6 Ways Every Smart Person in California is Putting Extra Money in Their Wallet

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Let’s say you live in the Golden State, you’re getting squeezed by crazy-high housing costs and your finances could use some serious TLC, but you’ve been putting it off.

When you finally do sit down to think about it, you get overwhelmed. Which goal to attack first? You need a budget, a savings plan, a debt-repayment strategy, a better credit score, a plan for retirement and … oh God, it’s too much. 

To tackle big goals, you have to start small. 

Here are some simple steps you can take today to get your finances under control.

1. Get an Extra $15/Hour to Pick up Milk for Your Neighbors

Not everyone can get to the grocery store these days, but that’s where you can help — and get paid.

With an app called Postmates, you could get paid to pick up a few extra groceries for them. 

Even better than getting paid to grocery shop? If you need the money, like, now, you can cash out instantly after each delivery.

Holly Gaston, of San Francisco, California, has tried plenty of side gigs. With Postmates, she made an average of $15 an hour. Plus, she said it was much more enjoyable than any of her previous side gigs. Signing up shouldn’t take you more than about three minutes.

2. This Company Will Pay You to Do the Laundry at Night

Tanya Williams plays with her youngest son, Noah, 4, before watching a movie in their home in Visalia, Calif., Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Chances are, you’re doing the laundry during the middle of the day like everyone else in California. Here’s the thing: All these dryers running at the same time costs the power company more money.

That’s why a new company called OhmConnect will pay you to do the laundry just a little bit later.

Here’s how it works: OhmConnect will send you a text when a lot of people in your area are using power, and it will pay you to cut back for an hour —   whether that means waiting to run the dryer, turning off your lights or A/C or even turning off your breaker.

The more you do, the more money you can make.

For example, Tanya Williams recently earned an extra $1,700 in one year with OhmConnect. A few evenings each week, the 45-year-old stay-at-home mom shut down her home’s electrical panel and took the kids to the pool or just played board games. 

Talk about easy money.

3. Grow Your Money More Than 23x Faster — Without Buying Stocks

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Yeah, you’ve heard it before. The best way to grow your money is to stick it in the stock market and leave it there for, well, ever.

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. The FDIC reports a national average of .06%* APY, which is nothing these days.

But a mobile banking app called Varo will pay you more than 23 times that amount in earned interest on its savings account. 

We know opening a new bank account isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of fun, but Varo makes it easy. You can open an account with no minimum, and more than 750,000 people have already signed up.

Oh, and there are no monthly fees. 

So forget that killer stock tip from your uncle — you’re set. 

4. Get up to $1 Million in Life Insurance (It’s Cheaper Than Ever)

money management steps policygenius
Johnny Greig/Getty Images

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.

You’re probably thinking: I 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. Plus, 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.

5. Homeowners: Get Cash in 3 Weeks — Without Selling or Taking Out a Loan

So you’re a homeowner, and you need money — maybe a lot of money. Many of us are in that same boat these days.

Here’s the thing: If you’ve owned your home for a while, it’s probably gone up in value. And a company called Hometap can help you tap into it — without selling or taking out a loan. 

It invests in your home and gives you a lump sum of money in exchange for a share of its future value.

You’re not taking out a loan, so you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments. Instead, when you eventually sell your home or settle your investment, Hometap gets an agreed-upon percentage of the new home value.

You can do whatever you want with the money — pay off debt, fix your roof or go back to school. You can have money in-hand in just three weeks. After you close on the investment, your funds are wired in four days.

To get started, request a quick online investment estimate so the company can see if this is a good fit for you and your property.

6. Cancel Your Homeowners Insurance

For many homeowners, your insurance might not be something you actively worry about — you just know you’ve got to pay it. But, the truth is, you’re probably paying too much.

To find out, check with an insurance company called Lemonade. If its free quote shows you a better deal, Lemonade could switch you over in just 10 minutes. Policies start at $25 a month.

Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. Nothing. 

And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. In fact, Lemonade pays out 30% of its claims instantly.

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

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