If You’re Stressed About Money, Here Are 7 Steps That Experts Say You Should Take
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?
We’re not judging — we don’t roll like that. We’re here to help. We just don’t want you to have to sell those Elvis-Presley-signed velvet pants you inherited just to pay some lousy plumbing bill. Those pants are sweet.
Try these seven tips to get the ball rolling, and start building up your savings so you can breathe a little easier.
1. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it. All that debt racked up from the 300 destination weddings your friends made you attend (thanks!) could be paid by the end of this month.
Your credit card company is ripping you off with insane rates, and it’s getting rich off of you. But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out, including a website like Upstart.
Here’s how it works: Upstart will loan you up to $50,000 so that you can 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.
Upstart 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.
Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).
Now you can finally stop holding a grudge against that friend who thought a Mexico wedding was a good idea.
2. Get Paid to Watch Cooking Videos
If we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.
No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
3. Turn Those Crumpled Receipts Into Free Gift Cards
What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, they hand you a mile-long piece of paper, and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.
But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Chipotle and dozens of other retailers.
And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.
When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt — you’ll be well on your way to your first gift card.
Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?
4. Earn an Extra $600 This Week to Drop off Starbucks
Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.
An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.
With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you.
You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.
The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.
If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week.
5. Get Paid to Play Yahtzee
Get paid to play games on your phone? Yeah, right. We’ve all heard that before.
Here’s what that usually means: Logging dozens of hours on games you’ve never heard of, just for a few cents.
But a free Android app called Mistplay actually pays you for playing popular games like Words With Friends 2, Yahtzee, Clash Royale, Star Wars and more.
As you play, Mistplay rewards you in points, which you can exchange for gift cards for brands like Visa, Amazon and more.
You’ll even get bonus points when you sign up and enter the code penny50.
The more you play, the more you’ll earn. Plus, Mistplay offers some bigger in-game rewards — up to $20.
It takes just a few minutes to sign up and start getting paid to play games.
6. Get Paid $1,200/Year for Your Screen Time
We’ve all been there. Netflix drones in the background as you scroll Instagram. What are you even doing?
But there’s a website that will pay you for all that screen time.
Yep. Swagbucks will pay you in free gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone.
We know what you’re thinking: You’ll probably just earn a few pennies for your troubles. But we talked to one Swagbucks user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.
And it’s no huge time commitment. Hendrickson takes her surveys in the morning before her full-time job.
Even better? You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 points within your first 60 days.
7. See if Your Cell Phone Company Owes You $80
When’s the last time you negotiated your cell phone bill? Your provider could be overcharging you…
In fact, there are secret discounts it doesn’t want you to know about.
But a tool called Truebill knows how get them for you. William Ellis, a savvy saver from Indiana, was able to get $80 a year back in his pocket when he used a negotiation tool to convince Sprint to lower his bill — for the same plan. He didn’t even have to pick up the phone.
You can find out how much you’re overpaying by signing up for Truebill. Then, Truebill handles the rest.
Truebill takes an upfront commission on any money it recovers for you, but there’s no charge if it’s not successful.