Hey, congratulations! You’ve finally built up a little cushion in your checking account — $1,000! You’ve got four figures in your account all the time. You’ve come a long way since your days of over-drafting and having to pay all those nasty bank fees.
So, this is the right time to think about your longer-term goals. What do you want to accomplish next with your money? Save more? Buy a home? Invest?
Here are some specific things you can do to take your finances to the next level:
1. Invest in Real Estate (Even if You’re Not a Millionaire)
Now that you’ve got some money saved, it’s time to start thinking about investing. But the stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows when the whole thing might crash?
It would be nice to diversify and invest some of your money in real estate, but don’t you have to be wealthy to do that?
Now you can invest like the 1 percent does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in commercial real estate — specifically, in apartment complexes that it owns — and you only need $500.
Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.
So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500.
2. Leave Your Family Up to $1 Million (Rates Start at $5/Month)
Have you thought about how your family would manage after you’re gone? You know, without your income? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever. Now is a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million in life insurance with a company called Bestow. Policies start at $5 a month.
You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.
If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam, pushy sales calls or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
3. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
Sure, you’ve finally got money in the bank. But do you still have lingering debt?
We found a company that will pay your credit card bill this month. No, like… the whole bill.
Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with high rates, but a website called AmOne wants to help. If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, it’ll 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 (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne 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 help you pay off your debt years faster.
4. Download This App to Get Up to $500 in Free Stock
If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500!) if you know where to look.
Whether you’re got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your checking account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
First for Women has partnered with The Penny Hoarder to bring you expert money saving tips like these.