We’ve all been through a period where our finances don’t look too healthy. When it looks like we are edging ever closer to debt, it is incredibly important not to panic and make the wrong financial decisions. Getting things wrong could only end up making your situation worse.
Having said that, though, it is super easy to stumble into some common money mistakes. Some of these mistakes will result in your ending up in a bad financial situation while others will make a bad situation a whole lot worse! Interested in learning which mistakes are worth avoiding? Here are some of the most common financial mistakes that people make, and how you can safely avoid them!
Failing To Plan
A lot of people still don’t fully understand the importance of planning their financial future. Correct planning will help you to create a very secure future for yourself and your family, money wise. Don’t do what a lot of people do, which is hang on to make their strategy. If you hang around for too long, you will only continue to put it off. You might even end up in a situation where you need a large sum of money to pay off unexpected bills or invoices. If you had planned ahead from the start, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. But because you haven’t put the right plans and budgets in place, you will find it extremely difficult to find the extra funds you need. So make sure you don’t get caught out and be sure to sit down and think of a plan and budget right now. It is the only way you can be sure of reaching your financial goals.
Not Living Within Your Means
We all have our own individual income and outgoings. This means that we are each able to afford different lifestyles. Just because your neighbor can afford to buy a flash Jaguar car doesn’t mean that you can too. You need to figure out what you can afford to live off each month and stick to this figure. Once you are living within your means, you will find that you can enjoy life while still being financially stable. It is also important to remember that living within your means doesn’t just mean shirking large purchases. It also covers all those small, frivolous purchases too! So maybe it is time to end your daily habit of going to Starbucks for a fancy coffee!
Do you know how many regular subscriptions come out of your bank balance as direct debits each month? If not, this is something that you need to get under control right now! Once you know exactly what products and services you are signed up to, you will be able to go through them and see which ones you don’t really need. For instance, do you really need the most expensive subscription for Sky TV? If you only ever watch a few TV channels, you might be better off downgrading to a cheaper package. All of these subscriptions might not seem too expensive individually, but when you put them all together, it could work out as a huge amount coming out of your account every month!
Buying A New Car
So it’s got to the time when you need to replace your current vehicle. Are you sure that you really need to spend all that money on a brand new model? No matter what kind of deals and discounts the salesman says that he can get you, it isn’t going to end up cheap. There is one way you can get around this problem, though. You just need to buy a second-hand motor. There are many reliable second-hand cars going for a reasonable price. You could try looking on the likes of eBay, Gumtree, or Craigslist. If you don’t really know what you are looking for in your new motor, it is a good idea to take a friend or relative who has a good knowledge of motors. They will be able to check out the vehicle with you and reassure you that you are getting a good deal.
Living On Borrowed Money
When you constantly use credit cards and short term financing options to fund your shopping, you will end up living on borrowed money. This is a very bad situation for your finances! Firstly, it will be putting your credit rating at risk, which could affect your ability to lend money in the future. Not only that, though, but it is guaranteed to get you into debt. And once you are in debt, it will be incredibly difficult to get back out into the black. Right from the start, it is best to stay well away from credit cards, payday loans, and other short-term finance fixes. Just think to yourself: does it sound too good to be true? If so, it probably is too good to be true! Rather than relying on these options in the first place, simply stick to living within your means. You will find that you rarely get into debt this way!
Not Saving For A Pension
Ideally, you need to start paying into a pension by the time you reach your late twenties. If you are in a full-time job, then you should be paying into the company pension. However, if you are self-employed or a freelancer, you will have to sort this out yourself. Figuring out which pension plan is best for you can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have any previous financial experience. The best thing you can do is to speak to a pension advisor. He or she will be able to take a look at your current financial situation to see how much you can afford to pay into a pension pot each month. Using this figure, they will research which plan is the best for you. It is important that you get your pension sorted as soon as possible. Otherwise, your pot may not be quite so big when you come to retire. And that means you will have a very limited retirement income.
Living Paycheck To Paycheck
Sometimes, not living paycheck to paycheck is easier said than done. For instance, if you are on a low income and have a large family to feed, you will find it very difficult to have any money left over at the end of the month. However, it can be done. You just need to tighten your purse strings and start cutting down wherever possible. It is really important that you try to do this as it is the only way you will be able to save money. And once you have a pot of savings - no matter how much or how little - you will be able to relax a little about your financial situation.
Buying Too Much House
Do you really need a five-bedroom home when there are just the three of you in your family? The answer is probably not! You will save a whole load of money if you buy a house that is just the right size for your family. If you buy a big house that is slightly out of your price range, you might have to get a bigger mortgage than what you had expected. And the large repayments could end up becoming a significant strain on your finances!
Hopefully, all of these tips will help you get out of a bad financial situation or prevent you from getting in one in the first place!