24 Financial Hacks Anyone Can Do To Improve Their Finances
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If you're like most people, you probably daydream about having more money. And if you're like most people, you probably think you need to get a promotion at work or win the lottery in order to have a fatter bank account. Neither of those things is true. You're in charge of your financial health, and following these simple hacks can fill your pockets with extra cash right away.
1. Know your credit.
Being informed about your credit is always a good idea. Once you know where you stand, you can start to take appropriate actions, whether that means working to improve your score or taking advantage of a good score by applying for a better credit card or refinancing your mortgage for a lower rate.
The best part about checking your score is that it doesn't have to cost you anything. Sign up for Credit Sesame for free, and get an updated score each month. You'll also get daily alerts to let you know if anything has changed.
You'll be able to manage all your finances in one place, which makes it easier to tackle debt and stick to a budget. In addition, you can track your accounts over time and take advantage of Credit Sesame's free identity theft protection. It's like having your own financial advisor that you don't have to pay. It doesn't get much better than that.
2. Never pass on cash back savings.
Here's the thing. You're always online. But you need to realize that the internet can offer you more than Facebook and funny cat videos. It can offer you enormous savings and opportunity.
Swagbucks is a great way to make money doing the things you already do online. You rack up Swagbucks when you shop online, watch videos, play games, or answer surveys. Every 100 Swagbucks equals $1. Once you've accumulated 300 points (they add up fast), turn those points into gift cards or get cash back through Paypal.
Signing up is incredibly easy, and you earn four Swagbucks just for doing it. You get a $5 sign-up bonus just for confirming your email address. Sound too good to be true? It's not. It's entirely legit.
Just remember to always go through a retailer's link on the Swagbucks site, rather than heading straight to the site itself. This is the only way you'll see your points grow.
Ibotta also works to get you cash back and has several ways of doing so. One option is to use the Ibotta app before you head to the store to determine which items will give you cash back. When you see an item that you want, you simply select it using the app. You go to the store, pay the full amount for your items, and get reimbursed by Ibotta once you take a picture of your receipt and upload it.
You can also link your store loyalty card to Ibotta and select items through the app. Pay full-price at checkout and get reimbursed automatically, without having to take a photo of your receipt. The third option is to launch the Ibotta app, click “shop,” and make a qualifying purchase in a participating app.
If you sign up here with our promo code WSI, you'll get a $10 bonus. Just make sure to redeem a rebate right away (within 14 days) or you’ll lose your free $10.
3. Cut other monthly bills without lifting a finger.
Even though you're probably a lovely person with great financial aspirations, you likely aren't saving as much money as you could be each month. Automating your savings is a great way to ensure you meet your goals, and Trim is designed to do just that.
Once you've given it permission to do so, Trim analyzes your bills and subscriptions for free, determining how you can save money. It can cancel subscriptions you aren't using, negotiate with your cable company, or find you better car insurance. Trim also tracks your spending, so if you're ever wondering how much money you gave to Amazon in a given month, you can just pick up your phone and ask Trim for an answer.
Almost everyone can benefit from Trim, whether it's someone who didn't realize they were still being charged for a subscription, or someone who wrongly thought they were already paying the lowest rate possible to their internet company. And don't forget about the countless hours saved by not having to be placed on hold with customer support – that's priceless.
Sign up for the Trim App.
4. Earn the most interest you can.
You'd never pass up free money if you found it on the sidewalk, so why would you pass up free money in your bank account? That's exactly what you're doing if you're not opting for an account with a high-interest rate.
CIT Bank offers some of the best interest rates out there. It's currently offering a 1.75% Money Market Account, and also offers a 1.55% APY on its Premier High Yield Savings Account. The best part is that you only need $100 to open an account with the bank.
You can do everything online – you just need to enter your Social Security number, driver's license number, and information on the account you'll be using to fund your CIT account. Open an account today, and start raking in those interest payments.
5. Build your credit.
No one achieves a fabulous credit score overnight, and everyone has to start somewhere. If you don't have a credit history, it's time to build one. After all, you'll need good credit when it comes time to rent an apartment, apply for an auto loan, or get a mortgage. However, it's absolutely vital that you do this in a responsible way.
Self Lender is a great way to build credit while saving, instead of spending. The concept revolves around a credit builder account, which is a small loan held in a CD account for 12 months. As you pay into the account, your payment history is reported to all three credit bureaus. At the end of the year, you'll have a credit history and a CD which unlocks with interest.
In other words, you have a choice. You can build credit while spending money and paying the credit card company interest, or you can build credit while saving money and earning interest. It's a no-brainer.
Get started with Self Lender.
6. Make money off your car.
Owning a car isn't cheap, so seizing the opportunity to make money from your vehicle is a smart thing to do. This is made possible with Turo, which allows you to list your car as a rental. It may seem like an odd concept, but it's great for people who don't constantly rely on their automobiles.
The process is simple. Head to the website and create an account. Upload a few photos of your car (make sure it's clean), and you're ready to go. You can customize your calendar to let potential customers know when your car is available.
You have the freedom to accept or decline requests. Or, if you prefer, you can choose instant book – a system which allows customers to automatically reserve your car. You can also choose whether you're willing to deliver your car to those renting it, or if they should come to you.
Once you meet your guest, you'll take the role of a one-man car rental agency. You'll check their driver's license, as well as the current fuel and mileage stats. You'll also walk around the car and inspect it together. After that, it's time to hand over the keys and let the cash roll straight into your bank account.
If you feel nervous about letting a stranger get behind the wheel of your car, there's no need. Turo covers your vehicle with $1 million in liability insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance.
Click here to list your car on Turo.
7. Be smart when it comes to auto insurance.
If you're like most Americans, you drive less than 200 miles per week. However, you're still stuck paying the same amount for car insurance as those who are always behind the wheel. Doesn't sound fair, does it? That's because it isn't.
Metromile has changed the entire car insurance game, offering a pay-per-mile service to drivers in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington (with more states to come). All you do is pay a base rate of $29, then pay pennies per mile. On average, a typical driver who switches to Metromile saves $500 per year by doing so.
Don't worry about the odd day when you find yourself driving a lot. You won't pay for anything you drive past 250 miles (or 150 miles if you live in New Jersey). Your miles are all tracked using a simple device called Pulse, which plugs into the OBD port of your car. Just keep it plugged in, and Metromile takes it from there.
Other Metromile perks include the app, which even has a car locator so you never have to wander aimlessly around a parking lot ever again. It can also let you know if you're in a zone where you shouldn't be parked (a feature which can save you lots of money in parking tickets).
8. … And other types of insurance.
So now that you’ve figured out that you’re probably paying too much for auto insurance, it’s time to do the same with other types of insurance. Policygenius is a fabulous site that allows you to compare and buy insurance from dozens of companies – from life insurance to disability insurance. You can even shop for pet insurance!
Say you’re seeking a life insurance policy. Just head to the website, enter in some basic information and easily compare quotes and apply for insurance in under five minutes. The team at Policygenius will be there to help you through the entire process (but you probably won’t need any help, because it’s super simple).
At this point you might be thinking there are a lot of insurance sites which do similar things. But Policygenius is different – they never sell your information to third-parties, and handle all the heavy lifting between you and the carrier. And because they are independent, they won’t steer you to one carrier or another – you choose the best rate and coverage for you!
9. Don't pay too much for organic products.
Do you like organic, non-GMO, healthy products? Of course you do … because who doesn't? When it comes to looking after yourself, all-natural is the way to go. However, the price of those products often keeps people from buying them. That doesn't have to be the case. Thrive Market shares your preference for pure, organic products, and has found a way to deliver them to you at a much cheaper price than you'll find at your local store.
The key that allows Thrive Market to sell great natural products to health-conscious consumers for lower prices is the fact that it cuts out the middleman. All you do is pay a $59.95 annual membership fee, which allows you to get great products for wholesale prices instead of being charged a retail markup. It's all delivered to your house, saving you a trip to the store.
Once you're a member, you'll have access to products ranging from face creams to pet food. You can even have organic meat and seafood shipped straight to your door. There's plenty on offer for everyone, including vegans and those who follow gluten-free and Paleo diets.
The company is so sure that you'll make your money back over the course of the year that if you don't, they'll credit the difference with Thrive Bucks when you renew your membership. How's that for great customer service?
You can get 20% off your first 3 orders at Thrive Market by clicking here.
10. Make the most out of your 401k.
If your employer offers a 401k, you should always opt-in. But that's not all you need to do. You need to diversify and make sure you aren't being charged hidden fees. You need to monitor it. You need to make sure your money is working as hard as it can for you. That's where Blooom comes in.
The team at Blooom knows what they're doing. In fact, the company's founders used to manage money for millionaires. Now they spend their time offering unbiased advice to any 401k holder that chooses to hire them. They eliminate anything that doesn't make sense for your retirement goals and use their algorithm to select ideal investments for you. Those results are then double checked and cross-referenced. Once all that is done, Blooom monitors your account for any changes, and deals with rebalancing when the time comes. You'll also have access to a certified financial planner who can answer any questions along the way.
These guys really know what they're doing, and they're well worth the investment. Just think of how much richer you'll be when you retire if you start making smart choices now.
Sign up for Blooom.
11. Unlock amazing discounts.
When it comes to shopping, everyone loves a bargain. Voiced Market allows you to save money on awesome merchandise and services, thanks to its partnerships with retailers big and small. The website believes in supporting quality products from companies that aim to change the world with their ideas, which means you can rest assured that anything on the site fits that criteria.
You'll receive steep discounts on a range of items, allowing you to be a wise and frugal consumer. There's something for everyone on the site, from hugely discounted web hosting plans to apparel and travel deals.
Many savings are listed on the homepage, but some of the best deals can be found by signing up to Voiced Market's newsletter. Think of it has a top-secret society of smart shopping, with details delivered straight to your inbox. The only thing you have to do is try to contain your excitement when you see the incredible savings.
As a consumer, you have a lot of choices when it comes to shopping. But why not make the smartest choice and check out Voiced Market? Your bank account will be happy about it, and so will you.
Sign up for Voiced Market alerts today.
12. Pick up driving gigs.
By now, everyone has heard of Uber. You've probably been driven around town by an Uber driver, but you may not have ever considered becoming an Uber driver. However, doing so can bring in a sizeable amount of extra cash. Think about it this way – you already own a car. You already drive. Why not pick up some fares as you do it? You can opt to drive occasionally, or make it your full-time job. You're always in control, making your own schedule and choosing which fares to pick up.
Lyft is another service that allows drivers to pick up paying passengers when they choose to do so. It operates on the same model as Uber, giving drivers the freedom to make their own schedule. According to the company, some of its drivers make more than $800 by only working on Friday nights and weekends.
13. …And food delivery gigs.
Sometimes a cozy night on the couch with Chinese takeout and Netflix is just what the doctor ordered. But those lovely evenings are only made possible by delivery drivers who bring food straight to your door. And you can make extra cash by being one of those drivers.
UberEats allows delivery drivers to make their own schedules, delivering food to hungry customers whenever they choose to do so. The concept is incredibly simple – customers order food from a restaurant via the UberEats app, and a driver picks up the order from the restaurant and delivers it to the person's home or office.
DoorDash operates on a similar model, allowing delivery drivers to become “dashers” for the company. Many drivers have great things to say about their jobs, including the perk of getting paid to learn about new eateries in their city.
14. List a room in your house.
If you have extra space in your home that sits empty or acts as a storage room, you could be missing out on major bucks. Listing a room or section of your house has never been easier, thanks to Airbnb. All you have to do is visit the Airbnb website, and the service will walk you through every single step. You'll be a host in no time, welcoming guests from all over the world and enjoying extra cash.
Airbnb even suggests a market rate for your space, so you don't have to worry about guessing how much it's worth. Of course, you still have the freedom to charge anything you like. It's your space, after all. You remain in control the entire time, choosing which bookings you want to take and when you want to take them.
15. Save on your prescriptions.
Even with insurance, prescriptions can be costly. However, there are ways to lower your costs. Blink Health offers more than 15,000 drugs which are marked down by as much as 95%. That's huge, and can mean everything to someone who is struggling to pay for their medications each month.
The company was founded by two brothers, in an effort to bypass insurance companies. Blink Health goes straight to drug makers, cutting out the insurance middleman. You go to the website, click on the drug that your doctor prescribed, pay online, and print out a receipt to take to one of 60,000 participating pharmacies – including major ones like Walmart and Kroger. You don't pay anything at the pharmacy, because you've already paid online.
This tactic is often much cheaper than a person's insurance co-pay, and makes a lot of sense for people who have extremely high insurance deductibles. At the very least, you have nothing to lose. The next time you get prescribed a medication, visit Blink Health and see how much they can save you.
16. Be smarter about grocery shopping.
No one likes going to the grocery store. It's insanely boring, you have to travel the entire length of the store for one singular item, and you have to wait in a long checkout line when you're done. Instacart takes all the hassle away by delivering groceries to your door and allowing you to compare local prices.
Once you've determined which local store is offering the best deals on what you want, you can order the items and have them delivered by Instacart in as little as one hour. That's probably less time than it would have taken you to drive to the store, fill up your cart, wait in the checkout line, load your groceries, drive home, and unload your groceries. If you're a produce perfectionist, don't worry. Instacart customers are guaranteed the freshest produce with the perfect ripeness.
Are you already sold on the perks of Instacart? If so, click here to get your first delivery free of charge.
17. Don't pay more than $1 if you don't have to.
From online retailers to brick and mortar stores, consumers have a ton of options when it comes to shopping. As such, they owe it to themselves to score the best deals they can. However, you'd be amazed at how many people don't spend even a few minutes researching ways to save cash. If you fall into that category, listen up.
It almost never makes sense to buy things anywhere other than Dollar Tree. Although this nationwide store doesn't stock everything you need, it stocks a lot of what you need. Cleaning products are a great example. While it can be tempting to pick up some bathroom cleaner while you're at the grocery store, you should know that such products are always significantly marked up at the supermarket – and not just by a few cents. Dollar Tree often has the same brands for just a buck. Even if they're lacking a name brand, they almost always have an equivalent of whatever you're looking for.
Of course, Dollar Tree isn't just about cleaning products. It can hook you up with just about anything, from kitchenware to crafting supplies and children's toys. It even has a frozen food section. And mylar balloons that are about six times cheaper than at your local party store.
18. Slash your cable bill.
Are you up for a challenge? If so, try to find someone you know who is satisfied with their cable provider. You probably won't find many (or any) because cable companies seem to be universally disliked due to their pricing, service packages, and the fact that they make you block off an entire day for a visit to your home which may or may not actually happen.
If that sounds familiar, it's time to ditch your traditional cable provider and try something new. Sling TV allows you to create a custom television plan for yourself. You choose the channels you want, which means you don't have to pay for 20 sports channels if you hate sports. Cool, right?
It's a live cable service that's delivered through the internet, so you also don't have to worry about paying for equipment or having a serviceman come to your house to install a bunch of wires. You get to watch your favorite TV shows at home or on the go, using your laptop, phone, or tablet. There's no long-term contract, no high monthly bills, and no hidden fees.
You pay just $20 a month for the basic package, which gives you 30 channels. For $5 more per month, you get 45 channels. Take that, traditional cable company.
You can try out Sling TV for free, for seven days, by clicking here.
19. Get the best mortgage rate available.
Buying a house is most likely the biggest purchase you're ever going to make. You'll probably need a mortgage, and you'll probably pay interest on that mortgage for many years – likely decades. That's why mortgage rates are everything, and why you shouldn't agree to a rate until you've researched all your options. If you're wondering about the best way to compare rates from different lenders, keep reading.
ZapRates is a comparison site that does all the legwork for you. All you have to do is enter some details on the ZapRates website, and get up to four quotes in just two minutes. From FHA loans to VA loans and everything in between, it has you covered. The site also offers the same service for those who are looking to refinance their home or are seeking a reverse mortgage.
There's absolutely no obligation once you've entered your information, and your details are kept private and secure. The quotes also have no effect on your credit score, so there's really nothing to lose. Taking a couple of minutes to visit ZapRates can save you thousands in the long-run, so make sure you do so before putting ink to paper.
20. Improve your credit.
If your credit score isn't what you want it to be, there are steps you can take to start improving it. One of those is to head over to CreditRepair.com to take advantage of their team of experts. They'll speak to the credit bureaus on your behalf, working to dispute any errors or negative marks on your credit report. Basically, they'll work as your advocates and use their knowledge of industry rules to protect you and get the best possible outcome. Once credit card companies agree to make changes, CreditRepair.com will check up on them to make sure they actually follow through.
Click here to receive a free personalized credit consultation.
Lexington Law is another great service which focuses on credit repair. It's been helping consumers for more than 27 years, and it has the stats to back up its claims. For example, past clients have seen an average of 10.2 items, or 24% of their credit report negatives, removed within four months. In 2016 alone, Lexington Law's experts managed to collectively get nine million negative items removed from credit reports. Every prospective client is offered a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch.
Click here to speak to the experts at Lexington Law and receive your free consultation.
21. Tackle credit card debt with a traditional lender.
Here's the thing about credit cards. They can be great when used responsibly, but mounting debt and high-interest rates can quickly become a problem if you aren't paying your balance off in full each month. If you feel trapped by the weight of debt and are dishing out far too much money on interest, you may want to consider getting a personal loan. This means you can pay off high-interest credit cards and consolidate your debt at one fixed rate.
Upstart offers a huge range of personal loans, from $1,000 to $50,000. It's a great choice for those who have a FICO score of 620 or above, or those who have an insufficient credit history. You can opt for your loan duration to be either three or five years, but you won't be punished if you pay it back sooner. This service's borrowers save an average of 25% compared to their credit card rates, so it can be a great way to save a substantial amount of money.
Payoff is another great option, boasting a name that should be the personal motto of everyone who carries around debt. If you're in search of a personal loan between $5,000 and $35,000, this may be the perfect company for you. Just be aware that you'll need a credit score of 640 or above, a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, and at least three years of good credit.
There's no pre-payment penalty, so you can pay it off as quickly as you want to. You'll also pay an origination fee of between 2% and 5% of the loan amount.
LendingPoint gets points for offering loans to people with lower credit scores, as it only requires a score of 600. It also allows those with lower salaries to apply, as long as they make $20,000 a year. The company is also lenient on people who have filed for bankruptcy, if that filing was done at least a year ago.
You can get a loan of up to $25,000 with LendingPoint, or borrow as little as $2,000. You'll get a decision in minutes and get the cash directly into your bank account as early as the next day. Loan durations range from 24 to 48 months, and there's no pre-payment penalty.
NetCredit is a good choice for those looking for smaller loans, from $1,000 to $10,000. It also comes with the unique feature of not charging an origination fee to borrowers. Loan durations and APRs vary depending on which state you live in, so click here for more specific information. No matter the duration, you'll never be charged a pre-payment penalty (so make big payments, and make them often).
22. … Or with a network of lenders.
PersonalLoans.com isn't a singular lender, but rather a website that works with a network of lenders. Those lenders offer three types of loans – personal installment loans, bank personal loans, and peer-to-peer loans. As a potential borrower, all you need to do is head to the website and fill out a loan request. After that, you'll be connected to lenders who meet your needs. If you accept an offer, you can have the cash in as little as one business day.
There are different requirements for the loans, depending on which kind you're seeking. Those with low salaries and low credit scores should aim for a personal installment loan, as borrowers only need a monthly income of $2,000 and a minimum credit score of 580. Bank personal loans require the same minimum credit score, but a higher monthly salary of $3,000. Peer-to-peer loans usually require borrowers to have a minimum score of 600 and a monthly income of $2,000.
23. Hire freelancers for less.
At some point, you'll probably find that you need to hire someone. Maybe you need a writer to create great copy for your website, or a graphic designer to make that site look pretty. Or maybe you've finally decided to take up guitar, and you need a teacher. Look no further than Fiverr.
The website is full of freelancers who offer tons of services, from translations to custom artwork. They list what they have to offer, and the amount they are willing to take for that service. You browse through profiles and hire the person you think will do the best job at a good rate.
This is a great way to be presented with tons of freelancers and get to know a little bit about each person before you decide who to hire. It also tends to be a lot cheaper than hiring a traditional freelancer. It's a really cool platform that embraces everyone from email marketers to creative souls.
24. Stop hoarding, start earning.
You know that box set of ‘Friends' DVDs that are collecting dust under your television? And that Alanis Morisette CD that you haven't listened to since 1997? Those are just two of the things in your house that you don't actually use or need anymore. And you're missing an opportunity to make money off of them.
Decluttr is a great way to unload stuff you never use, and to make money as you do it. All you have to do is log on and begin selling your unwanted CDs, DVDs, games, Blu-Rays, books, LEGO, and tech items. If your item has a barcode, just enter it into the site's valuation engine to receive an instant price. For electronics, simply search for the item, describe its condition, and get an instant offer.
Use the company's free shipping label to send in your stuff and receive your cash the day after Decluttr gets your items. How's that for speedy service? It's extremely convenient and saves you the hassle of listing your items on eBay and mailing them to individual buyers who are scattered across the country. With Decluttr, you can send in all your stuff in one transaction. Give it a try and start enjoying the benefits of a less cluttered living space.