We all acquire bad habits. If we maintain these bad habits long enough, they normalize. It feels normal to drink too much, eat too much, spend too much.
Over time, many of us have normalized some bad financial habits. These habits creep up on us. Before we know it, they are part of our lives.
And they cost us money. A lot of money. Month after month after month, our bad financial habits cost us money.
Here are six habits that many of us have normalized, and this is what we could all be doing instead.
1. Have a credit card debt
Americans owe approximately $ 1 trillion on their credit cards. And credit card debt is the most expensive type of debt, and your credit card company just gets rich by scamming you with high interest rates.
A website called AmOne can help you defend yourself. If you owe your credit card companies $ 50,000 or less, you’ll match it with a low-interest loan that you can use to pay off each of your balances.
The benefit? You will have an invoice left to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you will get out of debt. what Too much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is why, after 20 years in business, it still has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $ 50,000 online. You need to give AmOne a real phone number to qualify, but don’t worry, they won’t spam you with phone calls.
2. Spend more than we earn
It is very easy to overspend. There are too many temptations, especially with so many purchases available at the click of a button. It takes a lot of discipline not to spend too much.
We have another way to help you stop overspending – stop overpaying for things.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert when you’re shopping online at Target and you’re about to overpay? That’s what this free service does.
Just add it to your browser for free, and before you pay, you’ll check other websites, including Walmart, eBay, and others, to see if your item is available at a cheaper price. Additionally, you can get coupon codes, set price drop alerts, and even view the item’s price history.
Suppose you are buying a new TV and assume that you have found the best price. This is when a pop-up will appear letting you know if that exact TV is available elsewhere for a cheaper price. If coupon codes are available, they will also be automatically applied to your order.
In the last year, this has saved people $ 160 million.
You can get started with a few clicks to see if you are overpaying online.
3. “Investing is too scary.”
Ooooohhh, to invest, so scary. God it sounds so intimidating.
It does not have to be this way. You don’t even need a lot of money to get started, and you can even get free shares (worth up to $ 200!) If you know where to look.
Whether you have $ 5, $ 100, or $ 800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yes, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both beginners and investing professionals love it because it charges no fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free, with no limits. In addition, it is very easy to use.
What is the best? When you download the app and fund your account (it doesn’t take more than a few minutes), Robinhood deposits a portion of the free shares into your account. However, it is random, so the shares could be worth between $ 2.50 and $ 200, a good boost to help you build your investments.
4. Just guess about our budget
Don’t want to make a budget? Try budgeting for people who hate budgets.
The 50/30/20 method is one of the easiest ways to control your spending. No 100-line spreadsheets or major lifestyle changes required.
Here’s how it works: Take your total after-tax income each month and divide it in half. That’s your budget for essentials (50%). Take the rest and divide it into personal expenses (30%) and financial goals (20%).
Let’s break it down – that’s 50% for things like utilities, groceries, drugs, minimum debt payments, and other essential expenses. Then there’s 30% for the fun: Thai takeout, your Netflix subscription, dressing up a skeleton on your lawn for Halloween.
That leaves 20% for your financial goals, such as additional debt reduction payments (any amount above the minimum monthly payment) along with retirement savings and investments.
5. Never change our car insurance
When was the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should buy your options every six months or so as it could save you a lot of money. However, let’s face it. It’s probably not the first thing you think of when you wake up. But it does not have to be like that.
A website called Insure.com makes it easy to compare auto insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your zip code and age, and it will show you your options.
With Insure.com, people have saved an average of $ 540 a year.
Yes. That could be $ 500 back in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.
6. Assuming we will never retire
Many of us assume that retirement is a pipe dream. And of course, there will be challenges. Unless you’re a teacher or a police officer, most of us don’t have pensions anymore.
To retire comfortably, you must consistently funnel a healthy percentage of your salary into a 401 (k) account; it is literally one of the smartest things you can do for your future. And if your employer matches each contribution, that could mean hundreds of thousands extra dollars in your account when you retire. It’s free money!
But if you can’t take advantage of this employer benefit because you need all of your paycheck every month, a company called Lendtable will give you the cash.
We know it sounds too good to be true. But if your employer has a 401 (k) matching program, this is money that has already been allocated to you. By using Lendtable, you will be able to unlock that money for free.
Let’s say you make $ 50,000 a year and your employer matches your 401 (k) contribution by up to 4%. If you deposit $ 0 into your retirement account this year, you will receive $ 0 from your boss. If Lendtable gives you 4% of your salary that your employer is willing to match, you receive $ 2,000 from your boss, minus Lendtable’s share of the profits. (This comes from the extra money you have earned, so there is no sacrifice on your part.)
It takes three minutes to answer a few questions about your eligibility and sign up for an account.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. When it comes to bad habits, he is an expert, truly a great teacher.