5 Pieces of Dumb Financial Advice That Most People Believe

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When it comes to money, everyone likes to put in their two cents.

Oh, you should definitely buy and not rent. Stay away from credit cards; they’re evil. Why are you so worried about your credit score? It doesn’t matter.

There’s a lot of — quite frankly — dumb advice floating around out there, and it can be difficult to figure out what’s up and what’s down.

Well, we’re here to set the record straight. Here’s all the dumb money advice out there — and what you should do instead.

Dumb Advice #1: You Should Get 3 Auto Insurance Quotes

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 40. But who has time for that?

A company called Savvy will do it for you for free. It gets people an average of $826 back in their bank accounts a year — and you’ll get the same coverage you already have.

It doesn’t matter when you last renewed; you can get a check from your old company for the time left on your previous policy. (Read: They probably owe you money.)

You don’t have to make any calls or fill out any forms. It takes two minutes to see how much Savvy can put back in your pocket.

And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

Dumb Advice #2: Use a Rewards Credit Card

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?

Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe. How much does your current bank offer you?

Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.

Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.

You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process? Do yourself a favor and deposit $100 into an Aspiration account today so you can start taking advantage.

To get started, 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.”

Dumb Advice #3: You Need to Save $1,000,000,000,000,000 Before You Die

 

Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income if you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.

You’re probably thinking, I don’t have the time or money for that. But a company called Fabric can help you apply for a term life insurance policy that could give your family a big chunk of money (the coverage amount you applied for) if you pass away. (We’ve heard people are getting policies for as little as $14 a month.)

Maybe you’ve thought about this before, but it feels too overwhelming. The truth is, this is one of the easiest (and smartest) things you can do with your money right now. It takes about 10 minutes to apply, and you don’t even have to leave your house — you can do it all from your browser.

So if you want to help make sure your family is set up for life after you’re gone, take 10 minutes to fill out an application.

Dumb Advice #4: You Need to Be a Billionaire to Invest in Real Estate

A neighborhood at sunset.
Getty Images

The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows when the whole thing might crash?

It would be nice to diversify and invest some of your money in real estate, but don’t you have to be wealthy to do that?

Now you can invest like the 1% does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in private real estate — specifically, in apartment buildings it co-owns with its investors — and you only need $500.

You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolio through their online dashboard — like a 54-unit apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, or a 30-unit waterfront property in Stuart, Florida. And you don’t have to experience the headaches that come with being a landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting for you.

Real estate has historically been very stable compared to the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, real estate has outperformed the stock market for the past 30 years.

So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500. Sign up here to start investing today.

Dumb Advice #5: The Only Way to Earn Money is With a Job

People will say the only way you can earn money is with a real job. Not true. You can make money by watching the news.

Seriously. Research companies want to pay you to watch the news. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with Swagbucks. It’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about them.

You just have to answer honestly, and Swagbucks will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million. We talked to one user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid to watch the news.