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 are the type to keep everything neatly filed, color-coded and alphabetized. And you don’t have to be.
Here are things you can do to get your finances under control:
Day 1: Stop Overpaying at Amazon
Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert when you’re shopping online at Amazon or Target and are about to overpay?
That’s exactly what this free service does.
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.
In the last year, this has saved people $160 million.
You can get started in just a few clicks to see if you’re overpaying online.
Day 2: Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it.
While you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates. But a website called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
Fiona can help you borrow up to $250,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 2.49%.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.
Day 3: Get a Refund on Your Auto Insurance
Here’s the thing: Your current car insurance company may be overcharging you — to the tune of up to $961 every year.
But don’t waste your time hopping around to different insurance companies looking for a better deal.
Use Experian® Insurance Marketplace, a free tool to compare all your options at once.
Experian will show you an apples-to-apples comparison of your options from the top carriers, so you can cancel your current insurance and pick exactly what you need.
Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about your current plan, so Experian can find you personalized quotes. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $961 a year*.
Day 4: 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.
Day 5: Get Up to 40% Cash Back When You Pay For Stuff
Chances are you do some of your shopping online. Whether it’s pet food from Walmart, a new outfit from Macy’s or even a flight home for summer vacation, you’re probably leaving money on the table.
A free website called Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you up to 40% cash back every time you buy something.
We spoke to one Penny Hoarder reader, Colleen Rice, who has earned more than $526.44 since she joined Rakuten. For doing nothing. Seriously.
Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights.
It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start earning cashback at your go-to stores through the site.
Your cash will be deposited directly into your bank account or via a check in the mail every few months. Talk about money for nothing.
Day 6: Earn up to $69/Hour Working From Home
Truth be told, life would be a lot easier if you could just make money without leaving the house. But that’s not something most employers offer. But have you considered bookkeeping? It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc Magazine.
And you could earn up to $69 an hour by starting your own bookkeeping business, according to Intuit, the creator of QuickBooks.
You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it even gives you the first three classes for free.
It’s helped thousands of people launch their own businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran and former painter. He never considered starting his own company, but he signed up for Bookkeepers.com, and now he’s making $50,000 a year.
It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule, earns up to $69 an hour and is able to spend more time with his wife than ever.
If you’re just a little curious, you just have to submit your email address here to take the first free class. If you stick with it, you could be running your own business in just a few months.
Day 7: Use This Secret Debit Card
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash right now?
Yep. When you sign up for a debit card called Aspiration, you could get up to 5% back when you swipe at certain stores — plus they give you up to 50 times the normal national interest rate on your savings balance.
It’s perfect for earning extra cash for things that are already on your shopping list. You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?
This card used to have a huge waiting list, but now you can sign up for free.
Just 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.”
*Investing involves the risk of loss.
*Results may vary and some may not see savings.