How do I tell my girlfriend that I’m broke? What do you think about overdraft protection? What free services do you use?
Sometimes, we don’t really seek black-and-white answers to our personal finance questions – we just want to hear other people’s opinions or learn from their experience.
In this week’s round-up of Q&A activity on Mint Answers, we feature three such questions, along with some of the suggestions shared by Mint experts and community members.
To read more answers or to chime in with your response, click on the links below.
Earlier this year I opted out. I never agreed with banks charging the overdraft fees. There are a number of ways to closely monitor your account and manage it closely enough to avoid overdrafting. Still, I think a purchase should be denied even if you make a mistake. What do you think?
1. I agree: if you don’t have enough money the transaction should simply be denied. Overdraft protection is just another way to live above your means! Personally, I keep a buffer in my checking account so I know I always have enough money.
2. I think overdraft protection should be free and included on all accounts. While it’s not something that should be depended on, it’s a good safety net in case of emergency or slip-up.
I have a PNC virtual wallet account which consists of 2 checking accounts and one savings account. When I first opened the account, I accidentally had a credit card being paid from the middle checking account instead of my primary checking account. Instead of grabbing money from the primary checking or savings, it allowed the account to be overdrawn resulting in fees from both the credit card company and PNC. The credit card company wouldn’t refund the fee without a letter from the bank and PNC claimed it was my fault for using the wrong account. Simple overdraft protection between all 3 accounts would have saved me this headache and about $70.
It seems difficult, I’m not scared but just trying to see if you guys have any tips?
1. How about…I’m broke? Seriously if you’re not scared there really should be no problem and if you are, then you may need to reevaluate the relationship. That being said, back in college I asked my girlfriend (now my wife) to borrow $50 because I was overdrawn again and in fear of losing my account. She knew I had a job and I did pay her back.
2. Hm, the sensitive side of me says to break it to her gently, give her the details and appeal to her softer side. But, the practical, tell-it-like-it-is side of me says just lay it out there and get it over with. Like ripping off a Band-Aid – pulling it off fast is painful but over quick. If she’s a good partner and friend, she will help you work through it. If not, you are better off without her.
I was thinking about a number of free things, mostly software, that I use a lot. Just curious what free things you use as I know there are a ton of them out there. Here is a short list of mine:
1. There’s this free online personal finance software I use all the time, but I can’t remember the name. 🙂
The free thing I use most often is the public library, which I realize is not free in a TANSTAAFL sense, but you know what I mean.
2. How about annualcreditreport.com? Free credit reports once per year from the three major credit bureaus
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