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Remember overdrafting while you waited for your next paycheck to come — that was the worst, am I right?
There’s not enough money in your bank account — so your bank gets its revenge by helping itself to $35 of all that money you don’t have.
Ho ho ho, I just love overdraft fees, you say to yourself. What a fun game this is! Thanks a lot, BANK.
But you’ve moved past that. You’ve finally reached a point in your life where you have a real job and a grown-up income. It’s a sweet feeling and a serious win. You’ve achieved a level of financial stability, and you’re not getting hit with these ridiculous fees.
What to Do Now That You Don’t Have to Worry About Money So Much
Now that you’re not worried about running your bank account down every week, it’s time to think about what you want to achieve next with your money. Do you need to save more? Buy a home? Invest? What’s the next step you should take?
We’ve got some ideas for you:
1. Download This App to Get Up to $500 in Free Stock
If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500!) if you know where to look.
Whether you’re got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
2. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it. All that debt racked up from the 300 destination weddings your friends made you attend (thanks!) could be paid by the end of this month.
Your credit card company is ripping you off with insane rates, and it’s getting rich off of you. But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Fiona knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot 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.
Now you can finally stop holding a grudge against that friend who thought a Mexico wedding was a good idea.
3. 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 in life insurance (for as little as $5/month) 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.
4. Opt in for Autopay to Save on Bills
Because the fear of overdrafting isn’t hanging over your head anymore, you have no reason to fear autopay now. ANOTHER ACCOMPLISHMENT.
Cell service providers, utilities and student loan companies all love it when you opt into a monthly autopay plan. That way, they can count on your payment rolling in like clockwork.
They love it so much, they might even give you a discount. For example, many student loan providers will give you a quarter-percent discount on your interest rate for using an autopay function, and that savings will really add up over time.
Lots of cell phone companies will kick in a monthly discount of around $5 if you use autopay.
This also helps with credit cards. If you make your payments automatically, they’re never late — so your credit cards won’t jack up your interest rates.
5. Save up to $825 a Year on Car Insurance — for the Same Coverage
When was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? Was it more than six months ago?
If so, you’re probably overpaying — by hundreds of dollars. Yep. Experts say you should compare rates twice a year to get the best deal.
Twice a year? Yeah, we don’t want to do that either.
A service called Gabi does all the shopping for you to find cheaper insurance — with the same coverage and deductibles you already have. And it saves customers an average of $825 a year.
You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s license, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.
Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings. No more shopping.
6. Let This Website Help You Pay off Your Student Debt 5 Years Faster
So, you’re doing everything right, but you still feel like you’ll be stuck with student loan debt forever. Truth be told, your student loan providers just might be ripping you off with some insane rates — yup, they’re getting rich off you.
But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Credible knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Credible will match you with a loan that’ll cover your student debt tab. Use that loan to pay off your federal and/or private loans. Now you’ll be left with one new monthly payment. This process is called refinancing.
The key to refinancing is to a loan with better interest rates or lower monthly payments. In fact, we talked to Ashley Williams, a financial analyst who graduated with $46,000 in debt. Refinancing allowed her to knock five years worth of payments off her loans, and it saved her more than $18,000 in interest.
Now, if you’re not sure where to start, we like Credible because you can easily compare your options, and it 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.
This story was originally published at The Penny Hoarder.