6 Moves You Can Use to Make & Save Money
Just as being an effective fighter means mastering defensive moves and offense moves, you as an individual need to learn how to play self-defense against expenses and play offense to make yourself more money. That’s why it is important to learn the best financial moves for your situation. It’s a constant cycle of saving and making. Professionals and financial advisors can give you all the advice that they want, but it is really the people who have experienced life with ups and downs that are the best in giving smart money saving tips. With that being said, we’ve put together some smart financial moves to help you with that regular financial cycle of saving and making.
Some ways that you can better manage your current financial situation include:
- Managing Bills
- Better Handling Medical Debt
- Reducing Your Existing Bills
The benefits of technology are endless, and you’ll be happy to hear that the TrueBill App can be your own personal financial assistant for free. Rather than negotiating your bills yourself, the TrueBill app does the negotiating for you, and setting it up is as easy as it gets. When you download it, you will be asked to create an account that connects to your bank account/credit cards. Once you activate the bill negotiation and outage protection features, the app will immediately get to work looking for refunds that you may be entitled to. The app also helps you spot all those hidden subscriptions that you forgot about that are still collecting money from you. You could end up saving up to $700 with this app. It’s quite an invention!
Better Handle Medical Debt
Medical treatment in the United States is one of the most expensive healthcare services in the world, forcing people to pay thousands and plunging them into an insurance mess. What you need is a little relief and Credible would definitely be a good resource for you because it matches the personal loan that would best suit your needs. You can take your multiple lines of medical debt and consolidate them into one loan to better manage your finances.
Reducing Your Existing Bills
When you sign up for bills, you may not choose the best company to partner with. Squeeze is a website that allows you to solve that problem because it is designed to compare rates for different types of services, such as personal loans, cell phone plans, internet plans, etc. This is definitely a useful tool that you can use to make some big money saving moves and see if you are paying more money than what is needed.
Going on the Financial Offensive
Just as there are ways you can better handle your financial situation, there are ways you can actively improve it. Ways you can go on the financial offensive include:
- Early Check Access
- Get a Side Gig
- Become a Landlord
Early Check Access
Do you want to get a head start on getting your income? One of the best money moves to make is to use technology. Chime is a great tool for you to use to serve that purpose. Chime basically functions as an online bank account that gives you access to your money as soon as it is notified of a direct deposit from the company that you work in.
Get a Side Gig
Since your eyes are always stuck to a cell phone screen all day, why not make use of your cell phone addiction and all the extra spare time as a money-making opportunity? You’ve got a lot of choices. If you are into watching videos, you can try InboxDollars, which actually pays you to watch short video clips. Another option that’s good for opinionated people are surveys online. Try Survey Junkie or Swagbucks, for example. These websites actually pay you in your Paypal account or offer you gift cards if you fill out their surveys. Seriously, it’s that easy.
Become a Landlord
You can make money by sharing your own space with someone else on Airbnb. In fact, the average Airbnb host makes an extra $954 every month! Now, that’s how you can make use of hospitality to make profits for yourself.
Have you taken the time to try to better your current financial situation while also bringing in more income and still find yourself needing more? Then it may be time to look at some alternatives like federal assistance. There are countless assistance options available from a federal, state-wide, and local level.
There are assistance options that can help all aspects of life from housing costs, to utilities, to the costs of food, and more. You can review some options that you may want to apply for. A good rule of thumb is to apply to as many assistance programs as you can. These applications are free and may be able to help you drastically! Popular options are:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Child Nutrition Programs
- Child’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8 Housing)
- Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Federal Grants
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers SNAP to qualified individuals and families. This is the largest available nutrition assistance program that is provided by the government, and hands out benefits with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. These EBT cards act as a prepaid debit card that receives funds every month while the recipient is eligible. The funds deposited onto these cards can go towards the costs of groceries and food. EBT cards are not used everywhere so it is important to find locations that accept this assistance. Fun fact, you may have heard this program get referred to as “Food Stamps”! If you are interested in this assistance program you can review eligibility guidelines online. You can expect to need to at least meet income requirements.
Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
This is a specialized federal food assistance program designed for women, infants, and children up to the age of 5. This program gives food, vouchers, referrals of assistance, and education to eligible individuals. WIC also covers pregnant women! If you are interested in applying to this program you can get in touch with your local WIC office.
Child Nutrition Programs
There are plenty of federally backed child nutrition programs that can help children in schools. There is:
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Special Milk Program (SMP)
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Qualified children (and some adults) can reap the benefits of these programs when they attend participating schools or provide support to low income communities and individuals.
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
This meal program works with both nonprofit private schools and public schools. The goal of this program is to be able to provide affordable yet still nutritious meals to eligible school children throughout the school year.
School Breakfast Program (SBP)
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all. That is why this program helps states by providing reimbursement when they operate breakfast programs in schools (and residential childcare institutions).
Special Milk Program (SMP)
Milk is an important part of healthy growing (shout out to calcium). This program can help schools that are either a part of NSLP, or SBP. Schools that do not participate in other federal programs are also eligible to receive assistance. Schools that receive benefits from this program are able to be reimbursed for the milk that they serve. This provides schools the opportunity to serve milk to eligible children!
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
CACFP is a program that is able to give reimbursements to approved child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers for nutritious snacks and meals that are served to eligible children and adults. This program aims to promote the wellness, and healthy growth of children and individuals in America.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Even though this is a federal assistance program, states adminiser it. This program provides reimbursements to operators that help minors in impoverished areas get free healthy snacks and meals.
This is a federal health insurance program for eligible low-income individuals and families. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) administers this service. These centers are a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (which makes sense because this program deals with both health and human services.) Eligible minors, adults, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities, and elderly individuals receive health benefits for free (or low-cost)
Child’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Do you make too much to qualify for Medicaid? No issue! CHIP is another program that you may be able to qualify for! This program provides affordable medical and dental care to children that do not have insurance until they are 19 years old. This program covers hospital care, medical tests, screenings, medical supplies, preventative care, and more!
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8 Housing)
The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also referred to as Section 8 Housing is a federal assistance affordable housing program. Section 8 provides vouchers to eligible low-income individuals and families for housing costs. Unfortunately, not every property accepts these vouchers as a form of payment. Which limits voucher recipients in their ability to choose a place to live. Luckily, the government offers tax incentives to properties as a way to encourage the acceptance of these vouchers.
It is also important to note that while this program is very helpful, it can take a long time to actually receive the benefits. You can submit an application and get more information at your local public housing authority (PHA). If you application is approved then you will likely go on a waitlist. These waitlists vary by location and level of need but can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
This program has the goal of supporting families through assisting with energy costs. LIHEAP can provide aid benefits towards home energy utility bills, weatherization services, and minor home repairs that are energy related. When you receive this assistance you reduce the chance of unexpected accidents that can occur from a lack of proper heating or cooling. If you want more information you can call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) at 1-866-674-6327.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Eligible low-income senior citizens and individuals with disabilities may be able to receive cash with this program. SSI can help recipients purchase necessities like housing, food, and clothing. People that receive this income may be able to get roughly $536 a month!
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF can provide cash for a set timeframe to qualified low-income families that need help achieving self-sufficiency. This program may be able to offer a variety of additional non-cash assistance like job preparation and child care.
Grants provide cash to eligible applicants. The government offers a lot of grants that to go towards the costs of education (which can be a huge aid in improving your financial situation.) A popular option is the pell grant.
This is one of the most popular grant options that the government offers. The funds of this grant can provide tuition assistance to eligible undergraduates. Recipients must meet financial need requirements, school enrollment requirements, and school cost requirements. The total amount of money that the pell grant provides can change every year but on average can provide a little over $6,000.