Just about everyone makes mistakes with their money. It’s just so easy to fall into the various traps that keep you from making the most of what you have. Then you have the rising cost of living that makes things get worse instead of better.
You aren’t going to behave perfectly with your money all the time; that’s simply not in most people’s nature. But if you can learn how to make the big mistakes less often you can save more money, leaving yourself with more financial flexibility.
Some of these mistakes may not seem that expensive at first glance, but when you take a look at how they add up you’ll see the problem.
1. Live paycheck to paycheck
This is an easy trap for many people to fall into, especially if you are a single income family. This can work adequately during the good times, but when prices go up or the car breaks down or worse yet, a job is lost, financial disaster looms quickly.
But what can you do about it? That depends on what you are interested in doing. Maybe someone needs to get a second job. Maybe it’s time to consider a home business. Maybe it’s time to push hard for that promotion or raise.
Then again, you could try cutting expenses. What’s unnecessary?
Living paycheck to paycheck creates an inherently unstable situation. A problem will arise at some point that will throw your finances off that delicate balance. You are better off preparing yourself ahead of time.
2. Don’t bother with a budget
Relatively few people bother creating a budget for their family, yet most could benefit tremendously from it. A budget lets you see where your money is really going, giving you an overall view. You might be surprised at some of the places that you are wasting money unnecessarily.
What goes into a budget? Everything! The monthly bills, birthday presents, estimated auto maintenance, taxes, eating out, eating in, the works!
Now if you think you’ll sweat over making your budget, just wait! The hardest part isn’t creating it, it’s keeping it!
3. Failing to save money
This relates strongly to living paycheck to paycheck. If you aren’t saving money there will come a day when you regret it. Not only will you not have the resources to readily make major purchases, such as a newer car when that time comes, but you won’t be able to cope with other financial crises.
4. Carry large credit card balances or indeed, any unnecessary credit card balances
Credit card debt is generally much more expensive than other kinds of debt, and if you use your money wisely, can be completely unnecessary.
Certainly there are times in most lives where it’s rely on using the credit card or lack the necessities, but too many people use them frivolously. Just remember that the interest on your credit card makes that purchase cost more than it would otherwise. How much depends on how fast you pay it off and how high the interest rate is.
5. Fail to pay your bills and/or debts
Here’s one of the fastest ways to ruin your credit record, and it can cost you huge amounts of money. Not only will you have to pay the money eventually or file bankruptcy (not as easy as it used to be!), but the negative information on your credit report will make every bit of money you need to borrow cost more, as you will be charged higher interest rates if you are a high risk.
6. Forgetting to pay taxes on time
For many people, taxes only need to be paid once a year, since they come out of the paycheck before they ever see it. Don’t mess with the IRS. They have ways of getting their money once they realize you owe it to them, and they won’t be much concerned with what you need.
7. Buying things you just don’t need.
Maybe your weakness is impulse items. Maybe it’s the newest technological toy. Maybe you just want to have what everyone else has.
Whatever it is, stop it! Think before you buy. Marketers know how to push your buttons so that you want things you don’t need. Fight back and think about what you really need before you buy and save yourself a lot of money. You might even end up with less clutter in your life.