What are the top 10 financial products debt free people must have?
Over the past 50 years our society has invented thousands of financial products: Credit cards, hedge funds, and the inappropriately named “FreeCreditReport.com”. The most marketed category of products today, the ones we are the most familiar with and are told we can’t live without, fall under the “debt” category.
Think about it, when was the last time you saw a car commercial offering a car at a flat price without offering a low monthly payment or interest rate? Drive by any bank with an LED sign and they aren’t telling you the time and temperature anymore, they are telling you how their HELOC is going to save you money. You can’t watch late night TV without being offered something that is going for the low price of small monthly payments for three months plus shipping and handling.
Loans, Installment Payments, and Debt is at the core of all this advertising. Are there financial products debt free people must have that won’t put them back into the debt?
The answer is yes and they are all good for you and your financial health:
10 Financial Products Debt Free People Must Have
- Checking account: It allows us to cash checks, pay our bills electronically, and gives our budget a place to frolic. No debt involved.
- Debit card: Worried about losing your cash? A debit card is the debt-free way to purchase things on the road, online, and even when traveling out of the state. There are also debit cards that can earn you rewards
like *PerkStreetthat offers cash back or retail gift cards and *SmarterBucks Debit Card that applies rewards to your student loans.
- Savings account: While savings accounts at your local bank won’t earn much, it is a better place to keep your first $1,000 in emergency savings thank your sock drawer. It’s a little more than arm’s length away from the pizza delivery man when you forgot to get cash out of the ATM or promising yourself ” I’ll just replace the sock drawer money when I get back from dinner with my friends”. Yeah, me too.
- Online Money Market Account: A better place for emergency savings because it can earn more in interest. The two most popular online Money Market Accounts are ING (now owned by Capitol One) and the one that we use – EmigrantDirect.com.
- Car Insurance: Not only is it the law to have car insurance but it protects debt-free people from losing everything in the event of an accident involving others.
- Health Insurance: The cost of healthcare is rising faster than the calorie count of a Carl’s Jr Super Bacon ThickBurger. Don’t get caught having a heart attack without having health insurance.
- Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance: How much money would you be set back if your house were to flood or suffer from hail damage if you didn’t have homeowner’s insurance to cover the repair? Homeowner’s insurance is about as important as car insurance – you gotta have it. Even minimalists like Robert Wall of the Untitled Minimalism podcast pays for renter’s insurance – and minimalists are known for trying to live more and more on less and less stuff.
- Long Term Disability Insurance: LTDI is very important and often overlooked. Most people bypass getting disability insurance when they are young, thinking they are healthy and are unlikely to become disabled, and then never buy it later when the odds of becoming disabled increases. BTW: None of us is immune to a slip-and-fall or being rear-ended at a 4-way stoplight.
- Retirement account: Whether you are eligible for a pension or have a 401(k) set up at work, everyone needs a place to stash money into long-term savings. The most efficient way in in a tax-favored account like an IRA or employer-sponsored plan.
- Will and Living Will: Not necessarily a financial product and it really doesn’t keep you from losing your Debt Free Club Membership (because you will no longer be here). However, it is associated with estate planning, which is another important piece to anyone’s financial puzzle.
*Indicates affiliate links for products that will not get you into debt
With all the noise and all the companies vying for your attention, where do you draw the line? If you are like me and want to live debt free then these 10 financial products will not steer you wrong. You just have a pay attention so you don’t end up paying interest.
Are there other financial products would you add to the list? Am I missing any? What financial products are you using?
Please let me know in the comments below.