6 Common Money Mistakes That Can Damage Your Finances

We all make our fair share of mistakes in life, and financial mistakes are chief among them for many Americans. Luckily, there’s no time like the present to make a positive change. Read through these common money mistakes so that you can avoid getting into personal finance trouble that could have a lasting impact on your financial health.

Mistake #1: Frivolous Spending

This isn’t a one-time mistake, but rather a bad habit that can take time and attention to correct. Buying things you don’t really need without giving thought to the financial ramifications can leave a lasting stain on your financial history and make it harder to meet important savings goals.

Mistake #2: Letting Your Spouse or Partner Make All the Decisions

Many people don’t like dealing with numbers, so they give their spouse or partner all the financial control in the relationship. Failing to understand even the basics of the household budget leave you unable to ascertain whether your spouse is making smart decisions with your money.

Mistake #3: Not Saving Enough for Retirement

Many people put off saving for retirement because it seems far off in the future. However, saving and investing early means getting to take advantage of the magic of compound interest, which is a game-changer for building your nest egg.

Mistake #4: Misusing Credit Cards

Credit card debt can be the most difficult type to pay off. Do yourself a favor and use credit cards sparingly – or better yet, not at all!

Mistake #5: Neglecting Your Emergency Fund

Failing to save for a rainy day leaves you vulnerable. Your emergency fund should be able to cover 3-6 months of your expenses so that things like a sudden job loss or illness don’t leave you unable to pay bills or buy necessities.

Mistake #6: Buying a Home You Can’t Truly Afford

Avoid getting in over your head with a hefty mortgage by never spending more than 30 percent of your monthly income on a home. Otherwise, you risk becoming “house poor” and pouring all your money into your home rather than into retirement savings or enjoyable things like family vacations.

Financial mistakes are common, but they don’t have to be. Educate yourself about smart money management so you can avoid pitfalls like the ones above.

Image via Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon