How are you doing with your personal finance goals? Making the progress you expected? Or are you wondering why you don’t seem to be getting ahead in terms of savings and debt reduction? If this sounds a little too familiar, check out the list below, where you’ll find a rundown of five personal finance sins that could seriously be getting in your way.
Maxing Out Your Credit Card Or Cards
Yes, almost everyone has done it but how often do you do it? Maxing out your cards – even once or twice a year – is one of the worst personal finance sins you can commit. Compounding this personal finance sin is also often another; not paying the bill down to zero. That is, carrying personal debt over from month to month. That one’s a credit card mistake you want to avoid too.
Paying Late Fees
Another sin, the commission of which can keep you almost permanently consigned to the pits of personal finance debt hell. Avoid paying your bills late – and especially avoid paying your credit card bills late. Did you know that most 0% interest on balance transfer deals become void if you pay your bill even one day late? Any debt you’re carrying, and on which you’re expecting to pay 0% interest, will have interest charged to you at the normal, exorbitant, appalling credit card rate. (Another personal finance sin might be not reading the fine print on your credit card contract – but almost everyone commits that one.) Consider setting up an automatic payment for your credit card bills if you’re a habitual late payer.
This one’s a shocker – not only do you end up with stuff you do not need, but it is also likely to be stuff you do not even use. If this is you, take charge of yourself and stop it. Perhaps pre-shop online and pick up your groceries via click and collect, or have them delivered, if you can’t resist impulse buying at the checkout. Change your route to work if you keep ‘popping in’ to the shops you pass. Seek help if you really do think you have a problem with this.
Taking A Backseat
This sin refers to those who take a less than interested approach as regards their own finances. Did you know that over 80% of bank statements contain errors? No one keeps track of your money like you do – because no one is as interested in your financial wellbeing as you are. It pays to get on top of your finances – and you will pay dearly if you’re not.
It’s not only the thief of time, it also leaves you open to losing track of your money, and making your finances vulnerable. Instead of putting off setting out a budget, or hiring a financial advisor, take action and get on to these all-important tasks. Avoiding them benefits no one, least of all you and your loved ones.
There are a few personal finance sins most people commit at one time or another, but if you find yourself habitually in the red, or failing to follow your own debt reduction plans, it’s time to take stock. Be honest, and face down some of your worst money habits. Things can only get better from here. What’s your worst personal finance sin ever? Confess in the Comments box below and you’ll feel better.
Readers: What personal finance sin have you struggled with?