6 Pieces of Financial Advice That Have Gone Out the Window in 2020 — What to Do Instead

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If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we can adapt. Or more accurately: We HAVE to adapt.

We’ve adapted our social lives, our work environments and our eating habits. (I, for one, have never baked so much banana bread in my life.)

We’ve also had to change how we handle our money. Those pearls of financial wisdom we all grew up hearing? Some of them feel downright outdated at this point.

Here’s what advice has become outdated — and smarter ways you can financially weather 2020:

Outdated Advice 1: Stay With the Bank You’ve Always Had

We typically think it’s safe to stick with our tried-and-true Big Bank. But with national interest rates sinking lower by the day, it’s time to make a change.

A debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account. Plus, you’ll never pay a monthly account maintenance fee.

Not too shabby, right?

And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

To see how much you could earn, enter your email address here, link your bank account and add at least $10 to your account.

Outdated Advice 2: Get an Adviser to Help Create the Best Investment Plan for You 

While financial advisers are great, they can cost a lot of money, which many of us don’t have the ability to just throw around these days. That being said, investing is still important, so finding a way to grow your accounts is super important.

So if you haven’t started investing and have some money to spare, you can start small. Investing doesn’t require you throwing thousands of dollars at full shares of stocks. In fact, you can get started with as little as $1.*

We like Stash, because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.

Plus, with Stash, you’re able to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in funds you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

If you sign up now and complete the quick financial goals survey, Stash will give you $5 after you’ve funded your investing account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**

Outdated Advice 3: Don’t Waste Time Watching TV When You Should Be Hustling

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Normally, we’re wasting precious time (and brain cells) by watching TV when we could be out doing something more productive.

But since we’re stuck inside more, you might as well make it financially worthwhile to spend time staring at your screen. What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch TV on your computer?

It’s too good to be true, right? 

But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might learn about the ups and downs of the financial markets.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put toward paying down your debt. Everything helps.

It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

Outdated Advice 4: Save Your Rainy Day Fund To Help Your Family

It seems like every day is rainy now. How can you be expected to put money into an emergency fund that you’re dipping into each month?

But you still need to plan for the future, which is why life insurance is more important now than ever.

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school?

You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that, especially right now. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.

Rates start at just $8 a month. The peace of mind knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.

Outdated Advice 5: Take Advantage of Loyalty Discounts

Some insurance companies give discounts to repeat and/or long-time customers, which can be a definite perk of staying with the same insurer.

But although a loyalty discount might take a few bucks off your monthly payments, there may be other companies out there that’ll provide the same coverage but for way less. We’re talking hundreds of dollars less each year.

That being said, shopping for car insurance is a pain, which is why we like using a free service like Gabi. In just a few minutes you can see if any other companies are offering a cheaper rate with the same coverage and deductibles you already have.

You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s license, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.

They save customers an average of $825 a year. Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings and alert you if there’s ever a way to reduce that monthly bill even further.

Outdated Advice 6: Focus on Paying Off One Debt at a Time

If you have credit card debts hanging over your head, it can feel like a burden even during normal times. Add on a global pandemic and mass unemployment, and you’re looking at anxiety through the roof.

While you’re stressing out, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates. But a website called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Fiona won’t make you sit and wait in a bank lobby for hours. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online and won’t affect your credit score. It takes just one minute, and it could save you thousands of dollars.

Totally worth it.

Kari Faber ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.

The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.