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Here’s how to create a $1,000 emergency fund without doing anything illegal

Sponsored: The first thousand is the hardest.

(Getty Images) Everyone should have something set aside.

When you’re broke, it feels like you’re always going to be broke. It’s a never-ending cycle. You don’t have money, so you miss a bill and rack up a late charge you can’t pay because you’re broke.

The first step toward getting yourself out of this cycle is to build up a little financial cushion. Let’s call it your emergency fund. How’s $1,000 sound?

Even if you feel like you’re stuck, we’ve got eight tips to help you out. And if you follow them all, you could have an extra $1,000 (or more!) in two months. It’ll be worth it — and it doesn’t have to be hard.

We’ll break it down for you week by week:

Week 1: See if You Can Get Money From This Company

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

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 5% back every time you swipe.

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway, so why not get extra money in the process?

Enter your email address here and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry, your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

Week 2: Withdraw $5 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

Take a look at Forbes list for richest people, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company. But if you work for a living, and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy pieces of other companies for as little as $1.

That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits called dividends.

It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) – industry talk for “your money’s safe.”

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.

Week 3: Cancel Your Car Insurance

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.

If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again.

And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could get rates as low as $22 a month and save yourself more than $700 a year.

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep, in just one minute, you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

Week 4: This Research Company Pays up to $225 per Month to Watch Videos

This week, you’re going to add a little extra cash to your savings stash. But guess what? You don’t even have to leave your couch.

InboxDollars pays you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies. Next, you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama. All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos. It’s already paid its users more than $50 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

Week 5: Get a Free $80 for Playing This Cell Phone Game

We all have our favorite ways to kill time – a good book, a good conversation, a hockey game.

Here’s another good time-killer: Playing games on your iPhone. And what if you could play for money? Real money? There’s a free iPhone and iPad app called Bubble Cash that pays you to play. You can get paid up to $80 per win!

You might be wondering if there’s a catch. But there’s really not. Bubble Cash is free to download and is completely skill-based. And it’s quite popular, with more than a million downloads and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on the App Store.

Players have won hundreds of thousands in prize money so far.

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year. To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value. For securities priced over $1,000, the purchase of fractional shares start at $0.05.

*Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account and deposit $5 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash.

Investment advisory services are offered by Stash Investments LLC – an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

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