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

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

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: Grab Some Free 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.”

Day 2: See if You Can Get Money From This Company

a woman logs into her bank account on her cell phone.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

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.”

Day 3: 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 4: Cut Up to $715 Off Your Car Insurance in Minutes

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again. 

And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year. 

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

Day 5: 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 6: 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 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 AmOne could help you pay them off tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: AmOne 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.

AmOne 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.

**The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.

***You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.

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Here’s How to Create a $1,000 Emergency Fund

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

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.

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. 

No, Swagbucks 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.

Swagbucks won’t make you rich, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $250 million.

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

Week 4: Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month

A woman lays on the grass with credit cards surrounding her.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

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

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

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 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster.

Week 5: Knock Up to $715 Off Your Car Insurance in Minutes

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

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again. 

And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year. 

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

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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7 Money Secrets Every Married Couple Should Know Right Now

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

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 AmOne can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

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 3.99% 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.

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 AmOne 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.

The thing is, you need it. Think about it. Basically everything you own — everything you’ve worked hard to afford — sits in your home. What happens if someone breaks in? There’s a fire? A massive water leak?

Unless you have insurance, you could be out of luck.

But you’re probably paying too much. Luckily, with a company called Lemonade, prices start at as little as $25 a month for homeowners.

Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. The whole process takes just 10 minutes. Just answer a few questions about your home to get started

6. Cancel Your 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. 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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9 Lessons to Take From Millionaires Who Are Really Good With Money

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

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 Grow Their Money 11x Faster — Without Risking Any of it

Putting your money under a mattress or in a safe will get you nothing. And a typical savings account won’t do you much better. (Ahem, .09% is nothing these days.)

Act like the rich and use a debit card called Aspiration to earn up to 5% cash back and up to 11 times the average interest on the money in your account. Plus, you’ll never pay a monthly account-maintenance fee.

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. 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.

The thing is, you need it. Think about it. Basically everything you own — everything you’ve worked hard to afford — sits in your home. What happens if someone breaks in? There’s a fire? A massive water leak?

Unless you have insurance, you could be out of luck.

But you’re probably paying too much. Luckily, with a company called Lemonade, prices start at as little as $25 a month for homeowners.

Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. The whole process takes just 10 minutes. Just answer a few questions about your home to get started

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.

That being said, shopping for car insurance is a pain which is why we like using a free service like Savvy. 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 Savvy, and start browsing your options. It takes all of two minutes.

4. 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.

But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy 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, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.1

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”2

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.*

5. Get Rid of up to $50K in Credit Card Debt

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

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

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 3.99% 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.

6. 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.

7. Quit Your Job and Make $64/Hour

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.

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

1Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.

2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.

For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

*Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. 

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

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Here’s How to Create a $1,000 Nest Egg Without Doing Anything Illegal

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

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.

But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy 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, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.1

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”2

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.*

Week 3: Cancel Your Car Insurance

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

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again. 

And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year. 

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

Week 4: Get A Free $80 Every Month

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.

Join for free and take your first survey to start earning points — you could cash out as soon as today.

Week 5: 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 possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $50 million.

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

Week 6: Get a Free $80 for Playing This Cell Phone Game

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.

1Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.

2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.

For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

*Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. 

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

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Save Money

7 Lessons to Take From Millionaires Who Are Really Good With Money

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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. Ask This Website to Help Pay Your Credit Card Bill 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.

If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

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.

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. 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.

The thing is, you need it. Think about it. Basically everything you own — everything you’ve worked hard to afford — sits in your home. What happens if someone breaks in? There’s a fire? A massive water leak?

Unless you have insurance, you could be out of luck.

But you’re probably paying too much. Luckily, with a company called Lemonade, prices start at as little as $25 a month for homeowners.

Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. The whole process takes just 10 minutes. Just answer a few questions about your home to get started

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. 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.

7. They Cancel Their Car Insurance

In most places, it’s straight up illegal not to have car insurance, so you’ve probably accepted that you’re going to pay through the nose for it. But millionaires don’t and you don’t have to either.

A free website called Savvy will help you cut your car insurance bill — 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.