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- Everyone comparison shops for phones and plane tickets and cars — but what about savings accounts, investment accounts, and financial planners?
- A little comparison shopping for important products and services could save you significant cash in the long run.
- Use a free tool to find extra money you could be losing to investment fees or find the right financial planner to help trim your budget and maximize your returns.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
From investment account fees to college costs, we’re always looking for ways to save.
But, saving doesn’t always mean cutting corners. Sometimes, all you need to do is shop around. Here are six things to shop for that could ultimately save you a lot of money.
1. A higher interest rate on your savings account
If you’re keeping the bulk of your money in a checking account or a traditional savings account that doesn’t earn much interest, you might be missing out on savings. Shopping around for a high-yield savings account could help your savings grow faster.
These accounts aren’t much different from the traditional savings account, but they do earn more interest, meaning you save more money in the long run. Easy to set up and simple to use, they can earn up to 20 times more interest than a typical savings account.
2. An investment account with lower fees
Investment accounts, including your retirement account, might be charging fees you didn’t even know about. While they might be small, even less than 1%, they could really add up over time.
There are a few ways to see if your investment accounts are charging you fees, and how much they are. Personal Capital’s online retirement analyzer tool is incredibly easy — it can show you exactly what you’re paying in fees, and how much that could add up to in the future. Online tool Blooom can shine a light on your 401(k) fees and recommend lower-fee alternatives. Both tools are completely free, although you have the option to sign up for paid services as well.
You might just be able to put some of those fees back into your pocket. Business Insider writer Eric Rosenberg saved about $300 per year in fees on his accounts by running them through Personal Capital. Over time, that could add up to an extra $50,000 in his account, assuming they hold a steady 10% return for 30 years.
3. Life insurance
Shopping for life can save you money in two ways: You can lock in a low monthly premium for term life insurance now that lasts the life of your policy and you can save your family a significant amount of money if you die during that term.
As Kelly McClure writes for Business Insider, life insurance saved her money on covering her father’s funeral costs, settling the financial worries and allowing her to save money for other financial goals. “I found that the insurance payout would not only cover the complete cost of his burial, but would also provide me with a remainder that I later used to buy my first home,” she writes.
And Samantha Chavarria writes for Business Insider that her father passing away without life insurance made it harder. “Having to beg and crowdsource in order to bury my dad added a layer of tension I wasn’t expecting,” she writes.
Life insurance does a lot more than just pay for funerals. And, the younger you are when you get life insurance, the lower your monthly premium — and with term insurance, that premium is fixed, so it will remain the same for your entire term.
4. A good financial planner
Finding a good fee-only financial planner can be a great way to get objective money advice, set financial goals, and make them happen.
“An adviser or financial planner is providing the accountability that a lot of us need, whether its spending less, or investing,” Kaya Ladejobi, a New York City-based financial planner, tells Business Insider. “Then, there’s the coaching and the objectivity that comes with it,” she adds. “They can help you do a better job with the resources you have.”
In addition to the accountability factor, they can also help you see ways to grow your money. “If you’re thinking about it in the power of compounding, one action that you take with your financial planner can turn into hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars in your lifetime,” says Ladejobi.
5. Car insurance
Every car insurance company looks at personal factors about you differently, from your driving history to your credit score. By getting quotes from several companies, you can make sure you’re getting the best coverage possible, and not paying any more than necessary.
6. Disability insurance
Even for someone who’s young and healthy, disability insurance is necessary for anyone who relies on an earned income to live. After a health scare and multiple surgeries, writer Zina Kumok decided to make the jump to get a long-term disability policy.
“The policy costs $21.59 a month and will pay out $3,000 a month in benefits. This will cover all the major essentials, including my mortgage, car payment, groceries, utilities, car insurance, and gas,” she writes for Business Insider. Having disability insurance could prevent debt and save money long-term.
While disability insurance is often offered through an employer, it’s possible to get a policy even if it isn’t, or if you’re self-employed. There are two main types, long-term and short-term, and which policy you need is up to you and your budget.