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10 Money Mistakes You Can Easily Make

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10 Money Mistakes You Can Easily Make

It would be hard to go through life without ever making a money mistake. Making a money mistake isn’t always a bad thing though. You need to recognize that you made an error and making a correction to change for the better. Here are 10 possible money mistakes that you can easily make.

1. Not having retirement or investing on your mind.

Many people think to themselves that they have plenty of time to save for retirement and that they don’t need to start just yet. However, that is not always the best way to think about retirement. Saving money now can help you down the road because every little bit counts.

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2. Not having a will or trust.

Going without a will or trust is not a good idea. You want to be able to determine what happens to those you love and what happens to the things that you have if something were to happen to you. Also, setting up a trust can help your family out if you don’t think that they will do what is best for them with the money that you leave them. This way you can continue to take care of your family if something were to happen to you.

3. Having debt.

Regardless if you classify your debt as “good” or “bad,” if you are paying a high interest rate because of your debt and losing money, then this is probably a money mistake. If you can’t earn a higher return for your money, then you should be paying off your debt as fast as you can so that you can start earning a return on your money.

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4. Not thinking about an emergency fund.

Do you have an emergency fund? Some say that you should have $1,000 (if you have debt), others say that you should have six months. You need to determine what is right for you and what you feel comfortable with. A good emergency fund can protect you if an unexpected expense were to come up. An emergency fund may be saved to cover a job loss, home repair, a cut in hours and so on.

5. Going without insurance.

Going without insurance can be one of your money mistakes that you make. You should always try to have some level or car insurance, health insurance and life insurance. Going without these forms of insurance or an adequate level could mean that you will have to pay a large expense if something were to come up.

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6. Not saving money.

Are you spending more money than you bring in each month? You should be aiming to save money each month and not spend every single penny.

7. Going without a budget.

No matter how much money you make, you should have a realistic idea of what your income and bills are each month. If you are making $200,000 every year and spending $200,000 every year, then you are not doing the best even if you think you are. Having a budget can show you where you are making mistakes and where you can possibly improve.

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8. Lending money to others without thinking about the consequences.

If you ever lend money to others, then you really need to think about the consequences. Whether you lend cash directly to them or you cosign on a loan, there are negatives that could possibly happen. You have to be prepared to lose when lending money to others.

9. Using credit cards as a form of income.

There are many people out there who are bad with credit cards and use it as a form of income. If you think that you will rack up credit card debt, then leave your credit card at home! Also, only buy what you can truly afford.

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10. Trying to keep up with the spending of others.

Do you find yourself spending more in order to keep up with the spending of others? Maybe someone bought a big house and you feel the need to buy a big house as well. Whatever the case is, you should analyze why you actually want something, especially if it is a big purchase. You should learn to be happy with yourself and realize that material purchases do not make you a better person.

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Michelle Schroeder

Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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