Do you have any idea how much money you should have saved right now? Without a financial adviser, it’s hard to really know where you should be at this stage in life — especially because dealing with money seems to get more stressful the older we get.
When you’re 50 years old, experts recommend having five years’ worth of salary saved. So if you’re making $50,000, you should have $250,000 saved for retirement.
So are you close? Or are you a few zeros — or commas — away? No matter where you stand, we’ve rounded up some tips that can help you get there (plus, ways to protect your money once you’ve earned it).
1. Leave your family $1M — no matter how much you have saved.
These savings goals aren’t only about you. You’d like to leave your family something, too, right? Look, not all of us have the money to set up trust funds for our loved ones. But you could still leave them up to $1 million in life insurance — even if you haven’t reached your savings goal yet.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for this. But it takes minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.
We hear people are paying as little as $8 a month. (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.) It takes just minutes to get a free quote and see how much life insurance you can leave your loved ones — even if you don’t have seven figures in your bank account.
2. See if you can get more money from this company.
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash right now?
Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 5% back every time you swipe.
Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.
Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.
You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
3. Ask this website to pay your credit card bills this month.
If you have credit card debt, the interest payments your credit card companies are charging could be costing you thousands of dollars — money that could be going into your savings account instead.
There is a way to eliminate that credit card debt and spare you the high interest payments. It’s called debt consolidation, and a free website called AmOne could help wipe out all of your credit card debt by the end of the week.
AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan to pay off all your credit cards at once. Its interest rates start at 3.49 percent — way lower than the 20 percent or more you’re probably paying your credit card company. Again, that could put thousands of dollars back into your bank account in the long run.
Plus, you’ll be debt-free that much faster.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online.
4. Check if you’re wasting $826 on this one bill.
If you’re looking at your retirement savings and feeling behind, it might not be your fault. You could be getting ripped off by one of your biggest monthly bills — your car insurance.
A free website called Savvy will help you find the best rates — in just 30 seconds. In fact, it saves people an average of $826 a year. Imagine what that extra money could do for your savings.
Savvy will search hundreds of insurers for a better price on the same coverage. It’ll even help you cancel your old policy and get you a refund from your current insurer. Best yet: This is totally free.
To get started, just show Savvy your current insurance info. Then if it finds you a better deal, you can switch right away and don’t have to wait for your next renewal or even your next payment.
5. Spend $1 to own a piece of Amazon, Google or other companies.
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.*
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1. The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**
6. Make a budget and stick to it.
This may sound like personal finance 101 — but that’s because it is.
When you need to focus on building up your nest egg, it’s super important to make a budget. By staying on budget, we can keep our long-term savings on track.
One of the simplest ways to get your budget in check is to use the 50/30/20 rule.
Here’s how it works: Take your monthly income and divide the after-tax amount in half. That’s your essentials budget (50 percent) for things like rent, utilities and groceries. Take the rest, and divide it into personal spending (30 percent for takeout, shopping and entertainment) and financial goals (20 percent).
Once you’ve divided your expenses, see what you can limit or eliminate. Pour that extra money into your financial goals, like your savings.
Find the balance that works best for you and stick to it!
7. Let this app pay you up to $83 when you win Solitaire games.
Wherever you are in your savings goal, we could all use some extra income. Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?
There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.
You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?
Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.
With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.
Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).
To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.
*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.