If You Can Afford $1,200 in Rent, Make These Money Moves


If you’re paying more than $1,200 a month in rent by yourself, that means two things:

  1. It stinks to pay that much rent, and 
  2. You’ve clearly got some income. Not everyone can afford that kind of rent.

So you’re making money and living in a decent place. You’ve finally got a little cushion in your bank account. You’ve achieved a certain level of financial stability.

What should you do next? Well, we have seven suggestions for you:

1. Buy a Home — Without a Huge Down Payment

Dream of owning a home? For many of us, this feels like a faraway fantasy.

But before you settle into the idea of renting for the rest of your life, consider this alternative: Buy a home through Divvy Homes.

Divvy’s program combines the best of both renting and homeownership. You get to choose a home you love, and Divvy buys it on your behalf. As soon as the closing process is complete, you can move in.

You’ll make monthly payments until you’re ready to buy the home from Divvy (or move out). Your payments include a portion that goes to your future home savings. At any time during the three-year lease, you can buy the home from Divvy with the money you’ve saved each month.

Even though you don’t truly own the home — yet — you can still make your home yours. You can paint, replace carpet, decorate or landscape. Oh, and Divvy takes care of any major maintenance needs. Need a new roof? Air conditioning go out? Divvy’s got it covered.

It’s free to see if you qualify, and it doesn’t take more than about four minutes in most cases. No visits to the bank, no lengthy phone calls, no impact on your credit score.

2. Protect Everything in Your Apartment for $5

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What if you lost everything? All your possessions — your clothes, your furniture, your laptop. Any jewelry you have. Even your microwave oven.

A kitchen fire could torch it all. A burglar could steal your valuables. And where would you be then?

You could be out of luck — unless you have renters insurance. And here’s the thing: It can be surprisingly cheap, especially if you get it through a company like Lemonade.

With Lemonade, you could get a policy for as little as $5 a month — less than half the average rate. 

Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. The whole process takes just 10 minutes. And $5-a-month renters insurance policy could be a lifesaver in the event of a fire or theft or vandalism.

If you think you don’t own enough stuff that’s worth insuring, just take a look around you. How else would you be able to replace your possessions if you lost them all? Check to see how much it would cost to insure it all. You might be surprised.

3. Leave Your Family up to $1 Million

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Have you thought about how your family would pay the rent without your income after you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.

Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy. 

You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million in life insurance (for as little as $5/month) with a company called Bestow.

You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam, pushy sales calls or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.

4. Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score

You’re doing pretty good. You’ve got a decent place to live, you make your rent payments — you’re not overly concerned with your credit score. In fact, you might not think much about it at all.

But what happens when you want to buy a house? Or a car? Even a five-point difference in your credit score could make a huge difference. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on your credit score, which you can do for free through Credit Sesame.

James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.* “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.

If you want to make sure your credit score is in tip-top shape, Credit Sesame will help. Just sign up for an account — it takes 90 seconds — and Credit Sesame will outline exactly what you need to do to give your credit a boost

5. If You Can’t Lower Your Rent, Cut Your Credit Card Bill

If you’re like most of us, two of your biggest financial burdens are rent and credit card debt. High credit card bills make it that much harder to pay the rent every month.

One problem: Your credit card companies are getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates. However, a company called AmOne could lower your monthly payment.

Here’s how it works: AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster.

If you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

6. Download This App to Get Up to $500 in Free Stock

If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500!) if you know where to look.

Whether you’re got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.

Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.

What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.

7. See if You Can Get Extra Cash From This Company 

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra money. And who doesn’t want free money? 

Yep. Aspiration gives you up to a 5% cash back1 every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra Cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get extra money in the process and put it towards your retirement?

It takes just five minutes to sign up for a new debit card and see how much extra money you could earn with the Aspiration Spend and Save account.



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