Match cards to leisure
Look for credit card rewards that match your leisure activities. It’s a good way to discount the things you buy anyway, according to The Simple Dollar. A frequent Amazon shopper could take advantage of the company’s 5 percent cash back card for Amazon Prime members.
Other cards offer points for dining; perfect for the person who likes to try new restaurants. Capital One offers a gaming card that offers points on PlayStation store purchases. Some cards have online shopping portals offering fitness and sports gear.
Transfer balances with caution
Know all the details of the offer if you plan to use a splashy credit card balance transfer offer.
Here are three points to look at:
Deferred interest: With this plan, if you haven’t paid off the balance by the time the introductory offer expires, you’ll be charged retroactive interest for the entire amount.
New purchase rates: Never make a new purchase on a balance transfer card. According to Forbes, new purchases can and will be charged a fat interest rate.
Missed payment penalties: Always set up automatic minimum payments. If you miss one payment on your transferred balance, you will lose your low-interest deal.
Little economies: Saving on soap
Save money on hand soap by making your own gel foam. Buy a big jug of gel soap and then fill your soap dispensers about half way full. Swirl for 30 seconds. Now you have gel foam. It will still get you clean, but it really stretches the soap purchase, according to The Simple Dollar.
How to make cheap (or free) stock trades
One of the most significant obstacles that potential investors face when they are trying to start building their wealth are the fees associated with trading stocks, exchange-traded funds, and other investment products. According to Clark Howard, keeping costs low in general is one of the best ways to ensure that money is working for the investor instead of the broker and can add up to thousands of dollars over time.
For example, purchasing a $100 stock with a commission of $10 means that the stock would need to appreciate in value by 10 percent just to break even on the trade. Purchasing 10 shares at once lowers this amount to a much more comfortable one percent, but that requires much more money up front.
Luckily, the trend towards low-cost and even free stock trading has been rising in recent years, and it is now possible to find many options to save money initially and over the long term. These options include services with commission-free trades and no fees as well as commission-free trades with fees.
The relative newcomer Robinhood, offers entirely commission-free trades and currently charges no fees to their users with no account minimums. Billed as a way for young, beginner investors to get started with very little money or complications, their platform is only available on smartphones and has a no-frills design with only the most basic information and stock analysis. The company doesn’t want to overwhelm new investors, and removing the fancy tools that other brokerages offer allows them to keep costs low.
Some other exchanges have jumped on the commission-free bandwagon but have decided that they have to charge some fees to make a profit and stay in business. To make up for the costs, one company, Acorns, puts a twist on how users fund their accounts and tries to make it as fun and painless as possible to get started. Investors simply chain their credit and debit accounts to the service and every time they make a purchase it is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference automatically goes into the Acorns account and a stock purchase is made whenever it hits a $5 threshold. At $12 per year, the profits can be upside down at first but quickly rebound to gains over the years.