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10 Smart Moves for People with $1,000 in the Bank

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How far can $1,000 take you? Maybe you want to start a business, own a home, or save for a much-needed vacation.

To reach big goals, you need to get creative.

Most of us have savings accounts and online brokers. But there's actually a ton of new and exciting ways to grow your savings. (Did you know that investing in blue-chip art could net 8.9% average annual returns?)

Here are 10 money moves to really stay ahead of the curve.

1. Don't Touch the Money Until You Do This

If you have any credit card debt at all, you need to get rid of it before investing. Here's why: You probably pay 15-20% in interest. Realistically, you'll lose more money to credit card debt than you'd make from any investment.

Consider applying for a personal loan with a lower interest rate. It can help make your monthly payments more manageable. Check out this free tool from Fiona to compare offers from different lenders.

Got your debt under control? That's a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. Once that's in place, you can shift your focus toward making your money grow.

2. Get Cash Back From Your Phone

We're already used to getting cash back from credit cards. But you can double up on those points with an app called Ibotta.

They reward you for shopping in-store or online with 300+ retailers. Right now, you can get a $20 bonus just for joining.

Before you shop, browse the app to find out which items are eligible for cash back and add them to your account. After you're done shopping, take a picture of your receipt to get the points.

You can earn up to 10% cash back on select items and most members average $30 in monthly savings. Ibotta lets you cash out via PayPal, Venmo and gift cards.

3. Stop Overpaying for Your Bills

If you pay for subscriptions, there's a chance you're paying for one you don't even use anymore. Blame the darn auto-renewal feature.

Luckily, there's an app that uncovers all the unwanted subscriptions you're paying for. It's called Truebill. This app cancels forgotten subscriptions on your behalf, and they even negotiate lower rates for your bills.

Just connect your bill by logging in or by snapping a photo. Their expert team of discount hunters will contact those pesky companies charging you. The result? You get the best rate possible without being on hold over the phone for hours.

Once the negotiation is complete, they'll email to let you know your bill has changed and how much you'll be saving.

4. Flip Houses from Your Laptop

Have you ever thought about buying and flipping houses, but don't have enough capital? Then there's the fact that it's a lot of work too, and who has time for that?

The Groundfloor platform lets you do that all from your laptop. Invest in projects starting from just $10. And leave the actual buying, fixing, and selling to professional real estate developers.

Groundfloor is different from other real estate crowdfunding platforms. You're funding loans with short 6-18 month terms. So, your money isn't tied up for years and you get steady payments while the loans are repaid.

5. Get Tax Benefits with a Roth IRA

If you don't already have a retirement account, it's time to play catch-up. With a Roth IRA, your withdrawals are tax-free after you turn 59 ½.

Ally Invest is one of the top IRA providers around. There's no annual fee and they can help you every step of the way with a dedicated support line.

Note, the IRS lets savers over age 50 contribute an extra $1,000 annually to an IRA. You can put in $7,000 instead of the $6,000 limit. Great way to make up for lost time.

And Ally Invest's self-directed brokerage account is nothing to sneeze at either. They have no account minimums and offer commission-free trades for stocks and ETFs. Plus, they're known for high customer satisfaction ratings.

Keep in mind if your account is less than 5 years old, withdrawals may be subject to taxes and penalties.

6. Find Out If You Pay Too Much for Car Insurance

Do you get a loyalty discount from your car insurance? If you do, it's a red flag you might be overpaying.

See, car insurance companies are pretty sneaky. They'll throw you a small discount for being a loyal customer... and jack up the price to spin a profit. The only way to outsmart them is to compare quotes every year.

Don't worry. You don't need to spend all day calling up every insurer in your city. Instead, check out this car insurance comparison tool. It's completely free to get quotes, and you can save up to $600 per year.

Most importantly: That cash can go toward your goals instead of making insurance companies even richer.

7. Become Smarter in Just 5 Minutes

Picture this: your coworkers are talking about current events. Once again, you just listen and nod because you don't quite know what they're talking about.

Sound familiar? Of course you want to stay informed, but most news is pretty dry. Luckily, you can get unbiased news that's actually fun to read emailed to you every morning.

Morning Brew is a free newsletter designed for young professionals to get on their A game. You get the latest updates about business, politics, and tech in just 5 minutes. You can even read it first thing before you get out of bed.

8. Check If You're On Track for Retirement

Once you reach your peak-earning years, you might be keeping an eye on multiple 401k's from previous employers, and possibly even managing your own Roth IRA.

Do you know if you're contributing enough? Or in good shape for retirement? Use this free tool from Personal Capital to find out.

Their Retirement Planner aggregates your spending history and portfolio to forecast how likely you'd be able to afford that lifestyle as a senior. You can even run hypothetical scenarios or adjust goals to see how they'd affect your retirement plans.

Don't leave your golden years up to chance. Personal Capital can give you much-needed reassurance.

9. Diversify Your Portfolio with Fine Art

Stocks aren't your only option for long-term investments. Savvy investors are investing in the $1.7T art market. Yup, we're talking iconic pieces from the likes of Warhol, Monet, and Basquiat.

Most valuable paintings will run you $500k, but Masterworks lets you invest with a minimum of $1,000. Their target returns range from 8.9% - 12%. Bear in mind that they charge a 1.5% management fee and the average investment length is 5-10 years.

This alternative investing strategy is pretty impressive. In fact, fine art outperformed the S&P 500 by 180% from 2000 - 2018. There is a waitlist to join Masterworks, but you can skip to the front of the line by clicking here.

10. Don't Write Off Your Vacation Goals

A lot of us are probably itching for a vacation, but it might take some time for that tropical dream to become a reality. In the meantime, start prepping for your sunny vacay with a travel credit card, like Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Bottom Line

Every once in a while, remember to take a step back to really appreciate how far you've come. Saving up is a huge step toward financial freedom.

Once you've got your victory dance in, just know that you have so much more potential.

Whether you're saving for a car, a home, or for retirement, the important thing is to learn good financial habits. Everyone's journey looks different. But make smart decisions and you'll turn that $1,000 into many more.

Write to Donna T at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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