7 Quick Steps To Take Before The Next Stimulus Check Arrives

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The pandemic has us feeling uneasy in more ways than one.

The future feels uncertain, and we’re all waiting to see how things will pan out.

But, instead of waiting to see if Congress will pass another stimulus bill, there are a few simple, unexpected ways you can be proactive — to take steps to invest your spare cash, pay off your debt, lower your bills and secure your future.

1. Cancel Your Car Insurance

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

This isn’t something you actively think about. You just know you’re required to have it, so you’re stuck with it forever, right?

Wrong. The problem is, you’re paying too much. Luckily, a company called Insurify makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying. It has policies for as low as $15 a month.

It doesn’t matter when you last renewed; you can get a check from your old company for the time left on your previous policy. (Read: They probably owe you money.)

You don’t have to make any calls or fill out any extensive forms. It takes two minutes to see how much Insurify can put back in your pocket. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

2. See if You Can Get More 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 right now?

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.”

3. Add $225 to Your Wallet Just for Watching the News

It’s been a historic year in news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves an expert in respiratory illness or a political mastermind.

And while you’re waiting for your next stimulus check, research companies want to pay you to keep watching. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with Swagbucks. They’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about them.

You just have to answer honestly, and Swagbucks will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million. We talked to one user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid to watch the news.

4. Use Your Check to Buy a Piece of a Company

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. 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.

5. Leave $1 Million to Your Spouse and Kids

Have you thought about what would happen to your family if something happened to you? How would your loved ones manage without your income? How would they pay the bills, send the kids through school or even pay for your funeral?

Now’s a good time to plan for the future by getting a life insurance policy. Maybe you’re thinking: This is going to be a painful, drawn-out process.

But a life-insurance search engine called LeapLife makes it easy. In less than a minute, LeapLife will match you with personalized quotes from many of the big-time insurance companies (including Pacific Life, Lincoln and Prudential).

And don’t worry about forking over a ton of money. We’ve heard people are getting matched with quotes that are less than what they’d pay for a streaming service (depending on health and other factors). 

If you qualify, you might not even need an in-person exam or medical records. You could complete the process entirely online and get your policy in just minutes. 

Just answer a few questions, choose the quote that works best for your needs and finalize online in minutes.

6. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

cash back apps
anyaberkut/Getty Images

Good news for us “normal” folk: Your credit score has nothing to do with your income. Yes, having more money might mean you don’t have to take out loans or buy groceries on credit. But, in reality, you and me could have the same credit score as, say, a certain someone who owns Amazon. Heck, ours could be even better.

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.

Getting your free credit score takes less than two minutes.

7. Cut Your Cell Phone Bill to as Little as $5

While you’re waiting for the next stimulus check, we know every dollar counts. If you’re looking for bills to cut back on, we suggest looking at your cell phone provider.

How long have you been with your current company? Probably a while, right? Which means you’re probably paying way too much.

But we found a discount wireless company called Tello that offers plans starting at just $5 a month. How much are you paying now? Exactly. Imagine cutting that to just $5.

Tello operates on Sprint’s nationwide network, offering 4G LTE data everywhere Sprint does. It lets you choose a wireless plan based on how many minutes and how much data you want, and you can even use Tello’s coverage tool to see how strong its network is where you live.

You can bring your own phone (Tello works with any Sprint-compatible phone), or buy a new one through them. Even better — there are no early termination or activation fees, no contracts or phone-exclusive plans, no tricks of any kind.

If you decide you don’t like it, you can always just change your mind. Plus, when you sign up before May 15, you’ll receive a $15 credit in your Tello account. See how much you could save here.