Congratulations! You’ve said your vows. You’ve thrown that bouquet (who knew Grandma could jump like that?). You’re even rocking a nice tan from your honeymoon.
Now married life really begins. Like it or not, your finances are a major factor in your marriage. According to Dave Ramsey, 86% of couples who got married in the last five years started out in debt.
It’s OK. Take a deep breath. We’ve put together a quick challenge for married couples to get your finances in shape for your happily ever after.
Do you accept the challenge? If so, say, “I do” (again).
1. Invest Like a Tycoon (Even If You’re Not Rich)
Want to try real-estate investing without playing landlord? We found a company that helps you do just that.
Oh, and you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500. A company called Fundrise does all the heavy lifting for you.
Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be split into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States.
This isn’t an obscure investment, though. You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation in the value of your shares, just like a stock. Cash flow typically comes from interest payments and property income (e.g. rent).
2. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it. All that debt racked up from the 300 destination weddings your friends made you attend (thanks!) could be paid by the end of this month.
Your credit card company is ripping you off with insane rates, and it’s getting rich off of you. But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Fiona knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And 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.
Now you can finally stop holding a grudge against that friend who thought a Mexico wedding was a good idea.
3. Reduce Your Car Insurance to as Low as $27/Month
How much are you paying for car insurance each month? $75? $150? $250?
Yes. There’s no getting around car insurance, unfortunately. But once you’re married, it’s smart to shop for car insurance twice a year.
“Not only can a lot of circumstances in your life (getting married, for example) and your car (mileage, age) change in that time, but insurance companies may be changing their pricing as well, and you want to be sure you’re getting the right coverage, service and of course pricing to suit your changing needs,” says Alyssa Connolly, the director of marketing insights at The Zebra.
The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.
Just enter information about your car and your coverage needs, and The Zebra shows dozens of side-by-side quotes as low as $27/month.
4. Copy This Strategy to Get Checks in the Mail Totaling $526
Remember when getting the mail was fun? Now it’s just bills. And Valpak envelopes.
But for Colleen Rice, checking the mail meant finding checks. For doing nothing. Seriously. Since she started using a free website called Rakuten, she’s received $526.44.
Rakuten has the hookup with just about every website you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Amazon — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.
Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.
Plus, if you sign up with Rakuten and get a kickback in the first 90 days, they’ll give you an extra $10 on your next check.
Talk about money for nothing.
5. Secure $1 Million in Life Insurance for Just $25/Month
Johnny Greig/Getty Images
You probably don’t want to think about what will happen to your spouse or family after you die — but have you ever wondered how it would affect them financially to lose you (and your income)?
A company like Policygenius offers you an easy way to compare and buy life insurance. Unlike traditional providers, this online-only platform provides an easy way to apply, and it offers instant quotes from top carriers online to help you make a quicker decision.
“The biggest mistake I see millennials making is being duped by insurance salesmen,” says Andy Yadro, a financial planner with Googins Advisors in Madison, Wisconsin. “Everyone needs insurance, but a very small subset of young people need the insurance that is sold by most ‘financial advisors.’”
To get a quote through Policygenius, you’ll just enter some info about yourself and your health online. Once you choose a life insurance company, you can apply right online, and a Policygenius rep will give you a quick call to ask a few follow-up questions.
You get easily leave behind $1M for as little as $25/month.