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8 Ways Homeowners Accidentally Ruin Their Finances

Last updated Aug. 25, 2022 | By FinanceBuzz Editors

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Owning a home is a huge financial milestone. Congrats! You've worked hard to get to this point so it's important to avoid missteps that could undermine all that hard work.

Luckily, you can learn from the mistakes other homeowners have made so you don't have to learn these lessons on your own. Here are a few of the most common ways that homeowners accidentally hold themselves back financially — and how to avoid these traps.

1. Not investing enough (especially when you can get $10 to invest in Amazon, Apple or other companies)

Even if you do invest, there’s a chance you may not be investing enough. Consistent investing, and making sure you’re putting in enough can help ensure you’re growing your wealth efficiently.

Stash was built to help beginner investors get started. You can buy fractional shares (partial shares) in companies that are household names like Apple, Google, Amazon, and more 1 . Normally a single share of these companies could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but you only need as little as $5 to get started with Stash.

If you're thinking about saving for retirement, you can start investing in an IRA and enjoy the tax benefits that come with retirement accounts. Stash also offers tools and guidance to help you along the way and you can use the Stash app to track your investments from anywhere.

BONUS: Stash will give you $10 to invest after you deposit $5 or more into your personal portfolio. 2 Want even more tools and guidance? If you choose the Stash+ plan 3 when signing up, you can earn 2x stock rewards when you spend on eligible purchases! 4

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2. Not taking advantage of historically low interest rates

One of your biggest monthly expenses is probably your mortgage. So much of your hard-earned money goes to paying for it every month. But what if there was a way to lower your monthly mortgage payment... or even pay it off faster?

If your credit score is good or excellent, you might qualify to save money on your mortgage by comparing lenders and switching by using our new tool.

Just answer a few simple questions about your home and finances, and we will try to match you with lenders who could help you refinance. Filling out the form takes less than 3 minutes, and it won't affect your credit.

Save on your mortgage

3. Not canceling your car insurance

We’ve got bad news. You could be wasting $500 every year on overpriced, second-rate car insurance. And you should probably cancel your existing insurance right now , because there’s something much better.

This new tool from FinanceBuzz can tell you if you’re overpaying for your car insurance in just a few clicks. We match drivers with companies that report saving drivers up to $500 or more per year when they save! Each driver’s savings will vary by driving history and how many discounts you’re eligible for. And once you try it out, you’ll never have to look for affordable insurance again because we find you the lowest rates that other companies can’t match.

Oh, and it’s also free. And come on — you can’t tell us you don’t want to save up to $500. To find out if you’re losing up to $500 or more a year, just enter your zip code here , answer a few questions and see if you’re overpaying. It takes less than 2 minutes.

See if you’re overpaying

4. Overpaying when you shop online

Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at favorite stores like Amazon, Target, Home Depot, and Best Buy, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.

Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying! 5

Get Capital One Shopping now

5. Forgeting to diversify your portfolio

Stock market volatility can be financially damaging for investors, especially as you near retirement. You could move your investments into a savings account, but have you seen interest rates lately? Another option to consider — diversify with gold.

Gold values are inversely correlated with the stock market and the dollar. When one goes down, the other usually goes up. If you want to protect your retirement funds, having diversified investments can help you weather market swings.

Gold Alliance is a reputable precious metals dealer that specializes in precious metals IRAs. They make it simple to transfer funds from your current retirement account (like a 401(k) or IRA) into a precious metal IRA — with no taxes or penalties.

Gold Alliance offers a free investors' guide to help you learn more about why gold and silver could be a smart choice for diversifying your portfolio, and how the process works.

Get your free guide now

6. Let home repairs drain your bank account

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more. Not being able to make repairs could leave you in a bad situation — but a home warranty could protect you against surprise expenses.

Whether you’re a brand-new homeowner or you’ve owned your home for years, a plan from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where homeowner’s insurance falls short.

If a covered system in your home breaks down, you can call their hotline 24/7 for assistance to get it repaired. They have a network of over 15,000 technicians that can assist you, making sure any issue can be taken care of swiftly — without breaking the bank.

Not sure if it’s for you? Rest easy: they were named one of the "Best Home Warranty Companies" by US News 360 Reviews and were awarded Best Company's 2020 Consumer's Choice Award. For a limited time, you can get your first month free when you sign up for a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote

7. A loan-free way to unlock your home's equity

If you own your home, you know it's a valuable asset, but tapping into your home's value without selling it can be a challenge. If you need money for home improvements, to pay off debt, start a new business, fund your retirement, pay for education, or more, there's a new option to consider.

Hometap is an alternative to traditional home equity loans. Instead of loaning you money that you need to pay back in monthly payments, they make an investment in your home. If qualified, they'll give you the cash now in return for participating in the proceeds when you sell your home.

To be eligible, you need to own at least 25% equity in your home. You can request a free estimate of your home from Hometap to get started.

Visit Hometap now

8. Overpaying for homeowners insurance

Are you overpaying for homeowners insurance? It only takes 60 seconds to get quotes with FinanceBuzz so you can compare options to see if you could save money on great coverage.

Finding the right homeowners insurance can be overwhelming, but with FinanceBuzz you can compare rates from top insurers in the U.S., all in one place. Comparing homeowners insurance quotes can help you get the coverage your home needs at an affordable price.

It's free and fast to compare quotes. See how much you could save!

Compare rates now

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Stash Benefits

  • Get $10 to make your first investment
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  • Fractional shares available
  • Start investing with just $1