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16 Scholarships for Adults Returning to College MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:9 Minute, 25 Second

Applying to college and figuring out how to pay for it is a rite of passage for many high school seniors.

But what about adult students who have been out of school for a while? There’s no school guidance counselor to show you the way, parents probably can’t help you through the FAFSA, and chances are you have a lot of other financial considerations— like how to keep paying your bills while putting yourself through school.

The good news is that there are scholarships specifically intended for adult students, which can make going back to school a lot easier on your budget. So who exactly qualifies for a scholarship as an adult student? We’ll dive into that next.

Who’s Considered an ‘Adult Student’?

While eligibility requirements will vary depending on the scholarship, an adult student (or “nontraditional student”) is generally anyone beyond the age of a high school senior. This might be someone who took a break between high school and college, or someone in the workforce looking to return to school. It might also be a single parent, a later-in-life learner, or a graduate student looking for financial relief from their accumulating student loans. In other words, “adult student” can mean a lot of things.

The key thing to hone in on for these scholarships is whatever makes your application stand out and to make sure that you have the qualifications to apply for the specific scholarship. Some of them are for women exclusively and others are for specific majors.

What could make your application stand out could be your status as a single parent, or it might be that you want to go back to school to further your career in a specific industry— like hospitality or engineering. It might also be that you can demonstrate financial need, which many scholarships will ask about.

Whenever searching for scholarships, you should also consider what kind of degree you’re hoping to get, since some scholarships may be specifically for undergraduate or graduate degrees, while others are for those attending a vocational school.

Pro Tip

By focusing on what makes you unique, you’ll be able to find the scholarships that are looking to reward adult students just like you.

16 College Scholarships for Adult Students

One more tip before you scroll through these scholarship opportunities: Fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA doesn’t just help you get financial aid from your school. Some financial-need-based scholarships (aka most of them) require information from your completed FAFSA, as well.

Translation? FAFSA is your first step in qualifying for any and all student aid — whether its scholarships, grants, or student loans.

Another thing to keep in mind? There’s no age limit to receive federal financial aid, including Pell Grants, which you don’t even have to pay back after graduation.

So go ahead and fill out that application, and once you do, check out this list of scholarships for adult students.

Most of these scholarships are recurring year to year and if you are too late to apply for 2022, remember them for next year.

1. AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship

Enter to win this $500 scholarship by completing a free profile at AfterCollege.

To qualify, you must be enrolled in an accredited, degree-seeking program (anything from your associates to an undergraduate or a graduate degree qualifies) with at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants must fill out a quick form and submit a short (200-word), “resume-style” personal statement highlighting their goals.

The deadline to apply is June 30, 2022. Deadline for 2023 not available yet.

2. College JumpStart Scholarship

The College JumpStart Scholarship is open to adult learners and provides a $1,000 scholarship to a student “committed to using education to better [their] life and that of [their] family and/or community.”

Applicants must submit a 250-word personal statement based on one of a handful of required prompts. You should be enrolled in a two- or four-year college or a vocational school, or plan to enroll in the next 12 months.

The fall deadline for applications is Oct. 17, and the spring deadline is April 15.

3. Courage to Grow Scholarship

Any college student (who’s also a U.S. Citizen) with at least a 2.5 GPA may apply for this $500 scholarship that recognizes one winner each month. Applicants must explain why they deserve the scholarship in 250 words or less. The award is sent directly to the winner’s school.

Some previous winners listed on the site mentioned they applied several times before being selected.

Pro Tip

If you’re a senior adult, you can take college courses for free or cheap, and many institutions offer the chance to earn credits toward a degree. Here’s how to find them in every state.

4. Dr. Angela Grant Memorial Scholarship

Cancer survivors or students with family members affected by cancer may apply for a scholarship worth up to $5,000.

Applicants must write an essay outlining their personal achievements and career goals, and give two personal references. Undergraduate and graduate students may apply between Jan. 1 (when the application is posted online) and May 1 (the date by which it must be postmarked). This foundation awards between one and three awards each year.

5. HotelPlanner.com Scholarship

Military vets and their family pursuing a degree related to technology may apply for one of these $1,000 scholarships from HotelPlanner.com. The company awards 10 scholarships two times per year. Applicants must submit a 500-word article describing what they plan to achieve with their degree, their financial need, and if/how their military experience sparked an interest in technology.

The fall deadline is Dec. 15 and the summer deadline is Aug. 15.

6. Executive Women International ASIST Scholarship

Executive Women International (EWI) offers the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) scholarship to women and men looking to improve their economic outlook through education. Applicants must apply through their school’s chapter. Qualified applicants move to a national round where EWI awards 13 scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

The application period opens each January.

EWI gives preference to applicants facing economic, social, or physical challenges.

7. Imagine America Adult College Grants

Adult students attending or enrolled in an eligible Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP) can apply for a $1,000 award from the Imagine America Foundation.

Interested students must complete the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) Student Success Assessment before submitting their application.

8. Niche “No Essay” Sweepstakes Scholarship

Set up a free Niche account to enter this monthly sweepstakes with a $2,000 cash prize. This scholarship is open to all high school seniors, college, or graduate students who plan to enroll within the next 12 months. The scholarship can be used to cover any education related expenses including tuition, books, or even housing.

New winners are selected every month and there’s no limit to how many months you can apply throughout the year!

9. Return 2 College Scholarship Program

Anyone 17 and up who is starting college in the next year or is already enrolled can apply for this $1,000 scholarship.

You must submit a three-sentence essay that explains why you are getting your degree. If three sentences doesn’t seem like enough, no worries — you can submit up to 12 entries to more fully explain your academic goals. Awardees can use the scholarship toward any level degree.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

10. ‘Scholarship Detective’ Launch Scholarship

This scholarship search engine offers two annual $1,000 scholarships to raise awareness about their free online service, which helps students of all ages find scholarships based on eligibility requirements.

The application shouldn’t take you long to complete, with the longest section requiring a 140 character (between 20 and 40 words) explanation of how you plan to use the scholarship money. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31.

11. SuperCollege Scholarship

Any student pursuing higher education or planning to start may enter this annual random drawing for $1,000 — only incomplete applications will be disqualified. The winner may use the money for tuition, books or any other education-related expense.

The deadline for the next scholarship is June 30, 2022. Details for 2023 not released yet.

Pro Tip

You have your own tuition to worry about, but do you also have college-bound kids? Here’s how to help them pay for college without sinking your own financial ship.

12. Unigo $10K Scholarship

If you’re enrolled in college or plan to be, you can apply for this $10,000 award. Applicants must write a 250-word essay on the following topic: ‘Would you rather be smart, funny or rich? Why?’

The deadline is Dec. 31, and winners will be announced in March. Visit Unigo for a list of the website’s other scholarships. There’s something for everyone, and the essay requirements are usually brief!

13. Single Parent Scholarships

For any adult student who’s also the sole provider for a child—you might want to check out this list of Single Parent Scholarships on Scholarships.com. These opportunities range in value from $1,000 to $20,000, with application deadlines throughout the year.

Not a single parent? Use Scholarships.com to find out which scholarships you may be eligible for anyway.

14. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Low-income women 35 and older who are working on a technical or vocational education, an associate degree or their first bachelor’s degree are invited to apply for this scholarship fund.

The application cycle is open from November until February.

15. PEO Program for Continuing Education Scholarship

PEO offers a maximum $3,000 grant to a female adult student in the United States or Canada whose educational journey has been interrupted.

The need-based grant is open to any woman who has had at least 24 consecutive months as a non-student sometime in her adult life and is within 18 consecutive months of completing her degree.

Applicants must do an interview at the chapter level to qualify. Contact your local chapter to apply.

16. Society of Women Engineers Scholarship

Women studying full-time for their bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, technology, or computer science may apply for various scholarships from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Adult students and re-entering students who have been out of school for a minimum of two years prior to the beginning of the current course of study can apply. The scholarship is available to full- and part-time students entering any year, including graduate school.

Sophomores through graduate students typically apply between December and February, while first-year students apply between March and May.

Add to your skill set without going back to school. We have great deals on courses you can complete from home.

Lisa Rowan, Larissa Runkle, Tiffany Wendeln Connors, and Jacquelyn Pica contributed to this post.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Earn Extra Money by Joining Online Focus Groups MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:4 Minute, 53 Second

A few years ago, I was invited to participate in a focus group. I visited in-person along with about 15 other people. For two hours, we vented all of our feelings about the ways a particular health insurance company interacts with its customer base.

At the end, we each walked out with $125. The health insurance company wanted consumer feedback on their products and customer service, and it compensated us for providing our insights.

Focus groups can be a lucrative side hustle when you break down per-hour pay. You get to be a part of a company’s market research efforts, magnifying your opinion above those of other potential consumers.

These days, you canto participate in paid focus groups in person or online. Today, we’ll focus on the online space. These focus group platforms to earn anywhere from $20 to as much as $600 per hour.

Online Focus Groups: A Viable Side Hustle

Focus groups can pay extremely well for the amount of time you actually “work.” They can provide surges of side hustle income all at once.

However, they’re not likely to sustain you in lieu of traditional income. Earnings can be extremely inconsistent. First of all, you won’t qualify for every survey, as each focus group has a specific demographic it’s targeting.

Often, though not always, the highest-paying surveys also have the most exclusive demographic requirements. The company may be looking to work with construction foremen who work with specific brands of equipment, for example, or with mobile app developers who use a specific type of programming.

In addition, some consumer research companies will only allow you to participate in one focus group every six months.

Just because work is sporadic doesn’t make this a bad side hustle. When the money does come in, you’re getting paid so much per hour that it’s worth setting aside 30 to 90 minutes of your time.

What You Do in a Paid Focus Group

Most focus groups require between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of work. When you’re doing a focus group remotely, you may be asked to fill out a multiple choice survey. Most of the time, though, you’ll complete a phone or Zoom interview with a live person.

Topics for focus groups are unlimited: You could find yourself answering questions about your favorite margarita recipe, how you’re coping with parenting in the 2020s, or a survey related to your profession.

Some focus groups may require you to dedicate some time outside the interview itself. For example, you might have to give a specific product a test run or keep a journal of your experiences. This extra time is often accounted for in the compensation.

Need a banking service that’s built for gig workers and freelancers, helping you save for taxes and keep track of your expenses? Check out Lili. (It’s free!)

5 Sites to Find Online Focus Group Jobs

Respondent
WatchLab
Focusscope
FindFocusFroups.com
User Interviews

These market research companies pay well for your time and consistently update listings for more opportunities. We surveyed current listings for hourly pay and estimated average hourly pay given the jobs currently available.

1. Respondent

An overwhelming percentage of the focus group opportunities listed on Respondent are remote. The majority of the listings are not city-specific, allowing you to qualify regardless of where you live.

Current job listings range between $20 and $250 per hour, with the average focus group paying around $120 per hour.

2. WatchLAB

WatchLAB doesn’t have as many opportunities listed, but it does regularly update its inventory on its Facebook page.

Jobs are often city specific, though there is a wide variety of cities with opportunities available.

Pay for WatchLAB focus groups ranges from $75 to $900 per hour, with the average focus group paying around $125 per hour.

3. Focusscope

Focusscope is another smaller consumer research company. It updates its users regularly about new opportunities on its Facebook page, and most studies are now completed remotely.

Focusscope pays $75 to $250 per focus group, with an average payout of $100.

4. FindFocusGroups.com

FindFocusGroups.com isn’t solely a consumer research company. It is also a job listing board. It aggregates opportunities available across the country, and allows consumer research companies to submit listings.

You can search these focus group listings by state. The average focus group pays around $125 per hour, though there are currently jobs listed for pay ranges anywhere from $75 to $595.

Pro Tip

Participating in medical trials can be another lucrative way to hustle together some extra cash. 

5. User Interviews

If you’re looking for online or over-the-phone focus group opportunities, User Interviews listings are plentiful. However, compared to the other companies on this list, more of these focus group opportunities are in-person. Use filters while you search to ensure you’re only being shown the remote opportunities.

A portion of the listings on User Interviews are medical studies rather than focus groups.

Participating in medical trials can be another lucrative way to hustle together some extra cash.

Listings on User Interviews pay between $25 and $500 per hour — though few studies get close to the $500 mark. The average focus group pays $60 per hour.

Pittsburgh-based writer Brynne Conroy is the founder of the Femme Frugality blog and the author of “The Feminist Financial Handbook.” She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Information from Penny Hoarder writer and editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors is included in this report.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Investing in a Recession: How to Prepare for a Downtown MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:7 Minute, 48 Second

Stocks have fallen into a bear market this year and the Federal Reserve is aggressively raising interest rates in an effort to cool soaring inflation.

Many experts believe an economic recession is right around the corner.

So what’s the average investor to do?

While there’s no such thing as a “recession-proof” investment, certain stocks, mutual funds and investment strategies can help your portfolio survive an economic downturn better than others.

Why Making Your Portfolio “Recession-Proof” Is Harder Than It Sounds

If you believe that a recession is imminent, you might think it makes sense to allocate more funds to investment-grade bonds, since such investments tend to hold their value better than stocks during recessions.

Alternatively, if you believe the economy will grow even faster than expected, you might try to invest more of your money in stocks. The return on stocks is typically better than bonds during periods of economic growth, which is most of the time.

Simple, right? In principle, yes.

But to correctly allocate your funds in anticipation of a recession, you first must correctly predict the recession. This is much harder than it sounds.

Keep in mind, also, that the U.S. stock market is itself one of the strongest leading indicators of a recession.

Analysis shows that most investors reallocate their investments in response to an economic downturn only after the stock market has already declined in response to those expectations. This is frequently described as the market “pricing in” the cost of the recession or other seemingly relevant investment information.

Pro Tip

If you’re new to investing, there’s a lot to learn. Our guide to investing as a beginner breaks down everything you need to know.

4 Tips for Investing if You Think a Recession Is Near

For all the challenges facing individual investors, how can you make intelligent and responsible investment decisions before a recession hits?

Here are some tips.

1. Don’t Be Swayed by the Panic

The first step is to recognize that most of the noise surrounding you about the market is just that — noise.

The worst investment decisions are often made during times of emotional distress, e.g., after the loss of a job, the death of a loved one or as anxiety mounts over a possible recession.

The sooner you can block out emotions and evaluate your personal situation objectively, the better.

“Come up with the proper asset allocation, continue to invest into it and don’t stop,” said Thomas Kopelman, a financial planner and co-founder of AllStreet Wealth.

This can mean periodically checking in with a trusted advisor. Make sure you are working with someone who can maintain their objectivity and has a fiduciary duty to put your interests ahead of themselves or their firm.

Need help creating a diversified portfolio? Check out these 7 tips.

2. Reconsider Your Risk Tolerance

Can you tolerate the fluctuations in your investment accounts associated with a garden variety recession? What about a repeat of a historical worst-case scenario?

If the answer to either question is “no,” it might make sense to re-evaluate your risk tolerance.

If you can’t stomach the thought of volatility, going with a more conservative asset allocation — even if it means a lower expected rate of return — might be a better solution.

Pro Tip

Investing isn’t 100% risk-free but there are several low-risk investment options for people who hate the idea of losing money.

3. Consider the Costs of Missed Opportunities

Next, consider the chance that you — and everyone around you — ends up being wrong. Can you tolerate the FOMO (fear of missing out) associated with what you “could have had” if you left your portfolio untouched?

Remember, that if you are a dedicated devotee of index investing vs. active management, all publicly available information is useless for making investment decisions.

Your best bet is to ignore all of the hype and just keep doing what you’ve been doing.

“Just remember that as certain as the future seems, it has a habit of surprising us. Markets are unpredictable, full stop,” said Erik Goodge, a certified financial planner and president of uVest Advisory Group, LLC.

4. Prepare for the Worst

Work on building a good emergency fund in case of a layoff and review your insurance policies to make sure you can afford any out-of-pocket costs associated with a major illness or accident.

“It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best steps to protecting your portfolio during a recession is to have cash on hand,” Kopelman said.

“The worst thing you can do is set yourself up to sell investments during a downturn because you don’t have enough money in your emergency fund,” he added.

But What if You Just Can’t Stomach a Hands-off Approach?

If, after all these steps, the idea of leaving your investment accounts completely unchanged sounds a little too zen for your comfort level, consider the following strategies for mitigating risk while capturing future returns.

1. Consider Dividends

Investing in a diversified pool of dividend paying stocks can help you avoid falling into a “value trap.” Sometimes big dividends can be a sign that the dividend payment is too high and unsustainable relative to the underlying fundamentals of the issuing company.

But generally, it’s a good sign when a company consistently increases its dividends to shareholders. It’s usually a signal of financial strength and healthy cash flow — traits that help companies weather a recession.

Plus a healthy dividend delivers passive income to your portfolio — something you’ll appreciate during a turbulent market.

2. Look at Bonds and Other Income-Producing Investments

Bonds play a crucial role in portfolio diversification because this asset class historically has little correlation to the stock market.

Bond mutual funds and newly issued individual bonds “become more appealing to investors as interest rates rise because you can earn more income,” said Cody Lachner, a certified financial planner and director of financial planning at BBK Wealth Management.

But whether it makes sense to buy bonds now “depends on your income needs, current level of diversification and risk tolerance,” Lachner noted.

Options might include high-yield bonds or bonds issued by emerging market economies.

The average investor can get diversified exposure to a mix of bond types through two low-cost Vanguard ETFs: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund ETF Shares (BND) and the Vanguard Total Corporate Bond ETF Shares (VTC), according to Nasdaq.

Financial experts also suggest exploring Series I Savings Bonds from the U.S. Treasury Department.

These savings bonds are offering an impressive 9.62% return now through October with very low risk.

The high rate won’t last forever, but I bonds do serve as a hedge against inflation — something few other investments can promise.

There are a couple big caveats though: You must hold I bonds for at least a year before you can cash them in and there’s a $10,000 purchasing cap per year.

3. Invest in Quality

Look for stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) that represent companies with strong balance sheets, stable margins and consistent earnings.

These companies should withstand market turbulence better than their weaker counterparts.

Look for strong performers in sectors like utilities, health care and consumer food staples, which tend to perform better during economic downturns than some other industries like airlines, travel and car manufacturers.

Utilities and health care stocks may not be very sexy or appealing during bull markets because growth tends to be modest.

But during bear markets and recessions, purchasing shares of companies that supply consumers with everyday essentials is a smart way to diversify your portfolio.

4. Think Globally

These days, “broadly diversified” generally means including international investments.

Returns between U.S. and international stocks tend to be cyclical. Allocating some of your investments overseas can help reduce the volatility associated with a portfolio invested solely in U.S. companies.

5. Look at Mutual Funds and ETFs

Handpicking individual stocks is tricky and time consuming.

The average investor is better off exploring mutual funds and ETFs that either track a broad market index (like the S&P 500) or a specific industry sector (like health care).

Investing in funds gives you exposure to dozens of different companies with a single purchase — instant diversification.

Taking this approach during a recession is a smart way to invest in several companies in well-performing sectors without concentrating your risk in any single company.

The take home message here is to consider in advance the potential outcomes associated with different scenarios: both in your personal life and across the economy in general.

By doing so, you will be much better prepared to withstand most (if not all) of what the stock market has to throw at you.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.

David Metzger is a fee-only wealth manager in Chicago. He is a certified financial planner (CFP) and a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Inflation Is Killing Us. Here Are 8 Ways to Make Quick Money MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:7 Minute, 49 Second
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

Talk about sticker shock. All these rising prices are absolutely demolishing our bank accounts. With inflation at a 40-year high, the cost of groceries, gas and just about everything else is going through the roof.

For years, inflation remained at or below 2%, but now prices are up a whopping 8.6% compared to the previous year — the biggest price spike since 1981.

What can you do about it? You can try to earn some extra cash, and we’ve got a list of ways you can do just that. Every little bit helps.

1. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games

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.

2. Get Paid for Your Opinion (as Soon as Today)

Got opinions? Get paid for them!

Sure, there are a lot of online survey sites out there. The catch is that, with a lot of them, it takes forever before you can actually get paid. You find yourself taking tons of surveys before you ever see a single cent — if you even qualify for the survey at all.

That’s why we like a website called Survey Junkie. It rewards you no matter what — even if you don’t qualify. And it lets you cash out a lot faster than its competition — you could even get paid today.

You get points for every survey you take, and once you’ve earned 500 points, you can cash out and get your first $5. A lot of sites make you wait until you’ve earned $20 or $25 worth of points before you can claim your earnings.

Most people get their money within seven days of signing up — but the pace is entirely up to you. Plenty of folks cash out the same day. And you can choose to get paid via PayPal or with digital gift cards.

No, you won’t necessarily get rich taking surveys online, but it’s an easy way to make a little extra cash while you’re killing time. Signing up takes about one minute, and you’ll immediately  earn points just for creating your account. You’ll be that much closer to cashing out. 

3. Earn 70% Higher Interest On Your Savings (One of the Highest Available)

Interest rates at most banks these days are downright pitiful. You’ll be lucky if you earn a quarter at the end of the year.

But an online bank called Vio has one of the highest earning rates you’ll see — 1.03% APY* (Annual Percentage Yield) on your money market savings. That’s 70% higher than the average high-yield savings account.

Not only does it pay well, it also costs nothing to open an account. You just need to transfer at least $100 to keep it open. 

Security is also top notch. You can depend on bank-level encryption, FDIC insurance up to $250,000, with the highest level security you can obtain.

There’s a reason why it’s been named the best high-yield savings account by websites like Fox Business, CNet and CNBC. And it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

If you’re ready to save smarter and earn more, open a free Vio Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account. Get started here.

4. Get a Free Slice of a Fortune 500 Company From This App

Do you think it’s too late for us non-millionaires to get our hands on a piece of a Fortune 500 company?

Well, it’s definitely not. We found a free app called Public that lets you own slices of stocks, so you can invest in companies without having to pay for an entire share, if you don’t want to.*

They’ll even give you a slice of a popular stock for free when you download the app and sign up.

It takes just minutes to download the app, and when you finish setting up your account, Public will give you the free slice of stock you select during signup as a bonus.

5. Get Paid up to $600/Week to Drop off Starbucks

 

Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.

With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you. 

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.

The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week. 

6. Turn Your Junk Mail Into Cash

You know all those flyers and advertisements you get in the mail each day? The ones you never wanted but have no idea how to opt out of?

Well, you can turn them into cash.

The Small Business Knowledge (SBK) Center is a market research company that wants to get a peep insight your mailbox. Join its consumer panel, and start shoveling that junk mail into a postage-paid envelope and, at the end of each week, send it over to the SBK Center.

No, you won’t be rolling in extra cash, but you can earn up to $20 every six to 10 weeks.

7. Find Out If You’re Overpaying

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert when you’re shopping online at Target and are about to overpay?

That’s exactly what this free service does. 

Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it’ll check other websites, including Walmart, eBay and others to see if your item is available for cheaper. Plus, you can get coupon codes, set up price-drop alerts and even see the item’s price history.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new TV, and you assume you’ve found the best price. Here’s when you’ll get a pop up letting you know if that exact TV is available elsewhere for cheaper. If there are any available coupon codes, they’ll also automatically be applied to your order.

In the last year, this has saved people $160 million.

You can get started in just a few clicks to see if you’re overpaying online.

8. Sell Someone Else’s Stuff

Selling Craigslist freebies is a great way to make a profit quickly, because you get the items for free. You could even have cash in hand today.

Go to the free section on Craigslist and look for things that are close to you and easy to sell immediately. They could be scraps from a job site or metal items you can sell, for example.

For a quick turnaround, avoid items like furniture or electronics. These can be good to sell, but they’ll take longer.

Cash in your treasures by reselling on Craigslist, including them in a rummage sale or selling to specialty buyers, like a pawn shop or a local business.

So, don’t let sticker shock get you down. And don’t let it destroy your bank account. Even though prices keep rising, earning some extra money can help you weather the storm.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

 

*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the extension using the links provided.

**See viobank.com for more details

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

MAKING MONEY

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32 Money Saving Hacks to Beat Inflation in a Downturn MAKING MONEY

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Inflation is hitting everyone where it hurts — our wallets.

The cost of everyday essentials like food and gas is eroding away the buying power of everyday Americans. Paychecks don’t stretch as far. Grocery bills hurt more.

It can feel impossible to get ahead.

Money saving tricks, both big and small, can make a difference.

If you’re looking to add some breathing room to your budget — despite 40-year high inflation — our 31 top money saving hacks can help.

Groceries

1. Ask What Day Your Grocery Store Marks Down Items

Grocery stores usually discount items that are close to expiring on a specific day of the week. Asking a store associate what day and time they mark down items is a super savvy way to score discounted meats, bread and veggies.

2. Skip Grocery Delivery and Go With Pickup Instead

Grocery delivery is incredibly convenient — and expensive. Tips and fees on an Instacart order can easily add $20 to $30 to your grocery bill.

If you’re trying to break the grocery delivery price trap, try pickup instead.

Opting for grocery curbside pickup is a much cheaper alternative that’s still fast and easy. It’s also a smart way to stick to your grocery list because you won’t be tempted to buy random extras in the store.

It’s also often easier to find the cheapest price per unit if you can see all available products on a single page instead of scouring the shelves.

Lots of stores offer free or very cheap pickup options, including BJ’s Wholesale Club, Aldi, Kroger, Target, Albertsons and Walmart.

3. Buy Frozen and Canned Vegetables and Fruits

Frozen and canned goods last longer, have similar nutritional value as fresh produce and cost much less.

“Buying things like broccoli, carrots, peas and cauliflower frozen or canned is the best way to get a longer shelf life and reduce food waste,” said Jessica Ayala, a full-time banquet chef in Orlando, Florida. “Be honest about the fresh foods you’ll actually eat in a reasonable amount of time.”

4. Buy Meat on Sale in Bulk and Freeze It

Everything is more expensive these days, but meat, poultry and fish are outrageous — prices on meat were up 14.2% year over year in May, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Pricey cuts have penny pinchers across the country ditching meat. Going meatless a day or two a week and turning to cheaper alternatives, like beans and lentils, can be a great way to cut costs.

Think about eggs, too. There are dozens of affordable dinner ideas starring eggs.

If you aren’t quite ready to give up your carnivorous ways, look for larger sizes of meat (think 3 pounds or more of ground beef, family packs of chicken breasts) to go on sale.

Buy a couple packages at a time, break them down into 1-pound packages and freeze them.

Here are some other inflation hacks to save money on meat at the grocery store.

5. Meal Prep (Seriously, At Least a Little)

Meal prepping doesn’t need to be labor intensive and scary. Here’s how to start meal prepping so you’ll actually stick with it. And if you need more inspiration, check out these hacks for budget meal planning.

6. Watch for Holiday Sales

Keep an eye out for holiday deals — like when canned beans go on sale for Cinco de Mayo or BBQ sauces during Fourth of July.

Load up on discount candy the day after holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween.

While you’re at it, check out this month-by-month guide on the best time to buy almost everything, like computers in August and swimsuits in September.

Pro Tip

Did you know that 18 states have tax-free holidays? You’ll be limited on what you can get sales-tax free but you could still save on clothing, shoes, electronics and school supplies.

7. Avoid Drinking Your Money

Drink water instead of buying soda or juice. Nix the bottled water and go with filtered water or tap instead. Make coffee at home instead of grabbing Starbucks.

Make an alcohol budget and stick to it — or ditch the booze entirely if you want to save big bucks.

8. Buy (Certain Things) in Bulk at Warehouse Clubs

Buying everyday essentials in bulk is a solid way to save money. Just make sure to shop smart if you’re buying in bulk.

While it can be tough to fork out membership fees to warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club, some offer specials that allow you to join at a lower price. Check Groupon and other coupon sites to score a cheaper annual membership.

You can also try online bulk suppliers like Boxed, which delivers orders to your door without charging annual membership fees.

9. Shop Seasonally

The best way to save money on fresh produce is to buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season.

Here is a list of when different produce is in season across the U.S.

10. Serve Smaller Portions

Serve dinner in smaller portions on smaller plates. It makes you more aware of what you’re eating and less likely to throw away scraps of uneaten food. It’s also better for your waistline.

11. Check High and Low on the Grocery Shelves

Next time you go to the grocery store, check the top and bottom shelves. Grocery stores know that most people only look at the middle area, so that’s where more expensive items tend to be.

12. Check the Cost Per Unit Price

Each item at the grocery store has a corresponding tag on the shelf. In the top left or right corner, you’ll find the “cost per unit price.” This is the best way to truly compare prices, especially when buying in bulk.

13. Check Out Local Food Pantries

Asking for help can be hard, but food pantries provide a legitimate way to get food for free. If you’ve experienced a job loss or change in income, it makes sense to contact your local food pantry to see what’s available instead of going hungry or taking on debt.

You can use this food pantry locator tool from Feeding America to find food banks in your area.

You can also call United Way’s 211 service to find other local resources.

14. Freeze Your Bread

It will get moldy, like surprisingly moldy in no time during the summer.

“Kitchens and restaurants use this trick everyday to reduce food waste and save money,” Ayala said.

From hot dog buns to whole multigrain loafs, you can prolong the shelf life of bread by as much as four to six months by freezing it.

Another great bread hack?

“Crush up bread that’s on the verge of going bad, add some seasoning and make your own bread crumbs you can cook with later,” Ayala suggested.

15. Embrace That Crock-Pot Life

If you’re trying to feed a family, cooking in bulk with a slow cooker can save you tons of money and time.

Making big batches of soup — and freezing some for later — is also a good way to utilize things in your kitchen before they go bad. (Remember: Try to extend the shelf life of everything in your kitchen.)

16. Purchase Versatile Ingredients

For example, pick a protein like chicken and learn to prepare it in a way you like. One day you can pair the chicken with a salad, the next day add it to a rice and beans (or quinoa) bowl, and the next day chop the chicken into strips and add it to a cheese quesadilla.

Another option is steak and potatoes one night, steak fajitas another night and a steak and bean rice bowl another.

Stocking your shelves with these 11 pantry essentials can also save you money.

17. Eat the Same Thing for Breakfast Every Day

An easy breakfast staple, like oatmeal, can cost less than 10 cents a serving and you can change up the toppings.

Or for an even leaner budget, skip breakfast altogether if it works for your health and diet. You may even see some health benefits, according to intermittent fasting research.

18. Reorganize Your Fridge and Freezer

The average American household wastes about 31.9% of its food — a whopping $1,866 per household per year, according to a 2020 study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

We’ve all been guilty of it. Leftovers get shoved to the back of the fridge, veggies get gross in the crisper. We get it.

Going through your fridge — and pantry and freezer — is a great way to take inventory, so you’re not buying duplicates or letting good food go to waste.

While you’re at it, watch some videos on YouTube from professional organizers who offer low-cost ways to rearrange your fridge so food is more visible and accessible.

Gas

19. Check Out Fuel Reward Programs

Sign up for a fuel rewards program that’ll save you money on frequent purchases at a given gas station. Many grocery fuel reward programs can also help you save, too.

20. Use Gas Discount Apps to Save at the Pump

Apps like Upside or GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas when it’s time to fuel up.

21. Pay for Gas in Cash

There’s other ways to save money on gas besides using gas rebate apps.

Some solid inflation hacks to save money on gas? Buy your gas in cash (many gas stations give you a discount) and check your tire pressure.

Car and Travel

22. Consider Becoming a One-Car Household

It may sound extreme — but so are the savings.

No gas or car payment. No car insurance bill or new tires in the winter. No parking fees or tolls.

With Uber, Amazon same-day delivery, work from home jobs and telehealth visits here to stay, you may not need a second vehicle as much as you think.

And going down to a one-car household could literally save you thousands of dollars a year.

Explore public transportation options in your area and plan out errands with your partner.

And remember: Ditching your car isn’t a forever commitment. You can pocket the savings for a couple years, then reevaluate your budget in the future.

23. Save Money at the Airport

The truth is airline tickets are super expensive right now, and prices aren’t likely to come down anytime soon.

Certain budget airlines are still offering decent deals if you’re flexible on your schedule and destination — just keep an eye out for hefty baggage fees and other costs.

If you’re catching a flight this summer, save money at the airport by bringing an empty water bottle and packing some snacks. You can also rent out your car using apps like Turo and TravelCar to make some money while you’re away.

24. Start Walking and Biking

With gas prices through the roof, it makes sense to start walking and biking more.

Using an e-bike is a super frugal — and healthy — way to save money on your daily commute, especially if you’re replacing a car.

Plus there are a surprising number of apps, like A Healthy Wage and Sweatcoin, that will pay you to exercise — a win win.

Shopping

25. Check Out Cash-Back and Rebate Apps

There’s lots of cash-back and rebate apps out there that can add some jingle to your budget. Many reward you for scanning your receipts while others deposit cash back to your account when you make a purchase at a participating store with a linked card.

There are also browser extensions like Capital One Shopping and coupon sites that can help you save money on everyday purchases.

26. Cut Back on Pet Expenses

You love your pet like family. But if your furbabies are draining your wallet, it’s time to cut back.

Learn how to save money on dog food (hint: buy in bulk or make your own) and explore ways to save money on pet care. You could even start a pet sitting side hustle to bring in extra income.

27. Learn Money Hacks for Household Items

Here at The Penny Hoarder, we admire a frugal spirit. And when times are tough, finding smart ways to repurpose everyday household items just makes sense.

Like using Windex to clean your makeup brushes or vinegar to clean your dishwasher — genius-level inflation hacks right there.

28. Threaten To Break Up With Your Phone, Internet, Cable and Insurance Providers

Sometimes they’ll give you a lower rate to keep you as a customer. Try asking for the retention department when you call.

Entertainment

29. Be Smart About Your Streaming Services

Multiple streaming services can almost cost as much as a cable TV subscription.

To minimize the bite, take advantage of free trials and free TV apps.

Another smart way to save? Ask friends or family if they want to share streaming accounts. Set up profiles under a shared account and then Venmo or Cash App your friend an agreed upon amount each month for sharing.

30. Cancel Subscriptions and Non-Essential Memberships

Monthly subscriptions and memberships add up quickly. Five bucks here, $8 dollars there. Before you know it, you’re spending $80 on random subscriptions you may not really use.

Trying to cut costs fast? There are apps that help you manage your subscriptions — and some even help you cancel a subscription or negotiate better pricing.

31. See If You Qualify for Discounts Through This Federal Program

Millions of Americans now qualify for discounted internet access thanks to an expanded federal program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Qualifying households get a one-time $30 monthly voucher toward their high-speed internet bill and $100 to purchase a laptop or desktop computer.

Some internet providers are also offering discounted plans in collaboration with the ACP, which can help stack savings on savings.

There’s a couple ways to qualify. If you already receive Medicaid, a Federal Pell Grant (for the current award year), SNAP benefits, WIC, a veterans’ pension or survivors benefits — or one of these six other programs — then you qualify.

The other way to qualify is by your income: A single-person household can’t earn more than $27,180 a year (hello, college students and retirees), while a family of four can’t exceed $55,500 a year. It’s 200% of the federal poverty line.

It’s quick and easy to apply for an ACP voucher and you can learn more about the program here.

32. Save On Date Nights and Still Have Fun This Summer 

The cost of dinner and drinks is a real mood killer these days.

No one likes the idea of staying home after being cooped up for two years, but when times are tough, it makes sense to explore cheap date night ideas. (Playing sexy MadLibs with a bottle of cheap wine could be surprisingly entertaining).

Finally, it can be hard, but don’t let inflation kill your summer fun. In fact, here’s 100 free summertime activities that will get your mind off your money — at least for a little bit.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

MAKING MONEY

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The 5 Best Free & Paid Budgeting Apps Including Mint, YNAB MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:11 Minute, 36 Second
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Budgeting can seem like a nightmare with tricky spreadsheets and a million paper receipts but a budgeting app can do the heavy lifting for you. A budgeting app can help you budget with ease, take control of your finances and work toward your goals.

Whether your focus is trimming expenses or paying off debt, budgeting — with an app or otherwise — is a powerful strategy to make your financial life less stressful.

To help you achieve more financial freedom, we rounded up the best budgeting apps — both free and paid — for Android or Apple devices. These apps aim to simplify budgeting, automate mundane tasks and even connect to your bank account to pull in and categorize purchases automatically.

5 Best Free & Paid Budget Apps

Budgeting app
Price
Platform

Truebill

$0-12/month

Apple & Android

SEE DETAILS

Simplifi

$3.99-5.99/month

Apple & Android

SEE DETAILS

Mint

$0-$4.99/month

Apple & Android

SEE DETAILS

YNAB

$14.99/month or $98.99/year

Apple & Android

SEE DETAILS

Buddy

$0 or $16.99-$49.99/year

Apple

SEE DETAILS

What Is the Best Budgeting App for You?

There are several things to consider when you’re looking for a good budgeting app.

Flexibility: You may want the flexibility to customize your budget based on various factors, such as different types of income (i.e. cash tips, side hustle) and the kind of budget you like to use.

Account syncing: Budgeting apps can do a little or a lot. You may prefer to manually track transactions. Or maybe you want real-time tracking on transactions for some or all of your accounts.

User experience: How an app functions can vary. Are you OK with ads? Credit card offers? Categories that can’t be personalized?

Cost: Some budget apps are free. Some are paid. Some are “freemium” — basic features for free, premium features for a price. Do you want to budget for free? Are you cool with paying for extra features?

We’re recommending a range of budgeting apps that cover all the bases: paid, free, nice-to-have extras, super basic, no syncing, all the syncing (including tracking your net worth), automatically adding transactions, manually logging transactions, just for you or shared with someone else. Whatever your style, there’s a budget app that’s right for you.

Truebill

The Best Budgeting App
4.5 out of 5 Overall
Key Features

Cancellation Concierge for subscriptions
Detects recurring subscriptions in your accounts
Link your accounts to keep track of your budgets

Truebill
Available on
And Android
Pricing
$0-12/month

Known for trimming bills, Truebill isn’t a stranger to The Penny Hoarder community as we’ve recommended the app before — and with good reason. Truebill offers tools for budgeting, managing subscriptions and negotiating bills.

Truebill is an excellent all-in-one app for those looking to get their financial world in better shape.

Truebill takes top billing for allowing you to calculate and create an allowance, so you know exactly how much money you have to spend each month. You can also set up goals for categories you want to watch, such as eating out at restaurants or shopping in general.

If you’re new to budgeting, Truebill is a solid option that walks you through the process. The app offers additional features — such as spending insights — that can help you build better budgets. You can see where your money is going each month and receive alerts if you are headed toward overspending.

We love Truebill’s subscription management feature, too, that checks your bank account for any recurring charges. It’s a great way to discover subscriptions you may have forgotten.

If you have a high cell phone or cable bill, Truebill can even negotiate it down to a lower rate. Truebill does take a cut of that savings for the first year if your bill is reduced.

While TrueBill is free, you’ll pay $3 to $12 each month for premium features. How much you pay is up to you.

Pro Tip

If you’re new to budgeting, check out our free Budgeting 101 course in The Penny Hoarder Academy. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started.

Simplifi

The Budgeting Runner Up
4.5 out of 5 Overall
Key Features

Simple interface that’s good for beginners
Links to loans, 401(k), credit cards and more
Backed by Quicken customer support

Simplifi
Available on
And Andriod
Pricing
$3.99-5.99/month

The Simplifi app isn’t nearly as popular as it should be. The simple layout and design of the app — one of our favorite features — makes budgeting feel approachable and less intimidating. But a simple design doesn’t mean a lack of features, as Simplifi packs in effective tools to help you establish a budget and stay on track.

With Simplifi, you can connect all of your financial data, including bank, credit card, loan and 401(k) accounts, so you can see everything all together. From there, you can set financial goals and budgets while keeping track of your spending. Your overall spending plan even gives you an overview of planned spending vs. what you’re actual spending.

If you want to save for a big purchase, such as a car or a down payment on a home, Simplifi can calculate how much money you’ll need to set aside each month to meet your goal. If you update the goal or alter the time frame, Simplifi will recalculate everything for you — without you lifting a finger.

One of the reasons we like Simplifi is because the budgeting app is backed by Quicken, a finance giant with millions of customers. Simplifi builds on a wealth of knowledge that Quicken holds in the financial space.

Simplifi is easily worth the $3.99 to $5.99 a month to use and there’s a 30-day free trial so you can give it a test run.

Mint

The Solid Classic Option from Intuit
4 out of 5 Overall
Key Features

A reliable, powerful app for money management
All-in-one app that includes credit monitoring
Sorts new transactions for better organization

Mint
Available on
And Android
Pricing
$0-$4.99/month

Mint is another option familiar to personal finance enthusiasts. For quite a while, Mint was the best budgeting and finance app you could download. To this day, Mint remains a solid option, even as competitors have added different services, like Truebill, and aced the app design, like Simplifi.

Mint is an all-in-one app for managing your personal finances, allowing you to connect your bank accounts, watch your income and track your spending. Mint can connect to your bank account — and other accounts — to automatically log every transaction and help you categorize them.

In addition to budget planning, you can monitor your credit in Mint and receive notifications if there are changes to your credit report. Mint makes it easy to keep an eye on your credit score, which looks simple but is critical to your future.

While Mint is free to use, a premium subscription at $4.99 a month unlocks specific features, including automatic subscription cancellation, spending projections and spotlights on your spending habits.

If you’re searching for the perfect budgeting app, give Mint a try. Many people find that the free plan is perfect for their financial needs.

YNAB (You Need a Budget)

A More Detailed Budgeting App
4 out of 5 Overall
Key Features

Users can get into the nitty-gritty details
Real-time syncing across devices
Built-in loan calculator to help pay off debt

YNAB
Available on
And Android
Pricing
$14.99/month or $98.99/year

YNAB — also known as You Need a Budget — is a comprehensive, zero-based budgeting app that breaks down your spending and earnings into granular details. We love the features in YNAB, but the interface can be more intimidating than other budgeting apps that hold your hand throughout the process.

If you want to dive into the nitty gritty of your personal finances, YNAB is one of the best apps you can download — seriously, it could be life changing. YNAB connects to your bank accounts to automatically import your transactions and syncs in real time across multiple devices. You can start budgeting on your phone, then pick up where you left off on a tablet or computer.

The YNAB app offers the same features as our other recommendations, including the ability to set up and track goals or keep a close eye on your net worth.

We also love the built-in loan calculator that looks at interest rates and shows how much money you’ll save by paying down your debt faster.

Other YNAB features include smart categorization that learns how you sort purchases and adjusts to future spending and an ad-free experience. It’s nice to skip the temptation ads can offer when you’re trying to get your financial house in order.

YNAB is free for 34 days to give you a solid month of budgeting plus a few days for analysis. You don’t have to put in a credit card to sign up, so you won’t end up with a forgotten subscription if you decide YNAB isn’t for you. YNAB also offers a yearlong free trial for college students.

YNAB costs $14.99 a month or $98.99 a year.

Buddy

Budgeting in Manual Mode
4 out of 5 Overall
Key Features

No linked accounts for greater privacy
Share a budget with a partner or roommate
Customized app makes budgeting more fun

Buddy
Available on
Pricing
$0 or $16.99-$49.99/year

Buddy introduces itself as your new financial companion — aka the joyful budgeting app — and we couldn’t agree more. A little on the basic side, Buddy still helps you create budgets and track your expenses. You can even share your budgets with someone else, such as your partner or roommate. Buddy is our favorite option for people looking to handle their finances together.

So why is Buddy at the bottom of our list? Buddy is a great budgeting app but you can’t link a bank account or card, which means you have to manually input each transaction. To some, this is a deal breaker. For others, it’s the power of a budgeting app but with more privacy because your bank account isn’t involved.

If you are OK with adding transactions, you’ll find a plethora of wonderful features within the Buddy app. In addition to creating simple budgets and tracking expenses, you can break down spending into custom categories and view insights into your current plan and spending history.

Buddy even allows you to personalize the app to put some fun in budgeting with custom colors and themes.

Buddy is free but if you want everything the app has to offer, you’ll need a subscription. Select features require a premium subscription, which is $2.99 to $4.99 a month. Annual subscriptions are $16.99 to $49.99.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is the Best Budgeting App?

There are lots of budgeting apps on the market, but our favorite is TrueBill for its abilities in budgeting, canceling subscriptions, negotiating bills and setting savings goals. We also reviewed Simplifi, Mint, YNAB and Buddy.

What Is the Easiest Free Budget App?

If budgeting apps intimidate you, try Simplifi, which is easy to use but will cost you a small monthly fee. If you want a free budgeting app, we recommend Mint by Intuit. You won’t get the premium, paid features that Mint offers, but the experience is still top class.

Is Mint Still the Best Budgeting App?

Mint is an excellent budgeting app and we highly recommend it, especially for those who like a free app with a paid premium option. Overall, we like TrueBill and Simplifi more though. Truebill offers a host of additional features, including subscription management, and Simplifi offers a simple interface that is approachable for beginners.

What Is the Best Budget App for Couples?

Buddy is our top budgeting app pick for couples or other people who share a budget. Buddy does have some limitations though, such as having to manually add transactions. We also reviewed the best budgeting apps for couples and came up with several other options.

What’s the Best Budgeting App for Beginners?

We recommend Simplifi as the best budgeting app for beginners. You will pay a small monthly subscription but the Simplifi isn’t intimidating to use. Mint is the best free budgeting app for beginners, in our opinion.

What Is the 50/20/30 Budget Rule?

Two common ways to budget are the 50/20/30 and 70/20/10 methods. Both follow the same idea of budgeting by percentages.

With the 50/20/30 method, you spend 50% of your income on living expenses and bills, 20% on financial goals (i.e., extra debt payments, investing) and 30% on personal things, like vacations and dining out.

The 70/20/10 rule puts 70% of your income to living expenses and personal spending, 20% to savings goals and investing, and 10% to debt or donations.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

MAKING MONEY

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Is Your Data Secure in a Period-Tracking App? MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:4 Minute, 18 Second

The U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last week has reignited the conversation about privacy within period-tracking apps.

With abortion now outlawed or restricted in many states, privacy experts are cautioning that data entered into period-tracking apps could be used against a user who had or considered having an abortion.

That data could be vulnerable to a subpoena in a criminal case or even sold to a third party — like an activist group on either side — that’s interested in that type of information. Any information stored digitally could also be exposed in a data breach.

There are ways to better protect your data in a health app — like using a paid app that only stores information on your device — but there isn’t a 100% risk-free option to track periods in an app.

You’ll have to weigh the potential security risks against convenience for yourself.

Should You Quit Using a Period-Tracking App?

So what should you do right now? Here are some options to protect your info:

Switch to paper and pen. Until there’s more information and precedent, the safest option is to not use a period-tracking app and return to a pen-and-calendar method of tracking. Yes, an app is convenient but there’s no guarantee that your data is 100% safe.
Delete your account. If you quit using an app, deactivate or delete your account if possible before deleting the app.
Change your privacy and permission settings. If you do use a period-tracking app, select the highest privacy setting available and use a paid app as your data is less likely to be tracked or monetized. Check your permissions, too, to see what the app has access to on your phone and restrict those as needed.
Move your data out of the cloud and onto your device. Make sure that any data you put into an app is only stored on your device and the app has strict privacy standards and takes additional security measures, such as anonymizing information.

Your Data Has Already Been Shared

There have already been examples of period-tracking apps choosing to share personal health data with third parties.

Flo — a women’s health app with more than 100 million users — shared sensitive information with Facebook, Google and other platforms until the practice was outed in 2019. Flo reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission last year over misleading users that data would be kept private.

Flo no longer shares your personal data and has announced plans to launch an “anonymous mode” for increased identity protection.

There’s a history of data sharing in less specific health apps, too. A 2019 study published in The BMJ medical journal found that 79% of health apps shared data from their users outside of the app.

“Sharing of user data is routine, yet far from transparent,” researchers concluded.

Many health and fitness apps — from Apple Health to Fitbit to Garmin Connect — offer the ability to track periods, so keep those apps in mind when evaluating your security.

HIPAA Won’t Protect You

Unlike what you share with a medical provider, period-tracking apps are not bound by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which protects your health information.

Health care providers and your health insurance company do have to keep your medical records and anything you tell them private.

All this means that any information in a health or period-tracking app isn’t protected under HIPAA and could be disclosed without your consent or knowledge, depending on privacy policies.

Beyond apps sharing your information for their own use, the major concern is that your data could be subpoenaed in an investigation or court case or purchased by a third party.

Where Your Data Is Kept Matters

How your data is stored in a health or period-tracking app and the app’s privacy policy are important.

You don’t own health data stored in the cloud by a period-tracking app. The company owns that information and can be subpoenaed to release it to a court. The bar is lower for a subpoena than a warrant, which means your data is less secure. Your information could also be at risk if the company has a data breach.

However, you do own data that is only stored locally on your device. A search warrant would be required to obtain that information, offering more protection for your period-tracking data.

Be sure to read through the app’s disclosures about data and privacy before just clicking that you agree and review any policies that you’ve already consented to. What you find may influence your decision to use or quit the app.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer with The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology. Johna Strickland is a senior editor with The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

MAKING MONEY

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3 Phone Games That Could Earn You $83 Every Time You Play MAKING MONEY

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Read Time:4 Minute, 49 Second
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So many of the usual ways you can win money require pure luck. We’re looking at you, scratch-offs and lottery tickets. But luck is unreliable — we prefer to use skill.

And we’ve found three great iPhone games that let you put your skills to the test for a shot at winning $83 every time you play — plus chances to bag much more.

No pressure. You can play casually for free and competitively when you’ve developed a winning strategy. Either way, you don’t have to worry about spammy ads disrupting the experience.

See if you can win your first prize pool in these strategy games on both iPhone and Android phones. With some practice and a bit of luck, you can join the growing ranks of players who’ve won tens of thousands — even hundreds of thousands of dollars — from the larger prize pools.

1. Solitaire Cash

Who hasn’t played Solitaire on their phone, computer or with real cards on their coffee table at home?

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.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

App Store Rating:

Over on the App Store, Solitaire Cash has over a million downloads and more than 128,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars out of 5.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

2. Bubble Cash

Bubble Cash is a free iPhone app based on a classic bubble-shooter format that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win. You’ll battle it out against other players within your skill level to see who can clear the board fastest. Everyone gets the same layout, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who clear their board fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

This isn’t a mindless shooter. It’s more of a fast-paced puzzle game, in which you’ll need to put a little thought into each shot you take.

Line up your shot, match the colors, anticipate your next move and then blast away. If you’re playing for free, your winnings could be in virtual currency, or up to $83 in real cash, if you’re playing competitive matches.

Winners can even get invited to championship matches to set their bubble-shooter sights on winning much more money.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

App Store Rating:

Bubble Cash has more than 53,000 ratings on the App Store, averaging 4.6 stars out of 5.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

3. Bingo Cash

How can you make bingo more fun? You do it by adding strategy.

Bingo Cash expands on the classic formula to include strategy, rather than relying on the pure luck of pulling the winning card at the beginning of a match.

You don’t just earn points by marking squares when they’re called — the faster you mark a square, the more points you’ll earn.

As the game progresses, players earn power-ups that they can use when they feel the time’s right. These powerups let you mark an additional square, double the points of one of your scores or buy more time to mark a space.

Don’t worry. Bingo Cash won’t throw you to the wolves. The game has a matchmaking system so you’ll go up against players of similar rank. The top three players in a game can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Like the other games mentioned here, you can play either casually or competitively for real cash.

App Store Rating:

Bingo Cash has an exceptional rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, the average from over 18,000 reviews.

Join the Fun and Win Real Money

So far, players have won more than $1.5 million playing Solitaire Cash, Bubble Cash and Bingo Cash.

You can cash out your winnings via PayPal or Apple Pay. And there are no ads to annoy you during the game, even if you opt to play for free.

It’s easy to get started. Download Solitaire Cash, Bubble Cash and Bingo Cash free on the iOS App Store.

Solitaire Cash not available in AZ, AR, IN, IA, LA, ME, MD, SC, MT, SD

Bubble Cash not available in AZ, AR ,IA, LA, MD, SC

Bingo Cash not available in AZ, AR, IA, LA, DE, SC

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

MAKING MONEY

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101project

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101 Project.

DJ LexGo at Karribean City in Oakland for the first time with Ad Kapone. Presented by Umbrella Music Group featuring members of the Slap Squad and dope artists from the Bay Area.

One hour prior to the event will be a soundcheck and Rap Cypher for a Money Chain presented by Slap Magazine. Event ticket required.

Tickets online now for $20 Flat No Transaction Fees or pay $25 at the door. July 8th 1408 Webster St. Oakland. Cypher starts at 7pm show starts at 8pm. Table for 5 with a bottle is $250 so text 415-724-1669 to reserve yours today.

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RAP FREESTYLE PRO MASTERCLASS $99SONG SUCCESS $97