Fundrise, a company started back in 2012, has a minimum investment of $1,000 and offers commercial real estate investments such as apartments and office buildings.

EquityMultiple is similar to Fundrise except it has a $5,000 investment minimum. They’re also backed by a real estate capital firm, so they may just be more secure.

Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies)

While we definitely don’t advise that you invest your money in cryptocurrencies, we do want to present you with the information you’ll need in case you decide to take that dangerous route. Bitcoin is still on the rise. With more and more retailers accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate currency, you can now actually use your bitcoins.

Or, you could buy and sell when Bitcoin surges in price—which is what many people d0.

But be warned, there are risks since cryptocurrencies are so volatile.

Investment Apps

There are plenty of apps that invest your spare change. Now you don’t have the excuse that you don’t have enough money to invest.

Stash is an investing app that doesn’t just help you invest, but helps you invest in what you believe in. But, nothing good comes for free. Stash gives you a free month, then charges you $1 a month until you hit $5,000, after which they charge you 0.25 percent per year.

Acorns is Stash’s biggest competitor. It’s almost identical to Stash—fees and all. They’re less concerned with socially conscious investing, but they do want to invest based on your individual goals,

4. Open a savings account

We all want to impulse spend when we get our returns back, but putting your money in savings until you really need it is obviously a much better idea.

You have a few options when it comes to savings account. You can open one through a credit union or a larger bank, or you can opt for an online savings account.

There are many options when it comes to online savings accounts—all of which offer a better rate of return than traditional banks.

There’s the Capital One® 360 account, Discover’s Online Savings account, or Ally’s savings account to get you started.

The best part? It’s very easy to save automatically through online banks. That way you can set up a savings plan and have money taken out each month. This makes your savings more untouchable.

There are also plenty of apps that do the same thing. Digit is a good example. All you have to do is link your checking account to Digit’s secure site and Digit will make period withdrawals (don’t worry, they’re small) that don’t coincide with bills.

 5. Pay off some student debt

This is likely your least favorite suggestion since none of us want to think about our student loan debt, but we all have to pay them back (except for the lucky few that get their loans forgiven).

Luckily, there are a lot of plans to choose from when it comes to paying back your loans—even if the lenders don’t always make it easy. If you feel really compelled to put all of your return towards your student loans you could be on the path to repaying your loans within a few years!

For the rest of us, however, using our $1,000 tax return will only pay of a small chunk of our debt. But, that’s still something!

Summary

Getting your tax refund can feel like free money, but it’s not, and it shouldn’t be wasted. Whether you invest or save, make sure you’re doing the responsible thing and not throwing money away on things you just don’t need.

This article was republished with permission for Money Under 30.