If Your Paycheck is Over $1,500, Make These 6 Moves Before Payday
If you get a biweekly paycheck more than $1,500, you’re probably feelin’ pretty good.
Uncle Sam took his taxes out, you’ve funneled some money into your retirement fund, and now you’ve got an extra $1,500 sitting in your checking account.
So, now what?
After you’ve taken care of the bills, take these simple steps to level up before next payday.
1. Invest in Real Estate (Even if You’re Not a Millionaire)
The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows when 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?
Now you can 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.
2. See if You’re Wasting $690/Year on Homeowners Insurance
The problem is, you’re paying too much. Luckily, an insurance company called Policygenius makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying. It finds you cheaper policies and special discounts in minutes.
In fact, it saves users an average of $690 a year — or $57.50 a month. It’ll even help you break up with your old insurance company. (You’re allowed to cancel your policy at any time, and your company should issue you a refund.)
And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. PolicyGenius will make sure you have what you need.
Just answer a few questions about your home to get started.
3. Get Every Single Penny From Your Employer
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan as part of its benefits package and you’re not fully taking advantage of the matching contribution, now’s the time.
“Take advantage of your full company match,” says Jeff Dixson, a financial adviser in Vancouver, Washington, who hosts a radio show called “The Retirement Coach.”
“If they match 3%, contribute 3%. If they match 6%, try to get to 6%. That’s free money. There’s nowhere else you’re going to get free money.”
If you’re already at the full company match, consider increasing your contributions even more, if you can afford it. Try raising it by at least 1%.
If your employer doesn’t have a 401(k) package, you should strongly consider stashing retirement savings in a tax-free IRA. Contribute to it routinely and automatically, if you can.
4. Spend $5 to Own a Piece of Amazon or Google
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 Acorns app. 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 $5. And with the recent sell-off in stocks, you might be able to buy them for cheaper than earlier in the year.
That’s right — Acorns allows you to invest in a bundle of well-known companies, letting you own a little of each of them while spending as little as $5. The best part? When these companies profit and issue dividends, you can profit, too.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Acorns will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you make your first investment.
5. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month
You can be earning a healthy paycheck, but that credit card debt just won’t go away. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape… It starts taking a toll.
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 Fiona wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $100,000 or less, Fiona 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, 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. Cancel Your Car Insurance
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 licence, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.
Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings. No more shopping.