9 Money Moves People Who Make Less Than $60,000/Year Should Make This Year
There’s a lot of financial advice out there. But when it comes to managing your money, most things are not one-size-fits-all. Most of these decisions depend on your personal situation — your income, your expenses, your debt.
If you’re making less than $60,000 a year, the way you handle your money should be tailored to match that. But this can easily become overwhelming — what goal do you attack first? Budgeting? A savings plan? Debt repayment?
We have nine money moves you should make if you make less than $60,000 a year.
1. Make Sure You Have a Budget
No matter how much money you make, the first thing you should do is create a solid budget. It’s important to first get a clear idea of where your money is going, then create a plan and stick to it.
We get it, though. Budgeting isn’t fun. But you don’t need to spend hours on end playing with complicated Excel equations. The 50/20/30 budgeting method makes it super easy. It’s one of the most straightforward budgeting strategies, and it offers a lot of flexibility.
Here’s how it works:
- 50% of your income goes toward essentials.
- 20% goes toward financial goals.
- 30% goes toward personal spending.
Once you get the hang of it, you can tweak the ratios to fit your specific situation. Some people like to put more toward their savings, while others need a bit more for expenses. Take some time to find what works best for you and your goals.
2. Take The First Step to Becoming Debt-Free
Every month, you’re paying huge credit card bills, thanks to those insane interest rates. Yeah, your credit card company is ripping you off — and getting rich along the way.
But as weird as it sounds, the answer might be a personal loan. Hear us out. A company called Upstart will loan you up to $50,000 to pay off all your credit card debt at once. Then, you just make one monthly payment on your loan.
It might sound counterintuitive, but the truth is, this could lower your monthly payment, save you tons of money in interest over time, and allow you to pay off your debt faster.
In fact, Upstart offers interest rates starting at 5.67% — compared to the average rate on credit cards, which is close to 20%. Unlike a lot of other lenders, Upstart considers more than just your FICO score. It also looks at factors like your education and employment history (though it does require a 620 credit score).
Upstart 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.
3. Cancel Your Car Insurance
If you want to free up some extra room in your budget, one of the easiest places to start is to cancel your current car insurance.
In most places, it’s straight up illegal not to have it, so you’ve probably accepted that you’re going to pay through the nose for it. But you don’t have to.
A free website called The Zebra will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes.
All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra compares prices from more than 100 companies to find you the best price.
The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.
If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.
4. Add up to $225 to Your Bank Account This Month
Now that you’ve made your monthly budget, you might decide you could use a little extra income. Heck, who couldn’t?
You might not want a full-blown side gig, but a website called InboxDollars will pay you up to $225 a month just for watching videos from your computer. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards — so you can put the money directly toward rent. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately earn a $5 bonus to get you started.
5. Turn Those Crumpled Receipts Into Free Gift Cards
What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, they hand you a mile-long piece of paper, and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.
But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Chipotle and dozens of other retailers.
And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.
When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt. Then start snapping photos of your recent receipts to see how many points you can earn without a single trip to the store!
6. Leave Your Family $1 Million
If you make less than $60,000 a year and support a family, life insurance probably isn’t at the top of your list. But have you thought about how your family would manage without your paycheck after you’re gone?
No matter your income, now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy. And you don’t have to have millions of dollars to make this a smart move.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, either. With a company called Bestow, your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes — and you could leave your family $1 million. Policies start at just $5 a month.
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.
7. Give Your Credit Score a Boost — Add up to 300 Points
You might not think your credit score is that important. In fact, you might not think much about it at all. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? Unfortunately, those three little numbers play a huge role in whether you’ll be able to do that.
And if you have an error on your credit report (one out of five reports do), that could stand in your way.
Thankfully, a website called Credit Sesame will help you detect any errors — for free. It’ll even help you dispute them.
Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report this way. Using Credit Sesame, she was able to fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.*
Now she and her husband feel like they’re in a better position for their biggest goal — purchasing a house.
It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up
8. 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.
9. Borrow up to $500 Right Now — with No Credit Check
Sometimes we all need a little help. Rent is due, or you need to buy groceries, and you just don’t have the money. You’ve exhausted your options. What do you do?
For a lot of people, the answer is a payday loan. But what starts as a quick fix can quickly drag you into a cycle of debt with interest rates of 300% to 400%.
Possible Finance is an alternative to payday loans — one that’s less expensive, easier to repay, and helps build your credit. It will lend you up to $500 with no credit check required.
Instead of having to repay the entire loan the next time you get paid, Possible gives you two months to repay it in several installments — and it builds your credit as you do.
It still comes with interest. Most of its loans have an APR of around 150%, but that’s still about half the rate of a payday loan — with much longer to repay it. If you’re in a pinch, it could save you a hefty late fee or missed rent payment.
It takes less than a minute to apply on its free app. If you’re approved, you get your money pretty much instantly. Instead of using your FICO credit score, Possible links to your bank account, using your payment history to determine how likely you are to repay the loan.
Possible Finance is licensed in California, Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Washington, and will soon expand to additional states. In the meantime, you can join its waitlist.
*Like Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.