Finances are one of those thing that everyone wants to be better at handling, and it’s often the one thing couples fight about the most or the thing that causes you the most personal stress. While everyone’s financial situation and financial needs are different, there are certain mistakes everyone makes that can be negatively impacting your money. Instead of being a part of this statistic, it’s instead important for you to know what these mistakes are and do your best to fix them before they cause you even more trouble. Are you making any of these four mistakes when it comes to your finances?
Mistake #1: Not saving.
According to a recent study by CNBC, 49% of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck, which means they are lacking an efficient savings account that could help when an emergency strikes. Sure, it’s often hard to leave the paycheck to paycheck cycle, and sometimes saving money can be hard if you don’t seem to be making enough to make ends meet, but even a small savings can help in the long run. Plus, there are different ways to save:
- Take advantage of 401K or other pre-tax savings and match programs from your employer
- Use apps like Digit or Acorns to round up your purchases and put the extra change into a savings account or an investment
- Put certain monetary amounts into a jar, such as every dime you receive or every $5 bill you receive, and see what you have when the year is over
Doing any or all of these things will help you start a savings account that won’t seem like it’s taking too much away from your current monetary needs.
Mistake #2: Staying on investment autopilot.
If you do have a 401K or any other type of investment accounts, chances are you picked these investments when you were younger and haven’t looked at them since. This means you could be putting your hard-earned money into something that’s not really working hard to earn you any extra cash. Instead, be sure to make safe and smart investments by reviewing your portfolio often and making necessary changes. Talking with a financial advisor can also be a great way to help you make the right decisions for your specific goals.
Mistake #3: Not having a budget.
One of the best things you can do to keep track of your finances is to create a budget and then stick with it. There are plenty of apps, websites, and programs out there that can help you do this effectively, or you can simply do it yourself with a spreadsheet. Some people opt for the envelope system to ensure you don’t overspend with credit cards. No matter which way you choose, just be sure to have a budget that allows you to pay your bills on time and have enough for other necessities. If you notice that you overspend more than what you bring in, you’ll need to re-evaluate your spending habits and better align your budget with something that makes sense.
Mistake #4: Not comparison shopping.
Sometimes you sign up with a specific provider because they had the best deal or because you had a pre-existing relationship with them. While this is fine at first, it doesn’t mean they’ll always have the best deal year after year. If you have had the same health insurance provider, cable provider, mortgage lender, etc. for years, you could be overpaying. Be sure to do some comparison shopping on everyday items. Not only should you check websites for incentives or call local companies to see what offers they can give you, but it’s also a good idea to see what real people have to say about these companies. For instance, if you’re looking to switch to Mercury Insurance, you should do your due diligence by looking at things like these reviews, testimonials, or even referrals. This will let you know if a great offer is too good to be true or if a company is really worth working with.
You’ve worked very hard for your money, and it doesn’t make sense for you to be wasting it on things like high prices or fees. Instead, if you want to be in more control of your finances, then you need to ensure you’re not making any of these financial mistakes and instead doing what you can to get ahead of the game and make better choices.