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You’ve done it. You’ve built up a little cushion in your bank account — $1,000! It feels good, right? Those days of checking your account balance in a panic are behind you.
Congrats! You’re on the right path. Now it’s time to think about some longer-term goals. What do you want to accomplish next with your money? Do you need to save more? Do you want to buy a home someday? Invest?
What’s the next step you should take? What are some specific things you can do you to take your finances to the next level?
We’ve got some ideas for you:
1. Invest in Real Estate (Even If You’re Not A Millionaire)
Maybe you’ve thought about investing some of that cash, but you’re not sure where to start. We found a company that helps you become a real estate investor — and you don’t have to be a millionaire.
You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500. Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be invested in portfolios of real estate around the United States.
You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.
And you don’t have to be the landlord — Fundrise does all the heavy lifting.
As tenants pay their rent, you can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation of the property.
It’s a great way to get started in the world of investing now that you’ve built up a bit of savings.
2. Leave Your Family up to $1 Million in Life Insurance (For as Little as $5/Month)
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.
Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million by spending as little as $5 a month on life insurance with a company called Bestow.
You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security 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, pushy sales calls or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
3. This Company Will Give You $100 for Opening a Free Account
How’s an extra $100 sound? For free? Seriously. We found a company that will give you $100 just for opening a new debit card. It’s called the Aspiration Spend and Save account.
Sure, a lot of debit cards offer sign-up bonuses throughout the year, but they often require you to jump through hoops with minimum requirements that feel impossible to hit.
But Aspiration makes it simple. To earn your $100, here’s all you need to do: Open your Aspiration Spend & Save Account by Feb. 29, 2020 and deposit at least $10. Then set up and receive three direct deposits of at least $500 each from your paycheck or government benefits by June 30, 2020. That’s it! Then just wait for your check.
Even better? Your account comes with a debit card that gets you up to 5% cash back on your debit purchases, plus you’ll earn up to 11 times the average interest on the money you set aside to save (the FDIC reports that the average account earns just .09%).It takes just five minutes to sign up and earn your bonus.
4. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
You’ve finally got some money in the bank, but do you still have some lingering debt? We found a company that will pay your credit card bill this month. No, like… the whole bill.
Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a company 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.
You’ve finally found some financial footing. Don’t let your credit card company take it away.
5. Withdraw $5 and Buy a Piece of a Corporation
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 we like 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. But Stash lets you start with as little as a $5 investment.
You can buy pieces of well-known companies, like McDonald’s, Apple, Tesla* and more. 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. (You just doubled your money!) Stash offers subscription plans starting at $1.00 a month.** As a reminder, Investing involves risk.
You might not be in the next issue of Forbes, but this is a great way to get started.
Square Budgets is 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.