It’s that time of year again! Refunds are being deposited and everyone is loving the extra numbers added to their accounts. Even if you’re a little late in filing this year, it’s still something extra to look forward to. However, if you’re like most of us, it’s spent as soon as it hits your account. So, what are ways that you can make your refunds save and create you more money?
Start Investing with Apps
Obvious, yes, I know, but investing is still a valuable way to create more money for yourself. Especially when it comes from income that you only expect once a year! The best part about using your refunds to save and create money with apps is that it can be automated, so you don’t need to lift a finger.
Here are some highly recommended apps that I’ve found:
Robinhood A great place to start if you’re a beginner looking to build your portfolio. Robinhood allows you sign up for free and it doesn’t charge you a commission for trading. Its simple design makes it easy to understand what’s trending in the market, so you don’t get caught up in the jargon. If you like it, they also offer a Gold membership that starts at $10 per month.
Acorn This nifty software connects your bank and starts your investments by rounding up the dollars on purchases made with your account. If you link your debit card, Acorn will show you companies that will even give you cash back for your purchases. Acorn recommends which diversified portfolio is best tailored to your finances and goals but it’s ultimately your choice! You can also start a retirement fund and a checking account for as little as $1, $2, or $3 per month! That’s a lot cheaper than some of the average banks.
Stash If you’re looking for a more ‘hands-on’ approach with your portfolio, Stash should be on the top of your list. It’s similar to Acorn, but it gives you the content you need to understand where your money is going and how to build a portfolio based on your interests. With retirement and banking options, you can get started with just $5 towards your first investment!
Pay Off Small Debts
Now that we have some options out there about where to invest your money, what about payments you already handle on a monthly basis? That’s right, I’m talking about credit cards and loans! The interest on these suckers add up and cause you to lose money in the long run.
According to Experian, the APR (average percentage rate) of a credit card is about 16%. This depends on your credit history, which could be higher if you don’t have a good score. Say you have a card with a 16% interest rate, a balance of $200, and you’re making the minimum payments of $20 per month. You would think that could be payed off in a year, right?
Wrong. You’re paying an additional $32 on top of that balance. The APR breaks itself down by charging you each month based on how much your minimum payment is. It will take you an additional 2 months to pay your balance.
Now, that may not seem like a big deal if it’s a small amount, but it’s a good example for showing you how much you’re really paying. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather pay off my balance in full and know that I’m saving myself money in the long run!
Now that I’ve shared ways that your refunds can save and create more money, I hope that you’ll see the value in these methods. If you invest a few dollars today, you could be reaping the benefits by this time next year! It would be the same amount of time that it took to pay off that $200 balance, so why not give it a try?