7 Dangerous Habits That Are Making Us Miss Out on a Whole Bunch of Money

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We all have bad habits.

We leave our laundry on the bathroom floor. We bite our nails. We swear a little too often. We hit the snooze button four times in a row.

But perhaps the most dangerous? Bad money habits.

Money habits can be difficult to break. Heck, sometimes they can be difficult to recognize just because they’re so ingrained in our day-to-day lives.

But now’s the time to pinpoint these dangerous financial habits — and break them — so you can stop missing out on a whole bunch of money.

1. You Leave Your Money in a Savings Account

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash right now?

Yep. When you sign up for a debit card called Aspiration, you could get up to 5% back when you swipe at certain stores — plus they give you up to 50 times the normal national interest rate on your savings balance.

It’s perfect for earning extra cash for things that are already on your shopping list. You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?

This card used to have a huge waiting list, but now you can sign up for free.

Just enter your email address here and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

2. You Don’t Put Aside $1M For Your Family

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? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a term life insurance policy.

A lot of us assume our savings are enough. Or that this is something to worry about later, because right now, you don’t have the time or money for that. 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 $16 a month. The peace of mind of 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.

3. You Don’t Put $5 in the Stock Market

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, you’re probably assuming this is totally out of reach.

That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.

That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $5.

The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.

4. You Assume You Already Know Everything

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When it comes to handling your money, it’s important to continue learning. It sounds cheesy, but it’s all too easy to assume you already know everything you need to know.

Instead, push yourself to learn more about investing, saving and budgeting through websites, podcasts and books.

Here are a few of our recommendations (besides The penny Hoarder, of course):

  • “How to Money” podcast
  • “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
  • “The Side Hustle Show” podcast
  • “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
  • “The Money Nerds Podcast”
  • “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel

5. You Haven’t Canceled Your Car Insurance

People love to tell you to shop around. “You should be getting three different quotes to get the best price on car insurance,” they say.

Sure, this sounds like good advice. Here’s why it’s wrong: Comparing only three companies isn’t nearly enough. We suggest comparing dozens. But who has time for that?

Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once.

EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you.

Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.

6. You Leave Behind $225 Every Month

No matter who you are or what your budget looks like, it’s always nice to have some extra income. But how are you going to do that without a raise?

Well, what if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos 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 get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

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. It’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

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.

7. You Don’t Keep Track of Your Credit Score

You’ve got big plans. Maybe you’ve got your eye on a new car. Or you’re hoping to buy a house in the next few years. Or you’d even like to start your own business. But here’s the thing: No matter what your goals are, you might not realize how much your credit score is standing in your way.

The good news? A free website called Credit Sesame makes it easy to put your credit score on track to reach your goals. We even talked to one guy, James Cooper, of Atlanta, who used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** He says they showed him exactly what to do — he was even able to open his first credit card.

What could adding 300 points to your score mean for your goals? It could easily save you thousands of dollars over the life of a car loan or mortgage.

Within 90 seconds, Credit Sesame will give you access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).

Make sure your plans don’t get sidelined by bad credit. Sign up for free (it only takes about 90 seconds) and see how much you could improve your score.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered through Aspiration Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration is not a bank.

*Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

***Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.