your Aspiration account and deposit at least $10. Then set up and receive three direct deposits of at least $500 each from your paycheck or government benefits. That’s it! Then just wait for your check. 

Even better? Your debit card gets you up to 10% cash back on your purchases and can earn you 16 times the average interest on the money in your account. 

Enter your email address here, and link your bank 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.”

5. Say No to Getting Ripped Off By Your Home Insurance Company and Save $690/Year

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

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

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

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

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

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