7 Mistakes Many of Us Are Making With Our Money During the Pandemic

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One way or another, we all make mistakes. It’s the human condition.

But right now, in the midst of a pandemic, the 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: You’re Not Getting Paid to Watch 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 money to your pocket by signing up for a free account with MyPoints. It’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about what you watched.

You just have to answer honestly, and MyPoints will continue to pay you every month.

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

Mistake 2: Putting Money in a Regular Savings Account

You’ve probably heard the best way to grow your money is to stick it in a savings account and leave it there for, well, ever. It’s bad advice.

But maybe you’re just looking for a place to safely stash it away — but still earn money. Under your mattress or in a safe will get you nothing. And a typical savings account won’t do you much better. (Ahem, .09% is nothing these days.)

But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back and up to 11 times the average interest on the money in your account.

Not too shabby!

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.”

Mistake 3: Not Buying an Apartment Complex

Maybe you’ve thought about investing some of your paycheck, but you’re not sure now’s the time. This year has been a rollercoaster, after all. Historically, though, real-estate investing offers the best long-term returns. (Does the name Rockefeller ring a bell?)

That’s why we like investing with pros like DiversyFund. They’ll help you make long-term investments in apartments and office buildings all over the country  — and you don’t have to be a millionaire. You can get started with only $500.

You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a 200-unit apartment complex in Killeen, Texas or a 59-unit building in San Diego. And you don’t have to be the landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting.

Because they know how to ride out the market’s ups and downs, they’ve historically seen annual returns of 17% to 18%, though they can’t make any promises.

As a partial owner, you make money on rent payments and when property values go up. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and own your first apartment building.

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 Policygenius makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying.

Policygenius has policies starting at just $25/month. And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Policygenius 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: Not Canceling Your 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.

We get it. You don’t want to spend hours comparing quotes. But a company called Insurify will do this for you.. Insurify offers car insurance starting at $29 a month, and it takes a matter of minutes to see your options. Plus, you can sign up for your new, cheaper policy right online.

Take Lourdes Robles-Velazquez, for example. The single mom lives on a tight budget. She was paying $205 a month to insure two Toyota Priuses — hers and her daughter’s. By comparing prices, she knocked $80 off her monthly car insurance bill. That’s nearly $1,000 in savings per year.

Wondering how much you could save? Head over to Insurify and enter your zip code.

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 a company called AmOne could help you pay them off tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: AmOne will 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.

AmOne 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.

*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