Let’s face it, everyone can use a little help on their finances. Regardless of what gets shared on your friend’s and family’s social media, no one knows the whole picture but themselves. Some may even be afraid to admit it.
It doesn’t have to get overwhelming though! When you’re ready to buckle down and tackle your finances, we can help.
Especially if you’re currently making less than $60,000 a year.
After taxes, that salary goes down quick but just start small with the money moves below to get back in control.
1. Budgeting Made Easy with this App, Even if You Don’t Know How
If you have trouble budgeting, you’re not alone. Most people actually don’t know how to properly budget and that could possibly them in debt.
Truebill easily helps you budget, even if you don’t know how to. Their simple to follow budgeting pulls your historical spending, organizes it, and allows you to clearly see your spending so you can set a target budget with context. (Aka you can see where you’re wasting money on).
Truebill’s five-star reviews come from people formerly bad at budgeting. Dawn H. said “LIFE CHANGING!!!! I was never able to save money or budget myself but with Truebill all the work is done for you! I am very grateful”.
Truebill will also alert you if you’re getting a little too spend-happy in your budgeted categories so you know when to curb it. Another user, Clee M. said “This app is 100% true in what it advertises. I am normally skeptical about connecting my bank info to apps. This app is completely safe and easy to use!”
It’s simple but actionable budgeting that anyone can follow and it’s free to use! Join the many users today and control your spending with Truebill!
2. Free Gift Cards Just for Going Shopping? Yes, please. (Up to $302/Yr)
Go on your normal grocery shopping trips. Scan your receipt after. Get points towards gift cards.
No extra fuss. No digital coupons to pre-select or specific stores to go to.
It’s perfect for the lazy but smart saver.
And it’s called Fetch Rewards, an app where you can scan ANY grocery receipt to get rewards.
Scan receipts from supermarkets, neighborhood corner shops, wholesale clubs, drugstores, convenience stores, and even liquor stores. Unlike other apps, you’re not restricted to specific stores. As long as your receipt has any of the thousands of participating products, you’ll earn points to redeem for gift cards.
You can start redeeming points for rewards with as little as 3,000 points ($3). Grab a 2,000 points bonus ($2!) when you enter this referral code: REWARD before you scan your first receipt.
Welcome bonus: $2
Average savings a month (depends on purchases): $25
What it could add up to in a year: $302
Additional referral earnings: $2 per referral
3. Affordable Car Insurance Exists – Here’s How You Could Save $610
You’re sharing the same roads with a lot of different people. Distracted people, oblivious people, road-rage people, etc. It’s best to cover yourself with insurance when everyone is operating a giant motor vehicle.
And chances are, you’re probably overpaying on your current insurance premium. I know it’s convenient to stick with the same provider because it’s a hassle to deal with finding another. I definitely get it.
However, you can search for quotes easily on EverQuote. They help match you among dozens of regional agencies and insurance carriers to filter the best matches to save on your car insurance.
It takes less than 4 minutes to fill out the form and you’ll see a list of matches that show online quotes, email, and potential phone quotes.
EverQuote can save drivers up to $610 a year on average* compared to their current insurance premiums. Once you see your list of potential matches, choose the online ones you want or wait for more information via email or phone.
It’s a pretty simple process, so try it out to see how much you could be saving on the road!
Average savings a month: $50.83
What it could add up to in a year: $610
4. An Innovative New Way to Improve Your Credit Scores Instantly – And it’s Free
Having a low credit score can impact a lot in your life, like the ability to rent an apartment, get a car, and even a cellphone plan. That’s why it’s important to maintain positive credit card payment history and to keep credit utilization ratio in check (not using more than 30% of your credit line on any credit card).
Regardless of what your score is currently at though, everyone can use a boost to their 3 digit number, and Experian® wants to help.
A new feature called Experian Boost™ can help instantly improve your credit scores for free.
Experian does this by adding your positive payment history from utility and telecom bills to your Experian credit file. This is huge, because previously, your gas, water, electricity, TV, internet, and phone bills that you already pay for didn’t affect your credit. Now it does and to your benefit of potentially increasing your credit scores!
It’s simple to start, and all you need is a free Experian Boost membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you used to pay bills. Experian will check only utility and telecom payments and get you credit for the payments you’ve already been paying.
This process doesn’t hurt your credit at all and you can choose to remove the boost if you want.
Compared to expensive and drawn out credit repair services, this new alternative is the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores.
*Results may vary, see website for details.
5. Medical Emergencies Happen – Here’s How To Afford the Unexpected
True story: My cousin was on a cruise to Canada, and while coming down the stairs, she missed a step and tumbled down. She later found out that she broke several bones in her left foot, and was unable to go to work for 3 weeks because of a massive cast.
Unfortunately, accidents like this can happen and it could be disastrous to your wallet and potentially your career.
Sure, you can always prepare by having a savings account devoted to “what if” moments, but if you find yourself in a tight spot, there are options that can help, like Opploans.
Even if you have a poor credit score you could still get a personal loan for short-term financial needs such as 6 to 24 months. Definitely useful for unexpected situations.
Submitting an application doesn’t affect your FICO credit score, so check if there’s a short-term personal loan that you may need for a medical emergency, major purchases, life events and more.
Here’s who can qualify:
- Residents of AL, AR, AZ, CA, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, ND, NE, NV, NM, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, SC, WA, WI, WY, VA
- Have a minimum monthly income of $1,500 for the states listed above except AL is $3,500, and GA & ID is $3,000
- Employed at your current job for at least 3 months
- 18+ years old (19 if from AL or NE) and cannot be an active duty service member
- A traditional bank account in your name that’s been open for at least 90 days
- You get your paychecks via direct deposit
Qualified borrowers will be able to borrow up to $4,000 depending on their state and eligibility. And when monthly payments are made back on the loan, Opploans will notify the 3 credit bureaus to build up your payment history and in turn, build your credit history!
6. You Love Trying Out New Games
There are so many new games coming out on the daily that it’s hard to choose which to play.
My strategy? Only focus on the games that pay me for my time.
You can do it with AppStation, an app that pays you to try out new games.
When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:
- PayPal Cash
- Amazon gift card
- GameStop gift card
- PlayStation Store gift card
- Xbox Live gift card
- And too much more to list
Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.
If your friends want to get it on the money action, introduce them to AppStation, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!
7. Like a Real Life Daily Quest, Just Leave This App On & Get Paid
This is like a daily quest but you get paid in real life.
Panel App is a loyalty incentive app that will give you points just by leaving the app running in the background.
Because it gives you points on location, go ahead and enable location services. Then just turn the app on before you go about your day and head to school, work, gym wherever.
After testing it we think it’s a great (lazy) app that rewards you for doing almost nothing. If you’re still skeptical, know this:
- You don’t have to complete offers
- You don’t have to watch ads
- You don’t have to buy anything
- You don’t have to do anything but leave the app running
We snagged a $5 Amazon gift card via email after a few weeks of just leaving the app on and forgetting about it. You can also choose VISA gift cards, MasterCard gift cards or sweepstakes entries.
Overall, a solid choice for earning a bit of spending money for literally just leaving the app running on your phone!
8. Get Paid for Playing Free Digital Scratchers
Don’t bother going to the liquor store to buy physical scratchers, you can now play them for free on Lucktastic!
There are a ton of different scratchers you can play, and you can earn both cash and tokens. Scratched all of them for the day? Don’t worry, there are specific night-time scratchers that are available each night too!
You’ll also get free daily tokens and more ways to earn cash. It’s really simple to play as you just swipe your finger to “scratch.”
On my 5th scratcher, I won a $1! Yes, I’m completely addicted to this app.
When you want to redeem your earnings, you can choose from:
- Amazon gift card
- CVS gift card
- Dunkin’ Donuts gift card
- Check mailed to you
- Visa gift card
It’s free to download so there’s no harm in trying!
9. You Gotta Eat! Get Up to $240 Cash Back in Grocery Savings
If you’re following nutrition gurus or meal planners on Instagram, you know that your shopping list gets a little longer with each inspiration. I know mine does.
But I don’t feel too guilty though because my shiny things syndrome and basically everything I buy normally, give me a chance of getting cash back.
It’s simple. All you have to do is take a picture of your grocery receipt and Ibotta will pay you cash.
Here’s how it works:
Before you go to the store, search for your shopping list items in the Ibotta app. After your store visit, take a photo of your receipt to get cash back.
Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up!
Some offers we found:
- 25 cents back on any item
- $3 – $5 back on various wine
- $2 back on KIND Protein Bars
- 25 cents – $4 back on ice cream
- $2 back on Herbal Essence Haircare
Popular stores are Walmart and Target, but Ibotta also works at restaurants, online shopping sites, and at the bar! On average, active Ibotta users save up to $240 a year or more. What would you do with that extra money?
Welcome Bonus: Up to $20
Average savings a month: $20
What it could add up to in a year: $240
Additional Referral Earnings: $5 per referral
10. Make 2.12% Interest On Your Money with This Fee-Free Banking App
Traditional banks seem to take every opportunity they can to squeeze more money out of you. With everything from a monthly service fee to various hidden fees nibbling away at your account balance. Enter Varo which was founded to provide a fee-free banking service2.
Yep, Varo has no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees. On top of having no fees, Varo lets you make more money on your money. Varo provides a high-yield savings account that starts at 2.12% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1 that can move up to 2.80% APY1 based on qualifying activity. To put this into perspective, the average APY of the 5 biggest national banks is 0.09%.*
Varo has a few sweet extra features too:
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier4 (super helpful for rent!)
- No minimum balance requirement
- Over 55,000+ AllPoint® ATMs worldwide to use your Varo Visa® debit card
- Offers personal loans to pre-qualified customers who want to consolidate debt
- Varo will send any paper check to anyone in the U.S. on your behalf
- Varo Personal Forecast tracks your spending to manage your cash flow
- “Save the Change” rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference to your Varo savings account
If you’re sick of being charged banking fees and want to make more out of your money, check out Varo. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.
11. Spend Your Day Gaming and Get Paid for It!
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a way to make a quick and easy buck. Here’s where Mistplay comes in.
The low down on Mistplay: it’s an app for Android devices that allows players to choose from a variety of games, gather points, and redeem those points in for gift cards!
A few extra bucks on a gift card can go a long way, especially because Mistplay offers tons of companies to choose from. With companies such as Amazon, XBOX Live, PlayStation Network, and Visa there’s no shortage of options for everyone.
The “mixlist” shows all available games that you can play and earn points. Mistplay tracks the time a user spends on the app, so the longer you play the more you can earn!Make sure to check in on a semi-regular basis in order to ensure you keep all your credits as the app resets after 180 days – which is AMPLE time to win some easy extra cash.
Mistplay is even giving our readers an extra 100 points (on top of the 200 given just for signing up) with code Bonus_100! Easy money just got easier.
Don’t waste any more time, start gaming and start earning today!
12. Protect Your Family – Get $1 Million in Life Insurance for as Little as $8/Month
When you hear “life insurance” the first 2 things that might come to mind are death and finances. Ultimately it’s “I love you” money to your family after you’ve passed away.
So for most people, life insurance is logical but the long process could be deterring. Some life insurance companies can take up to 2.5 months for the approval process to complete, including lots of paperwork and a comprehensive medical exam which may not always be necessary.
But one company is trying to change all that. Bestow’s mission is to offer affordable term life insurance in under 5 minutes without you having to talk to anyone. No exam needed either.
You can get up to $1 million in coverage and they offer 2 years, 10 years and 20 years term options.
All of Bestow’s policies are underwritten by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, who’s been around for over 100 years and holds an A+ (Superior) rating with A.M. Best, a global credit rating agency for insurance companies.
In plain English terms, it means your policy is backed by dependable insurance giants who have been serving customers for many years.
So if you’re between the ages of 21-55, here’s what they’ll ask:
- Your basic information (Name, Email, Address, SSN etc)
- Some Life questions (medical history, hobbies, lifestyle)
- Beneficiaries (who would receive the money after insured’s death)
- Policy and payment details (If approved, you choose the monthly payment and enter credit card info)
Each policy has a “free look” period (usually 30 days) which means you can cancel if it’s not right for you and get a full refund.
And you can easily change your policy at any time based on life events like marriage, job loss, divorce etc.
Life insurance talk isn’t fun but Bestow is attempting to make it as easy as possible for people to get covered quickly. Go ahead and see what your rates are in just under 5 minutes. It’s the biggest “I love you” you can give to your loved ones.
*Bestow is currently not available in New York
13. Compare Prices While Shopping Online (& Get Money Back if You Forget To)
Forgetting to compare prices while shopping online can leave a lot of deals left behind. But there’s an easier way to get compensation if the price every drops.
A free tool called Paribus gets you money back on select online purchases even after you’ve bought them.
Price changes happen all the time after checkout. And now you can get a refund of the price difference back at online stores that Paribus
monitors! (For example, Target, Kohl’s, GAP, Best Buy, Walmart and more.)
They do this by checking your inbox for email receipts. (Don’t worry, they don’t open any other email and their tech logic only identifies emails that are receipts.) Once they’ve found a receipt that has at least a $3 price drop, they’ll alert you then contact the retailer on your behalf to get the money or tell you how to get the refund back.
Also? If your guaranteed shipment is late from Amazon Prime or Walmart, they’ll help you get compensated! Perfect for the upcoming holiday season when gifts in hand are important.
Your savings mileage will vary but Paribus is 100% free to use and all the savings are yours to keep. Your pair of shoes dropped $7? You get $7 back.
14. Binge on Food, Entertainment, Health & Tech News TV for Money
I can barely cook but I love watching food videos. The new season of Chef’s Table? I’m there.
If you’re a video junkie too, become an Inbox Dollars member where you can watch theirTV and Videos section that ranges from Trending News, Entertainment, Food, Health, Tech, and even the latest World News to earn some cash. You’ll also get $5 as a sign-up bonus too!
They set it up in playlists though and they’ll tell you how long it takes as it can range from a few minutes to half an hour. Tip: You can set it to Play, open up another browser tab and let the videos run while you continue doing something else if you’re multi-tasking!
Playlists and earning potential can change, but it’s possible to earn up to $200 a month, watching videos!
15. Free Gift Cards in Exchange for Lock Screen Ads
The average person unlocks their phone 110 times per day – that’s a lot of time spent looking at a screen for free.
With S’more you get paid every day you unlock your phone. It’s even easier than it sounds, and since you can cash out with as little as $1 there’s no waiting around for your rewards.
They partner up with brands looking for more impressions (aka your eyeballs) and you don’t need to click on anything to get paid either.
S’mores pays in gift cards so you can redeem for:
- AMC Theaters
- Best Buy
- Domino’s Pizza
- Starbucks and more!
Just use your phone normally, and your earnings will apply daily. Pretty much the easiest thing to do.
16. Upload a Service Provider Bill & Get a Free $10 to Spend at Starbucks
Go ahead and hang up the phone. Escape the hours of on hold music.
If you hate dealing with service provider reps, then let BillBargain handle it all for you. Their team of experts knows all the tricks to get the best prices available on your bill negotiation.
Just upload a current bill from your cable, wireless, internet, or home phone provider, and BillBargain will get to work on your behalf to negotiate it down (and will keep doing so regularly).
BONUS: For a limited time, you’ll also get a free $10 to spend at Starbucks just by uploading a bill. Skipping caffeine? You can also choose Walmart, CVS, Olive Garden, Best Buy or Chipotle to get a gift card from!
On average, BillBargain saves its customers $300 on their current service plans (sometimes with free upgrades!), so see how much they can save you and also grab a free $10.
If there are no savings, there’s no charge. If successful, they’ll just take 40% of the annual savings and you’ll still come out ahead. Upload a bill, and see how much you could save. Since it’s completely free to try, why not?
17. Save Thousands on Car Repairs With This Top 10 Ranked Extended Car Warranty
When the honeymoon phase and the too-short dealership car warranty quickly wears off after 3-4 years, that’s when you know that expensive car repairs will hit you soon.
The older the car, the more maintenance it needs, so when stuff starts breaking post-warranty protect yourself with an extended car warranty.
This only makes sense for those planning on keeping their car around for a while but you can save yourself thousands of dollars on car repairs when you search for an extended warranty on Complete Car Warranty and get a free quote.
All you need to do is fill in your vehicle’s make, model, and mileage to get quotes on extended warranties that cover unlimited repair claims and gets accepted at all dealers and mechanics.
Also? Consumers Advocate ranked them as Top 10 for 2019 Car Warranties!
Get peace of mind and save yourself costly repairs by getting an extended warranty. You’ll also save up to 60% by going direct too.
18. Play Games & Boost Your Savings at the Same Time. Win-Win.
It’s okay if you prefer to play video games all day instead of thinking about money since we’ve got the perfect app for you.
Go ahead and download Long Game Savings a savings app that turns saving into a game.
Just play 1 game a day, and you could win cash daily.
Yes, it’s safe. Your money is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 and you can withdraw money at any time.
After setting up your savings account, you’ll be able to play quick games like Spin to Win, Flip Cards, Slot Machines, and more for chances to win money to increase your savings. Eons better than 0.01% interest rate.
It’s like you’re getting paid to save and it only takes less than a minute of your day to play. And there’s no judgment on playing too many games this new year.
19. Find Out Why 1 Million People Start Their Day With This
While in college and preparing for the business world, Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief realized their classmates all felt the same way: traditional business news was dry, dense and boring. Their fellow millennials wanted to keep up with what was happening but didn’t have a news source that spoke to them.
That’s why they started Morning Brew – the free daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Written in a conversational tone and sprinkled with punchy humor, it makes reading the news actually enjoyable.
From Elon Musk’s latest move to the stock market’s highs and lows, Morning Brew covers the top news shaping the business world. With a touch of culture and lifestyle stories, you’ll get up-to-speed on what you need to know in just five minutes.
Find out why over 1 million people start their day with Morning Brew — sign up for free here.
BONUS: Get a Free $25 to Invest in Women and Deal with the Gender Pay Gap
You already know that women make less than men.
20% less actually(*)
So while women are almost half the workforce, earn more college and graduate degrees than men, there is still a gender pay gap to this day.
Also? Women’s salaries tend to peak earlier than men and their earnings drop significantly after having a child.(*) Men don’t.
That’s why it’s even more important to save for retirement, especially if you’re female. With females living at least 5 years longer than men(*), we have a very unique set of obstacles to overcome with our financials and to make sure we have enough money when we most need it.
That’s why Ellevest exists. It’s an investment service created by and designed for women.
Men are welcome to join as well but it’s the first company to take on the gender pay gap, different lifetime earnings, and longevity into account when constructing a portfolio.
It’s great for women that are just beginning to invest, want a more hands-off approach or those interested in goal-based investing (like Home, Retirement, Emergency Fund etc).
So while fewer women tend to invest vs men, studies show that when they do, they outperform men because they don’t overtrade, don’t panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.(*)
When you start with Ellevest, you’ll choose some goals and then rank them in importance. You’ll then fill in some details on your current financial standings and then their system will analyze what you’ll need to achieve your goals. All the while, taking into account your current savings contributions, inflations, salary growth projects and other variables unique to females.
With a $0 minimum and low fees, you could be taking control of your retirement in a few minutes when you set up a customized investment plan. Review first then commit later. Your future mature you will be thanking you.
Bonus: For a limited time, The Smart Wallet readers get a free $25 towards their first funded goal with no minimum balance!
We’re excited to be working with Ellevest to start this conversation about women and money. We will receive compensation if you become an Ellevest client.*
BONUS #2: $500+ Savings Everyday in this Simple Coupon App. Check it Before Your Next Shopping Trip
“Oh it’s ok, I don’t need any more money.” – said no one ever.
If you don’t already have a folder on your phone dedicated to cash back apps, it’s probably a good idea to start one. And then you can add the Coupons.com app to it.
Founded 20 years ago, it’s the OG digital coupons company where people could clip the coupons online and then print them all at once. It was the easiest way to coupon.
Now they’ve streamlined the process even more with the Coupons.com app. Basically, there are 100s of coupons with over $500 savings you can use every day for shoppingon your favorite brands like Starbucks, Pepsi, Crest, Tide, etc and at your preferred stores.
There are 3 ways to use the app:
- Use the Load-to-Card feature where you can clip digital coupons to load them onto your store’s loyalty card at over 35 retailers (your savings will automatically apply at checkout)
- Get cash back when you take a picture of your receipt and upload it onto the app
- Print coupons from the app and use them at checkout
Cash Back is great for stores that don’t have loyalty cards like Target, Walmart, and warehouse clubs. Typically, you’ll get cash back within 48 hours of uploading your receipt and there’s no minimum to cash out to your PayPal! You can redeem after each trip if you want instead of waiting for a specific amount.
So go and add this app to your collection because there’s no such thing as saving too much.
*1 in 5 consumers credit report error source: Federal Trade Commission 2013 study
*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
*0.09% national average APY: FDIC.gov
*OppLoans APR ranges from 59%-199% depending on your state of residence (Rates and Terms here). Credit reporting not available for Texas residents.
*EverQuote’s individual savings, if any, and premiums will vary by customer. Savings amount based on countrywide survey of users from Nov 2018 to Apr 2019 who reported old and new premiums.
Some of the sponsored links that appear on this page are from companies that offer investment advisory services. They compensate us; for details on our compensation arrangements, please click here.