Common financial mistakes and how to avoid them
Unless you are extremely savvy, you have probably made some financial mistakes throughout the course of your life – most of us have! Unfortunately, most of us are not really taught how to manage our finances effectively from a young age and this can cause problems in later life. Fear not though, no matter how bad your finances are – you can make steps to get them into order. These are some common financial mistakes and how to avoid making them, or at least reduce them if you’ve already made them!
Using credit cards
Many people completely rely on credit cards for daily purchases, but this is a sure-fire way to get into huge amounts of debt. When you use credit cards, you don’t feel like you are using real money. The money isn’t coming out your account, so it’s easy to just keep using it without any further thought, but this can easily spiral out of control. It is best to avoid the use of credit cards altogether, or at least keep them for emergencies and pay cash whenever possible.
One source of income
If you are solely relying on your pay at the end of the month, you may find that you will struggle financially, if not now – in the future. Even if you make good money in your full time job, it is a good idea to have different sources for your finances – as this will give you better control and earning potential. There are so many ways to make money out there and most of us don’t utilise any of these or very few of them. Some examples might include investing in property, selling items online or doing some additional work with another employer. The more sources of income you have, the better your peace of mind will be and less worry about finances in the future.
Living beyond your means
It is natural to want to keep up with everyone else, but you have to live within your own means and only buy the things you can afford. You may want to buy the latest BMW to drive up to your next business meeting, but if you can’t afford to keep up with the payments, you will only give yourself financial stress. Although it can be challenging, living within your means is important if you don’t want to create financial problems in the future.
Not saving for special occasions
There is nothing worse than a special occasion looming and realising you don’t really have the funds available to pay your way. Not only does this cause financial stress, it can also leave you reaching for your credit card. An easy financial mistake to make is not saving for special events and failing to forward plan for your future. It is a good idea to have different savings for separate occasions. For instance, your holidays, clothes, travelling, a new car, etc. It may take longer to get the cash you need, but saving is much better than using finance.
If you just go around spending, without keeping any tabs on your accounts, you are likely to be spending much more on things that you don’t really need to be. It is a good idea to track your money, as this can stop you from wasting money unnecessarily and can help you to make savings. For example, you might be spending a lot of cash on shopping every day, when a monthly or weekly shop would be far more cost effective. You may be spending a lot of money on travelling to work, when you could quite easily just walk. These small savings can be used on much more enjoyable activities, such as travelling.
Lack of financial planning
Another common mistake is a lack of financial planning. Not working out what you need to survive, what you are actually bringing in and what your financial goals are for the things you want to do in the future, are all mistakes many people make. If you plan for your future, your finances will be a lot better and you will have a brighter life as a result. Everyone has different goals for their finances. Some people are happy to just survive, while others want to see the world and retire early. It is entirely your decision but just be aware of what you want.