If You Have More Than $1,000 in Your Checking Account, Make These 6 Moves
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. Buy a Company (Even If You’re Not a Tycoon)
You’re a long-term investor. You want to choose your own portfolio, then set yourself up for the long haul. Sound like you? We found the perfect investing app — and it’s free. It’s called M1 Finance, and not only does it have some seriously powerful tools, it’s also easy to use. You can build your own custom portfolio of stocks, bonds and ETFs. Or, if you want, you can choose from dozens of pre-made portfolio options that follow different strategies.
You can also buy “fractional shares” — pieces of shares — in companies. That way, you can own stock in companies like Amazon or Netflix and not have to worry about shelling out thousands of dollars every time you want to invest.
You can set up regular automatic deposits to funnel money to your investments. Any new money you invest will be used to rebalance your portfolio, bringing its percentages back in line with your goals.
Even better? Once you’ve deposited $1,000, you’ll get a free $30 bonus. It only takes a few minutes to sign up.
2. See if Your Banking Account is Ripping You Off
There’s a dirty little secret about big banks. We all know they have tons of money. What you might not know? They rake in billions of dollars in overdraft fees every year. Yep. They’re getting rich with your hard-earned money. In fact, it’s a crucial part of their whole business plan.
Luckily, we’ve found a mobile banking account called Current that will make sure you’re not getting ripped off. It will make sure you never have to pay an overdraft fee again. Current lets you overdraft your account by up to $100* without hitting you with any nasty fees, as long as you’re getting at least $500 in direct deposits each month and you’re a Premium Member.
Even better? It also lets you get your paycheck up to two days early when you sign up for direct deposits. Talk about a life-saver. Current also gets you cash back on purchases; removes those annoying holds that gas stations put on your debit card; and makes it easy to deposit checks or even cash.
Ready to never pay an overdraft fee again? It only takes a few minutes to sign up for Current and make sure big banks aren’t ripping you off.
3. Cancel Your Car Insurance
When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.
If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again.
And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.
It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.
So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.
4. Stop Wasting Thousands Because of Your Bad Credit Score
Do you know how much money your bad credit score has cost you? Between higher interest rates on car loans or interest fees on your credit card balance, it could be thousands of dollars each year.
You know you need to fix it, but you don’t have the time, money or energy. But there’s a debit card called Extra that can help raise your credit without any of the hassle. And you could get rewards, too.
The Extra debit card is the first debit card that can positively impact your credit score without any of the risks from a regular credit card — there’s no credit check, no interest rates and no deposit required to use it. Plus, you get to keep your money in the bank account you’ve always used.
Sign up for an Extra debit card by securely connecting your bank account. You’ll get a credit limit based on your real-time cash balance. Every time you make a purchase with your Extra card, they’ll spot you the cash now and pay themselves back the next day.
At the end of the month, all of your purchases are reported to the credit bureaus as credit-worthy payments — just like a credit card company would. But you won’t be paying any interest fees since it’s your money you’re spending. You will earn rewards though!
It takes just a few minutes to sign up for an Extra debit card, and you can get all the perks of a credit card without the risks of a credit card. You can save thousands of dollars in interest, build your credit score and quite literally reap the rewards.
5. Make Sure Your Bills Are Still Paid If You’re Too Sick to Work
What would you do if you were forced to miss work after getting hurt or sick? Would you have enough money in the bank to cover your rent or mortgage, car payment or even groceries?
If you’re like most Americans, you don’t have enough money in your bank account to cover six months’ worth of expenses. That means you could easily go into debt if your paychecks stop.
Haven Disability, a disability income insurance policy issued by MassMutual, offers an affordable way to help fill in the financial gaps if your paychecks stop due to sickness or injury, allowing you to focus on healing instead of worrying about money.
For as little as $10 a month, you can get a custom policy between $500 and $5,000 in coverage amounts — and it’s issued and backed by MassMutual, one of the biggest names in insurance.
It costs less than your Netflix subscription and can be a life saver for the 25% of working Americans who will have to take a short-term disability leave before they retire*.
If you’re between 18 and 55 years old and make more than $30,000, you may qualify for Haven disability income insurance. Just fill out this 30-second form with information about your health and income to see your estimate and get an immediate decision.
In just a few minutes, if approved, you can feel confident that you’ve got coverage in place to help fill in the financial gaps if you’re forced to miss work due to sickness or injury.
*According to the Social Security Administration
6. 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 private real estate — specifically, in apartment buildings it co-owns with its investors — and you only need $500.
You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolio through their online dashboard — like a 54-unit apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, or a 30-unit waterfront property in Stuart, Florida. And you don’t have to experience the headaches that come with being a landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting for you.
DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, real estate has outperformed the stock market for the past 30 years.
So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500. Sign up here to start investing today.
*Please refer to Overdrive Features Terms and Conditions
**Faster access to funds is based on comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies versus deposits made electronically. Direct deposit and earlier availability of funds is subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.
*Keep in mind that every project comes with some amount of risk–high risk, high reward–so there is always the chance you could lose your investment. To date, investors have used CrowdStreet to invest in over 524 deals and have earned more than $240 million in distributions. 56 deals have fully realized, meaning they either sold or refinanced, and those projects have averaged a 17% IRR. You can get their full Marketplace performance stats here.
*Investing in securities involves risks, including the risk of loss. M1 Finance LLC is an SEC registered broker-dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC.