You know your finances could use some serious TLC, but you sent it back … and so on … and on.
When you finally sit down to think about it, you immediately feel overwhelmed. Which goal do you attack first? You need a budget, a savings plan, a debt repayment strategy, a better credit score, a pension plan, and … oh, you’re running away again, are not you?
Calm down and come back. To tackle big goals, you have to start small.
Simple steps to manage money today
Here are some simple steps you can take today to keep track of your finances and start working towards a healthier financial future:
1. Stop paying too much for car insurance
For many, car insurance is just one of those things that we fall into and pay for. Because, just like the electric bill and the telephone service, we need it, right?
Yes. Unfortunately it is not possible to go around for car insurance. But one way to save money is to shop and compare rates at least once a year. Less than 50% of us do so, according to this survey by The Zebra, although 81% of us say they want to lower rates.
So, just as you compare the prices of flights, shoes and laptops before buying, why not compare car insurance?
The Zebra, an online auto insurance search engine offering “black and white insurance”, compares the options of 204 suppliers in under 60 seconds.
Here’s how it works:
1. Go to the Zebra research platform. Enter the year, make and model of your car and your postal code. Continue to answer questions about your driving habits, your car and your life.
In the right sidebar, you’ll see rates increase or decrease based on your responses. For example, if you had an accident – it was your fault – in the last three years your rates will be felt. It is interesting to see what effect your answers could have.
2. After about two minutes of questions, it’s time to compare. Zebra offers you a “failure rating”, which is similar to your credit score except for car insurance, and teaches you how to get better rates. The site also offers different coverage options.
When you’re ready to consider your options and select a quote, you can also get a call from The Zebra for further support.
A nice representative (a real living human) on the line asks if you want to speak with a specialist. If you are really interested in car insurance and want to ask all the questions, this could be the perfect time.
Otherwise, keep doing shoppin ‘and weighing options through The Zebra.
2. Take steps to consolidate your debt
Many of us are crushed by credit card interest rates of up to 20%. If you’re in that boat, consolidation and refinancing might be worth a look.
A good resource is the Financial Financial Platform for Even Financial consumers, who can help you find the right personal loan to meet your needs.
Look for the best online lenders to match them with a customized loan offer in under 60 seconds. Its platform can help you get loans up to $ 100,000 (no guarantee is required) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.
3. Take a cup of coffee and look at your credit score
One of the most difficult parts in paying the debt and adjusting your credit score is knowing where to start.
To create a reconstruction plan, you first need to know what you’re dealing with.
Do you have a credit card debt? Is your name attached to any unpaid loan? Are you behind medical or utility expenses you did not know?
Your credit report will provide you with this information.
You can get a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting offices.
If you want to keep an eye on your credit, get your credit score and credit card for free from Credit Sesame. This website analyzes exactly what is contained in your credit report in profane terms, how it affects your score and how you could direct it.
Once you know what your credit history is, Credit Sesame shares personalized resources and recommendations so you can figure out how to fix it. For more details on how it works, read our review.
4. Automate your savings
Ghiande is a simple savings and investment app that rounds up your credit or debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invests digital change.
You can connect the app to your credit or debit card and let it automatically round all your transactions, or manually round only those you choose.
Collaborator CJ Reid does the latter, accepting roundups of less than $ 0.50, such as his $ 3.60 coffee mug.
“Rolling 40 cents here and 25 cents brings me pretty quickly to $ 5 so I can start investing without putting myself in the red,” he says.
Once your rounds reach $ 5, this amount will be transferred from your bank to your Acorns account and invested in your chosen portfolio.
“Acorn allows you to invest easily by removing the responsibility of choosing individual investments or worrying about operations,” explains Reid. “You do not need any previous knowledge or investment history.”
And once you’ve automated the process, Acorns investments make your digital changes work for you.
“With a conservative portfolio,” Reid says, “I turned $ 15 into $ 19 in a few weeks.”
Bonus: when you sign up here, you will receive a $ 5 bonus for your first investment.
5. Earn rewards for making good financial decisions
This type of app governs them all: MoneyLion is an all-in-one app for managing your personal finances.
Basically, it offers the financial services that normally come from three or four different banks or suppliers and are all grouped together in one place.
MoneyLion connects with all your bank, credit card, student loan and other financial accounts. Based on your income and expense patterns, offer personalized tips to help you save money, reduce debt and improve your credit.
One of our favorite things about this app is the rewards feature.
Intended for the middle class, MoneyLion offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits. The rewards program gives you points to take actions such as:
Connection of a bank account.
Registration for credit monitoring.
Pay the bills on time.
Keep credit usage low.
Points can be converted into gift certificates for retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart. It’s like giving American Express style prizes to middle-class customers who may not have a points-of-credit card.
6. Start a flow of passive income
We have no shortage of clever ways to make extra money without doing extra work, but here’s one you can actually start now.
Subscribe to these sites to start earning extra money every month – without any extra work!
Abandon: this company wants to leave some money in your wallet. Once you have connected your credit and debit cards, it will give you points every time you make a qualified Drop purchase. This can happen when shopping, calling an Uber or ordering a pizza. The points add up and you can exchange them with gift cards with famous retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.
MyPoints: this platform allows you to earn gift cards for surveys, respond to surveys and other things you do online: a great way to cash in long queues or an endless commute. You will earn a $ 5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.
Ebates: believe it or not, some sites will give you free gift cards for registration only. One of our favorites is Ebates, a cash-back purchase site. You are giving away $ 10 gift cards if you sign up as a new member and get your first cash-back reimbursement.
Paribus: this app returns you money for your online purchases. It is free to register and, once done, will scan the e-mail archives for any revenue. If it turns out that you have purchased something from one of its monitored dealers, it will track the item price and help you get a refund every time a price drop occurs.
7. Open a separate bank account
Chime is an online banking account that offers some unique features that other banks have not yet acquired.
Chime does not charge overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, foreign transaction fees or minimum balance fees.
Chime customers have access to thousands of free MoneyPass ATMs across the country.
When you set your salary for direct deposit to your Chime spending account, your salary will be published two days before your payday, giving you more time to plan, save and pay your bills.
You can open an easily accessible and connected savings account. It allows you to automate your savings with features like the rounding tool, which round off your transactions to the nearest dollar and pour the rest into savings.
Its mobile app boasts more than 2,000 five-star reviews, making fund management super accessible via iPhone or Android.
It has a “Pay Friends” feature, so you do not have to mess up with cash, math or other apps to split the bill.
Also, it takes about five minutes to register. The bank checks your personal information, acknowledges that you are at least 18 years old or more, so you’re good to go. No opening deposit required.
Note that the biggest complaint is the lack of a mobile check deposit, but Chime assures its customers that the feature will arrive soon.
For an account that will help you get savings – and this will pay you two days in advance – check Chime.
8. Save for emergencies – effortlessly
One of the first places I look at when I need to find money? All my bags and extra bags – even my pockets on the coat.
My hope is that I will have brilliantly (or simply forgot) a $ 20 bill in one of the pockets. Sometimes I have luck, but most times no.
What to do instead: start an emergency fund with Digit.
This innovative app saves your money without having to lift a finger. Just connect it to your current account and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) Sums of money to be taken in a separate savings account, insured FDIC.
Using this “set-it-and-forget-it” strategy, a writer put more than two months of rent into his emergency fund.
If you need that money earlier than expected, you will always have access to it within one business day.
Digit is free to use for the first 100 days, after which it costs $ 2.99 a month.
Join Digit today, so, the next time you’re desperate for money, I hope you’ve already put it aside.
9. Negotiate your bills (or let this bot do for you)
The price of the internet – and cable, if you’re still in that sort of thing – is certainly not diminishing. If nothing else, prices are constantly increasing.
And if you’ve had to chat recently with a representative of your cable / internet company, you know how long you can wait.
That’s why it’s time to call a robot. A trading bot like Trim will negotiate your cable or internet bills for you.
It works with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and other major suppliers.
You can simply register with Facebook or your email address. So, upload a PDF of your most recent bill and the system operated by Trim’s AI goes to work. If you fail to do so, you will continue to negotiate until you save money.
Also, if interruptions occur, Trim thinks he deserves credit and will handle it for you.
Trim takes up 25% of the savings card and you get the change.
10. You will never again be slapped with a delay
Keeping up with all these bills is difficult. It would be nice to synchronize them all and receive automatic reminders for them every month, right?
Instead of manually manually encoding the invoices into your calendar, download Prism. The app allows you to connect all your accounts and even pay all your accounts in one place. Once connected, it will automatically sync your billing information and create reminders for you.
Activate notifications to get reminders of paydays and alerts when your water bill is due, for example. This will help you plan your month and avoid any delays. And since you’re making these payments on time, it could even increase your credit score.
The app is free for consumers. (The prism makes its money from the bill manufacturer).
Download the app and, without effort, keep the tabs closed on all your invoices from here on.
11. Get the best deal on life insurance
family holding hands and walking along a sidewalk Johnny Greig / Getty Images
“The biggest mistake I see millennials is being fooled by insurance sellers,” says Andy Yadro, a financial planner with Googins Advisors in Madison, Wisconsin. “Everyone needs insurance, but a small group of young people needs insurance that is sold by most of the ‘financial advisors’.”
You may still consider a basic life insurance policy, which can be useful if you have loved ones who rely on your income: another significant person, a child or even a relative who will help you financially. A company like PolicyGenius offers you an easy way to compare and purchase life insurance. Unlike traditional providers, this online platform offers an easy way to apply and offer instant quotes from the best online operators to help you make a quick decision.
12. Set a budget you can bet on
A young couple checks their credit on their laptops at home. PeopleImages / Getty Images
An integral part of managing your money is creating a budget. Ew, gross. We know. But it is important to take a look at what you are spending and where.
If you’re not sure where to start, we prefer the 50/20/30 budget method for its simplicity. Here’s how it works:
50% of your income goes towards the essential.
20% go towards financial goals.
30% go to personal shopping.
The key is to accept that you can not create the perfect budget in an hour. You will have to experiment to find what works best for you.