We all make mistakes – after all, it’s completely natural and human. However, when it comes to financial mistakes, making them can be avoided if you pay a bit of attention to how you spend your money. In the long run, this will save you from a lot of trouble, it will help you avoid getting too indebted and it will also help you live a happier, more stress-free life as well.
What are the most common money mistakes you might be making (and many other people too)? Here are five of the most important ones:
1. Spending More than You Make
This will seem like a really obvious thing, but the number 1 reason so many people are struggling with their finances is actually related to the fact that they spend more than they win. This is simplest form of math, the kind you used to learn when you were in second grade – but it definitely goes a very, very long way when it comes to keeping your finances in order (and keeping yourself sane).
2. Not Thinking of Retirement
Sure, you may be 20, 30 or 40 and retirement does seem like a very, very far away thing to deal with. But here’s the good/bad news: it’s not that far away. Decades will pass by in the blink of an eye and it’s much better to start thinking of retirement sooner, rather than later. Take care of your 401(k) account (and this includes not cashing it out), see how you can invest money for retirement in other ways too and be financially responsible about that “far, far future” because your “future self” will definitely thank you for having done this.
3. Not Saving Money
Even a few tens of dollars a month in a piggy bank (or in an actual bank, as you wish) can really save you from a lot of trouble when the rainy days come. Just think of it: unexpected expenses can appear along the way and it will be much more difficult for you to borrow money than to simply take it out of your savings. Even more, calling for the help of the various loans out there can be a really bad financial decision because you will end up paying much more.
4. Not Trying to Make More Money
Having a fixed salary is a great thing, sure. But your earning capacity goes far beyond that. There are hundreds of ways in which you can start a small business at home and boost your monthly income with its help. It does take a bit of extra work and a bit of research, but the extra cash-flow will make you feel that everything is more than worth the trouble – and it is.
5. Not Getting Rid of the Things You Don’t Actually Need
There’s no such thing such as a fixed expense – everything can be adjusted. Make sure to be flexible and to adjust your spending as you move along with your life. Ditch the car if you don’t need it or of you need extra-cash, make sure you pay attention to all the monthly purchases you don’t actually need and you will be much better off in the end.