When Money is Tight, These 7 Resources Will Help Nearly Everyone

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When money is tight, you can feel like you’re drowning.

You finally make that late payment on one bill, and the next one shows up in the mail. You turn to credit cards to stay afloat, but those bills pile up, too. And just when you think you’re in the clear and a nice paycheck comes rolling in… the rent is due.

Here are nine resources that can give you some relief when you feel like your wallet is stretched as far as it can go.

1. Ask for Some Help — You Deserve It

The arms of two people are shown extending toward one another beneath a shining sun and palm trees.
Tina Russell / The Penny Hoarder

If you’re really in a bind, start with 2-1-1, a confidential service offered through United Way that’ll help you find the resources you need to find affordable housing, make rent or pay utilities. 

To use the service, head to 211.org and enter your location. It’ll show you services in your community and give you a number to call. It’s a clearinghouse for help with food, housing, utilities and employment.

You can also look into applying for a grant. Take, for example, Modest Needs grants, which are designed for workers just above the poverty line who are ineligible for most other forms of social assistance.

We know asking for help is hard, but when you’re really in need, these resources are here to help you get back on stable ground.

2. This Bank Will Spot You Up to $100 for Free

It’s halfway through the month. You’ve paid the big bills, but your paycheck doesn’t come until next week. You’ve still got the electric bill to pay, and the pantry’s empty. Yikes.

What are your options? You can ignore it and hope nothing bad happens. Or take out a payday spot with a 10,000% interest rate. Double yikes.

Chime is a bank account that will lend you the cash — for free. And it does it in two different ways.

Chime will spot you up to $100 at any time, as long as you bank with them and have direct deposit set up. And unlike a payday loan — it’s free.

With its early direct deposit feature, it’s also possible to get your paycheck up to two days early (without asking your boss for a favor).

Sure, switching banks sounds like a pain, but more than four million people have already switched to Chime. It only takes two minutes to sign up for an account. Then, when you have a minute, Chime will show you the easiest way to switch everything over. 

Now you don’t have to live on ramen until your paycheck comes.

3. Cancel Your Car Insurance

If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year.

OK, we can hear you laughing from here. Who has time to do all that?

But seriously, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change all the time. Ipso facto — it’s time to cancel your car insurance and find a new policy because you’re paying too much.

Thankfully, 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.

Who’s laughing now?

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

If you’re struggling to pay bills, we bet your credit card balance isn’t looking so hot, either. So we found a company that’ll help you take care of it. No, like… the whole bill 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 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 means money is immediately freed up.

Fiona 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 save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

 

5. Make an Extra $250 This Month From Your Couch

You probably don’t have time for a second — or even third — job, but we found a more effortless way to earn some extra cash this month.

A research company called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

It’s possible to earn up to $225 a month without having to get another job.

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.

 

 

 

 

6. Take 5 Surveys and Get a Free $5 Walmart Gift Card

Here’s an easy way to get $5 toward your next Walmart purchase: Take five online surveys through a website called MyPoints.

MyPoints is a research company that’ll pay you to answer questions about different products and services you use. In return, it’ll give you free gift cards. You can even do this from your phone.

To date, MyPoints has paid people more than $236 million in gift cards.

To get your $5 Amazon gift card, just sign up and complete your first five surveys.

7. Play Free Scratch-off Tickets

There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them, especially when you’re money is tight.

Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000.

You can also earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more. 

The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free. For more info, check out Lucktastic here.