5 Money Moves Every Californian Needs to Make This Week

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Let’s say you live in the Golden State, you’re getting squeezed by crazy-high housing costs and your finances could use some serious TLC, but you’ve been putting it off.

When you finally do sit down to think about it, you get overwhelmed. Which goal to attack first? You need a budget, a savings plan, a debt-repayment strategy, a better credit score, a plan for retirement and … oh God, it’s too much.

To tackle big goals, you have to start small.

Here are some simple steps you can take today to get your finances under control.

1. 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.

2. Leave Your Family up to $3M

A man with curly long hair sorts through his cash while also being on his computer.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Have you ever thought about how your loved ones would pay that mortgage and other bills without your income? How would they do without your paychecks coming in?

If that’s not a pretty picture, you should check with an online insurance company like Haven Life. You could leave your family up to $3 million* — and you can get an online quote in only a few minutes.

You might’ve heard how much work it is to deal with traditional life insurance providers — scanning and faxing documents, then potentially waiting weeks just to hear back. But with Haven Life, you get an instant decision on coverage.

And it’s cheaper than you might think. We’ve seen people getting coverage for as low as $14 a month**.

To get started, get your free quote from Haven Life to see how much you could leave your family.

3. Use $5 to Buy a Piece of a Company

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies. That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1.

The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.

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

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

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

Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Credible knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Credible will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster.

Plus, no credit card payment this month.

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

5. Get up to $200 in Free Stocks

Imagine if you had bought one share of Amazon for $18 when the stock first went public. Today, it would be worth more than $20,000 — despite all the ups and downs in the stock market.

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

An investing app called Robinhood will give you up to $200 worth of free stock in companies like Visa, Microsoft and GE, just for downloading its app and opening a free account.

Robinhood is free and easy to navigate, which is why more than 10 million people use it — including both news junkies looking to outsmart the market and people who want to carefully put a few bucks away in a long-term investment.

It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and get your free stock — you may even just get a share of the “next Amazon.”