5 Easy Moves That’ll Quickly Give You a Bigger Bank Account

Savannah Holley organizes money she got from the drive through banking counter at Mount McKinley Bank in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Want a bigger bank account? We’ve got some money moves that’ll make a big impact quickly…

1. Get Your Paycheck Early

Counting the days until payday? Us too.

If you’re tired of waiting, consider switching to a bank that pays you early.

Unlike most financial institutions, Chime doesn’t wait until your pay date to give you access to your money. As soon as it receives notification of a direct deposit from your employer, it immediately posts those funds to your account which means that most people can get paid up to two days early!

Having your paycheck a couple of days early could be the difference between having to borrow money from family — or worse yet, taking a payday loan.

2. Stop Overpaying

Let’s face it — you’re probably overpaying for everything. But, you’re especially overpaying for car insurance.

This is one of the biggest monthly expenses we have and there are new ways to save on car insurance that most of us don’t even know about.  Have you shopped around lately? Have you? That sounds kind of difficult and time-consuming, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, a service called Gabi will compare rates from the 20 largest auto insurers that do business in your area. Even better? You don’t even have to fill out any forms.

Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work. Once you link your insurance account to Gabi, it will:

  • Scan your existing insurance plan.
  • Analyze what coverage you have.
  • Compare the major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $720 per year for its customers.

It is a true apples-to-apples comparison at the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Once you sign up, you never have to shop again. Gabi’s software has your policy on file and keeps on monitoring for savings as your life changes.

3. Lower Your Credit Card Bills

Did you know that around 20% of consumers have an error on their credit report that is likely bringing down their score? And those poor scores can hinder every part of your financial wellness.

A lower credit score can cause you to pay more in credit card interest each and every month. But that’s not the only thing — you’ll have to authorize a credit check when you want to move into a new apartment, rent a car with a debit card or buy a new phone.

That’s why we always suggest starting with a peek at your credit score — specifically from somewhere that can let you know if there’s anything to be concerned about.

Even better if it’s free.

The credit report card from Credit Sesame does all that, and it’s free. The report lays out all your unpaid debts, any delinquencies. Plus, they tell you exactly what steps to take to quickly improve your credit score.

 

4. Invest Your Spare Change — and Get a $5 Bonus

If you’re like most of us and wish your money would just take care of itself, consider starting an investment account through Acorns.

You can start small — with $5 — and stack up change over time with its “round-up” feature. That means if you spend $10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.

Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.

The idea is you won’t miss the digital pocket change, and the automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think. And the sooner you start, the more you could potentially make. For example, Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar was able to save at a rate that would let her stash $420 away per year.

At that rate, you could set aside $1,000 in about two and a half years — without trying.

But the beauty is you can set your own pace with Acorns’ features, so if you want — and can afford — to invest $1,000 faster, go for it.

The app is $1 a month for balances under $5,000, and you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

5. Invest in Real Estate (Even If You’re Not Wealthy)

Want to try real-estate investing without playing landlord? We found a company that helps you do just that.

Oh, and you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500. A company called Fundrise does all the heavy lifting for you.

Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be split into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States.

This isn’t an obscure investment, though. You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation in the value of your shares, just like a stock. Cash flow typically comes from interest payments and property income (e.g. rent).

(But remember: Investments come with risk. While Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since at least Q2 2016, dividend and principal payments are never guaranteed.)

You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.

 

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