Life is basically a huge obstacle course. It’s full of traps that will trip you up if you’re not careful.
The same goes for your financial life. On any given day, a random situation can arise out of nowhere and take some of your money. It’s like being invaded by reality. Something happens – BOOM – and suddenly you have to pull out your credit card, debit card or checkbook. Pooh.
Such situations are all too common. Here are six of our least favorite, along with some smart tips for using them.
1. Traffic accident
More than 5 million road accidents occur in the United States each year. Hopefully you are in none of them. However, in the event of an accident, it is best to take out reliable insurance.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay the highest dollar for it! Just make sure you have a look around, that’s all we say. A free website called Get it helps you find the best prices – in just 30 seconds. In fact, it saves people an average of $ 826 a year. And you don’t have to give up your reporting.
All you have to do is plug in your current insurance. Then Savvy searches hundreds of insurers for a better price on the same coverage. It even helps you cancel your old policy and get a refund from your current insurer. Best of all, it’s completely free.
If you find a better deal, you can switch immediately and don’t have to wait for your next renewal or even your next payment.
2. Sudden death
Not to kill you, but this is the ultimate unfortunate situation that could happen to you. It’ll happen to everyone one day, right? After all, we’re all just guests here.
If you died what would happen to your loved ones? Can you afford the mortgage? Pay for childcare or college? Could they even pay the bills?
Here you can calm down in life insurance. A life insurance search engine called LeapLife make it easy. In less than a minute, LeapLife will match you with personalized offers from many major insurance companies (including Pacific Life, Lincoln and Prudential).
And don’t worry about getting a ton of money. We’ve heard that users are being matched with offers that are lower than what they would pay for a streaming service (depending on health and other factors).
If you qualify, you might not even need a personal exam or medical records. You can complete the process completely online and receive your policy in just a few minutes.
Straight answer a few questionsChoose the offer that best suits your needs and complete it online in minutes.
3. Loss of jobs
Millions of Americans lost their jobs in 2020. Thanks to COVID-19, the unemployment rate skyrocketed.
Unemployment is one of the hardest things that can happen to you. For this reason, it is a good idea to set up an emergency fund equivalent to three to six months of your salary in the event you unexpectedly lose your job.
How can you do that Try the 50/30/20 budgeting method. Take all your after-tax income every month and divide it in half. This is your most important budget (50%). Take the rest and break it down into personal expenses (30%) and financial goals (20%).
Let’s sum it up: that’s 50% for things like utilities, groceries, medicines, minimum debt payments, and other critical expenses. Then there’s 30% for fun: Thai takeaway, your Netflix subscription, a skeleton on your lawn for Halloween.
That leaves 20% for your financial goals, such as additional debt reduction payments (anything above the monthly minimum), retirement plans and investments. When trying to build an emergency fund, consider cutting out of the fun category – and wherever you can – to put as much money as possible into that emergency fund. A small sacrifice could be a lifesaver later.
4. The bank is starting a downward spiral
Bank fees are so aggravating and overdraft fees are the worst of them all. It turns out that there is not enough money in your bank account. So your bank is taking revenge by helping itself $ 35 off all the money you don’t have! And then, thanks to your bank, you will have even less money than before. It’s hateful.
You should get a better account – like aspiration, an online-only account with no fees.
Even better? Your account comes with a debit card that gives you up to 10% cashback on your debit purchases. Plus, you’ll earn up to 20 times the national average interest rate for the money you set aside for saving.
To open your shiny new Aspiration accountSimply connect your existing bank account and transfer it for just $ 10. It won’t take more than five minutes.
5. Lose money on investments
Losing money in the stock market always stings. Making an unfortunate investment decision is difficult. It hurts to see the numbers go down.
The stock market was very volatile last year and shot up and down like a roller coaster. But here you have to have the long term. This is what investing is about.
When you invest in the market, your money will grow over time. So you can start sooner rather than later. Not sure how to start? You could start small. With an app called Hideyou can get started with as little as $ 1. *
Stash allows you to choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. It makes it easy by dividing them into categories based on your personal goals. Plus, you invest in fractions of stocks, which means you can invest in stocks like Amazon that you normally cannot afford.
It takes two minutes to register, plus Stash gives you a $ 5 sign up bonus once you have deposited $ 5 into your account. Subscription plans start at $ 1 per month. **
6. An unexpected emergency bill
Maybe your car is broken. Or maybe it’s something else. Perhaps one of the million things that can go wrong in your life suddenly decided: Today is the day! SURPRISE!
If you’re anything like me, write it down on your credit card. That’s my job with almost any sudden emergency outlay. Any unexpected car repairs. Just put it on the card.
The truth is, your credit card company gets rich by fooling you on super high interest rates. But a website called AmOne want to help. If you owe your credit card company $ 50,000 or less, AmOne compares you to a low-interest loan that can be used to pay back every single one of your balances.
The advantage? You have to pay an invoice every month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you will be out of debt The much faster. Plus: No credit card payments this month.
It takes two minutes to See if you qualify online for up to $ 50,000.
Remember that life is basically one giant obstacle course and sooner or later you will be stumbled upon by one of these all-too-common situations.
Now you can be ready to avoid the obstacle.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. His life is definitely an obstacle course.
* For securities priced above $ 1,000, fractional purchases start at $ 0.05.
** You also bear the standard fees and costs included in the pricing of the ETFs on your account, as well as fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com