10 Quick Steps That’ll Have You Managing Your Money Like A Millionaire

A young man smiling as he sits on the outside ledge of a window.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

  1. Life would be a whole lot easier if someone would just Venmo us $1 million, but unfortunately the chance of that happening is, well, probably zero. (Venmo doesn’t allow transactions that large anyway.)

    But even though our chances of becoming a millionaire are slim, we can still manage our money like one. No, we’re not going to tell you how to buy hundreds of shares of Apple stock. Or how to pick out the perfect yacht.

    These are simple money moves any normal, non-millionaire person can make today. Each tip can get you closer to achieving your big goals.

    Take a look:

  2. 1. Have the Same Credit Score as a Millionaire — Without The Bank Account

    cash back apps
    anyaberkut/Getty Images

    Good news for us “normal” folk: Your credit score has nothing to do with your income. Yes, having more money might mean you don’t have to take out loans or buy groceries on credit. But, in reality, you and me could have the same credit score as, say, a certain someone who owns Amazon. Heck, ours could be even better.

    So if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — try using a free website called Credit Sesame.

    Within two minutes, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).

    James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.* “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.

    Getting your free credit score takes less than two minutes.

  3. 2. Secure $1 Million in Life Insurance for Just $5/Month

    money management steps policygenius
    Johnny Greig/Getty Images

    Did you know you can leave your family $1 million — without being a millionaire? Yup, life insurance could really help your family get by without your income.

    Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.

    You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes — and you could leave your family $1 million by spending $5 a month on life insurance with a company called Bestow.

    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.

  4. 3. Use up Your Entire Paycheck

    Getty Images

    No, we’re not talking about going to Whole Foods and buying out its fancy cheese supply (though that’s the first thing we’d do if we had $1 million). Instead, we’re talking about creating a zero-based budget, a budget that finds a place for your every dollar.

    You’ll want to start by tracking a month of expenses. How much do you (or don’t you) have remaining? Then, consider your financial goals. Do you want to save money? Invest money? Pay off debt?

    Work backward to cut your expenses until you can achieve that goal. It might take some patience, but it’ll pay off.

  5. 4. Let This Website Help Pay off Your Credit Card Debt

    Two hands reaching out to each other.
    Tina Russell / The Penny Hoarder

    Truth be told, your credit card company is probably ripping you off with insane rates — yup, it’s getting rich off of you. (Ahem, now we know how some of these millionaires are made.)

    But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out, including a website called Upstart.

    Here’s how it works: Upstart will loan you up to $50,000 to cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan.

    At first it might sound like you’re just moving your debt around, but the key is to find a loan with better interest rates or lower monthly payments.

    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 five minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

    Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).

  6. 5. Invest 15 Cents Into the Stock Market

    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    It’s no secret millionaires invest in the stock market, but you don’t have to be a millionaire to get your investing start.

    And, yeah, we know what you’re thinking: 15 cents? How’s that going to do me any good? Well, you’ve got to start somewhere, and that leftover change from your morning coffee and evening grocery haul could turn into more than $1,000.

    That’s what happened when Penny Hoarder reader Jeremy Kolodziej opened an investment account with Acorns. The app’s round-up feature bumps each of your purchases up to the nearest dollar and puts the spare change into the stock market, which helped him mindlessly save $1,076 in about 20 months. 

    “It’s a virtual coin jar,” he says. “You don’t even think about it.” He used the spare change to pay for two vacations.

    Plus, Acorns invested the money for him, allowing him to grow his savings — without studying stock prices or managing trades.

    The app is $1 a month for balances under $1 million, and you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

  7. 6. Copy This Strategy to Get Checks in the Mail Totaling $526

    Remember when getting the mail was fun? Now it’s just bills. And Valpak envelopes.

    But for Colleen Rice, checking the mail meant finding checks. For doing nothing. Seriously. Since she started using a free website called Rakuten, she’s received $526.44.

    Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Amazon — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.

    Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.

    It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start shopping your go-to stores through the site.

    Plus, if you use Rakuten to earn money back within the first 90 days of signing up, it’ll give you an extra $10 on the first check it sends you.

    Talk about money for nothing.

     

  8. 7. Turn Your 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!

    Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?

  9. 8. Grow Your Wealth By Learning From Others

    Two woman sitting next to each other in an office-type setting, and they go over material on a cell phone and laptop.
    Drazen_/Getty Images

    One of the best ways to get your money in order? Learning from others! These could be the millionaires themselves, personal finance experts or real-life people who’ve had success. Search the internet for blogs and websites, listen to podcasts and read books.

    Here are a few of our favorite resources (ahem, besides ourselves):

    • “How to Money” podcast
    • “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
    • “The Side Hustle Show” podcast
    • “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
    • “The Money Nerds” podcast
    • “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel
  10. 9. Save up to $865 a Year on Car Insurance — for the Same Coverage

    Millionaire or not, no one wants to overpay any of their bills. So 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 $865 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.

  11. 10. Cancel Your Current Home Insurance

    Julia_Sudnitskaya/Getty Images

    If you can pay less for the same thing, why wouldn’t you? Even millionaires would agree.

    We can oftentimes feel trapped with our monthly bills, but here’s the good news: We know of some simple ways to untap some serious discounts on these bills, especially with homeowners insurance.

    If you have a fire extinguisher, a deadbolt, smoke detectors or smart home devices, you could save some big bucks.

    Want to see how much? A company called Policygenius will take all these discounts into consideration and help you compare prices and get a new policy — even help you cancel your old one.

    It takes a few minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your home, then a Policygenius representative will deliver you a handful of quotes straight to your inbox. From there, you can ask any questions via email or phone, then sign up.

    Policygenius users save an average of $690 a year on homeowners insurance. And it only takes a few minutes to request your free quote.

    *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.