4 Dangerous Assumptions That Are Making Us Miss Out on a Whole Bunch of Money

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Making assumptions can be quite dangerous, especially when it comes to your money.

Oh, I have enough money in my account. 

Oh, I’ll have plenty of money by retirement.

Oh, I’m sure I’m getting the best deal.

These assumptions can, quite frankly, screw you over. So, to help prevent you from becoming blinded by your assumptions, take note. These four assumptions most of us make could cost you a whole bunch of money:

1. You’ve Accepted Overdraft Fees are Just Part of Life

One of the most common — and the worst — bank fees we’re forced to hand over is the dreaded overdraft fee. It totally hits you by surprise, just when you need that money the most. 

Like, when you buy groceries and spend 50 cents more than what’s in your checking account. Boom. You suddenly owe the bank $30. Not cool.

What are you going to do about it, though? Sometimes it’s just easier to accept the fact and move on.

But there’s a bank that makes overdrafting — and the annoying fees associated with it — disappear. It’s called Chime, and it could save you an average of $250 a year on overdraft fees. 

As long as you get a monthly deposit of at least $500, Chime will spot you up to $100 when you spend a little too much on your debit card. It’s a nice safety net, and you’ll just pay them back when your next deposit comes in. 

Sure, switching banks sounds like a pain, but Chime has shown more than 4 million people how easy it is. It only takes two minutes to sign up for an account and say goodbye to overdraft fees forever. 

2. You Assume Your 401(k) Will Be Just Fine

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, so it’s no surprise most of us would just rather not think about retirement and assume our 401(k) will manage itself.

Spoiler: It won’t, and your account may not be properly balanced.

Luckily, an SEC-registered advisory firm called blooom will give you a free analysis. Are you taking on too much risk in the current market? Too little? Are you actually on track to retire?

It just takes a few minutes to find out. Plus, blooom will show you if you’re paying hidden investment fees and even show you just how much more money your account could earn by the time you want to retire. 

If you decide to sign up after your analysis, blooom will monitor and optimize your 401(k). Right now, Penny Hoarder readers get a special rate of $95 per year, plus $10 off with the code REEETIRE10.

Get a free 401(k) analysis to see if your retirement account is prepared for anything.

3. You Assume You’re Getting the Best Deal

Car insurance is another thing that’s mostly just “out of sight, out of mind.” You’ve gotta pay it, so what can you do?

Well, you can probably get a better price.

A company called Gabi will shop policies for you for free. It gets people an average of $825 back in their bank accounts a year — and you’ll get the same coverage you already have.

It doesn’t matter when you last renewed; you can get a check from your old company for the time left on your previous policy. (Read: They probably owe you money.)

You don’t have to make any calls or fill out any forms. It takes two minutes to see how much Gabi can put back in your pocket. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.

 

4. You Assume Your Credit Score Will Eventually Bounce Back

We get it. It’s so easy to dismiss your credit score. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway, right? Eventually, it’ll take care of itself.

But as soon as you go to buy a home, take out a car loan or even open a credit card, you’ll immediately regret this.

The truth is, your credit score plays a large role in some of your biggest financial decisions, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult to get it on track, thanks to a free website called 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.

*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.