The System is Rigged. Here’s How to Not Let it Rob You Blind
In the 1950s, CEOs were earning about 20 times more than their average employees. Seems fair considering their title, right? Sure.
Today, according to research pulled by Bloomberg, the typical Fortune 1,000 CEO makes 144 times more than their average worker. But wait, it gets worse: at The Coca-Cola Company, CEO James Quincey makes an insultingly high 1,621 times more.
The system is rigged, man. And over the last year, it’s become a lot more apparent. The rich get richer, and many of us are just trying to make ends meet.
You can ask for a raise or try your chances playing the lotto, but neither of those are guaranteed to land in your favor. So how can you get your slice of the pie, too? Here are some surefire ways you can stick it to The Man.
1. Say Goodbye to Your Big Brick-and-Mortar Bank
Not that you’d be surprised by this, but the place you trust to keep your money safe and growing is getting rich by ripping you off.
First, they charge all those insane fees. Then, they make tons of interest on your money — but only give you .05% (on average). Peanuts for the poor. Billions for the bank.
So if you’re sick of getting ripped off, find an account that won’t charge you ridiculous fees and earn you way more interest on your savings — it is your money, after all.
A debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cash back every time you swipe the card and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account. Plus, you’ll never pay a monthly account maintenance fee.
To see how much you could earn, enter your email address here, link your bank account and add at least $10 to your account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
2. Stop Paying Your Credit Card Company
How much do you think the billionaire CEO of JPMorgan Chase is making? You don’t even want to know.
It’s better to just stop giving your credit card company more of your money. They’re getting richer and richer by ripping you off with high interest rates — some up to 36%. 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 3.49% 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.
3. Stop Paying For Free Services
Here’s a trick the Richie Riches of the world love: slapping a fancy marketing term on a free service and charging you for it. The nerve of these people, seriously.
Here’s one that’s really going to irk you — paying for a credit monitoring service isn’t necessary for most people. You might be, though, because you know how important a good credit score is to buy a car, take out a mortgage or even open up a business.
But if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — stop paying anyone to monitor it for you. You can get the same help from a free website, like Credit Sesame.
Within two minutes, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.* “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Getting your free credit score takes less than two minutes.
4. Cancel Your Car Insurance
How would you feel if you found out your car insurance company was overcharging you by $500 each year?
Pretty peeved, we’re sure. It’s just another cog in the machine working hard to rip you off.
So, call them out. Cancel those thieves! But make sure you have better, cheaper insurance lined up.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and your age, and it’ll show you your options. Make sure you do this every six months so you can be confident you’re getting the best price.
Using Insure.com, people have saved an average of $489 a year.
Yup. That could be $500 back in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.
5. Fight the Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers
Think those high-flying billionaires on the top floor are just sitting pretty on their cash? No way — they’re investing it and making even more millions.
It doesn’t seem fair they get to have their own hedge fund managers who make them richer every day. The system wasn’t set up to make it easy for us worker bees.
But with an app called Stash, you can take on those expensive brokers. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy 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, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.1
It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”2
Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.*
Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
1Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.
2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.
For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
*Offer is sunbject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.
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.
*Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.