8 Ways Homeowners Accidentally Ruin Their Finances

Last updated May 14, 2021 | 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.

Not refinancing, especially with 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 Lower My Bills.

Just answer a few simple questions about your home and finances, and Lower My Bills 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

Not cancelling your car insurance

We’ve got bad news. You’re probably wasting at least $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. On average, we find around $500 a year in savings for drivers. 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 $500. To find out if you’re losing $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

Leave your family up to $1,500,000 (starting at just $10/month)

If you're young and healthy, you might not be thinking about term life insurance yet, but you should be. Life insurance companies look at a number of factors including your age, health, and weight to determine the rate you'll pay for coverage. Generally, the younger and healthier you are, the lower the rate.

Bestow can help you find term life insurance policies with up to $1.5 million in coverage starting at just $10/month. You can apply online and get a decision in just five minutes. The best part: you might not even need to take a medical exam.

If you are between 18 and 59 years old, have never had a felony, and are generally in good health, get a free quote today.

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Not getting a home warranty

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

Turn a photo of your grocery receipt into an Amazon gift card

Even if you're on a tight budget, what’s one expense that won't go away? Your grocery bill.

Now you can get rewarded for your grocery bills with an app that lets you earn gift cards from pictures of your grocery receipts.

All you need is your phone and the Fetch app. After you're done shopping, just snap a photo of your receipt. Your photo earns points. Then you can redeem those points for gift cards at popular stores like Amazon, Target, and Home Depot.

BONUS: You'll get 2,000 points bonus when you enter this referral code: BUZZ before you scan your first receipt.

Sign up for Fetch today

Don't put off home improvement projects when rates are low

If you're putting off home improvement projects, it's time to reassess that mindset, especially if those projects could increase the value of your home. With interest rates at record lows, taking out a personal loan to finance your project could be a smart financial move.

Our partner AmOne can match you with loan providers to fit your specific needs. In only 2 minutes, you could get matched for a loan up to $50,000 and rates as low as 3.49%.

Why not see if you qualify? It will NOT affect your credit score.

Get a loan offer here

Cancel unwanted subscriptions and trim up to $720 from your bills

As a homeowner, you've got more bills than ever before to deal with and this makes it easy for unwanted subscription to slip by. Companies pull money from your bank account or charge your credit card every month and you pay it, sometimes unknowingly. 

Truebill can help you cancel subscriptions and lower bills. The best part: you never need to pick up the phone. Their expert negotiators can call the cable company and phone company on your behalf 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.

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

Download Truebill now

Not saving $100s a year on your electric bill by updating your windows

Upgrading your windows can instantly modernize your home. And not only do you get to make all your neighbors jealous with how good your house looks, but new windows could also:

- Increase the value of your home

- Help you sell your home for a higher price

- Slash your energy bill by $100s per year with the increased efficiency

The only problem? Upgrading windows can be expensive for an entire house. That’s why we’re excited to share Modernize Home Services with you. They make it easy to find potential savings when updating the windows in your home by connecting you with top pros in your area.

To get started, just answer a few questions, and Modernize Home Services will give you a free quote to upgrade your windows. It takes just 60 seconds, but could pay off for years!

Get a free quote

Protect your home starting at just $5/month

Protecting your home is important, but dealing with insurance companies can be such a drag. They give you the hard sell up front. You make your monthly payments, but when you actually need money for a claim, it's delay after delay.

Lemonade is a new type of insurance company that takes the hassle out of home, renters, and condo insurance. Using AI and transparent business practices, they make it easy to find the perfect policy in just minutes. If you already have insurance, they'll help make the switch simple and seamless. If you need to file a claim, they're committed to paying claims instantly whenever possible. More proof this isn't your typical insurance company: Lemonade donates leftover money at the end of the year to causes that you - the policyholder - care about.

Lemonade offers renters insurance policies starting at just $5 per month and homeowners policies starting at just $25 per month.

Get a quote today

Protect your money and get $1 million identity theft insurance

Identity theft can turn your life upside down. Your money could be stolen, your credit score could tank by hundreds of points, and worst of all… you could be liable for damages, even if you’re not at fault. It can be really bad.

Identity Guard can help protect your money in case your identity is ever stolen online. They keep you updated 24/7, constantly monitoring in the background while you go about your day with total peace of mind. Using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, they’ll alert you when potentially suspicious activity is detected, helping you take action to protect your money.

With Identity Guard, your money, identity, and credit score are kept safe and secure. Sign up today and get access to real-time monitoring and $1 million in identity theft insurance2 for as little as $6.67 per month.

Try Identity Guard today

Paying interest in 2021

If you have a major purchase coming up, a credit card with a 0% intro APR can help you finance it without the fees. Just be sure you're able to pay off your balance before the intro period ends if you want to avoid interest.

If you have a credit score over 700, we've got a great 0% APR card recommendation for you. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card offers a 0% intro APR for a generous 15 months (See rates and fees). After the intro period, the interest rate goes to 13.99% to 23.99% (variable) (See rates and fees).

In addition, you can earn $100 cash back after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months; plus, earn 20% back on amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $150 back, and 3% cash back on U.S. supermarkets. Add that all up and you've got the potential to earn huge cash back while you save on interest! Terms Apply

The best part? There's NO annual fee! 

Learn how to apply

Bonus: Build wealth better than the 1%

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Lower My Bills Benefits

  • Refinance your home while interest rates are at historic lows
  • Easily compare and switch lenders
  • Filling out the form takes less than 3 minutes
  • Checking rates will not affect your credit score