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If You’re 41 Years Old, Do These 7 Things to Get Ahead Financially — Without Breaking The 8th Commandment

Sometimes it feels like the only way to get ahead in life is to break some rules.

Rob a bank. Embezzle some money. Shoplift a bag of diamonds… 

But there’s no need to break the Eight Commandment — thou shalt not steal — to get ahead financially.

Here are some other ideas…

1. Use This Secret Banking 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 5% back every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

This card used to have a huge waiting list, but you’re now eligible to sign up for free.

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. Get Paid up to $83 to Play Solitaire

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 app called Solitaire Cash that pays you up to $83 when you win a game of Solitaire .

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. 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.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

3. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

We say credit score, and your eyes immediately glaze over. Maybe you’re only vaguely aware of what they even are. Maybe yours is ruined from a few silly mistakes. Or maybe you’ve got a great credit score, you show-off. 

Either way, it’s an unavoidable truth: These three little numbers rule your life. They control where you can live, what kind of car you can afford and what kind of credit card you can get — if any.

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.

Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.

Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 800 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.

4. Cancel Your Car Insurance

Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But, who has the time to look around for around a new company?

But a website called InsuredNation could help you save up to $500 a year. 

It takes just two minutes to answer some questions, and InsuredNation’s smart matching technology will show you the insurance companies that are the best fit for you. And don’t worry — InsuredNation 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. You could be paying as little as $19 a month for car insurance.

InsuredNation has already helped millions of people find affordable car insurance. See how much money you could save with a new policy.

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

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 3.49% 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.

6. Get a Free $225 in Cash Every Month For Watching Videos

If we told you you could get free money just for watching videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.It’s too good to be true, right? But we’re serious.

A website called 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. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.

InboxDollars won’t make you rich, but it’s possible to get up to $225 per month watching these videos. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

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

7. Spend $100 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

If you haven’t started investing and have some money to spare, you can start small, then build your way up. In fact, you can get started with as little as $100 with an app called M1 Finance .

We like M1 Finance because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.

Plus, with M1 Finance, you’re able to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in funds you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure.

Plus, when you use the link above, M1 Finance will give you a $30 sign-up bonus once you deposit $1,000 into your account.

 
   
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If You’re 40 Years Old, Do These 7 Things to Get Ahead Financially — Without Breaking The 8th Commandment

Sometimes it feels like the only way to get ahead in life is to break some rules.

Rob a bank. Embezzle some money. Shoplift a bag of diamonds… 

But there’s no need to break the Eight Commandment — thou shalt not steal — to get ahead financially.

Here are some other ideas…

1. Use This Secret Banking 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 5% back every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

This card used to have a huge waiting list, but you’re now eligible to sign up for free.

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. Get Paid up to $83 to Play Solitaire

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 app called Solitaire Cash that pays you up to $83 when you win a game of Solitaire .

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. 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.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

3. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

We say credit score, and your eyes immediately glaze over. Maybe you’re only vaguely aware of what they even are. Maybe yours is ruined from a few silly mistakes. Or maybe you’ve got a great credit score, you show-off. 

Either way, it’s an unavoidable truth: These three little numbers rule your life. They control where you can live, what kind of car you can afford and what kind of credit card you can get — if any.

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.

Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.

Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 800 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.

4. Cancel Your Car Insurance

Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But, who has the time to look around for around a new company?

But a website called InsuredNation could help you save up to $500 a year. 

It takes just two minutes to answer some questions, and InsuredNation’s smart matching technology will show you the insurance companies that are the best fit for you. And don’t worry — InsuredNation 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. You could be paying as little as $19 a month for car insurance.

InsuredNation has already helped millions of people find affordable car insurance. See how much money you could save with a new policy.

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

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 3.49% 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.

6. Get a Free $225 in Cash Every Month For Watching Videos

If we told you you could get free money just for watching videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.It’s too good to be true, right? But we’re serious.

A website called 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. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.

InboxDollars won’t make you rich, but it’s possible to get up to $225 per month watching these videos. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

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

7. Spend $100 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

If you haven’t started investing and have some money to spare, you can start small, then build your way up. In fact, you can get started with as little as $100 with an app called M1 Finance .

We like M1 Finance because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.

Plus, with M1 Finance, you’re able to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in funds you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure.

Plus, when you use the link above, M1 Finance will give you a $30 sign-up bonus once you deposit $1,000 into your account.

 
   
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9 Life-Changing Money Moves to Make Before You Turn 40

Birthdays are great, but getting older can often be a little scary and a lot confusing — especially if you’re approaching a milestone and aren’t where you’d like to be financially.

Luckily, as you work on your bucket list, there are some smart money goals you can add in there to get your finances in order. That way, you can head into the next stretch feeling confident and with a sense of financial security.

To help you get ready for whatever the next phase of life brings, here are some important money moves to make before you turn 40.

1. 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.

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.

2. Quit Your Day Job, But Still Make $64+/Hour

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? One where you could work from home and set your own flexible hours? This could be your perfect opportunity.

Not sure where to start? Look into bookkeeping. It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc. And you can earn up to $64 an hour.

You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping, either. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeeper Launch will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it’ll even give you the first three classes for free.

If you’re just a little curious, you just have to submit your email address here to take the first free classes.

3. Take Some Money Out of the Bank

You’ve probably heard the best way to grow your money is to stick it in a savings account and leave it there for, well, ever. It’s bad advice.

But maybe you’re just looking for a place to safely stash it away — but still earn money. Under your 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.)

But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back and up to 11 times the average interest on the money in your account.

Not too shabby!

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.”

4. Stop Wasting 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. 

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 Lemonade makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying.

Lemonade’s policies start at just $25/month. And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Lemonade will make sure you have what you need.

Just answer a few questions about your home to get started.

5. Get at Least $1M in Life Insurance 

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

6. 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 website called Fiona could help you pay them off tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona 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.

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.

7. Knock 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.

8. 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 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.

9. Get Paid Every Time You Buy Toilet Paper

Grocery shopping was never exactly pleasant. But these days, it’s a downright struggle. Fighting crowds; keeping six feet of space — just buying toilet paper is a feat. Shouldn’t you have something to show for it?

A free app called Fetch Rewards will reward you with gift cards just for buying toilet paper and more than 250 other items at the grocery store.

Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, just take a picture of your receipt showing you purchased an item from one of the brands listed in Fetch. For your efforts, you’ll earn gift cards to places like Amazon or Walmart.

You can download the free Fetch Rewards app here to start getting free gift cards. Over a million people already have, so they must be onto something…

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

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: Knock Up To $715/Year 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: Quit Your Job

Are you tired of your job, but not sure how to earn a living working for yourself? Look into bookkeeping. It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc. And you can earn up to $64 an hour.

You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping, either. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeeper Launch will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it’ll even give you the first three classes for free. 

It’s helped thousands of people launch their own mini-businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran in his early 30s. He never considered starting his own company, but he signed up for Bookkeeper Launch, and now he’s making around $50,000 a year keeping track of business expenses for his clients.

It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule 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 classes.

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.

**Square Budgets and The Penny Hoarder are 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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If Your Credit Score is Under 700, Make These 5 Moves ASAP

You really try to be responsible with your money.

But, no matter what you do, your credit score never seems to make it over that 700 hump.

Yup — you’ve got some algorithm spitting out a three-digit number that’s basically controlling your entire life. We get it: It’s frustrating.

Don’t give up just yet, though! These five moves just might be the kickstart you need to finally get your credit score moving in the right direction.

Best of all? You can do all these things by the end of this week.

1. Write a Love Letter

…to your creditors.

If you generally have a pretty solid credit history, save for a few missteps, then sending a well-executed goodwill letter to those you owe could help get you back in good graces with them and improve your credit score.

You’ll want your letter to cover the following bases:

  • Explain why and how long you’ve been a loyal customer of the creditor.
  • Take responsibility for the mistakes that led to the blemishes on your credit history.
  • Describe the steps you’re taking to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.
  • Appeal to their sense of empathy. Show that you want forgiveness but also that you are determined to do better going forward. Show them you deserve this!
  • Keep your letter clear and to the point.

Don’t forget to include important information, like your account number and the date and amount of the missed payment you want removed from your credit history. Once you’ve written your goodwill letter, address it using the information on the creditor’s website.

2. Let This Site Show You Exactly How to Improve Your Score

Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different and for different reasons. One person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have an error on their report. Another person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have a bill in collections.

That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what youneed to do to improve your score.

Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.*

Then there are people like Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana who, in using Credit Sesame, found a major error on her report. The site helped her fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score nearly 200 points.*

Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 700 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.

3. Ask This Website to 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.

4. Let This Company Handle The Complicated Stuff

Now it’s time to take a look at everything you haven’t been able to address in the first three steps. And you might need to call in reinforcements for this one — especially if debt collectors are involved. 

If you’ve been getting phone calls and mail from debt collectors, look into Collection Shield 360, a free service that helps people clean up their credit reports and deal with collection agencies. It will contact your debt collectors on your behalf and negotiate to get marks on your credit report removed, plus other steps to improving your credit.

It helped 31-year-old server Tabatha Pankop deal with lingering bills from T-Mobile, Bright House Networks and Verizon. Her credit score jumped up nearly 200 points in just a few months. See how much it can help you improve your credit here. 

5. Pay off Debt by Saying Goodbye to Your Car Insurer

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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.

Now you’ve got five tactics you can use to get your credit score right where you want it. Good luck — you’ve got this!

Like Cooper and Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

 
   
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If Your Credit Score is Under 700, Make These 5 Moves ASAP

You really try to be responsible with your money.

But, no matter what you do, your credit score never seems to make it over that 700 hump.

Yup — you’ve got some algorithm spitting out a three-digit number that’s basically controlling your entire life. We get it: It’s frustrating.

Don’t give up just yet, though! These five moves just might be the kickstart you need to finally get your credit score moving in the right direction.

Best of all? You can do all these things by the end of this week.

1. Write a Love Letter

…to your creditors.

If you generally have a pretty solid credit history, save for a few missteps, then sending a well-executed goodwill letter to those you owe could help get you back in good graces with them and improve your credit score.

You’ll want your letter to cover the following bases:

  • Explain why and how long you’ve been a loyal customer of the creditor.
  • Take responsibility for the mistakes that led to the blemishes on your credit history.
  • Describe the steps you’re taking to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.
  • Appeal to their sense of empathy. Show that you want forgiveness but also that you are determined to do better going forward. Show them you deserve this!
  • Keep your letter clear and to the point.

Don’t forget to include important information, like your account number and the date and amount of the missed payment you want removed from your credit history. Once you’ve written your goodwill letter, address it using the information on the creditor’s website.

2. Let This Site Show You Exactly How to Improve Your Score

Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different and for different reasons. One person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have an error on their report. Another person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have a bill in collections.

That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.

Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.*

Then there are people like Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana who, in using Credit Sesame, found a major error on her report. The site helped her fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score nearly 200 points.*

Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 700 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.

3. Ask This Website to 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.

4. Let This Company Handle The Complicated Stuff

Now it’s time to take a look at everything you haven’t been able to address in the first three steps. And you might need to call in reinforcements for this one — especially if debt collectors are involved. 

If you’ve been getting phone calls and mail from debt collectors, look into Collection Shield 360, a free service that helps people clean up their credit reports and deal with collection agencies. It will contact your debt collectors on your behalf and negotiate to get marks on your credit report removed, plus other steps to improving your credit.

It helped 31-year-old server Tabatha Pankop deal with lingering bills from T-Mobile, Bright House Networks and Verizon. Her credit score jumped up nearly 200 points in just a few months. See how much it can help you improve your credit here. 

5. Pay off Debt by Saying Goodbye to Your Car Insurer

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.

Now you’ve got five tactics you can use to get your credit score right where you want it. Good luck — you’ve got this!

Like Cooper and Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

 
   
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6 Dangerous Habits That Are Making Us Miss Out on a Whole Bunch of Money

We all have bad habits.

We leave our laundry on the bathroom floor. We bite our nails. We swear a little too often. We hit the snooze button four times in a row.

But perhaps the most dangerous? Bad money habits.

Money habits can be difficult to break. Heck, sometimes they can be difficult to recognize just because they’re so ingrained in our day-to-day lives.

But now’s the time to pinpoint these dangerous financial habits — and break them — so you can stop missing out on a whole bunch of money.

Habit #1: You Assume You Need to Be a Millionaire to Invest in Real Estate

The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows if 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?

This is a common assumption, but you can actually invest like the 1% does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in commercial real estate — specifically, in apartment complexes that it owns — and you only need $500.

Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.

So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500.

Habit #2: You Keep Putting Off Getting $1M in Life Insurance

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll 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.

A lot of us assume our savings are enough. Or that this is something to worry about later, because right now, you don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.

Rates start at just $8 a month. 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.

Habit #3: You Assume You Don’t Have Enough Money to Own Part of Google or Amazon

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, you’re probably assuming this is 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. 

Habit #4: You Allow Your Credit Score to Stay Below 700

We get it. It’s so easy to dismiss your credit score. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway, right? Eventually it’ll take care of itself.

But as soon as you go to buy a home, take out a car loan or even open a credit card, you’ll immediately regret these assumptions.

The truth is, your credit score plays a large role in some of your biggest financial decisions, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult to get it on track, thanks to 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.

Habit #5: You Keep Overpaying Your Car Insurance Company

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.

Habit #6: You Keep Paying More Than $15/Month For a Cell Phone

Many of us assume we’re just stuck paying $100-plus for cell phone service each month, but there are actually plenty of discount options out there — that really do work.

A discount wireless company called Tello 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. See how much you could save here

*Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

 
   
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This Woman Saved $85,000 Before She Turned 19. Here’s Exactly How She Did It

Many Americans aren’t good at saving money.

This information isn’t new. 

Let me give you a refresher: 33% of Americans have nothing tucked into their savings accounts, according to a 2016 GoBankingRates survey. And 35% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.

So we’re taking notes from this 19-year-old NewRetirement.com recently wrote about. Robyn Bri has saved more than $85,000 to date.

Granted, Bri has lived at home, but she’s also hustled hard since she was 8 years old.

“The first time I bought something with my own money, it immediately had more value to me because it was something I had to work to get, so I took better care of it,” she told me in a recent email exchange. “I think that’s what motivated me to start getting jobs and saving my money for certain things.”

Here’s how to save money like Bri.

1. Open a Virtual Piggy Bank

Bri says she keeps her money in a savings account and tries to stash money in it as frequently as possible.

I asked about her strategy for determining how much goes away and when. She says she plans to automate the process one day, but for now she just does it by hand.

“I usually will tell myself, ‘Okay, you just made this much money. You have to put at least this much in savings, then budget the rest into checking and into my spending budget,’” she says.

She keeps her money for everyday expenses in a checking account.

Here’s how you can save: If you want to help your savings grow faster, look into an Aspiration account. Promise yourself to transfer just a few bucks each week and your money will earn a 1.00% Annual Percentage Yield. That’s more than 100 times — repeat, 100 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.01% average reported by Bankrate.

You’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, and no foreign transaction fees. Plus, by separating the money from your checking account, you’ll be much less likely to make a withdraw.

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.”

The goal is to make your money work for you, which Bri has already learned by 19

2. Buy a Piece of Amazon or Google

Bri says she has two self-investing accounts with Merrill Edge.

One is a Roth IRA, and the other is a self-guided account. She also invested in Apple stock when she was 16.

However, she admits she’s always been a little hesitant about the process. “…It’s a risky business, and the more you put in the more you can lose, but at the same time the more you can gain,” she says.

She advises people to research. She also suggests taking online quizzes to see how much risk is worth taking.

“I always make sure that I never invest all my money,” she concludes on the matter.

Here’s what to do: 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.

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit at least $5 into your investment account.

3. Tackle the Art of the Side Hustle

At age 8, Bri started doing odd jobs for her neighbors. 

Since then, she’s worked as a pet sitter, babysitter, housesitter and waitress. Bri estimates she works 28 to 32 hours a week and earns something between $3,000 and $4,000 each month, according to SFGATE.

I asked her how she manages to stay on top of her priorities. (In addition to her side gigs, she was also a successful student and volunteered.)

She says, “For me, I really had to stay organized and on top of my phone calls, emails, texts, etc. Writing everything down and using a calendar to stay organized was definitely crucial. With so many different things going on, if I don’t write one thing down I could screw up a whole day.”

Here’s how you can save: We write about a ton of side gigs on The Penny Hoarder, but we recently chatted with Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant, who told us that you could earn up to $60 an hour as a part-time bookkeeper.

Robinson says you don’t need to be an accountant or even really good at math to be successful in this business. In fact, all you need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

The ability to stay moderately organized is helpful too.

Median pay is around $19 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics— and you have no commute.  It’s a great opportunity for parents who want a part time job, recent college grads and anyone who wants to bring in real money working from home.

Robinson shares what it takes to be a virtual bookkeeper, plus tips for making this career work for you in his free class at Bookkeeper Business Launch.

4. Stop Wasting Money On This

NewRetirement also reports that Bri doesn’t blow her money on clothes or entertainment expenses.

“Mostly I just tell myself, ‘I don’t need that; it’s not a necessity — you can live without it,’” she says. “But I do allow myself to have a small budget once a month for things like transportation, going to the city for a day, etc.”

She’s sure to calculate necessities into her budget, too, like her phone bill and gas.

Here’s how you can save: 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.

5. Consume Tons of Personal Finance Advice

How did Bri know about all of these smart money moves? She said she read a ton of advice in books and on blogs (like The Penny Hoarder, right?).

But actually she says her all-time favorite book is “Rich Bitch.” “It’s an easy read, and the best part is it’s interactive, so as you read you are advised to write stuff down, start planning/getting your finances on track.”

Here’s how you can save: You can never know everything.

On personal finance matters, we have taken notes from some of our favorite “zillionaires” as well as these books and these podcasts.

Cheers to Bri, who’s headed off to George Washington University this fall on a full-ride scholarship. She has an on-campus job lined up and plans to find another gig along the way.