You're only human. You can't expect to handle your money flawlessly 24/7, but you can live your financial life with a few golden rules. Because we're not perfect, there's always room to improve. Keep these seven sinful behaviors in mind as you assess the big financial picture.
- Skipping Statements - Definitely save paper by opting to receive your statements online, but don't forget to open your "statement available" alerts. Looking through your monthly statements forces you to review your monthly spending and gives you the chance to look for fraudulent charges.
- Denying Retirement - Although the golden years seem far away, the time to start saving for them is yesterday. You need to think about the now and later when designing a financial plan.
- Failing to Save - Emergency funds don't exactly fall into the most exciting area of savings goals, but you can lead your everyday life with less worry when you know there's a rainy day fund sitting in the bank. You won't panic when disaster strikes, because you'll be prepared.
- Paying Only the Minimum - Paying the minimum on your credit card balance is better than not paying anything, but it's definitely not the best way to manage your debt. If you're unable to pay off your balance each month, make a bigger dent in your debt by paying more than the minimum balance due - you'll pay it off more quickly, which means paying less interest overall.
- Stunting Your Growth - Budgeting and financial planning isn't a time to set it and forget it. You should reassess your goals and financial situation every so often, and especially when you're going through any big life changes like switching jobs or starting a family. Your financial plan should evolve as you do.
- Living Beyond Your Means - Regret is looking at your credit card statement and wondering why you spent so much on things you didn't need. You can still buy things you covet when you live within your means, but restraint and willpower certainly come in to play.
- Forgetting to Enjoy Life - While it's necessary to be mindful of your money, there is something called being too stringent. Living within or under your means is the way to go, but don't forget to allocate enough funds for having fun. What's the point in working so hard if you can't enjoy life out of the office?
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