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The 5 Stupidest Things Americans Overspend On (Hint: Coffee Isn’t One of Them).

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I’m a massive coupon/savings nerd, and an embarrassing amount of my time is spent talking to people to find out how much they’re spending.

In my experience, the average American is overpaying for things on an almost daily basis.

Here are the 8 worst culprits for overspending (and how you can save money by avoiding them):

1. Auto insurance.

Believe it or not, the average American family still overspends by $417/year1 on car insurance.

Here’s how to quickly see how much you’re being overcharged (takes maybe 30 seconds):

  • Pull up Coverage.com – it’s a free site that will compare prices for you
  • Answer the questions on the page
  • It’ll spit out a bunch of insurance quotes for you.

That’s literally it. You’ll likely save yourself a bunch of money.

Here’s a link to Coverage.com

2. Online shopping

You might be surprised how often you’re overpaying on Amazon and elsewhere.

Big stores like Amazon know that no one has time to price shop through dozens of sites, so there’s often no incentive for them to offer bargain prices.

I typically hate browser extensions with a fiery passion, but if you don’t have Capital One Shopping installed yet, do yourself a favor and grab it.

When you shop online (on Amazon or elsewhere) it will:

  1. Auto-apply coupon codes for you to save you money
  2. Compare prices from other sellers to make sure you’re not missing out on a better deal

It’s saved me a ton of money more than once. Here’s a quick example:

Savings will vary, this is just an example, of course.

That same exact blender was $26 cheaper at another store (with 2 day shipping) when I shopped.

Here’s a link to install Capital One Shopping, if you’re interested.

3. Paying off credit card debt on your own (when some companies are willing to help).

If you’ve got $10k+ in unsecured debt (think credit cards, medical bills, etc), you could use a debt relief program and potentially reduce it by around 23% (on average).

Here’s how to quickly see if you qualify for debt relief:

  • Head to National Debt Relief’s site here
  • Answer the questions on the page
  • Find out if you qualify

Simple as that. You’ll likely end up paying less than you owed and could be debt free in 24-48 months.

Here’s a link to National Debt Relief.

4. Not using an ad blocker.

If you aren’t using an ad blocker yet, I am begging you to try one. I am not exaggerating when I say it will change your life.

A good ad blocker will eliminate virtually all of the ads you’d see on the internet.

No more YouTube ads, no more banner ads, no more pop-up ads, etc. It’s incredible.

Most people I know use Total Adblock (link here) – it’s $2.42/month, but there are plenty of solid options.

Ads also typically take a while to load, so using an ad blocker reduces loading times (typically by 50% or more). They also block ad tracking pixels to protect your privacy, which is nice.

Here’s a link to Total Adblock, if you’re interested.

5. Not getting a financial advisor.

99% of people don’t have one, and it’s typically a huge mistake.

Sure, you can manage things on your own if you want to, but most people don’t have the time to actually do things right. There are huge benefits to having somebody pay attention to your money all the time.

  • People with financial advisors tend to beat the market by ~3%/year (according to a 2019 Vanguard Study). That can make a huge difference over time.
  • But more important: a good advisor will handle ALL of the annoying retirement stuff & bizarro tax implications you would have never thought of

If you don’t know a financial advisor personally, use a comparison site (like WiserAdvisor) and find somebody near you that has good reviews.

Or if you want something easier, here’s a quiz you can fill out that will find an advisor/planner based on your reqs.

6. Your debt payments.

The average American has ~$6,500 in credit card debt. And almost nothing is more expensive than debt (particularly credit card debt).

If you want to start saving, think about using a personal loan to swap your high-interest debt for lower-interest debt.

The basic idea: find a lower-interest personal loan and pay off your credit card with that loan money. Personal loan interest rates are typically far lower than credit card interest rates.

If you’re interested, here’s a free 3rd party service (Bankrate) where you can compare different personal loan options.

Do your own research, of course. Here’s a link to their site.

7. Not getting paid to test games ($20/day).

This may come as a surprise, but there are apps that will pay you to try new mobile games.

Freecash is one of our favorite apps to use to test new games, and getting started is easy.

Download the app, select a game from the ‘Earn Page’, complete the designated offer (typically takes 5-10 minutes), and then cash out via Apple Pay, gift cards, etc. when you’re ready.

Whenever you play a free phone game, you generate ad money for the game developer. Then, Freecash passes some of that revenue back to their users.

You probably won’t become a millionaire from this, but why not make some extra cash instead of playing for free.

Download Freecash from the App Store here.

8. Home repair bills (let a company pay them for you instead).

Picture this: your trusty furnace suddenly throws a tantrum in the dead of winter, leaving you shivering and facing a repair bill that could cost you way more than you anticipated.

If you had a home warranty, you could be covered the next time something breaks down. It’s like having a safety net for your home (think plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc).

If you don’t have one yet, use a free resource like AmericanHomeWarranty.org to find a good warranty provider in your area and check their reviews.

Bonus: home warranty companies usually have qualified, pre-vetted maintenance and repair workers ready to get the job done (which is one less thing to worry about).

If you’re interested just enter your zip code here to compare home warranty companies. It could save you a bunch of money the next time something breaks down.

9. Not getting paid for your opinions.

We’re all guilty of scrolling through social media and playing mobile games to pass the time, but what if you could use your mobile to make a little side cash instead?

There’s this site, Kashkick (link here) that will actually pay you to answer surveys or download and try out apps/games. Some users have been known to make up to $250.

All you have to do is sign-up and fill-in your profile, pick surveys, games, or other offers to complete, then once you’ve earned $10 you can withdraw your rewards (to PayPal etc).

If that sounds interesting, Kashkick could be a low-key way to fill your time and earn a little extra cash.

10. Not investing in real estate (start with as little as $20).

It’s no secret that millionaires and billionaires love investing in real estate, but for the rest of us, buying property has been prohibitively expensive (if not impossible, for some).

Times have changed. There are a few amazing real estate startups that allow you to buy shares of rental homes for as little as $20/share (Ark7 is one of my favorites).

They take care of the property management and collect rent checks for you. Then, on the 3rd of the following month, your share of the property’s profit is distributed to your account.

It’s an interesting way to build yourself a little rental home empire (without spending like a magnate).

If you’re interested, take a look at Ark7’s properties here.

11. Missing out on $1,000+ a year because you weren’t in the loop.

The internet is huge, which means there are amazing money-making opportunities that pop up almost every day.

But most of them expire or sell out so fast that the public doesn’t have a chance to hear about them.

For example: back in September, there was a company offering $2,500/month for someone to literally watch shows on Netflix. Unsurprisingly, the role was filled so fast before most people knew it existed.

What if you could get access to great deals/money-making opportunities before other people do?

I spend every day looking for great ways to save/earn money, and whenever I find something really lucrative, I send out a text to our Betterbuck VIPs list first. (You can join it below, it’s 100% free)

It’s a great way to get tips about time-sensitive opportunities and deals before the rest of the country has time to hear about them.

You can join the list here:

That’s all (for now).

Those are my top savings tips for the time being, but I’ll keep adding to this article as I find new tips for you.

Thanks for reading!


*Clients who are able to stay with the program and get all their debt settled realize approximate savings of 46% before fees, or 25% including our fees, over 24 to 48 months. All claims are based on enrolled debts. Not all debts are eligible for enrollment. Not all clients complete our program for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds. Estimates based on prior results, which will vary based on specific circumstances. We do not guarantee that your debts will be lowered by a specific amount or percentage or that you will be debt-free within a specific period of time. We do not assume consumer debt, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting or legal advice or credit repair services. Not available in all states. Please contact a tax professional to discuss tax consequences of settlement. Please consult with a bankruptcy attorney for more information on bankruptcy. Depending on your state, we may be available to recommend a local tax professional and/or bankruptcy attorney. Read and understand all program materials prior to enrollment, including potential adverse impact on credit rating.” 

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