7 Mistakes Many of Us Are Making With Our Money During the Pandemic
One way or another, we all make mistakes. It’s the human condition.
But right now, in the midst of a pandemic, one thing you don’t want to make mistakes with is with your money.
Sure, we’ve all let bad financial habits creep up on us. But in these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re not your own bank account’s worst enemy.
Here are seven mistakes people are making with their money during the pandemic, and what you can do instead.
Mistake 1: Not Pocketing $225 Just for Watching the News
It’s been a historic year in news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves an expert in respiratory illness or a political mastermind.
And research companies want to pay you to keep watching. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with InboxDollars. They’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 InboxDollars will continue to pay you every month.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid to watch the news.
Mistake 2: Passing up $500 in Free Stocks
Yes, the stock market certainly is scary right now. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and it’s all just so unpredictable. But, what if you could get stock for free?
A company called Robinhood is doing just that by giving free shares of companies like Microsoft and Facebook.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because you can start investing with just $1. Plus, they don’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits.
To get your free stock, download the app and fund your account with at least a few bucks (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
Mistake 3: Not Setting Aside $1M For Your Family
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after 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.
Mistake 4: Wasting Hundreds on Homeowners Insurance
You’re probably wasting money right now. And it’s probably on something you’d never expect — your homeowners insurance policy.
This isn’t something you actively think about — you just know you’re required to have it.
The problem is, you’re paying too much. Luckily, an insurance company called Lemonade makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying.
Lemonade’s policies start at just $25/month. And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Lemonade will make sure you have what you need.
Just answer a few questions about your home to get started.
Mistake 5: Not Buying a Piece of Amazon, Google or Another Company
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own a company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound 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 $1.**
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.
Mistake 6: Wasting Money on Car Insurance
How often are you even using your car right now? Regardless, there’s one thing we’re nearly certain of — you’re overpaying on car insurance.
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.
Mistake 7: Paying Your Whole Credit Card Bill
If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…
Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Credible knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Credible will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month. Credible won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
*Coverage Amount is based on eligibility
**Sample pricing based on $100,000 in coverage for a 28-year-old female in Colorado with excellent health.
*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.
*** Financial investment involves the risk of loss