7 Money Moves People Who Make Less Than $60,000/Year Should Make This Year

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There’s a lot of financial advice out there. But when it comes to managing your money, most things are not one-size-fits-all. Most of these decisions depend on your personal situation — your income, your expenses, your debt.

If you’re making less than $60,000 a year, the way you handle your money should be tailored to match that. But this can easily become overwhelming — what goal do you attack first? Budgeting? A savings plan? Debt repayment?

We have money moves you should make if you make less than $60,000 a year.

1. Make Sure You Have a Budget

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No matter how much money you make, the first thing you should do is create a solid budget. It’s important to first get a clear idea of where your money is going, then create a plan and stick to it.

We get it, though. Budgeting isn’t fun. But you don’t need to spend hours on end playing with complicated Excel equations. The 50/20/30 budgeting method makes it super easy. It’s one of the most straightforward budgeting strategies, and it offers a lot of flexibility.

Here’s how it works:

  • 50% of your income goes toward essentials.
  • 20% goes toward financial goals.
  • 30% goes toward personal spending.

Once you get the hang of it, you can tweak the ratios to fit your specific situation. Some people like to put more toward their savings, while others need a bit more for expenses. Take some time to find what works best for you and your goals.

2. See if You Can Get Money From This Company

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 5% back every time you swipe.Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

3. Add $225 to Your Wallet Just for Watching the News

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It’s been a historic year in news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves an expert in respiratory illness or a political mastermind.

And research companies want to pay you to keep watching.You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free research account with Swagbucks. They’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about them.

You just have to answer honestly, and Swagbucks will send you a check every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million. We talked to one user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus.

4. Leave Your Family up to $1M

A woman receives a kiss on her nose from her daughter, and their dog watches nearby,
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.

Here’s the thing: You should keep a healthy amount of savings in the bank, but if you want to give your family up to $1 million, use something called term life insurance.

We suggest a company like Bestow. Maybe you’ve considered this before, but thought it was only for rich or older people. But we’re hearing that people are getting it for as little as $8 a month.

You can take advantage of Bestow until you’re 54 years old, but the sooner you take care of this, the cheaper it could be.

You don’t even need to leave your house to get a free quote from Bestow — it takes minutes. Instead of leaving your family with what’s in your checking account and a bucket of worries, they’ll be able to afford the life you’ve always wanted for them.

5. Cancel Your Car Insurance

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If you want to free up some extra room in your budget, one of the easiest places to start is to cancel your current car insurance.

In most places, it’s straight up illegal not to have it, so you’ve probably accepted that you’re going to pay through the nose for it. But you don’t have to.

A free website called The Zebra will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes.

All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra compares prices from more than 100 companies to find you the best price.

The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.

If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.

6. Get Free Stock

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 $500 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.”

7. Don’t Let Hackers Steal Your Money

Imagine a foreclosure sign being pounded into your front yard because a hacker got a hold of your Social Security number.

That could happen tomorrow — as if this year could get any worse. In 2019, there were 3.2 million reports of identity theft and fraud in the U.S, and many of them led to financial ruin.

But there’s something you can do today to make sure your family never has to deal with this. We found a free service called Credit Sesame that will protect your personal information and reimburse your losses (up to $50,000) if someone ever steals your identity.

It starts by giving you your free credit score, then it’ll keep an eye out for anything suspicious and alert you if it suspects possible identity theft.

It’s always free to use and only takes 90 seconds to sign up to protect yourself from hackers, so Credit Sesame is kind of a no-brainer.