Money Don’ts

Sometimes the difference between being eternally broke and financially comfortable is just a few simple things you shouldn’t do. Avoid these basic money mistakes:

  • Not tracking your spending – Pay attention to where your money goes. Your credit card statement will help you do this, but don’t forget all the incidentals you pay cash for. With this data, you’ll find it easier to stick to your budget. And speaking of budgets …
  • Not setting up a budget (and sticking to it) – This advice may seem really basic, but many smart people don’t take it seriously. Figure out how much money you realistically need to pay bills and buy needed supplies for a week or month, and don’t go over it.
  • No emergency fund – Set aside some money for emergencies, and don’t touch it for any other reason. Ten or 20 dollars a month can add up, especially if it’s growing interest.
  • Not shopping around – Take the time to look for the best prices and avoid those impulse buys. Stock up on essentials on sale, and always look for opportunities to negotiate a better deal.
  • Borrowing too much money – Don’t put more on your credit card than you can pay off at the end of the month. Resist the urge to buy more house than you can afford, and don’t be seduced by reward programs that entice you to buy extravagances in order to get bonus points.
  • Not watching your credit rating – Know your credit score so you can avoid problems when you really need to borrow money. Make sure all the information is correct, and watch out for signs that your identity has been stolen.
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