Are You Falling for These Financial Tricks?
4) Trick: Not checking your credit score
A low credit score can have serious repercussions, from higher interest rates and points on a loan to impacting your ability to rent an apartment -- or even get a job.
Treat: Go to the Annual Credit Report website once a year to get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Transunion). If you're in the low zone, there are positive steps you can take: pay your bills on time, keep your credit card balances low, establish a long credit history, minimize new credit requests, use different types of credit.
5) Trick: Losing track of bank fees
ATM fees, account fees, foreign transaction fees -- they can definitely catch you unawares. And they can add up quickly.
Treat: Review your statements so you know exactly what you're being charged. If you're unpleasantly surprised by the fees you're paying, talk to your bank. Still unhappy? Change banks. There are many no-fee options out there.
6) Trick: Being complacent about retirement savings
Don't assume you're OK just because you're putting some money aside. With more people living into their 90s, there's a real risk of outliving your money if you're not prepared.
Treat: Crunch the numbers so you're sure you'll have the nest egg you want. If you're contributing to a 401(k), great, but it may not be enough. Use an online retirement calculator to help you figure out timing and how much to save each month. Get started early. And give yourself an extra edge by putting all your contributions on automatic. Need more help with number crunching? Consider working with a professional adviser to develop a personalized plan.
7) Trick: Under- or over-insuring