10 Common Personal Finance Mistakes
Use your credit card sparingly
People often make purchases using their credit cards when they have sufficient cash in their wallets. Using credit cards for everyday purchases adds up. Whenever possible, carry cash, and rely on it to cover expenses.
Avoid buying now and paying later
This method of financing is the classic bait and switch. That shiny new appliance or stylish furniture set you buy today comes with a heavy price tag later. If you have the money to pay for these items in full, do so. If not, leave the items at the store.
Buy only what you can afford
Financing a new car every few years, taking out additional mortgages to add luxury additions to your home and purchasing the latest new items on credit are financial traps. If you cannot afford these upgrades or purchases, wait until you can.
Shop at cost-effective stores
Even though a grocery store may sell personal hygiene products, they are often priced higher than at the drug store. The same is true of buying food products at drug and convenience stores. Make your purchases where based on where the best deals are rather than settling for the convenience of a more expensive one-stop shop.
Eliminate frivolous spending
This type of spending is a personal finance killer that works slowly over time. The expenses of ordering out for lunch and dinner, buying a cup of coffee at the cafe before heading to work and going to the movies at peak times add up and drain your bank account over time. Eliminate these purchases, and you could save thousands of dollars each year.
Without a budget, you are more likely to miss a payment, or worse, miscalculate how much money you have to work with. Invest in software that allows you to track monthly expenses and anticipated income and create savings for the future.
Analyze your income
After creating a budget, closely monitor your income to determine financial opportunities. If you have been living paycheck-to-paycheck, consider how to reorganize your lifestyle to better live within your means. Be realistic when consider lifestyle choices such as housing options.
Stop paying unnecessary fees
Save yourself thousands of dollars every year by meeting payment deadlines and following your budget to avoid late or overdraft fees.
Ditch unnecessary service bills
Monthly membership fees, cable and satellite TV and cell phone contracts are not crucial bills. Eliminate these extra costs until you can comfortably afford them.
Never dip into your home’s equity
Home equity loans are added payments you do not need. Worse, if you fall behind on the payments, you run the risk of losing your home, your most valuable asset.