8 Ways People Accidentally Ruin Their Finances

Last updated Sept. 6, 2022 | By FinanceBuzz Editors
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As much as making a mistake with your hard-earned money can stink, it's nothing to be ashamed about. Through these missteps, we can learn and grow. 

But, if you can avoid learning the hard way, why not seize the opportunity? Here are a few of the most common ways that people accidentally hold themselves back financially — and how to avoid these traps.

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

Sign up for Stash now

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

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

Even if you're disciplined about saving, you've probably had months where you looked at your bank balance and wondered where your paycheck went. A budgeting app like Rocket Money can help you take control of your money — spend intentionally on the things you value and stop 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

Not having a healthy emergency fund

Unexpected expenses are a part of life. Unfortunately, according to the Federal Reserve, 39% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected 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 taking simple steps to improve your credit

Your credit scores affect whether you can get approved for a 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 5 instantly.

Experian Boost® can help you get credit for making on-time payments for your phone and utility bills. 6 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

Paying unnecessary bank fees

The average American pays hundreds in bank fees every year. The worst part: they're paying for something they could get for free elsewhere. 

Bank fees are annoying, so stop paying them. 7 There are no monthly fees~ with the Chime® mobile app, no minimum balance fees, and they even offer fee-free overdraft — up to $200*.

And no fees~ doesn't mean no features. With Chime, you can build your savings faster by automatically rounding up your purchases, plus get paid up to two days early when you use direct deposit^.

Apply online in just two minutes — there's no credit check required.

Sign up for Chime now

Bonus: Get smarter about money in just 5 minutes a day

"Wealthy" is all about numbers. "Worthy" is a mindset. If you’re the type of person who’s passionate about growing your net worth and becoming financially independent, then you belong in Worthy — our brand-new personal finance community.

Join Worthy, and you’ll get expert advice on earning more, investing smarter, and saving for the life you want - right in your inbox, for free! Stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends that could impact your wallet, and get access to exclusive insider content and special offers.

Sign up now and join thousands of people who are getting smarter about money every day with Worthy.

Ready to get smarter?

Stash Benefits

  • Get $20 to make your first investment
  • Invest in stocks, bonds, and ETFs
  • Fractional shares available
  • Start investing with just $5