Hit the sidewalk. Just drop by and hand in your resume in person. Go out and shake some hands, why not!
We all heard these financial pearls of wisdom from our parents (and not always because we asked). Despite their best intentions, many of these tips from our elders are, well … out of date. Say the least.
Here are six pieces of advice from our parents that just don’t apply to us anymore – plus some smarter options.
1. Work your way through college
Working your way through college used to be an option back when tuition was a reasonable amount. But that was a long time ago.
Most colleges’ tuition fees have easily doubled or tripled since the 1980s and 90s. Having a job while you are in college can help pay the bills, but it doesn’t pay off for college. That is why so many of us are saddled with student loans.
After graduation, refinancing could help you pay off your loans faster and save money in the long run. By combining multiple loans into one, you are replacing your government and personal loans with a single private loan.
In addition to simplifying the repayment process, refinancing can lower your interest rate and lower your monthly payments.
2. Keep your money in a savings account
This is the usual advice to parents: open a savings account. This is the best way to save money.
Yes OK, fine. The problem is, with interest rates this low, you are paying next to no interest on a savings account these days. You can also tuck some cash under your mattress.
However, with a debit card and a digital account called Aspiration, you can earn up to 5% cashback and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account.
Not too shabby! All you have to do is move with the times and go beyond using a stationary bank.
Enter your email address here to receive a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you’ve verified your email, securely link your bank account so they can help you get extra money. Their money is FDIC insured and they use military grade encryption which is nerd talk for “this is perfectly safe”.
3. Always buy a home – it’s a great investment
This is an oldie, but a goodie. I can still hear my parents: Why are you still renting? When are you going to buy a house? It’s a great investment!
The problem is that buying a home is not for everyone, especially since the prices of houses are so astronomical these days.
It’s easy to come up with a compelling case for either decision. Tenants don’t have to worry about the housing market or mortgages; Buyers get tax breaks and an opportunity to invest in their future.
There is no one right answer, because every financial and life situation is unique and people’s priorities change over time. Where you want to live – and how long you want to live there – is a big factor in whether it makes more sense to rent or buy a home.
4. Buy savings bonds
What are savings bonds? You may remember something boring your grandparents gave you for your birthday.
Savings bonds are an old-school form of investment with very low risk. Most savings bonds earn interest for 30 years. But the problem is, they don’t really make a lot of money. Series EE bonds, for example, have a low interest rate of 0.1%.
These days, you better invest your money in stocks. Sure, the stock market can be a little volatile as stock prices rise and fall. But historically, an investment in the stock market will give you a 7% return over time.
Whether you have $ 5, $ 100, or $ 800 to spare, you can invest with 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’s the best? When you download the app and add funds to your account (it won’t take more than a few minutes), Robinhood will leave a percentage of free shares in your account. It’s random, however, so the stock can be worth anywhere from $ 2.50 to $ 200 – a nice boost to help you build your investments.
5. If you don’t have a degree, you will never find a job
Sure, many professions require a college degree. But not many jobs. Higher education is not for everyone, and there is no law that says you have to get to college quickly.
Did we mention college is super expensive now? Student loans are a huge burden. Americans have a total of $ 1.5 trillion in student debt. Graduates with student loans typically owe $ 20,000 to $ 25,000, and at least 20% of them default on their payments.
There are other options. Have you thought of accounting, for example? According to Intuit, creator of QuickBooks, you could make up to $ 69 an hour starting your own accounting business.
You don’t have to be an accountant or a good calculator to be successful in accounting. As long as you are motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It is one of the leading trainings in the field and even offers you the first three courses for free.
It has helped thousands of people start their own businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran and former painter. He signed up with Bookkeepers.com and now makes $ 50,000 a year. It only took him three months to get started and took one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule.
If you are just a little curious, all you have to do is enter your email address here to take the first free course. If you stick with it, you could be running your own business in a few months.
6. Depend on social security and pensions for your retirement
First, you probably don’t have a pension. Pensions are usually no longer a thing unless you work for the government.
You shouldn’t be solely dependent on social security for your retirement either. Social security is supposed to be a supplement, not your entire retirement provision.
To retire in comfort, you need to constantly deposit a healthy percentage of your salary into a 401 (k) account – it’s literally one of the smartest things you can do about your future. And if your employer matches every post, that can mean that Hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in your account when you retire. It’s free money!
But if you can’t take advantage of that employer advantage because you need all of your paycheck every month, a company called Lendtable will provide you with 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. When you use Lendtable you can unlock this free cash.
Let’s say you make $ 50ka a year and your employer pays your 401 (k) contribution 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 your employer is willing to pay, your boss will give you $ 2,000, minus Lendtable’s share of the profits. (This comes from the extra money you made so you don’t have to make a sacrifice.)
It takes three minutes to answer a few questions about your eligibility and sign up for an account.
Once you have received your full Match Amount from your employer, Lendtable will take back the money they loaned you, as well as a small portion of your profits. If your retirement account provider imposes a penalty for withdrawing money, Lendtable will take care of that too.
The risk to you is basically non-existent. So if you don’t take advantage of your employer match with Lendtable’s offer, Future Millionaire would bow your head in shame. Start here.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. His father gave him solid financial advice: “Never bet against the house.”