Remember overdrafting while you waited for your next paycheck to come — that was the worst, am I right?
There’s not enough money in your bank account — so your bank gets its revenge by helping itself to $35 of all that money you don’t have.
Ho ho ho, I just love overdraft fees, you say to yourself. What a fun game this is!Thanks a lot, BANK.
But you’ve moved past that. You’ve finally reached a point in your life where you have a real job and a grown-up income. It’s a sweet feeling and a serious win. You’ve achieved a level of financial stability, and you’re not getting hit with these ridiculous fees.
What to Do Now That You Don’t Have to Worry About Money So Much
Now that you’re not worried about running your bank account down every week, it’s time to think about what you want to achieve next with your money. Do you need to save more? Buy a home? Invest?
What’s the next step you should take? This is all part of adulting, you know. What are some specific things you can do you to take your finances to the next level?
We’ve got some ideas for you:
1. Invest in Real Estate — Even If You’re Not Rich
Now that the ground beneath your feet is stable, it’s time to spread your wings further.
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 invested in portfolios that own 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).
2. Get a Big Discount on Your Car Insurance
For many, car insurance is just one of those things where we cave in and pay. Because, just like the electric bill and phone service, we need it, right?
Yes. There’s no getting around car insurance, unfortunately. But one way you could save money is by shopping and comparing rates twice a year.
“Not only can a lot of circumstances in your life and your car (mileage, age) change in that time, but insurance companies may be changing their pricing as well, and you want to be sure you’re getting the right coverage, service and of course pricing to suit your changing needs,” says Alyssa Connolly, the director of marketing insights at The Zebra.
According to The Zebra’s 2019 State of Insurance report, consumers just aren’t doing this. And car insurance rates keep increasing, with the average person paying $1,470 a year for coverage.
The takeaway? Compare rates regularly. The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.
Just enter information about your car and your coverage needs, and The Zebra shows dozens of side-by-side quotes from top insurance companies for free.
3. Secure $1 Million in Life Insurance for Just $25/Month
“The biggest mistake I see millennials making is being duped by insurance salesmen,” says Andy Yadro, a financial planner with Googins Advisors in Madison, Wisconsin. “Everyone needs insurance, but a very small subset of young people need the insurance that is sold by most ‘financial advisors.’”
You might still consider a basic life insurance policy, which can be useful if you have loved ones who rely on your income — a significant other, a child or even a relative you help out financially.
A company like Policygenius offers you an easy way to compare and buy life insurance. Unlike traditional providers, this online-only platform provides an easy way to apply, and it offers instant quotes from top carriers online to help you make a quicker decision.
To get your quotes, you’ll just enter some info about yourself and your health online. Once you choose a life insurance company, you can apply right online, and a Policygenius rep will give you a quick call to ask a few follow-up questions.
4. Opt in for Autopay to Save on Bills
Opting in for autopay on some of your bills could earn you a discount.
Because the fear of overdrafting isn’t hanging over your head anymore, you have no reason to fear autopay now. ANOTHER ACCOMPLISHMENT.
Cell service providers, utilities and student loan companies all love it when you opt into a monthly autopay plan. That way, they can count on your payment rolling in like clockwork.
They love it so much, they might even give you a discount. For example, many student loan providers will give you a quarter-percent discount on your interest rate for using an autopay function, and that savings will really add up over time.
Lots of cell phone companies will kick in a monthly discount of around $5 if you use autopay.
This also helps with credit cards. If you make your payments automatically, they’re never late — so your credit cards won’t jack up your interest rates.
5. The Bank Might Loan You up to $100K
Now that you’re salary is higher, you have a better chance of qualifying for a personal loan up to $100K. This can be useful if you want to consolidate debt, take on some home renovation or to start a business.
A good resource is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.
Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. If your credit score is at least 620, its platform can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 3.84% and terms from 24 to 84 months.
6. Cut Your Your Homeowner’s Insurance Bill by up to 25%
It’s OK to feel protective over your home; you worked hard to purchase it.
That’s why you need homeowners insurance — to ease your mind, at least a little. But navigating policies can be difficult, and plans can be pricy.
The good news is your options are shifting, and it’s easier to find the best coverage — with the best price tag — for you.
A company called Hippo gives you accurate and free quotes online in about 60 seconds. It saves customers hundreds of dollars a year because it automates the process and passes the money saved along to you.
Plus Hippo will help cancel your existing insurance policy at no extra cost and automatically switch you over to your shiny new plan.
Heads up: Hippo is available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.