Oh, it’ll all work out.
Oh, they’ll handle it for me.
Oh, I already know how to do that.
Some assumptions, especially when it comes to your money, are quite dangerous. They can cause you to miss out — whether that’s a money-making opportunity, a way to save or a way to build your future.
To help you avoid falling into this trap, take note of these nine dangerous assumptions. They could cost you a whole bunch of money.
1. You Assume You Can’t Afford to Invest in Real Estate
The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows if the whole thing might crash?
It would be nice to diversify and invest some of your money in real estate, but don’t you have to be wealthy to do that?
This is a common assumption, but you can actually invest like the 1% does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in commercial real estate — specifically, in apartment complexes that it owns — and you only need $500.
Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.
So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500.
2. You Assume Your Savings Are Enough
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a term life insurance policy.
A lot of us assume our savings are enough. Or that this is something to worry about later, because right now, you don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.
Rates start at just $8 a month. The peace of mind of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.
If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
3. You Assume You Don’t Have Enough Money to Own Part of Google or Amazon
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, you’re probably assuming this is totally out of reach.
That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying 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 or Apple, for as little as $1.
The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.
4. You Assume Your Credit Score is No Big Deal
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 these assumptions.
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.
5. You Assume You Already Know Everything
When it comes to handling your money, it’s important to continue learning. It sounds cheesy, but it’s all too easy to assume you already know everything you need to know.
Instead, push yourself to learn more about investing, saving and budgeting through websites, podcasts and books.
Here are a few of our recommendations (besides The penny Hoarder, of course):
- “How to Money” podcast
- “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
- “The Side Hustle Show” podcast
- “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
- “The Money Nerds Podcast”
- “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel
6. You Assume You’re Getting the Best Price on Home Insurance
One of the most dangerous assumptions that could cost you a whole lot of money? Assuming you’re getting the best price on your monthly bills — like your home insurance.
Sure, this isn’t something you actively think about — you just know you’re required to have it — but the problem is, you’re paying too much.
Luckily, an insurance company called Policygenius makes it easy to find out how much you’re overpaying. It finds you cheaper policies and special discounts in minutes.
In fact, it saves users an average of $690 a year — or $57.50 a month. It’ll even help you break up with your old insurance company. (You’re allowed to cancel your policy at any time, and your company should issue you a refund.)
And just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. Policygenius will make sure you have what you need.
Just answer a few questions about your home to get started.
7. You Assume You Can’t Cancel Your Car Insurance
Hey, we’re not advocating you drive around without car insurance, but ask yourself this: When was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? Was it more than six months ago?
If so, you’re probably overpaying — by hundreds of dollars. Experts say you should compare rates twice a year to get the best deal, so it just might be time for you to cancel your current policy and find a new one — and you don’t have to wait for yours to expire.
But shopping around twice a year? We don’t want to do that either.
A service called Gabi does all the shopping for you to find cheaper insurance — with the same coverage and deductibles you already have. And it saves customers an average of $825 a year.
You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s license, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.
Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings. No more shopping.
8. You Assume You Can’t Make More Money Without a Raise
No matter who you are or what your budget looks like, it’s always nice to have some extra income. But how are you going to do that without a raise?
Well, what if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos on your computer?
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.
No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. It’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.
It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
9. You Assume Paying $5/Month for Cell Service Means You’ll Have Bad Reception
Many of us assume we’re just stuck paying $100-plus for cell phone service each month, but there are actually plenty of discount options out there — that really do work.
A discount wireless company called Tello offers plans starting at just $5 a month. How much are you paying now? Exactly. Imagine cutting that to just $5.
Tello operates on Sprint’s nationwide network, offering 4G LTE data everywhere Sprint does. It lets you choose a wireless plan based on how many minutes and how much data you want, and you can even use Tello’s coverage tool to see how strong its network is where you live.
You can bring your own phone (Tello works with any Sprint-compatible phone), or buy a new one through them. Even better — there are no early termination or activation fees, no contracts or phone-exclusive plans, no tricks of any kind.
If you decide you don’t like it, you can always just change your mind. See how much you could save here.
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
*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.