If Your Paycheck is Over $1,500, Make These 6 Moves Before Payday

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If you get a biweekly paycheck more than $1,500, you’re probably feelin‘ pretty good.

Uncle Sam took his taxes out, you’ve funneled some money into your retirement fund, and now you’ve got an extra $1,500 sitting in your checking account.

Sweet.

So, now what?

After you’ve taken care of the bills, take these simple steps to level up before next payday.

1. Get Every Single Penny From Your Employer

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan as part of its benefits package and you’re not fully taking advantage of the matching contribution, now’s the time.

“Take advantage of your full company match,” says Jeff Dixson, a financial adviser in Vancouver, Washington, who hosts a radio show called “The Retirement Coach.”

“If they match 3%, contribute 3%. If they match 6%, try to get to 6%. That’s free money. There’s nowhere else you’re going to get free money.”

If you’re already at the full company match, consider increasing your contributions even more, if you can afford it. Try raising it by at least 1%.

If your employer doesn’t have a 401(k) package, you should strongly consider stashing retirement savings in a tax-free IRA. Contribute to it routinely and automatically, if you can.

2. Get Up to $1 Million in Life Insurance; Rates Start at Just $5/Month

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your paychecks after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now that you’ve got a steady income, it’s a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a life insurance policy.

You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.

Rates start at just $5 a month. Plus, the peace of mind 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 or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.

3. Claim up to $500 in Free Stock

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Although your paychecks are over $1,500, you might still feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500) if you know what you’re doing.

Whether you’ve got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.

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.

4. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month

You can be earning a healthy paycheck, but that credit card debt just won’t go away. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape… It starts taking a toll.

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. But a website called Fiona wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $100,000 or less, Fiona 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, you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster.

5. Grow Your Money 11x Faster — Without Risking Any of it

You’ve probably heard the best way to grow your money is to stick it in the stock market and leave it there for, well, ever.

But maybe you’re just looking for a place to safely stash it away — but still earn money. Under your mattress or in a safe will get you nothing. And a typical savings account won’t do you much better. (Ahem, .09% is nothing these days.)

But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back and up to 11 times the average interest on the money in your account. Plus, you’ll never pay a monthly account-maintenance fee. 

Aspiration also shares part of its earnings with environmental charities, among other worthy causes. So you can stick up for the planet — without even having to write a check.

It takes just five minutes to sign up for an Aspiration Spend and Save account.

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 commercial real estate — specifically, in apartment complexes that it owns — and you only need $500.

Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.

So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500.

*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.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.