If You Have More Than $1,000 in Your Checking Account, Make These 7 Moves

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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 to take your finances to the next level?

We’ve got some ideas for you:

1. Invest in Real Estate Without the Volatility — You Only Need $500

You’re not the only one who daydreams about making money in your sleep. Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to earn passive income. The only problem? You need to have lots of money.

Well, you used to…

With a company called Connect Invest, you can get your foot in the door for just $500, investing in what are called short notes. And, if you make your first investment before December 31st, you can earn a $20 bonus.

Basically, you’re buying the debt that wealthy developers take on to fund their real estate projects — and they have to pay you back, with up to 9% (annualized rate) in interest… while you sleep.

With Connect Invest, you’ll invest for terms of 6, 12, or 24 months, during which you’ll receive monthly fixed-interest payments between 7.5% and 9% (annualized rate). You could earn a legit passive income with those rates — and it’s way higher than what you’d earn with your savings account!

Connect Invest carefully vets each real estate project and borrower. And don’t worry, all loans are backed by real estate collateral. In the rare event of a default, Connect Invest’s sister company will foreclose on the property with the investors’ approval and sell it to recover your investment.

It’s super easy to set up your free account and start investing. To earn your $20 bonus, select “Penny Hoarder” as a referral source and apply promo code “PH20.”

2. Drop Your Overpriced Car Insurance

It’s true what they say. You can’t just trust your car insurance provider to do the right thing and keep your prices competitive. You have to see what’s out there.

Now you can use NerdWallet to see several of your top options all at once — and let car insurance companies pitch you a good price.

Did you move? Get a new car? Get a little older? You could save money by using NerdWallet to compare car insurance rates from insurers across the country.*

Just take a few minutes to answer some questions about your automobile and driving record to see why it’s probably way past time you canceled your current car insurance.

3. Get Paid up to $360/Year With This Free Debit Card

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got special treatment wherever you went? You can actually get rewards wherever you shop, using this free debit card from Discover.

You’ll earn 1% cash back on every single purchase you make using your Discover® Cashback Debit account, on up to $3,000 monthly.* There’s no impact on your credit score for signing up and no minimum balance requirements ever.

Need groceries? Tap your card for cash back. You can also get paid sooner with Early Pay direct deposit, protect against overdrafts and access to over 60,000 ATMs without fees. You can handle all of your banking needs through the app and connect a virtual wallet like Apple Pay to amplify your rewards. And on top of all that, checking-account deposits are FDIC-insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law.

Does your bank do all that? If not, open a free Discover checking account to get special treatment from a bank that will actually put money back into your account.

*See website for details.

4. Let Your Family Inherit $250k or Much More

We never seem to have enough savings or investments. But there’s one particular way to make up for that shortfall: life insurance.

None of us like to think about what happens to your family if you pass, but this is a smart way to free them from a burden – and give you peace of mind.

With NerdWallet, you can get multiple life insurance quotes all in one place and find a plan that’s probably far more affordable than you think.

You can choose whole life plans if you want to do it once, forget about it and have coverage for the rest of your life. Or you can pick from term life plans to get even lower rates with coverage that can last a few decades.*

Is it finally time to get covered? It’s easy to get life insurance quotes from NerdWallet to see just how affordable a good policy could be for you.

5. Slash Your Credit Card Debt — Unlock Up to 18 Months of No Interest Payments

Struggling with credit card debt? You’re likely also dealing with high-interest charges that can significantly impact your financial situation — it’s a tough problem to sort out.

But where to even start?

If you have good to excellent credit, switching to one of these top-tier 0% intro APR cards from The Ascent’s carefully curated list could help you consolidate payments and cut your interest for up to 18 months. You could not only fast-track your debt repayment but also save thousands in interest.

The Ascent is picky, meaning they’ll only highlight cards that really stretch your dollar and cut down on costs. Plus, they break down everything you need to know: from intro-rate deals and welcome bonuses to rewards and fees — no surprises, just clear info.

So if you’re looking for a financial lifeline without the drag of accumulating interest, check out The Ascent’s list of best cards with 0% Intro APR offers, and wave goodbye to interest for up to 18 months.

6. The Home Equity Credit Card that Traditional Lenders Don’t Want You to Know About

As a homeowner, sometimes it feels like your options aren’t great when it comes to borrowing credit.

You can either use credit cards that are quick and easy to qualify for but that usually have sky-high interest rates, or, you can go through the long and costly process to originate a lower-interest Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).

Or, there’s a brand new third option: The Aven Visa® Credit Card is the first card of its kind to offer you a home equity line of credit in the form of a credit card.¹

This cash back rewards card taps into your home equity in exchange for up to 50% lower interest rates compared to traditional credit cards. It takes as fast as15 minutes to apply and get approved.

Here are some features that set Aven apart from your traditional credit cards and HELOCs:

  • 7.99% to 15.49% variable APR²
  • 2% unlimited cashback¹
  • 7X Points on Hotels and 2X Points on Flights¹: Book stays at the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and more through the Aven Travel Portal.
  • Access of up to $250,000
  • Starting at $0 to get a card, plus no annual fees

So, if you’re a homeowner looking for lower interest credit payments with cashback rewards, apply and get approved in as fast as15 minutes for the Aven card — at zero cost to you.

To qualify, you’ll need to own a property and have a FICO score of at least 640. They recommend FICO > 700 to have the best chance to qualify.¹

7. Have 10K+ In Investments? This Free Financial Plan Could Save You Up to $3,500/Year

You feel like you’ve always been on top of your investments, and you’re proud of how far you’ve come. But you may still be wondering if you’re actually doing enough to fully secure that rich retirement you know you deserve.

That’s why having a financial plan in place is one of the smartest decisions you could make.

With The Penny Hoarder, you can get a customized financial plan for free. Anyone is eligible for a free financial plan, but if you have $10,000 or more in investments (or $200,000 if you are retired), you could qualify to connect with a personal financial advisor for an in-depth review of your finances and to confidently plan your next money moves.

All you have to do is answer a few questions, and you’ll get your free, custom financial plan.

The best part? This could save you up to $3,500 per year. And it’s completely free — and totally anonymous. You won’t be bombarded with ads or sales pitches.

There’s literally no catch. Just sound financial advice customized for you. Get your free financial plan here.

*Users must meet certain suitability standards pursuant to the Connect Invest II Offering Circular and make an investment on or before December 31, 2024. Investors will receive their $20 bonus with their first interest earnings.

Past performance does not guarantee future results or success. The material contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to purchase these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or other jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

*¹Other banks have used access/debit cards as a means of withdrawing money from a home equity line, Aven’s card is unique in that the credit card is the primary source of funds and function. It is the first credit card backed by home equity to publicly launch into the market.

The Aven Card is issued by Coastal Community Bank, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A., Inc. Aven accounts are made by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #462289 (NMLS Consumer Access Page) For additional information or complaints to Coastal Community Bank, visit www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov.

This post was sponsored by Aven. See aven.com/#disclosures for more information.

*NerdWallet believes everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And, while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward – and free.