6 Ways Virginia Car Owners Accidentally Ruin Their Finances

Last updated Sept. 23, 2022 | By FinanceBuzz Editors
woman cheering in car

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Owning your own car is a wonderful feeling, but comes with important financial decisions.

When you're a car owner, you have to think about things like insurance, monthly payments, and shelling out money for gas or unexpected repairs. If you're not careful with car-related finances, it could mean bad news for the rest of your financial life. 

To help, we've compiled a list of ways car owners ruin their finances — and how you can avoid them from happening to you!

Overpaying for car insurance in Virginia

Car insurance can be one of your biggest monthly expenses so it's important to make sure you're not overpaying, especially when comparing premiums only takes a few minutes. Any money you save can be invested toward your financial goals.

FinanceBuzz has made it easy to search and compare quotes. Think of it as Kayak, but for car insurance.

They can help match you to insurance carriers and regional agencies to help you save on your car insurance. FinanceBuzz can save drivers up to $500 per year compared to their current insurance premiums.

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Not seeing if you can raise your credit scores in real time

Your credit scores affect whether you can get approved for a car loan, a credit card, or even a new job. Usually it can take weeks or months to improve your credit scores, but there's an innovative new feature that could help you raise your FICO® Scores 1 instantly.

Experian Boost™ can help you get credit for making on-time payments for your phone and utility bills. 2 The process takes just minutes and if qualifying payments are identified, you can include this positive information in your Experian credit file. (Don't worry: If you have any negative marks, those won't count against you.)

Since launching, Experian Boost has collectively increased FICO® Scores across America by over 10 million points. It's 100% free and new potential credit scores take effect immediately.

Sign up for Experian Boost now

Not saving an average of $83 3 per month by refinancing your car loan

You pay a lot of bills — but what’s one that just never gets lower? Your car payment. And chances are you’re paying too much every month, especially if you’re stuck with an old loan and bad rates.

If your credit score has gone up recently, interest rates have dropped, or you just want to pay less, RateGenius can help you slash your monthly car payment by refinancing your auto loan.

All you have to do is fill out a quick application, and RateGenius will match you with a lender that can give you the best terms and lowest interest rates if approved. The application process takes minutes, and you could save an average of $83 per month! 3

Check your rates

Forgetting to negotiate. Yes, even the cable bill is negotiable.

Even if you're disciplined about saving for your car expenses, you've probably had months where you looked at your bank balance and wondered where your money went. A budgeting app like Rocket Money can help you take control of your money, helping you spend intentionally on the things you value, and not throwing money away on unimportant things.

Once you have a complete picture of your finances, it's easy to see ways to save. And Rocket Money can help make those potential savings a reality. Their expert negotiators can call the cable company and phone company to help lower your bills. They'll also help you cancel unwanted subscriptions and put that money back in your bank account where it belongs.

Rocket Money has already helped save its members over $50,000,000 on their bills without much time and effort.

Download Rocket Money now

Paying high interest rates on credit card debt

It can be tough to get out of credit card debt. With high APR credit cards, the interest can pile up even if you make all your payments on time. With a little help, you can start making progress and finally see your balances shrink.

Tally is an app that can help you pay off your debt faster. Just transfer your high-interest credit card balances to a Tally line of credit — a move that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Then use the savings to pay down your debt faster.

Tally users see an average lifetime savings of $5,300. 4 If you have a credit score of at least 660, it just takes minutes to see how much you could save. Don't worry - signing up won't hurt your credit score.

Download Tally now

Not having a healthy emergency fund

Unexpected car expenses are a part of life. Unfortunately, according to the Federal Reserve, 39% of Americans would struggle to cover a surprise car expense of $400. If you want to increase the chances that you’d be able to cover an unexpected expense — without the need to turn to debt — an emergency fund can help.

If you need a little help prioritizing saving, consider Digit. It's like your smart financial assistant, dedicated to helping you achieve your financial goals. Just tell Digit what your goal is — maybe it's paying off credit card debt, saving for a vacation, or finally building that emergency fund — then let their sophisticated algorithms do the rest.

Digit will analyze your spending habits then automatically move the perfect amount to your secure Digit account. You'll start saving without even thinking about it or changing your lifestyle.

Digit has already helped its users save over $4 billion dollars!

Download Digit now

Not investing (especially when you can get $10 to invest in Amazon, Apple, and other companies to get started)

Consistent investing — and making sure you’re investing enough each month — can help ensure your future is financially secure, no matter how expensive your insurance or car payments may be. 

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 5 . 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.

As a bonus, Stash will give you $10 to invest after you deposit $5 or more into your personal portfolio. 6

Sign up for Stash now

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