2020 Destroyed Your Finances – Here’s How to Get Them Back
Last year wasn’t fun for anyone. If you’re one of the 4 million Americans who’ve been jobless for the past 6 months, you’ve more than likely exhausted your finances, and you might be at the end of your rope. However, we’re here to tell you that all hope is not lost. With the Biden Administration’s financial plans to help middle- and lower-class Americans and the COVID vaccine rollout, things are starting to look up.
In the meantime, here are some ways you can save and make some money while you’re waiting for the economy to bounce back.
- Don’t overspend
Capital One Shopping is a free tool you can add to your web browser that alerts you to cheaper prices before you pay on an eCommerce site. It scours multiple retailers to find the exact product you’re about to purchase and if it finds a better price, a pop-up will appear on your screen letting you know. It also finds any applicable coupon codes and applies them, making the price even cheaper.
- Get paid for buying groceries
Download the Fetch Rewards app to get rewarded just for buying groceries. Just take a picture of your receipt after grocery shopping, showing you purchased an item from one of the brands listed in Fetch, and you can earn gift cards to places such as Amazon and Walmart.
- Get paid to watch the news
It’s hard to avoid the news these days. While you may try to avoid it because of the seemingly-endless stream of in-your-face information, InboxDollars wants you to embrace it by paying you to watch it. Earn up to $225 a month by signing up, watching short news clips, and then answering a few questions. Just answer honestly and InboxDollars will keep paying you every month. But you don’t just have to watch the news. You can get paid to play video games, take online surveys, read emails and shop online.
- Use this debit card to get cash back
The Aspiration debit card will give you up to 5% cash back every time you swipe it to make purchases. Whether you’re buying groceries or gas, as long as you’re buying from a socially-conscious company, you’ll get rewarded. Not only will you earn cash back and save money on bank fees, but Aspiration donates 10 cents of every dollar of its earnings to charitable activities that expand economic opportunities.
- Get educated
While you’re working to save and earn extra money, one of the best ways to take control of your finances in the long-run is to educate yourself. The internet provides all sorts of free financial educational resources for both adults and children. Here are a just a few of them:
- The National Endowment for Financial Education offers free online courses, quizzes, and other learning activities.
- Next Gen Personal Finance is a nonprofit personal finance organization that offers activities on topics like investing, budgeting, and paying for college, as well as free lesson plans on saving, managing credit, and other financial topics.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers content on its website on home buying, getting a loan, and paying for college. Kids will like the Money as You Grow section, which has lots of fun and age-appropriate activities about how to manage finances.
- For a more visually-stimulating learning experience, Napkin Finance uses sketches and images to explain often complicated concepts like individual retirement accounts, debt, and budgets.
- If you prefer reading books, The Psychology of Money, by Morgan Housel, Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth by Nick Murray and the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series are all great resources.
- Make changes to the way you spend
We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. Set financial goals you want to achieve in 2021 and work toward them. Be more mindful about your spending. Keep track of everything you spend for a week. Then go through that list and decide what you can live without for a while, at least until you’re able to get back on your feet. Many times we buy things out of emotion; not because we necessarily need these items but because they make us feel better. If you’re able to reduce that kind of emotional spending and just buy groceries, gas, and pay your bills, then you’ll begin to notice you can live without that new piece of clothing or the latest piece of technology.
Knowing that the pandemic will still be here for much of 2021, start utilizing these tips now so you don’t have another year like 2020. And remember, while you may need to find ways to make money quickly and easily right now, educating yourself and setting goals will be much more impactful to your financial stability in the long-run.