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Life would be a whole lot easier if someone would just Venmo us $1 million, but unfortunately the chance of that happening is, well, probably zero. (Venmo doesn’t allow transactions that large anyway.)
But even though our chances of becoming a millionaire are slim, we can still manage our money like one. No, we’re not going to tell you how to buy hundreds of shares of Apple stock. Or how to pick out the perfect yacht.
These are simple money moves any normal, non-millionaire person can make today. Each tip can get you closer to achieving your big goals.
Take a look:
1. Have the Same Credit Score as a Millionaire — Without The Bank Account
Good news for us “normal” folk: Your credit score has nothing to do with your income. Yes, having more money might mean you don’t have to take out loans or buy groceries on credit. But, in reality, you and me could have the same credit score as, say, a certain someone who owns Amazon. Heck, ours could be even better.
So if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — try using a free website called Credit Sesame.
Within two minutes, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.* “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Getting your free credit score takes less than two minutes.
2. Secure $1 Million in Life Insurance for Just $5/Month
Did you know you can leave your family $1 million — without being a millionaire? Yup, life insurance could really help your family get by without your income.
Now’s 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 $1 million by spending $5 a month on life insurance with a company called Bestow.
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. Use up Your Entire Paycheck
No, we’re not talking about going to Whole Foods and buying out its fancy cheese supply (though that’s the first thing we’d do if we had $1 million). Instead, we’re talking about creating a zero-based budget, a budget that finds a place for your every dollar.
You’ll want to start by tracking a month of expenses. How much do you (or don’t you) have remaining? Then, consider your financial goals. Do you want to save money? Invest money? Pay off debt?
4. Let This Website Shave Money off Your Credit Card Debt
Truth be told, your credit card company is probably ripping you off with insane rates — yup, it’s getting rich off of you. (Ahem, now we know how some of these millionaires are made.)
But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out, including a website called Upstart.
Here’s how it works: Upstart will loan you up to $50,000 to cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan.
At first it might sound like you’re just moving your debt around, but the key is to find a loan with better interest rates or lower monthly payments.
Upstart won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just five minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).
5. See If Your Cell Phone Company Owes You $80
Is your cell phone company overcharging you?
Probably. In fact, there are secret discounts it doesn’t want you to know about.
But a tool called Trim knows how get them for you. William Ellis, a savvy saver from Indiana, was able to get $80 a year back in his pocket when Trim convinced Sprint to lower his bill — for the same plan. He didn’t even have to pick up the phone.
You can find out how much you’re overpaying by signing up for Trim. Then, Trim handles the rest.
Trim takes an upfront commission on any money it recovers for you, but there’s no charge if it’s not successful. Last month, Trim saved its users more than $1 million.
6. Invest 15 Cents Into the Stock Market
It’s no secret millionaires invest in the stock market, but you don’t have to be a millionaire to get your investing start.
And, yeah, we know what you’re thinking: 15 cents? How’s that going to do me any good? Well, you’ve got to start somewhere, and that leftover change from your morning coffee and evening grocery haul could turn into more than $1,000.
That’s what happened when Penny Hoarder reader Jeremy Kolodziej opened an investment account with Acorns. The app’s round-up feature bumps each of your purchases up to the nearest dollar and puts the spare change into the stock market, which helped him mindlessly save $1,076 in about 20 months.
“It’s a virtual coin jar,” he says. “You don’t even think about it.” He used the spare change to pay for two vacations.
Plus, Acorns invested the money for him, allowing him to grow his savings — without studying stock prices or managing trades.
The app is $1 a month for balances under $1 million, and you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up.
7. Save up to $865 a Year on Car Insurance — for the Same Coverage
Millionaire or not, no one wants to overpay any of their bills. So when was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? Was it more than six months ago?
If so, you’re probably overpaying — by hundreds of dollars. Yep. Experts say you should compare rates twice a year to get the best deal.
Twice a year? Yeah, we don’t want to do that either.
A service called Gabi does all the shopping for you to find cheaper insurance — with the same coverage and deductibles you already have. And it saves customers an average of $865 a year.
You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s licence, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.
Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings. No more shopping.
*Like Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits