In school, they’ll teach you all the algebra you can take. They’ll teach you about geometry and trigonometry. They might even teach you about calculus.
But they don’t teach you diddly-squat about money. No sirree. All the differential equations in the world aren’t gonna show you how to handle your money like a grown adult.
Despite all our education, our overall state of financial literacy is way too low. In fact, only about a third of U.S. states require their high school students to take any kind of personal finance class.
Let’s refresh our financial education with these money lessons you didn’t learn in school. Doing these could save you thousands this year.
1. Grow Your Money 16x Faster — Without Risking Any of It
Here’s a simple lesson we’ll expand on: You’ve probably heard one of the best ways to grow your money is to stick it in a savings account and leave it there for, well, ever. But that’s not always the best strategy.
If 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, 0.06% is nothing these days.)
But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account.
Not too shabby!
Enter your email address here to get a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you confirm your email, securely link your bank account so they can start helping you get extra cash. Your money is FDIC insured, and they use a military-grade encryption, which is nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
2. See if You’re Wasting $690/Year on Home Insurance
Unfortunately, they don’t teach you the art of haggling in school, so 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. It finds you cheaper policies and special discounts in minutes.
In fact, it saves users an average of $690 a year — or $57.50 a month. It’ll even help you break up with your old insurance company. (You’re allowed to cancel your policy at any time, and your company should issue you a refund.)
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.
3. Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies
Here’s something to study: 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 automated micro-investing apps like 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. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**
4. Don’t Waste Money on Car Insurance
Every school should have a class about insurance. It’s so complicated that many of us would just rather ignore it.
But come to think of it, how often are you even using your car right now? Regardless, there’s one thing we’re nearly certain of — you’re overpaying for 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 more.
5. Secure Up to $1 Million in Life Insurance; Rates Start at Just $8/Month
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How will they 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.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that.
But here’s a lesson for the long term: Your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.
Rates start at just $8 a month. The peace of mind 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.
6. Earn Cash While Watching Cooking Videos Online
We remember watching a lot of videos in school. The teacher would turn on a video to buy time to grade papers while we watched it. But what if we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer?
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called 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.
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 you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
7. You Don’t Have to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
Did you learn about credit card interest in school? Probably not.
The thing is, while you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off the insane interest rates that it’s charging you. But a website called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona can 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.
If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.
Fiona 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.
All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.
Not in the Classroom Anymore
We’re way past trigonometry here, and you’re definitely not in the classroom anymore. So, how much money could you save yourself by employing these strategies? It’s hard to say. It ultimately depends on how hard you go.
But between the cash-back, investment earnings, other savings, and cheaper deals on car and home insurance, you should be able to see a big difference in your bottom line this year.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
*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.