So 2020 was a really terrible year, wasn’t it? This pandemic stole a lot from us. It cost millions of jobs, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and countless hours of schooling in the classroom. It emptied our bank accounts and destroyed our peace of mind.
How about 2021? Is 2021 coming for us too?
When it comes to money, we firmly believe that it is better to play it safe.
Here are five ways 2021 will try to rip you off – and five ways to fight back.
1. Watch out for car insurance price increases
Prices don’t usually go Low. But in 2020 auto insurers cut their tariffs because the market demanded it. Customers quarantined in their homes thought they should pay less because they drove so much less.
Ah, but it’s a whole new year. And as Americans return to their old driving patterns, industry observers say auto insurance rates are expected to rise again.
You don’t have to take that! That’s why you need to start looking for auto insurance like never before in 2021.
A free website called Savvy will help you find the best price – in just 30 seconds. In fact, it saves people an average of $ 826 a year.
All you have to do is connect your current insurance, then Savvy searches hundreds of insurers for a better price on the same coverage. It even helps you cancel your old policy and get a refund from your current insurer.
If you find a better deal, you can switch straight away instead of waiting for your next renewal or even your next payment.
2. Don’t let yourself be ripped off when shopping online
The pandemic has changed the way we shop and this is expected to carry over to 2021. More of us now shop online – including nearly 70% of Americans, according to a new NPR poll. Of these, more than 90% bought something from Amazon.
Sure, it’s handy to have boxes of things on your doorstep all year 2021. But no matter what you buy online, you may be paying too much for it. In many cases there could be a better deal elsewhere. It just hurts to look for it.
Wouldn’t it make sense to get a notification when you overpay? A polite little warning, not an obnoxious one. This is exactly what this free service does. These free notifications can be added to your browser.
Before you shop at Amazon, Target, or Best Buy, other sites like eBay, Walmart, and others will check to see if your item is available for less. It even automatically applies any available coupon codes to your order.
So far, this free tool has saved users more than $ 160 million in the past year. You can get started in minutes and see if you overpay online.
3. Watch out for rising food prices
Some purchases are optional, but food is not one of them. Unfortunately, food prices are expected to rise in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA predicts that food prices will rise by at least 1 to 2% and restaurant prices by 2 to 3%. That may not seem like much. But that will really add up over a whole year.
We have a way for you to get some of the money back. A free app called Fetch Rewards rewards you with gift cards for each of hundreds of items in the grocery store. Right now, it’s even offering shoppers a $ 10 gift card when they spend $ 30 on dozens of Unilever products at the grocery store. You can do this five times, or up to $ 50.
Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, simply look for products that are marked with the Unilever “U”. Then take a photo of your receipt showing that you bought an item from one of the participating brands. For your efforts, you will receive gift cards for places like Amazon or Walmart.
You can download the free Fetch Rewards app here for free gift cards. Over a million people already have it, so they have to be into something.
4. Don’t pay too much for a mortgage
Real estate prices are sky high these days and won’t rise that far until 2021.
The average price of homes sold in January 2021 was nearly $ 304,000, according to the National Association of Realtors, up 14% from January 2020. This is the highest January price the realtors have ever recorded.
If you are looking to buy a home in 2021, do whatever you can to save money on your mortgage. Good credit makes a big difference in the amount of interest you pay on a mortgage or car loan. That can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage.
Try a free website called Credit Sesame. Within two minutes, you’ll have access to your creditworthiness and personalized tips for improvement. You can even spot bugs that are holding you back (every fifth report has one).
Would you like to check for yourself? It’s free and only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.
5. Beware of expensive credit card debt
Credit card debt is the most expensive type of debt due to the high interest rates. Unfortunately, the pandemic and its closings and job losses have forced more Americans to resort to their credit cards to pay their bills and pay for necessities like groceries. That carries over to 2021.
Could you imagine waking up with no credit card debt? A free website called AmOne can help you wipe out your credit card debt even faster.
AmOne provides you with a low-interest loan with which you can pay off all your credit cards at once. Interest rates start at 3.99% – much lower than the 20% or more you are likely to pay your credit card company. That could save you thousands in the long run. Plus, you’ll be out of debt so much faster.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $ 50,000.
In summary: Hopefully 2021 will be better than 2020. At least you will probably get a COVID-19 vaccination at some point.
Just watch out for all the other ways 2021 is going to try to rip you off.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After 2020 he is afraid of 2021.