8 Ways Millennials Accidentally Ruin Their Finances

Last updated Apr 27, 2021 | 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 millennials accidentally hold themselves back financially — and how to avoid these traps.

Don't overpay 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, they will automatically add the best available coupon code from their extensive database to help you save cash. And before you check out at favorite stores like Amazon, Target, and more, 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!3

Get Capital One Shopping now

Overpaying for car insurance

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.

It's easy to search and compare quotes with FinanceBuzz. 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.

It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out the form and you’ll receive a list of matches that show you online, email, and potentially phone quotes.

Click here to get started

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 more5. 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.1 Want even more tools and guidance? If you choose the Stash+ plan2 when signing up, you can earn 2x stock rewards when you spend on eligible purchases!6

Sign up for Stash now

Use your Netflix®, Disney+™ and Hulu™ streaming service payments to boost your credit scores7

Your credit scores affect whether you can get approved for a personal 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 tool that could help you raise your FICO®4 Score instantly.

Experian Boost™8 can help you get credit whenever you pay your phone bill and utility bill on time. And now, it can help you get credit when you make your Netflix®, Disney+™ and Hulu™ streaming service payments on time, too!

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 payments, 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 credit scores take effect immediately.

Sign up for Experian Boost now

Missing out on rewards (and rose gold!)

Credit card rewards are a great way to earn a little something for yourself when you shop... or eat. Whether you like to dine in or out, the American Express® Gold Card is ready to reward you with 4X points  at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and restaurants, as well as a $120 dining credit AND up to $120 in Uber Cash that can be used for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides. Select benefits require enrollment.

Your Amex points can be redeemed for travel including airfare and hotels. To get you started, you can earn 60,000 membership rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. All these perks can easily offset the card's $250 (See rates and fees) annual fee.

If you have good or excellent credit, doesn't the Amex Gold, with its sleek metal design — available in rose gold for a limited time — deserve a spot in your wallet? Terms Apply.

Learn how to apply

Invest in paintings by Basquiat, Picasso, Banksy

The ultra-wealthy have been flipping art for huge profits for decades and now non-millionaires can get in on the action. Masterworks is a platform for investing in blue-chip art, an asset class that’s outperformed the S&P 500 by over 180% between 2000-2018.

Masterworks purchases multi-million-dollar paintings and divides up ownership among its members. Just like stock in a company, you can own fractional shares of artwork. If the painting sells, you make money off the appreciation.

While Masterworks requires a $5,000 account minimum to get started, you can invest as little as $20 in each work.

Skip The Waitlist: Use our link to get exclusive access to bypass the 25,000 person waitlist!

Click here to get started

Not borrowing up to $50k when you need it most

Sometimes you just need a little extra cash. Whether it’s to pay for an unexpected emergency (like medical bills) or to fund a purchase you didn’t see coming, a personal loan could help.

This personal loan from Figure lets you borrow up to $50,000 to do just that — all from the comfort of your home. The application process is quick, convenient, and 100% online. You could get approved in minutes, with funding in as little as two days.

Just answer a few questions about yourself and in a couple of clicks, Figure will provide your prequalification rate. Figure has even been featured by Forbes, Bloomberg, and the New York Times, so you know you’re in good hands.

P.S.: Getting pre-qualified doesn’t affect your credit score, but a minimum credit score of 680 is required to be approved.

See your rates

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 Truebill 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 Truebill 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.

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

Download Truebill now

Bonus: Build wealth better than the 1%

The 1% doesn’t deserve all the riches. So why do we keep letting it happen?

Worthy is an email newsletter that teaches you how to invest smarter, earn more money, and live the life you want. It’s for the rebellious, the radical, the 99%er who fights like hell to earn their keep. Easily consumed in less than 5 minutes a day, you’ll get the latest financial resources, news, and money trends that could impact your wallet for years to come.

Join Worthy today (It’s free)

Stash Benefits

  • Get $10 to make your first investment
  • Invest in stocks, bonds, and ETFs
  • Fractional shares available
  • Start investing with just $1

Author Details

FinanceBuzz Editors The editors at FinanceBuzz are a team of personal finance professionals dedicated to providing readers with accurate, helpful advice.