People are always looking for a quick way to make a buck. There are plenty of blogs and sites out there that promise you ways to make “free” money and typically are too good to be true. The reality is most of us would like to lower our bills or make more money. Below are some real-world, practical ways to potentially help you make (or save) hundreds or thousands of dollars over time.
1. Use the website Unclaimed.org
It is not uncommon for people to not collect money owed to them because they move, it gets lost or whatever happens in life. This website can help you or loved ones find the money you never collected. Simply go to the website, click on the state (or states) that you lived in on the map and search to see if there is money out there.
2. Review Class Action Lawsuits
Use a website like ClassAction.org to see if there are lawsuits that are pending that you should be included in? These can range from unscrupulous sales tactics from companies to data breaches or other unsavory business practices. Using a website like this can help alert you to potential settlement money that you may qualify for with little to no effort.
3. Maximize Employer Benefits
Many people leave free money on the table by not taking advantage of the company match on their retirement account. For example, if your company offered a match of up to 4%, make sure to contribute AT LEAST 4% to get free money. Sign up for an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) if it is available. This allows you to buy your company’s stock, typically at a discount of 10% – 15%. Lastly, look for other benefits that your employer may offer like health and wellness benefits.
4. Refinance Your Home Mortgage
Rates are near all-time lows and if you haven’t reviewed your interest rate in the last couple years you may be paying more then you need. By completing a refinance, you can lower your rate and save money each month on your payment. If you have the cash flow you may want to consider refinancing to a 15-year to possibly save thousands in interest.
5. Refinance Student Loans
With low-interest rates you may be paying more in interest then you need to, especially if you have older student loans. A refinance may be advantageous to save you hundreds or potentially thousands and keep more money in your pocket on a monthly basis.
6. Use a Credit Card (Correctly)
Using a credit card to pay for everything is great to maximize rewards and to protect yourself from identity theft. Credit cards provide better protection then cash or debit cards and most have some form of rewards program. Use a card with a good rewards program to maximize points or cashback and pay the balance off each month to avoid paying any interest.
7. Review Auto Insurance
Most people will get a policy and then stick with the company for years. Meanwhile, premiums increase over time and you may have more coverage than needed. If it has been a few years it would be a good time to make sure you have the proper coverage at the best rates possible.
8. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Every company nowadays wants you to sign up for a subscription that automatically debits your cards each month. Review and cancel subscriptions you are not using. I recently canceled a subscription linked to an app for my kids that was $20 bucks a month. One of these may not make a dent but often people have several and are paying for things they never use. Review subscription you did through your mobile device, monthly delivery services or entertainment services that are not being used.
9. Sell Belongings you No Longer Use
There are many great ways nowadays to find great deals or sell old items. Are there items you are not using like old children’s toys, clothes or appliances? If so list them on Facebook groups or sites like OfferUp. This can help declutter your home while putting some extra spending money in your pocket.
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