Dough App Free Stock Sign Up Bonus

When you sign up for the Dough app through my referral link you can receive a free stock as a sign up bonus. Dough is a stock trading app that allows you to buy and sell stocks without paying a commission. It is similar to the Webull and Robinhood stock trading apps.

Here is how you can get your free stock from Dough as explained on their terms and conditions page.

How do I get free stock?

If You’re a New Customer: 

  1. Receive and click on a referral link from an existing dough customer or download the app.
  2. Download the dough app from the referral link and complete the application for a brokerage account.
  3. Obtain approval to open a brokerage account.
  4. Receive a share of free stock within seven business days.
  5. Electronically link an approved external financial account and deposit $25.00 USD into your dough account before withdrawing any proceeds from the sale of your free stock.

Another referral link in case you missed the first one. Friends who trade together – get paid together. Click my link to download the dough app and we’ll both get a free share of stock!

If you haven’t yet signed up for the Robinhood app they also have a free stock for signing up for their app. Robinhood free stock referral link.

COVID-19 Cost Cutting

While my expenses were already low, COVID-19 and sheltering at home have led to my monthly expenses being even lower. There are just a few days left in this month and I’m on track to have my lowest monthly expense total in years. Here are some of the ways that COVID-19 has cut my costs.

My transportation expense is way down for the month. Since I’m no longer commuting and there aren’t to many places to go I’m hardly driving my car at all. The price of gas has also gone way down. The combination of less driving and cheaper gas will lead to my monthly transportation costs being cut almost in half.

I’m also saving a lot on entertainment. The movie theaters are closed so I’m no longer being charged the monthly bill for my Regal Movie Pass and I’m not purchasing any overpriced concessions. My entertainment mostly consists of YouTube, Netflix, and frequent walks in the park. My monthly entertainment expense is basically zero now.

Food is yet another area where I’m saving money. Since it is no longer an option to dine-in at restaurants my restaurant spending is way down. I’m making fewer trips to the grocery store and stocking up on cheap staples when I am at the store, which has lead to spending less on junk food. That combined with some of my favorite grocery items being out of stock has kept my grocery spending pretty low. When I do get a craving for fast food and visit a drive-thru, there are some great deals allowing me to get a meal for just $1 or $2 or even free. My food expense for this month will be one of the lowest totals in years.

I’m saving on travel since I can’t do any traveling. I canceled a couple of flights this month and got a refund of the taxes paid. I wish I were spending more on travel since I want to travel, but I will have to wait. I’m grateful that not being able to travel is the worst inconvenience I’ve incurred due to COVID-19. Many people are suffering and enduring great hardships so I can’t really complain about having to delay my travel plans for a while.

I’m also moving in with my Mom for a while. My original plan was just to stay there for a couple of weeks before I started traveling. That plan is obviously out the window. I already ended the lease on my apartment so I’ll be staying with my Mom until I can travel again. I’ll be paying some expenses there as a rent payment. That will help my Mom out and save me money compared to what I’d pay for rent in the city.

All of these things combined have lead to a large reduction in my monthly expenses. I’m not sure how long this will last, but I think my monthly expenses will be lower than normal for quite a well. How has the pandemic affected your finances?

Post-Thailand Depression and Spending/Food Diary

I’ve been depressed since returning from Thailand. Part of being depressed is that I’m even lazier than usual. Thus, I’ll write a post about the depression another day. Another part of my depression is that I’ve been eating and spending way too much. Well, spending too much by my standards and eating too much by just about anyone’s standards.

After reading several spending diary posts at IPickUpPennies it occurred to me that keeping a spending diary myself might be helpful. I figured knowing that I would be sharing everything I spent money on would help curtail my spending and since I already track all of my expenses it would be easy to keep a spending diary.

I was wrong about that. Keeping the spending diary didn’t curtail my expenses at all and many (most) days I didn’t even bother to write out the day’s spending since I knew it would be bad. The spending diary also turned out to basically be a food diary as well. Since I keep very little food in my apartment, I buy food that I’m going to immediately consume and/or eat our every day. Before keeping the diary, I knew my eating was unhealthy but I didn’t realize just how bad it was. My daily diet is almost entirely junk food and fast food. It is a wonder that I don’t have more health problems than I already do. The first week’s spending diary was so bad that I threw it away rather than post it on the blog.

I still think the daily spending/food diary can be helpful. Therefore, I’m going to post my daily spending/eating everyday on this blog until I feel like I have them under control. I’ll either post after I’m done spending/eating for the day or first thing in the morning.

Friday 8/9: I managed to get out of the apartment and go work out in the morning. I had part of a rotisserie chicken and some shredded cabbage for cole slaw that had been in the fridge since Monday. I no longer trusted the freshness of the chicken or cole slaw and threw them away. I also threw away the cole slaw dressing I had bought since it tasted terrible. This meant I needed to get something else to eat for lunch.

After working out I was craving a burger and fries and went to Wendy’s spending $4.46 on their 4 for $4 meal deal. The meal easily erased any benefit from working out. One chicken nugget was probably more calories than I burned working out. Currently, I am having a lot of difficulty controlling my cravings.

Later in the afternoon, I had another craving and went to the grocery store and bought some chips and dip for $3.53. After eating about half of the chips and dip I decided I needed some dessert. I went to QuikTrip and then CVS and couldn’t decide what I wanted to buy for dessert. I then went to Dollar General and finally decided to get a snack pack of 5 Reese’s peanut butter cups for $1.04. This entire process probably took over an hour. Not the best use of my time. Although I intended to save some of the Reese’s for the next day I ended up eating all of them. The day’s total spending wasn’t too bad, but the eating was bad and left me with a stomachache.

Total Spent – $9.03

Saturday 8/10: When I woke up this morning I was craving a breakfast sandwich so I went and got one. Actually, I got two. The two breakfast sandwiches and a small diet soda at Hardee’s cost me $6.25. That is more than I like to spend on breakfast and it wasn’t a good start to the day if I want to eat better.

On the way to Hardee’s I stopped at Sam’s Club and filled up with gas for $27.76. Gas at Sam’s Club was 27 cents a gallon cheaper than at most other gas stations. There usually isn’t such a wide discrepancy between Sam’s Club and the average gas station price. Since I got about 13 gallons that was about $3.50 saved.

I then went to Walmart and bought some groceries for a total of $7.38. I will be eating some of those groceries tomorrow. Having the food already in my apartment should make it easier to eat at home rather than going out to eat.

In the afternoon I decided to go see a movie. I joined Regal Unlimited at the beginning of this month which allows me to watch unlimited movies at my local Regal theater. The cost was just under $20 after tax which should be a great deal. It hasn’t been that great of a deal so far since I keep giving in to the urge to buy popcorn. Since I had eaten the rest of the chips and dip that I had bought yesterday before going to the movies I thought I would have no problem resisting the popcorn today. Once again, I was wrong. When I walked in and smelled the popcorn I immediately wanted it. I had taken my credit cards out of my wallet before leaving for the movie and only had a small amount of cash which I initially thought would prevent me from being able to buy any popcorn. Then I remembered I had my debit card in my wallet so I could get cash later. I ended up buying a large popcorn. And getting the free refill too. The popcorn cost $9.71. It should have been almost a dollar cheaper, but I forgot to have the cashier scan my Regal card to apply my 10% discount. Eating a large popcorn and the refill resulted in a big stomachache. This happens every time I eat popcorn, yet I keep on buying it. The popcorn purchase was a big mistake for both my wallet and my stomach. I’m going to avoid the movies for a few days until I feel I have enough impulse control to resist having the popcorn.

Today’s spending and eating was terrible. Tomorrow will be better.

Total Spent – $51.10

Get Free Stock from Robinhood

When you sign up for a free brokerage account with Robinhood through my referral link they will give us both a free share of stock. The stock you receive is chosen at random and will be worth between $2.50 and $200. When I signed up the stock I received was worth about $2.93. The value of the stock you receive will most likely be worth about $2.50, but some people get lucky and get a more valuable stock. According to Robinhood you have a 1 in 250 chance to get a share of Apple, Facebook, or Berkshire Hathaway. That isn’t bad odds for something that will only cost you a few minutes of your time.

Robinhood is an app that allows you to make commission free stock, option, and ETF trades from your phone. They also have a desktop site you can use if you don’t want to use your phone. I was skeptical about buying stocks from my phone, but now that I have been using the app for a while I prefer using my phone and rarely use the desktop site. I like being able to just open the app on my phone and see how my portfolio is doing. Although that does lead to me checking my portfolio way more often than I should.

Of course, if you find the Robinhood brokerage account useful signing up for the free stock is an even better deal. When I signed up, I did it only for the free stock and didn’t have any plans to buy stocks through Robinhood. After selling my free stock and cashing out, I left my account dormant for about a year. Then I decided to take a flyer on the parent company of MoviePass (HMNY) and see if they could recover. That didn’t work out to well. I ended up selling the stock for pennies. I only invested $10 so it wasn’t too big of a loss.Since that purchase I have been buying stocks on a pretty regular basis. My focus is on dividend growth stocks. I’m not sure what return I’ve made on my stocks. They have done pretty well although probably not quite as well as the market overall since it has mostly been a bull market since I’ve started investing in dividend stocks. I’m not too concerned whether my stocks trail the total market a little since this is a small part of my total portfolio. The bulk of my retirement accounts are invested in index funds. I think of investing in these dividend stocks as a profitable hobby that leads to me saving more money than I would otherwise. It allows me to have a little bit of the thrill of gambling but with the odds in my favor.

If you would like to sign up for Robinhood please use my referral link and we will both get a free stock.

Tidying Up My Finances

Earlier year there was a lot of buzz about tidying up due to Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix. After watching the show I decided to do some tidying up myself. Since I prefer not to own a lot of things and don’t own a lot of things there wasn’t much tidying up for me to do. I did manage to make my sock and underwear drawer look a little nicer.

After tidying up my material possessions I considered what else I could tidy up. I decided it would make sense to tidy up my financial life. Last summer I counted all the different places I had money and it turned out I had money in 16 different places. I also had quite a few credit cards due to opening many accounts for the sign up bonuses. Even though I can use an app like Personal Capital to help keep track of all my different accounts it can still be burdensome to stay on top of that many different accounts.

Over the last few months I have closed many of my smaller financial accounts. These were bank accounts or financial apps that I opened for the bonus and then didn’t both to close since there was no fee for keeping them open. Even though there was no fee to keep the accounts open, it was better for me to close them to preserve my mental bandwidth. Some of the financial apps were opened for small $5 or $10 bonuses. Going forward, I will require a more substantial bonus before I open a new account. Although the small bonuses were easy money I still might have been better off using my time on something potentially more rewarding.

I have also canceled three credit cards. Closing credit cards can hurt your credit score which is why I kept the ones with no annual fee open even after they no longer proved useful. Since I have an excellent credit score I don’t need to worry if my credit score drops 10 or 20 points from closing a card. A drop of that amount wouldn’t affect the credit available to me. I have monitored my credit score since closing the accounts and it doesn’t seem that closing them resulted in a noticeable difference in my score. It has stayed in roughly the same 10 point range all year. I’m not going to stop opening up credit cards for the sign up bonus since the bonuses can be quite lucrative. I will be quicker to close accounts that no longer provide me with any benefit after the bonus is earned. Also, when considering which credit card bonus to sign up for I will give a preference to credit cards that provide useful benefits to me after the bonus is earned.

To make my retirement accounts simpler I moved my Roth IRA to Fidelity. I had already moved my traditional IRA over a couple of years ago. Since Fidelity manages my work 401k having my Roth and traditional IRA with them as well makes it easy to see how I’m doing on saving for retirement. I still have a solo 401k with Etrade that I might transfer to Fidelity as well. When opening my solo 401k I chose Etrade over Fidelity for some reason, but I no longer remember what it was. I need to review Fidelity’s solo 401k offering and see how it compares. There is also a chance that I will just rollover the solo 401k into my work 401k or traditional IRA. Now that I’m over 50 and qualify to make catch up contributions to my work 401k and IRA I haven’t been able to max out those contributions. Thus, it isn’t really necessary to have the solo 401k as well.

Making those changes has simplified my finances quite a bit. Since I plan to continue chasing bank and credit card bonuses my finances will not get much simpler. I think getting the bonuses is worth making my finances slightly more complex. For now, I’m satisfied with the tidiness of my finances.