In school, they’ll teach you all the algebra you can take. They’ll teach you about geometry and trigonometry. They might even teach you about calculus.
But they don’t teach you diddly-squat about money. No sirree. All the differential equations in the world aren’t gonna show you how to handle your money like a grown adult.
Despite all our education, our overall state of financial literacy is way too low. In fact, only about a third of U.S. states require their high school students to take any kind of personal finance class.
Let’s refresh our financial education with these money lessons you didn’t learn in school. Doing these could save you thousands this year.
1. Grow Your Money 16x Faster — Without Risking Any of It
Here’s a simple lesson we’ll expand on: You’ve probably heard one of the best ways to grow your money is to stick it in a savings account and leave it there for, well, ever. But that’s not always the best strategy.
If you’re just looking for a place to safely stash it away — but still earn money — under your mattress or in a safe will get you nothing. And a typical savings account won’t do you much better. (Ahem, 0.06% is nothing these days.)
But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account.
Not too shabby!
Enter your email address here to get a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you confirm your email, securely link your bank account so they can start helping you get extra cash. Your money is FDIC insured, and they use a military-grade encryption, which is nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
2. See if You’re Wasting $690/Year on Home Insurance
Unfortunately, they don’t teach you the art of haggling in school, so you’re probably wasting money right now. And it’s probably on something you’d never expect — your homeowners insurance policy.
This isn’t something you actively think about — you just know you’re required to have it.
The problem is, you’re paying too much. Luckily, an insurance company called Policygenius makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying. It finds you cheaper policies and special discounts in minutes.
In fact, it saves users an average of $690 a year — or $57.50 a month. It’ll even help you break up with your old insurance company. (You’re allowed to cancel your policy at any time, and your company should issue you a refund.)
And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Policygenius will make sure you have what you need.
Just answer a few questions about your home to get started.
3. Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies
Here’s something to study: Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own a company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why a lot of people use automated micro-investing apps like Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.*
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1. The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**
4. Knock Up To $715/Year Off Your Car Insurance in Minutes
When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.
If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again.
And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.
It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.
So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.
5. Secure Up to $1 Million in Life Insurance; Rates Start at Just $16/Month
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How will they pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a term life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that.
But here’s a lesson for the long term: Your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.
Rates start at just $16 a month. The peace of mind knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.
If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
6. Earn Cash While Watching Cooking Videos Online
We remember watching a lot of videos in school. The teacher would turn on a video to buy time to grade papers while we watched it. But what if we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer?
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.
No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
7. You Don’t Have to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…
And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.
Not in the Classroom Anymore
We’re way past trigonometry here, and you’re definitely not in the classroom anymore. So, how much money could you save yourself by employing these strategies? It’s hard to say. It ultimately depends on how hard you go.
But between the cash-back, investment earnings, other savings, and cheaper deals on car and home insurance, you should be able to see a big difference in your bottom line this year.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.