Finance

Category Archives for Finance.

The 12 Best Card-Linked and Cashback Apps (10 Get You Completely Free Rewards)

Lord knows I love playing around with new apps on my phone, especially in the interest of free, passive cashback just for linking my cards one time.

And other apps can save you money too, but require more interaction. I’m happy to click a few buttons to earn a few free bucks.

There are a LOT of card-linked and cashback apps out there.  Here are the 6 best card-linked apps, and 6 best cashback apps.

Between the 12, you stand to gain $95+ right out the gate!

 

best cashback apps

These apps get you ongoing rewards for linking your cards. Set and forget!

Between them all, I’ve gotten back $100s in free rewards in the form of cash and gift cards.

12 Best Apps for Free Rewards

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Up to $55 Back With Freebird for Taking Uber and Lyft Rides – New Promo Code

In time for Friday eve, I just got word of a new promo code you can stack with others for up to $45 cash back on Uber and Lyft rides booked through Freebird.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Download Freebird
  • Enter promo codes:
  • S897C” – $10 cashback ($5 for each of your first 2 rides)
  • 5FOR5” – $5 cashback on your first 5 rides (up to $25) through June 1, 2019 – works for existing users
  • OR
  • 3TENBACK” – $10 cashback on your first 3 rides (up to $30) for a limited time – new users only
  • APR19BONUS” – $10 cashback on any ride through July 1, 2019
  • URBDAY1” – $5 cashback on any ride – works for existing users

That’s a total of up to $45 cashback!

Freebird lets you book Uber and Lyft rides through their app – and you’ll earn points on each ride. Once you earn 5,000 points, you can cash it out for $10. So you can potentially do even better with these codes when you add points to the mix.

freebird promo code

This new promo code gets you $25 more bucks – and works for existing users

Plus, as I’ve found over the past few weeks, your Uber and Lyft credits should still work!

Freebird powers up your Uber and Lyft apps

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Is Stash Stock-Back Better Than Earning Points? They Seem to Think So – Do You?

Micro-investing platform Stash introduced a debit card this week with an interesting proposition – earn .125% rewards on every purchase in the form of stock. If you spend at a publicly traded company, you’ll get a slice of their stock.

And if they’re a private company, your rewards go into a low-cost Vanguard ETF.

That’s great, but if you want to earn stocks, just get a Fidelity Visa (learn more here) for 2% back and buy whatever fund you want. Right?

Stash says they make it easier by delivering your rewards instantly and automatically. And sometimes bonuses go up to 5% back.

Today I got an email with the subject line: “Forget points. The Stash debit card has something better.” 😲 That got my attention.

Stash Stock-Back review

Me? Forget points? I think not, especially for such low earning rates

But it does raise an interesting question: travel rewards for Now You, or invest for Future You? And I dunno, but getting 5% back as stock might be worthwhile sometimes. But I wonder how much I could really earn from that…

Stash Stock-Back review – is it worth it?

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Investing Vs Pay Down Student Loans: Why I’m Gonna Aggressively Save for Retirement and Just Pay the Minimum

I’ve been taking stock of my complete financial life: mortgage, credit cards, savings, and other debt.

At one point, I became obsessed with getting rid of my student loans. They’re an ugly stain, a black cloud always marring my ideal financial vision. Last year, I made a $7,000 payment just to start chipping away at the principal. I see now it was an emotional, not logical, decision.

Since then, I don’t feel like made much progress. And deep down, I want to save more in my IRA account. I was paying so aggressively that I wasn’t saving as much.

After running the numbers, I’ve decided to say screw the student loans. I’m gonna pay the bare minimum and invest everything else.

Past Harlan went to school. Future Harlan is gonna save his pennies. (Third person tense activatedddd!)

invest student loans

I just wanna be carefree. For me, that means giving up the ghost of paying off my student loans – I’m gonna invest the rest

I’m tired of missing out on opportunities.

Why I’m forgetting about paying off my student loans

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Acorns Found Money: Automatic Cashback With 8 Merchants (BarkBox, Gas, Sam’s Club) & $60+ Free for Completing Offers

File this under semi-interesting. It’s niche, but worthwhile if you spend with any of the participating stores.

Acorns is offering free cashback (Found Money) for spending with a linked card at 8 merchants. Some are set amounts, others are a percentage back in your account.

And, you can earn $60+ for completing offers with their partners – things like free trials and insurance quotes.

I’ve earned $50+ for riding with Uber, filing taxes, and booking a pet sitter. So if these current offers don’t interest you, know they’re always rotating – and something’s bound to catch your interest sooner or later.

Acorns is an investment account that costs $1 per month. But considering how much free cash I’ve earned, it’s already paid for itself for several years.

You get a free $5 bonus when you signup using this link.

acorns found money

Don’t turn down free money! Just link your cards and spend like normal

Here’s how to get free cash coming your way.

Free Found Money with Acorns at 8 merchants (and it’s always changing)

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STOP Leaving Your Money in Checking Accounts! Make It Earn FREE Interest Instead!

When I pull cash out of an ATM, the receipt always says I have something like $100 in my account. Yeah, in my checking account.

The truth is I keep my checking account balance low on purpose. Because money in a checking account ain’t doing nothing but sittin’ like a bump on a pickle (#SouthernSayins).

I want my money to work for me. Every day, for years. Compound interest is a wonderful tool that can work for you – or against you. So make it work FOR you!

At the very least, keep your money in an interest-bearing savings account. Pay your bills from checking, then transfer the excess to a high-interest savings or investment account.

earn free interest

Compound interest is one of the most powerful forces in the universe

Whatever you do, stop using checking accounts to park your money!

Get an interest savings account and/or an investment account to earn free interest

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Check Your Business Credit Score for Free – Here’s How, & Why You Want It

If you’ve opened small business credit cards, chances are you have a business credit score – one you might not even know about.

Business cards are totally different animals from personal cards, in their protections and how they’re treated by law. In general, consumer (personal) credit cards give you more protection against unwanted activity, and with extended warranties.

But a small business card can be an excellent way to separate your business expenses and earn bonus points in categories lots of personal cards simply don’t have, like office supplies, cell and cable bills, advertising, and shipping – to name a few.

business credit score

If you want to open small business cards, it’s good to know where you stand

Here’s more about your business credit score – and how to check it for free.

What’s a business credit score anyway?

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10 Tricks to Save EVERY Time You Shop at Sam’s Club

If you like big box stores, I completely understand the sentiment. Buying in bulk and getting a month of grocery shopping knocked out in one go saves time and money – both of which are always worth saving.

I ignore the naysayers who over exaggerate what it means to buy in bulk. I have memberships at both Costco and Sam’s Club and use them both equally – especially now that both are around the corner from me at my pied-a-terre in Austin.

Sam’s Club is, in some ways, better than Costco. Both memberships add value to my life

What I like about Sam’s Club:

  • They have self-checkout
  • You can scan your items as you go (with the, what else, Scan & Go app) and check out instantly
  • Receipts are stored digitally online
  • Club pickup – Costco does NOT offer this
  • Digital membership card on your phone and in Apple Wallet
  • Cheaper prices on tires
  • They accept every payment method, not just Visa
  • You can easily reorder your most common items
  • Their app is way better

But they don’t offer free shipping on most items online like Costco does. And their food court offerings tend to be greasy, calorie-laden fiascos whereas Costco seems a *little* healthier. And in general, I find Costco stores to be cleaner and better laid-out. Sam’s Club locations can be hit-or-miss, whereas I feel like Costco has more consistency between the stores.

Also, there are more ways to save at Sam’s Club. A lot more ways. And that might seal the deal for some peeps, especially if both are nearby.

Let’s look at how to save money EVERY time you set foot (or web browser) in Sam’s Club.

10 ways to build your own discounts at Sam’s Club

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Free Money: Why Even Frugal Folks Should Have a Credit Card

Just got back from FinCon. Of course I told everyone how I like to travel using credit card points & miles. Within the personal finance/FI/RE community, I was shocked how many people still don’t have credit cards.

And these are people who delight in number-crunching!

I understand the concerns about mismanagement, overspending, or accidentally missing a payment. But fact is, credit cards are part of adulting because your credit score is part of adulting.

Responsibly using credit is a sign to lenders that you qualify for lower rates and higher lines of credit. You can’t even rent an apartment without a credit check these days.

no annual fee credit cards

I’ve literally earned $1000s for free with no annual fee credit cards – everyone should!

And if you’re counting every penny, you definitely want a credit card. Because you can get back 2% of everything you spend. For completely free. Why wouldn’t anyone want that?

No annual fee credit cards are a no-brainer

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Sinemia Review: How It Works & How to Get the Most From It ($10 for 3 Movies a Month!)

So we all know MoviePass is dead as a doornail by now. Other programs have (or will) pop up, like AMC’s A-List and Alamo’s upcoming season pass (get on the waitlist now if you’re interested).

I used the ever-loving crap out of MoviePass, so losing it stung hard. But I’ve had Sinemia for a couple of weeks now and I gotta say – I like it even better than MoviePass.

Right now, they have a fall promotion to see a movie:

  • Every day for $30 a month
  • 3 times a month for $10 a month
  • 1 time a month for $5 a month

Considering the average movie ticket is $10+, that’s a great deal. But with MoviePass in the can, it begs the question: how long will this one last?

I opted for the plan to see 3 movies a month

So far, so good, though. I like that you can buy tickets in advance. And there are a couple more ways to get an even better deal out of the membership.

My Sinemia Review

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7 Tricks to Save EVERY Time You Shop at Costco

Dear light of heaven, I love Costco. Whereas to some it can seem like a gigantic warehouse with narrow aisles stacked to the ceiling with pallets, to me it’s a veritable wonderland.

love a good deal, and the best deals are often buying in bulk. When I mention I’m a Costco member, I’ve gotten scoffs and “Yeah but I don’t need 25 rolls of paper towels and 8 dozen eggs [or some other exaggeration]. Plus, where would I put it all?”

Ummmm… Costco was the cheapest place to shop in New York City, honey. If I can find space in a tiny Brooklyn apartment to store extra items and save some cash, you can too. And that’s what it’s all about: saving cash.

save at costco

In my element

Admittedly, Costco isn’t always the best deal. Sometimes they try to pull one over on ya and slip in some regular-priced stuff. But I don’t blame ’em for trying to make profit. Because when the deals are good, hoooo boy are they stellar (find me a cheaper avocado and I’ll eat my hat, and bananas cheaper than Trader Joe’s). That’s what keeps me shopping at Costco year after year: THE DEALS.

On top of already great prices, I’ve found ways to push them even further by making sure I always get a discount. 2% off, 5% back, even 10% rebates in some cases when I’m in the mood to plan a big shopping trip.

Here’s how I save every time I shop at Costco.

Stack these offers to build your own discounts at Costco

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GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Basic Pass to FinCon 2018 Next Month (Worth $600+)! 🎁

Join me at FinCon 2018 next month!

For my birthday weekend next week, I’m giving away a Basic Pass to the event which is September 26th through 29th, 2018, in Orlando!

The entries begin today at 5pm Central Time and end on August 22nd, 2018, at midnight Central Time! 🎉

FinCon 2018 giveaway

Wanna go to FinCon 2018? I’m giving away a Basic Pass!

Right now, this pass is selling for $599 + fees. So if you win, you’ll save $600+, plus you’ll have a ticket to the BEST personal finance event around. I went last year in Dallas – and will attend this year, too. So if you win, you’ll see me there! 👋🏻

This pass gives you full access to all the standard events.

See how to enter below!

FinCon 2018 giveaway

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