Americans With Less Than $9,000 in Savings Should Do These 7 Things

A woman with pink hair and a pink dress laughs as she holds a blue drink on a balcony overlooking green trees.
Adobe Stock
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.

When you log into your bank account, how do your savings look? Probably not as good as you’d like. It always seems like an uphill battle to build (and keep) a decent amount in savings.

But what if your car breaks down, or you have a sudden medical bill?

Ask one of these companies to help….

1. Play Bingo on Your Phone for Real Money — up to $83 Per Win

Do you play games on your phone just for fun? You should see if you can make money doing it, too.

A free iPhone app called Bingo Cash lets you play for real cash. Every win could pay you up to $83.

Bingo Cash is based on the classic Bingo format, where you’ll battle it out against other players at your same skill level. Everyone gets the same board and sees the same Bingo balls. The top three players in a game can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

And no, there’s no catch. There are no ads, either. You can play for free or pay to play in higher-stakes tournaments.

Download the free app and start playing your first game immediately. You could win money today!

2. Stop Paying Your Credit Card Company

If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…

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 — some up to 36%. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne 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 (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

You don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan — and comparing your options won’t affect your score at all.  Plus, AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It takes less than a minute and just 10 questions to see what loans you qualify for — you don’t even need to enter your Social Security number. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.

3. Add up to $526.44 to Your Wallet for Skipping the Grocery Store

Running errands is the worst. Seriously. After a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is go to the store and deal with the traffic and the crowds.

We get it. That’s why we like a free site called Rakuten — they’ll pay you to skip going to the store and shop online instead.

No, really. They work with just about every online store you probably shop at, and they can make sure you get some cash back every time you buy — up to 15% cash back.

We talked to Denver resident Colleen Rice, who’s earned more than $526.44 in cash back since she started using Rakuten. For doing nothing. She just uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights.

It takes less than a minute to open a Rakuten account and start shopping like you normally would. You just need an email address.

They’ll pay you with a check in the mail every few months or deposit it to your PayPal account. Talk about money for nothing.

3. Get Paid Up to $140/Month Just for Sharing Your Honest Opinion

It sounds strange, but brands want to hear your opinion. It helps them make business decisions, so they’re willing to pay you for it — up to $140 a month.

A free site called Branded Surveys will pay you up to $5 per survey for sharing your thoughts with their brand partners. Taking three quick surveys a day could earn up to $140 each month.

It takes just a minute to create a free account and start getting paid to speak your mind. Most surveys take five to 15 minutes, and you can check how long they’ll take ahead of time.

And you don’t need to build up tons of money to cash out, either — once you earn $5, you can cash out via PayPal, your bank account, a gift card or Amazon. You’ll get paid within 48 hours of your payout being processed, just for sharing your opinions.

They’ve already paid users more than $20 million since 2012, and the most active users can earn a few hundred dollars a month. Plus, they’ve got an “excellent” rating on Trustpilot.

It takes just a minute to set up your account and start getting paid to take surveys. Plus, right now, you’ll get a free 100-point welcome bonus just for becoming part of the community. Now” button. It’s free.

4. Cancel Your Car Insurance

Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But don’t waste your time hopping around to different insurance companies looking for a better deal.

Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once.

EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you. Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.

5. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free app called Solitaire Cash that pays you up to $83 every time you win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

6. Get Free Stock 

Here’s the thing about investing: The sooner you start, the better. And we found a company that will give you free stock to get started.

An investing app called Robinhood will give you free stock worth between $2.50 and $200 just for downloading its free app and funding your account.

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.

Whether you’ve got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, it takes just a couple of minutes to sign up, fund your account and get your free stock — a nice boost to help you build your investments.

7. Get a Higher Yield than a High-Yield Savings Account with a Treasury Account

Want to do more with your savings? Yeah, us too.

Well, a company called Public could help you earn a 5.40% yield* on your money — that’s 13 times faster than a regular savings account!**

Instead of stashing your money in a savings account, Public offers a Treasury account that allows you to invest in treasury bills. Treasuries basically work like a loan that you give the government, which pays you back later, plus interest. And being backed by the U.S. government makes them one of the safest*** ways to invest your money.

Unlike traditional savings or high-yield savings accounts, you don’t have to pay state or local taxes*** on income you earn from Treasury bills. So, depending on where you live, more of your savings may go back into your pocket.

Once you’ve signed up and created your account, you can easily transfer money by linking a bank account. From there, you can enroll in a Treasury account and start investing for as little as $100. After your Treasury bills mature, Public will automatically reinvest to create a compounding effect. You can also sell your Treasury bills at any time*.

* Yield is an annualized 26-week T-bill rate (as of 11/21/2023) when held to maturity. Rate assumes holding T-bill until maturity (26-weeks). T-bills liquidated prior to maturity may result in a loss of interest or principal. Rate is gross of fees and is annualized. Fee schedule at public.com/disclosures/fee-schedule.T-bills are purchased in increments of $100 par value at a discount; any remaining balance after purchase is held in cash. All investing involves risk of loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Risks. US members only.

** Traditional savings rate sourced from Bankrate as of 10/3/23. “Best” high-yield savings accounts are compared to the average APY (annual percentage yield) as compiled by NerdWallet.com as of 10/11/23. Public is not responsible for the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of information on third-party websites. Nor Public Holdings or its affiliates are a bank and Public does not offer savings accounts. Securities on Public.com are not FDIC insured. You should contact your bank for current and complete information about available account types, including applicable interest rates. Risks.

*** T-bills are subject to price change and availability – yield is subject to change. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Investments in T-bills involve a variety of risks, including credit risk, interest rate risk, and liquidity risk. As a general rule, the price of a T- bills moves inversely to changes in interest rates. Although T-bills are considered safer than many other financial instruments, you could lose all or a part of your investment.Investment income on T-bills is taxed federally by the Internal Revenue Service. Income earned from T-bills is not subject to state tax, and is not subject to local income taxes. Jiko U.S. Treasuries Risk Disclosures for further details.

Investment services and the Brokerage Accounts for treasury securities are offered by Jiko Securities, Inc. (“JSI”) member FINRA and SIPC.

Securities investments: Not FDIC Insured; No Bank Guarantee; May Lose Value. Banking services and the Bank Account are provided by Jiko Bank, a division of Mid-Central National Bank. Available to US members only. Full disclosures at public.com/#disclosures- treasuries 

*Results may vary and some may not see savings.