Try This 14-Day Quarantine Challenge for a Money Boost

Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

Give yourself a pat on the back for being an unlikely hero by staying safer at home. It may not feel like you’re doing much, but you’re definitely helping the frontline of medical personnel.

But with at least another month or more of the same home schedule, you might be looking into other ways to be productive. (Even though it’s entirely OK to relax whenever you need!)

So when you’re ready to be more proactive, especially in your finances, try this quarantine challenge that we’ve put together that mixes a variety of making money, saving money, and some health rewards to help give you a money boost.

Take it day by day or complete multiple in a day, it’s up to you!

Day 1: Instantly Boost Your Credit Score - And it's Free

Having a low credit score can impact a lot in your life, like the ability to rent an apartment, get a car, and even a cellphone plan.

That’s why it’s important to maintain positive credit card payment history and to keep credit utilization ratio in check (not using more than 30% of your credit line on any credit card).

Regardless of what your score is currently at though, everyone can use a boost to their 3 digit number, and Experian® wants to help.

A new feature called Experian Boost™* can help instantly improve your credit scores for free.

Experian does this by adding your positive payment history from utility and telecom bills to your Experian credit file. This is huge, because previously, your gas, water, electricity, TV, internet, and phone bills that you already pay for didn’t affect your credit. Now it does and to your benefit of potentially increasing your credit scores!

It’s simple to start, and all you need is a free Experian Boost membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you use to pay bills. Experian will check only utility and telecom payments and get you credit for the payments you’ve already been paying.

This process doesn’t hurt your credit at all and you can choose to remove the boost if you want.

Compared to expensive and drawn out credit repair services, this new alternative is the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores.

*Results may vary, see website for details.

Day 2: Since You're Not Commuting, Save $610 a Year on Car Insurance

When everyone is staying at home or transitioning to a work or school from home lifestyle, this is the best time to re-evaluate your car insurance premiums. You might be overpaying on your current insurance premium since it can be a hassle finding another provider.

However, you can search for quotes easily on EverQuote. They help match you among dozens of regional agencies and insurance carriers to filter the best matches to save on your car insurance.

It takes about 4 minutes to fill out the form and you’ll see a list of matches that show potential online quotes, email, and potential phone quotes.

EverQuote can save drivers $610 a year on average* compared to their current insurance premiums. Once you see your list of potential matches, choose the online ones you want or wait for more information via email or phone.

It’s a pretty simple process, so try it out to see how much you could be saving on the road!

Day 3: Keep Calm and Invest in Gold - Starting with Just $1

Yes, the COVID-19 news that’s bombarding your feed can be scary. In addition to the Fed cutting interest rates and events getting banned, you might not even think about investing.

But it’s actually the time to start if you haven’t already. How about investing in a material that’s been around since ancient times? Yep, gold.

There’s a reason why people buy gold (coins, bricks, etc) because it tends to shine whenever there’s political, economic, or financial unrest.

But there’s an easier way to invest in gold, digitally, via Stash, a microinvesting app that lets you invest with as little as $1 and takes less than 2 minutes to get started. They’ll even give you $5 to start investing.

They offer thousands of investments which include stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (“All That Glitters” is the gold ETF). You’ll get to choose where to put your money based on things like your personal beliefs, interests, and goals. Their newest feature, Stock-BackⓇ rewards1 lets you invest in brands you spend on with the Stash debit card.2 Purchased something at Amazon? Earn Amazon stock rewards. It’s like cash back but with stock!

Since paper money loses value over time, consider investing in gold, which is obviously popular as jewelry but is also widely used in dentistry and industrial electronics!

Day 5: Apply to Protect Your Income When You’re Too Sick or Injured to Work

The coronavirus pandemic has added a great deal of uncertainty to everyday life. One way to financially prepare for the unexpected is to protect your income from serious illnesses.

The best time to prepare is when you’re healthy. Yes, you’re taking the precautions and practicing social distancing. But what happens when your state decides to re-open and life resumes? There are still chances to get sick as there’s no vaccine currently. Plus, those who recover from COVID-19 may be at a greater risk for long-term health issues.

That’s why disability insurance is recommended. You need it if you rely on your source of income to live life. This is especially true if you have loved ones who financially depend on you.

Disability insurance isn’t just for injuries. In fact, illnesses (including mental health issues, such as depression) represent 90%* of long-term disability claims.

To make coverage more accessible and affordable, Breeze has built the first fully online disability insurance product. Answer some quick questions to get a rate in a matter of seconds. You can then choose your benefit period (most disabilities average 2 years) and complete a 15-minute online application.

If you’re approved for coverage, you’ll receive disability insurance benefits paid if you can’t work to make up for lost income. Plans start at $9/month* and benefit amounts range from $500 to $20,000.

It’s free to check out rates and you can apply online. Give yourself peace of mind, especially in these troubling times!

Day 6: Leave Your Family $1 Million in Life Insurance for as Little as $8/Month

When you hear “life insurance” the first 2 things that might come to mind are death and finances. Ultimately it’s “I love you” money to your family after you’ve passed away, which should be talked about during these crazy times.

For most people, life insurance is logical but the long process could be deterring. Some life insurance companies can take up to 2.5 months for the approval process to complete, including paperwork and a comprehensive medical exam which may be inconvenient.

But one company is trying to change all that. Bestow’s mission is to offer affordable term life insurance in under 5 minutes without you having to talk to anyone. No exam needed either.

You can get up to $1 million in coverage and they offer 10 years and 20 years term options.

All of Bestow’s policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, who’s been around for over 100 years and holds an A+ (Superior) rating with A.M. Best, a global credit rating agency for insurance companies.

In plain English terms, it means your policy is provided by a dependable insurance giant who has been serving customers for many years.

So if you’re between the ages of 21-54, here’s what they’ll ask:

  • Your basic information (Name, Email, Address, SSN, etc)
  • Some Life questions (medical history, hobbies, lifestyle)
  • Beneficiaries (who would receive the money after insured’s death)
  • Policy and payment details (If approved, you choose the monthly payment and enter credit card info)

Each policy has a “free look” period (usually 30 days) which means you can cancel if it’s not right for you and get a full refund.

And you can easily cancel your policy at any time.

Life insurance talk isn’t fun but Bestow is attempting to make it as easy as possible for people to get covered quickly. Go ahead and see what your rates are in just under 5 minutes. It’s the biggest “I love you” you can give to your loved ones.

*Bestow is currently not available in New York

Day 7: Relax and School Competitors in Solitaire to Ca$h In

When you’re looking for something to do at home, check out Solitaire Cube, which is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash.

The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so all is fair. If you’re a good Solitaire player, you could win some serious cash, like Katie N. who took home $380,984 last year as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players! Even casual players like Amanda, a stay-at-home mom from IL, won a 55″ TV, $6,000, and more!

So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire Cube to win legit cash, definitely download this game for free. 

Cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.

Day 8: Earn $200 Binging on Food, Entertainment, Health & Tech News TV

I can barely cook but I love watching food videos. The new season of Ugly Delicious? I’m there.

If you’re a video junkie too, become an Inbox Dollars member where you can watch their TV and Videos section that ranges from Trending News, Entertainment, Food, Health, Tech, and even the latest World News to earn some cash. You’ll also get $5 as a sign-up bonus too!

They set it up in playlists though and they’ll tell you how long it takes as it can range from a few minutes to half an hour. Tip: You can set it to Play, open up another browser tab and let the videos run while you continue doing something else if you’re multi-tasking!

Playlists and earning potential can change, but it’s possible to earn up to $200 a month, watching videos!

Day 9: Scan the Stuff You Buy & Get Free Rewards

The exclusive National Consumer Panel (NCP) program is opening up again for more participants! This is your opportunity to make your consumer voice heard! (And get paid for it)

When you become a panelist, just use the app to scan the barcodes of items you purchase, provide a few additional transaction details, and you’ll earn points for:

  • Gift Cards
  • Tablets
  • Electronic Equipment
  • Flat Screen TVs
  • and much more from their gift catalog!

Plus, all panelists are automatically entered into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual drawings to win extra points and gift cards – even a quarterly sweepstakes to win $5,000!

The more you share your shopping habits (scan barcodes), the more rewards you can get. You can also answer surveys and share information about your overall shopping trip.

“Scanning my purchases is fun! I also enjoy taking the surveys. Earning points is fast and easy and they have a great selection of rewards.” – Jennifer B.

It’s a fun way to earn more rewards on items you’ve already purchased and at no extra cost to you.

Register now to see if you’re eligible to be a National Consumer Panelist. Eligibility will be based on your location. If you don’t get accepted this time, don’t worry! They’re always expanding locations, so check back again.

Day 10: Shop. Scan. Score. Free Money for Your Receipts While Stocking Up

Obviously we have a lot of love for apps that make it easy to earn money for the things we normally do anyway. Like, going to the grocery store to stock up for the next few weeks.

This app is easy to use, you just need to scan in a receipt and you’ll earn points towards free money. It’s called Fetch Rewards. Shop at any grocery store, convenience store, club store, neighborhood store, or big box store, take a picture of your receipt with the app, and that’s it. (Favorites include Target, Kroger, and Walmart!)

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items you plan to buy in the app, just scan in any receipt from a store that sells groceries (even if you didn’t actually buy any groceries) and boom, points for money. You can even choose to donate the money you’ve earned to charity if you want to help out in these hard times!

Grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt. Even scan older receipts up to 20 days old!

Day 11: Make 1.21% Interest On Your Money with Fee-Free Banking

Traditional banks may2 seem to take every opportunity they can to squeeze more money out of you. With everything from a monthly service fee to various hidden fees nibbling away at your account balance. Enter Varo which was founded to provide banking services without the hidden fees.

Yep, Varo has no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees. On top of having no fees, Varo lets you make more money on your money. Varo provides a high-yield savings account that starts at 1.21% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1 that can move up to 2.80% APY1 based on qualifying activity. To put this into perspective, the average APY of the 5 biggest national banks is 0.09%.*

Varo has a few sweet extra features too:

  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier^
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Over 55,000+ AllPoint® ATMs worldwide to use your Varo Visa® debit card
  • Offers personal loans to pre-qualified customers who want to consolidate debt
  • Varo will send any paper check to anyone in the U.S. on your behalf
  • “Save the Change” rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference to your Varo savings account

If you’re sick of being charged banking fees and want to make more out of your money, check out Varo. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.

Day 12: Take Advantage of Free Stuff During Quarantine

When you’re going a little (ok, maybe a lot) stir-crazy at home, take advantage of the free entertainment, education, virtual field trips, workouts and more that are being offered by companies online.

We compiled a list here that can help your family pass the time quicker and have more fun doing it too. There’s enough activity to last throughout the month!

Day 13: Give Your Eyes a Break from The Screen - Listen to Entertainment & News Instead

When you’re safer at home and scrolling through your phone mindlessly because there’s nothing else to do, turn on Sirius XM Radio instead to give your eyes a break.

It’s not just for car listening anymore either. Tune in to 300+ channels while you’re cooking, cleaning, or even just laying there relaxing by streaming on all your devices. For a limited time, their free streaming trial is valid until mid-May instead of the normal 7-days.

Take advantage of this generous extension to listen in on commercial-free music, talk, comedy, news, sports, and more with popular stations including Howard Stern and Kevin Hart. Pop on music for your SoulCycle workouts and meditative sounds for yoga.

With plenty of channels, you can listen to all the top hits as well as create your own personalized stations too. There’s even hourly updates and expert advice on COVID-19 on the Doctor Radio channel when you want.

Day 14: Stay Healthy During These Times: Get Paid to Lose Weight

There’s nothing like money motivation right? Especially for fitness. It’ll also give you something else to do besides being a couch potato and reading about unhappy news.

You might be extra inspired because there’s a health and wellness company that will pay you to lose weight. Seriously!

It’s called HealthyWage.

They have a ton of testimonial/pictures on their site along with legit places reviewing them from CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.

So if you need some money motivation to lose weight, here’s how it works:

1. Start with the HealthyWage calculator (Read More )
2. Decide on a weight goal & amount of time to achieve it
3. Bet on yourself ranging from $20-$150 a month
4. Achieve your goal and you could win up to $10,000 depending on your HealthyWager!
5. If you don’t achieve your goal, the money goes to support HealthyWage, including prizes for others who achieve their goals

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