Latest posts by R.J. Weiss, CFP®
- Financial Milestones To Reach Before 35 - November 20, 2017
- 12 Money Hacks That Will Add $5K To Your Bank Account - November 9, 2017
- 6 Personal Finance Ratios You Need to Know - November 6, 2017
Want to make 2018 your best year ever? Whether you’re trying to make money, spend less, or want a quick tip to help you acheive your money goals–we have you covered.
Here are seven year-end moves moves, you can make in under an hour, to make 2018 your best year ever.
7 Easy Year-End Money Moves To Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever
# 1) Check Your Credit Score for Free
You should know your credit score and what’s on you report. A few years back, a medical bill of mine was sent to the wrong address. I didn’t find out about it until I got an alert that a collection agency showed up on my credit report. I ended up getting it fixed but if I didn’t have credit monitoring setup, the situation could have been far worse.
It turns out, this situation isn’t that unique. A recent FTC report found 20% of American’s have an error on their credit report.
I use a free site called Credit Sesame, which offers free credit monitoring and alerts. You even get to see your credit score for free (signing up doesn’t impact your score). Sign up today to see what’s on your credit report.
Credit Sesame Quick Summary
- Get your credit score for free in under 90 seconds
- Get personalized tips on how to improve your score
- Highly rated app with a rating of 4.3 and 21,000+ votes
- No credit card needed & it won't impact your score
# 2) Earn Some Extra Money
A surefire way to make some extra cash in a hurry is taking surveys online. Completing a few surveys a day in your spare time can add up to hundreds of dollars over the month. My favorite online survey site is Swagbucks. With Swagbucks you can earn not only with surveys and shopping but everyday things you do online such as searching or watching videos.
MyPoints is another large survey site. Their parent company Prodege has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. MyPoints has paid out over $236 million in gift cards and cash since 1996. Plus, they offer a $5 bonus for your first five surveys.
To maximize your earnings, you’ll want to sign up for each site. This way you can always take the highest paying survey.
# 3) Earn Up To 20% Cashback From Your Online Purchases
I kick myself for not taking advantage of cashback sites earlier. Especially, when I add up the total number of purchases I’ve made online over my life.
What cashback sites do is share the affiliate commission they earn with you. All you have to do is start your search at their website. Then, you just proceed as normal.
My favorite cash back site is Swagbucks. With Swagbucks, you can get up to 20% cash back from stores like Amazon, WalMart and more.
#4) The Zero Effort Hack To Optimize Your 401k
If you’re like most, you decided on your choice of 401(k) funds a while back and haven’t given it much thought since.
I get it. Sorting through the sometimes complex options in your 401(k) can seem daunting. But it’s important to keep in mind, it’s your choice of funds that determine your return.
Bloom is a free tool that analyzes your 401(k) in a totally hands off way. All you do is link up your retirement account–then get a free analysis of your 401(k) in minutes. You can take this free analysis and make adjustments yourself. If you prefer a hands off approach, Bloom can manage your 401(k) for $10 a month, with your first month free.
The Wall Street Journal recently named Bloom “One of the best online tools for retirement planning.”
Let Bloom tell you how you’re doing. Start the signup process by entering your name, birthday, and estimated retirement date. Then, let Bloom link up to your 401(k) to get your free analysis.
Bloom Quick Summary
- Check the health of your 401(k) with a free analysis from Bloom
- Named "One of the best online tools for retirement planning" by Wall Street Journal
- Works with: 401(k), 457, 403(b), 401(a) and TSP
# 5) Let A Robot Save You Real Money
Trim is a reader favorite at The Ways To Wealth. The goal of Trim is to become your automated personal finance assistant.
You start by downloading the app. Then, syncing your credit card data. Trim’s goal is to find you customized coupons, promos, and rebates. When they do, they send you a message on Facebook.
For example, after signing up a few months back, I got an email from Comcast I had a $5 credit towards my account.
When I logged into Facebook, it turns out that Trim negotiated this $5 credit based on power outage.
Pretty cool, right?
Trim Quick Summary
- A free service that saves you money by cutting unused subscriptions, negotiating bills & earning cash back
- Has saved users over $1,000,000 in the last month
- New York Times called Trim, "a good warning for consumers who hate not getting what they are paying for or paying for things that they are not getting."
# 6) Uncover Your Hidden Fees
Did you know that hidden investment fees can account for one of the largest expenses over your life?
For example, take a young investor with $25,000 in a retirement account, who plans to add $10,000 each year, with expected earnings of 7% over 40 years.
If this young investor pays 1% in fees each year, the total cost to this investor would be $592,798.
Remember, fees not only cost you money today, they reduce your returns in the future.
It’s important to discover each and every cent you’re paying in investment fees. Minimizing investment fees can take years off your working life.
Unfortunately, they’re called hidden fees for a reason. They can be hard to uncover.
The good news is there is a free financial tool that helps you discover all the hidden fees you’re paying today.
Enter Personal Capital’s Free Fee Analyzer. You can sign up at no cost and sync your investment accounts. Then, Personal Capital allows you to see the impact of hidden fees on your savings.
# 7 ) Save Thousands By Refinancing
The average American spends $8,037 each year on interest.
Whether it’s student loans, credit cards, cars, or even a mortgage — it’s worth seeing if you can consolidate or refinance your debt.
A good resource is SoFi, which provides rates as low as 2.815% for student loans and 5.49% for personal debt.
The average credit card interest rate is over 15%, so refinancing to a lower rate can save you a ton of money.
Those who refinance their student loans through SoFi, save an average of $22,359!
If you have outstanding debt, it’s worth your time to complete their application, which takes a few minutes.