If You Have More Than $1,000 in Your Checking Account, Make These 6 Moves
You’ve done it. You’ve built up a little cushion in your bank account — $1,000! It feels good, right? Those days of checking your account balance in a panic are behind you.
Congrats! You’re on the right path. Now it’s time to think about some longer-term goals. What do you want to accomplish next with your money? Do you need to save more? Do you want to buy a home someday? Invest?
What’s the next step you should take? What are some specific things you can do to take your finances to the next level?
We’ve got some ideas for you:
1. Own a Piece of Companies Like Apple, Amazon or Netflix
You’re a long-term investor. You want to choose your own portfolio, then set yourself up for the long haul. Sound like you? We found the perfect investing app — and it’s free. It’s called M1 Finance, and not only does it have some seriously powerful tools, it’s also easy to use. You can build your own custom portfolio of stocks, bonds and ETFs. Or, if you want, you can choose from dozens of pre-made portfolio options that follow different strategies.
You can also buy “fractional shares” — pieces of shares — in companies. That way, you can own stock in companies like Amazon or Netflix and not have to worry about shelling out thousands of dollars every time you want to invest.
You can set up regular automatic deposits to funnel money to your investments. Any new money you invest will be used to rebalance your portfolio, bringing its percentages back in line with your goals.
Even better? Once you’ve deposited $1,000, you’ll get a free $30 bonus. It only takes a few minutes to sign up.
2. Let This Finance App Surprise You with up to $1,250
If you’re like a lot of us, you just never get around to saving money. Hey, we know what that’s like. After all, roughly 45%1 of Americans haven’t really gotten around to saving any money. It’s just a fact of life.
So how can you save money, really?
The online finance app Chime offers automatic savings features that help you tuck away money without even thinking about it. We interviewed Samuel Demeny, who regularly uses his Chime Savings account. According to him, in just nine months, he saved up $1,250 — without even thinking about it.
Chime has two automated savings options: One feature rounds up your purchases and saves the change every time you spend, and the other lets you save a percentage of your check2 every time you get paid. (Both features require you to sign up for a Chime Spending Account first, but it’s quick and easy to do.)
The money adds up quickly, and it’s completely automatic.
It takes just five minutes to open an account and see how much you could save.
3. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score
You might not think your credit score is that important. In fact, you might not think much about it at all. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? Unfortunately, those three little numbers play a huge role in whether you’ll be able to do that.
And if you have an error on your credit report (one out of five reports do), that could stand in your way.
Thankfully, a website called Credit Sesame will help you detect any errors — for free. It shows you why you have the score you do and gives you personalized tips to steer you in the right direction.
Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report this way. Using Credit Sesame, she was able to fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.
Now she and her husband feel like they’re in a better position for their biggest goal — purchasing a house. It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.
4. Cancel Your Car Insurance
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 website called Pretected, you could save yourself up to $500 a year.
It takes just two minutes to answer some questions, and Pretected’s smart matching technology will show you the insurance companies that are the best fit for you. And don’t worry — Pretected uses the most advanced data security and encryption technology, so all your details are safe.
The website is free to use and can even save you up to an additional 20% if you add another vehicle to your policy. That’s a decent chunk of money to put back in your pocket!
More than 10 million Americans have already used Pretected’s smart matching technology to find affordable car insurance. See how much money you could save with a new policy.
5. Invest in Real Estate (Even if You’re Not a Millionaire)
The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows when the whole thing might crash?
It would be nice to diversify and invest some of your money in real estate, but don’t you have to be wealthy to do that?
Now you can invest like the 1% does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in private real estate — specifically, in apartment buildings it co-owns with its investors — and you only need $500.
You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolio through their online dashboard — like a 54-unit apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, or a 30-unit waterfront property in Stuart, Florida. And you don’t have to experience the headaches that come with being a landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting for you.
DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, real estate has outperformed the stock market for the past 30 years.
So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500. Sign up here to start investing today.
6. See if You’re Wasting $690/Year on Homeowners Insurance
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.
*Investing in securities involves risks, including the risk of loss. M1 Finance LLC is an SEC registered broker-dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC.