If Your Rent is More Than $1,200/Month, Make These 6 Moves

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If you’re paying more than $1,200 a month in rent by yourself, that means two things:

  1. It stinks to pay that much rent, and 
  2. You’ve clearly got some income. Not everyone can afford that kind of rent.

So you’re making money and living in a decent place. You’ve finally got a little cushion in your bank account. You’ve achieved a certain level of financial stability.

What should you do next? Well, we have six suggestions for you:

1. Buy a Home — Without a Huge Down Payment

Dream of owning a home? For many of us, this feels like a faraway fantasy.

But before you settle into the idea of renting for the rest of your life, consider this alternative: Buy a home through Divvy Homes.

Divvy’s program combines the best of both renting and homeownership. You get to choose a home you love, and Divvy buys it on your behalf. As soon as the closing process is complete, you can move in.

You’ll make monthly payments until you’re ready to buy the home from Divvy (or move out). Your payments include a portion that goes to your future home savings. At any time during the three-year lease, you can buy the home from Divvy with the money you’ve saved each month.

Even though you don’t truly own the home — yet — you can still make your home yours. You can paint, replace carpet, decorate or landscape. Oh, and Divvy takes care of any major maintenance needs. Need a new roof? Air conditioning go out? Divvy’s got it covered.

It’s free to see if you qualify, and it doesn’t take more than about four minutes in most cases. No visits to the bank, no lengthy phone calls, no impact on your credit score.

2. There’s a Bank Account that Gives You Chances to Win Cash (Good For Next Month’s Rent!)

What if there were a game that added money to your bank account when you played it? 

It sounds like something out of a movie, but Long Game is real, and we’re in love. 

Here’s how it works: Do everything you would normally do in your banking app, like spend and save, and you get to play games of chance where you can win cash. You can win anything from a penny up to $1 million. (That’d mean free rent for life!)

You’ll begin the game by setting up your account. Then, every time you use your debit card or save, you’ll be able to play games. You can set personalized savings goals, and you’ll earn chances to play while you save and spend. 

Here’s the best part: You can’t lose — you can only earn more money. 

It only takes a minute to get started and see how much you can win.

3. Protect Everything in Your Apartment for $5

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What if you lost everything? All your possessions — your clothes, your furniture, your laptop. Any jewelry you have. Even your microwave oven.

A kitchen fire could torch it all. A burglar could steal your valuables. And where would you be then?

You could be out of luck — unless you have renters insurance. And here’s the thing: It can be surprisingly cheap, especially if you get it through a company like Lemonade.

With Lemonade, you could get a policy for as little as $5 a month — less than half the average rate. 

Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. The whole process takes just 10 minutes. And $5-a-month renters insurance policy could be a lifesaver in the event of a fire or theft or vandalism.

If you think you don’t own enough stuff that’s worth insuring, just take a look around you. How else would you be able to replace your possessions if you lost them all? Check to see how much it would cost to insure it all. You might be surprised.


4. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

You’re doing pretty good. You’ve got a decent place to live, you make your rent payments — you’re not overly concerned with your credit score. In fact, you might not think much about it at all.

But what happens when you want to buy a house? Or a car? Even a five-point difference in your credit score could make a huge difference. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on your credit score, which you can do for free through Credit Sesame.

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.

If you want to make sure your credit score is in tip-top shape, Credit Sesame will help. Just sign up for an account — it takes 90 seconds — and Credit Sesame will outline exactly what you need to do to give your credit a boost

5. If You Can’t Lower Your Rent, Cut Your Credit Card Bill

If you’re like most of us, two of your biggest financial burdens are rent and credit card debt. High credit card bills make it that much harder to pay the rent every month.

One problem: Your credit card companies are getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates. However, a company called AmOne could lower your monthly payment.

Here’s how it works: AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster.

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.

6. Withdraw $5 and Buy a Piece of a Corporation

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 we like 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. But Stash lets you start with as little as a $5 investment.

You can buy pieces of well-known companies, like McDonald’s, Apple, Tesla* and many more. 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 (you just doubled your money!). Stash offers subscription plans starting at $1.00 a month.** As a reminder, investing involves risk. 

You might not be in the next issue of Forbes, but this is a great way to get started. 

*The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.

**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.