Every financial decision you’ve made has lead you to the situation you’re in today. Choices may have been made with the best intentions, but sometimes things go wrong. Here are six financial mistakes you may be making, and a viable alternative for each.
Paying off debt with savings. Credit cards may charge 19% interest, and a retirement account pays 4%, so this seems like a good move. But it’s not. It’s hard to pay back those retirement funds, no matter how disciplined you are. If you choose this option, continue to pay your debt after you’ve paid off the credit cards– this time to your retirement account.
Failing to build an emergency fund. Most households live on a tight budget, so a loss of employment can mean disaster. Having enough savings to get you through three months without a paycheck can mean keeping your home.
Failing to budget or plan. A budget can guide your saving and spending. Sacrifice a couple of hours spent each week in front of the TV to make a financial plan.
Ignoring insurance. The whole point of insurance is to provide for the people who depend on the income earner. Anyone who has a family should have insurance.
Not investing. You’ll never stop working if you don’t put your money to work for you.
Ignoring additional income opportunities. Your current job may pay the bills, but if you forego chances to supplement your income, you’ll regret it if something changes. Nothing is ever guaranteed.
The bottom line is you have to be proactive and take steps to avoid making financial mistakes. Track your spending, plan for problems and earn what you can.