7 Ways to Take Care of Your Money — With Zero Human Interaction
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Sometimes you’re not in the mood to interact with other human beings. It’s OK. We’ve all been there.
You need your space. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet, and sometimes you don’t want to deal with any of them. Not a single one of them.
Now, you might think properly managing your money requires dealing with other people — a banker, a broker, an accountant, a financial planner.
Manage Your Money Without Human Interaction
You don’t need other humans. Well, not for this, anyway.
I’ve rounded up some money management apps that’ll help you get a handle on your finances — with zero human interaction.
After all, we introverts have to stick together. Introverts unite! (Separately, in your own homes.)
Check these out:
1. Invest in the Stock Market — Without a Stockbroker
You don’t need to have Steve the Stockbroker handle your investments. Let Steve the Stockbroker talk somebody else’s ear off about the quirky ways of the stock market. You can do this without him.
Stash lets you start investing with as little as $5 — and without any human interaction at all.
You set up the app to pull a select sum of money from your bank account at regular intervals. It funnels that money into a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals. It charges a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000.
Plus, Penny Hoarders get a $5 bonus to get started.
2. Check Your Credit — All by Yourself
You can keep close track of your credit without a single other human involved.
Credit Sesame can handle that for you.
This free service shows your credit score and explains it to you. It shows your balances on any unpaid bills, credit cards or loans.
It offers personalized tips on reducing your debt and raising your credit score. And it won’t talk to you about the weather.
3. Get Better Insurance — Without Calling an Agent
There’s an insurance office located on what feels like every street corner in the United States.
Inside that office, there’s a friendly insurance agent named Bob who’d be totes happy to sell you insurance policies. All the policies you could possibly want! Bob can hook you up!
But you don’t need to talk to Bob. All you need is your phone or laptop. Sorry, Bobster.
New competitors in the industry are updating the old model.
Get Homeowners Insurance for $25/Month
We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, where homeowners insurance starts at $25 a month. Instead of profiting extra when it doesn’t have to pay out claims, the company keeps a set 20% of your premium for itself, and 80% goes into a pool for paying claims and charity.
It offers homeowners insurance in New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, Michigan, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, and it’s expanding to other states.
Sign up for Life Insurance Without the Hassle
A company like Policygenius offers you an easy way for anyone to compare and buy life insurance. The search engine allows you to compare policies and get instant quotes. Once you find the right fit, you can apply right online.
If you’re young and mostly healthy, consider purchasing term life insurance online from Ethos. It partners with a major A-rated life insurance carrier to provide policies for a low price. For example, $30 a month could get your family $1 million of coverage.
Anyone, including independent contractors, can secure term life insurance through Ethos without a medical exam or extensive paperwork; just fill out a digital application.
4. Save Your Change — Without Facing a Bank Teller
Another investment option that involves no humans is Acorns.
This app connects to your checking account, credit and debit cards to save your digital change.
It automatically rounds up purchases and can invest the difference into an investment portfolio that you set up.
Bonus: Penny Hoarders get $5 just for signing up!
5. Monitor Your Subscriptions — No Phone Calls Necessary
On the phone with your cell phone or internet provider, trying to haggle a lower monthly bill?
Go ahead and hang up. (We know you’re probably listening to crappy music while sitting on hold, anyway.)
Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees.
After downloading the app, create an account and link your bank account and/or credit cards. Turn on the bill negotiation and outage protection features. Boom. TrueBill is already searching for potential refunds — it might get you a refund even when you didn’t know an outage occurred.
On average, Truebill customers get $12 in credits off their cable bills each month.
The app will also remind you of all those sneaky subscriptions you’ve signed up for through the years, so you can cancel what you don’t use and reclaim your monthly budget.
Signing up and using the service is free, though there are some paid premium services that are totally optional — but could totally be worth it.
6. Prepare for Retirement — Without Visiting HR
Making plans for retirement definitely sounds like something you should talk to a professional financial adviser about. A real human with financial training and a firm handshake and all that jazz.
And maybe you should, someday.
But for now, you can get by with a robo-adviser called Blooom. This SEC-registered investment advisory firm will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.
It gives your account an initial checkup for free. After that, if you sign up, it’s just $10 per month to have Blooom monitor and maximize your 401(k). Bonus: Penny Hoarders get the first month free with the code PNNYHRD.
7. Get a Free Financial Assistant — No Small Talk Required
Instead of having a financial adviser you have to chat with (“How about that game last night, Dave?”), how about keeping a personal financial assistant in your smartphone instead?
That’s what Empower is for. Once you link your bank account, it’ll help you set up a monthly budget and monitor your account to see whether you’re paying too much for your bills and look for opportunities to save.
For example, Empower will call your cell phone company on your behalf and negotiate a better rate. It’ll review your coverage and premiums on auto and home insurance and find the best quotes for you. It’ll recommend high-interest savings accounts to stash your money in and ways to consolidate your credit card debt to reduce interest rates.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not totally down on human interaction.
Remember, homo sapiens are inherently social beings — it’s one of our species’ survival strategies.
It’s just that …
Sometimes, you just don’t wanna deal with anybody, and that’s OK.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has a mixed record when it comes to interacting with other humans.