We all get to know bad habits. If we keep these bad habits long enough, they will normalize. It feels normal to drink too much, to overeat, to spend too much.
Over time, many of us have normalized some bad financial habits. These habits somehow creep in on us. Before we know it, they are part of our lives.
And they cost us money. So much money. Month after month after month, our bad financial habits are costing us money.
Here are six habits that many of us have normalized, and here’s what we could all do instead.
1. Have credit card debt
Americans owe about $ 1 trillion on their credit cards. And credit card debt is the most expensive type of debt, as the only way to get your credit card company rich is by ripping you off with high interest rates.
A website called AmOne can help you fight back. When you owe your credit card company $ 50,000 or less, you can get a low-interest loan that can be used to pay back every single one of your balances.
The advantage? You have to pay an invoice every month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you will be out of debt The much faster. Plus: No credit card payments this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is why after 20 years in business it probably 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 make
It’s too easy to spend too much. There are too many temptations, especially with so many purchases available at the push 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 received a notification when shopping online at Target and were about to overpay? This is what this free service does.
Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it will check other sites including Walmart, eBay, and others to see if your item is available for a cheaper price. Plus, you can get coupon codes, set up price drop notifications, and even view the item’s price history.
For example, let’s say you buy a new TV and assume you’ve found the best price. Here you will get a pop-up window letting you know if this particular TV is available elsewhere for a cheaper price. If coupon codes are available, they will be automatically applied to your order.
Last year it saved people $ 160 million.
You can get started with just a few clicks to see if you are overpaying online.
3. “Investing is too scary.”
Ooooohhh, invest, so scary. Golly, that sounds like it intimidating.
It doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t even need a lot of cash to get started – and you can even get free shares (valued up to $ 200!) If you know where to look.
Whether you have $ 5, $ 100, or $ 800 left, Robinhood is your investment.
Yes, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both beginners and professionals love it because it has no commission fees and you can buy and sell stocks for free – with no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What is the best? When you download the app and top up your account (it doesn’t take more than a few minutes), Robinhood will put some of the free shares in your account. It’s random, however, so stocks can be valued between $ 2.50 and $ 200 – a nice boost to help you build your investments.
4. Only guess beyond our budget
Don’t want to budget? Try the budget for people who hate budgets.
The 50/30/20 method is one of the easiest ways to keep your expenses in check. No need for 100-row tables or major lifestyle changes.
Here’s how it works: Take all your after-tax income every month and divide it in half. This is your most important budget (50%). Take the rest and break it down into personal expenses (30%) and financial goals (20%).
Let’s sum it up: that’s 50% for things like utilities, groceries, medicines, minimum debt payments, and other critical expenses. Then there’s 30% for fun: Thai takeaway, your Netflix subscription, a skeleton on your lawn for Halloween.
That leaves 20% for your financial goals, such as additional debt reduction payments (anything above the monthly minimum), retirement plans and investments.
5. Never change our car insurance
When was the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should shop for your options roughly every six months – this could save you serious money. But let’s be real. It probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up. This need not be.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your zip code and age and it will show you your options.
Insure.com saved an average of $ 540 per year.
Yup. That could be $ 500 in your pocket just to take a few minutes to consider your options.
6. Provided we never retire
Too many of us assume that retirement is a pipe dream. And there will certainly be challenges. Unless you are a teacher or a police officer, most of us no longer have pensions.
To retire in comfort, you need to steadily transfer a healthy percentage of your wages to a 401 (k) account – this is literally one of the smartest things you can do about your future. And if your employer makes every contribution, it could mean it Hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in your account when you retire. It’s free money!
However, if you can’t get this benefit because you need all of your paycheck every month, a company called Lendtable will give you the money.
We know it sounds too good to be true. However, if your employer has a 401 (k) match program, this is money they have already earmarked for you. With Lendtable you can unlock the free money.
Let’s say you make $ 50,000 per year and your employer matches your 401 (k) contribution of up to 4%. If you add $ 0 to your retirement account this year, your boss will give you $ 0. If Lendtable gives you the 4% of your salary that your employer is willing to match, your boss will give you $ 2,000 less Lendtable’s share of the profits. (This comes from the extra money you made, so there is no sacrifice on your part.)
It takes three minutes to answer some 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’s an expert, sort of a grandmaster, really.