Being an adult is hard work. Being an adult without making money mistakes is even harder work, especially if you are just starting out as a young adult working on your career and learning how to handle financial responsibilities, We’ve all done it a few times — you are likely to make money mistakes at some point. The goal to shoot for is to make as few money mistakes as possible.
Here are five common money mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Overpaying for merchandise Online
When you are leading a busy life you are less likely to compare prices or spend hours looking for the best deals online. To remedy the situation, you can use browser extensions and apps such as Honey, Ibotta, Retailmenot, Ebates to find the best prices. Always look for coupon codes before you purchase to make sure your online purchases are cost-effective, and you’re not overpaying for the products you purchase.
2. Buying Designer Goods at Full Price
You might want those UGG boots, a coach purse to match and fun sunglasses from Kate Spade. When you add them all up, however, the impact to your bottom line can be shocking. Before you go make that impulse purchase, stop for a moment and consider your options. Do you truly want it and do you actually need it? If you want and need it, is buying it second-hand an option? Consider retailers or online sites that allow you to purchase gently used items for a discounted price before paying full price.
3. Going for Money instead of Growth
Yes, you need to pay your student loans and keep up with your bills. Most of us understand this struggle. However, a lot of adults, especially when they are starting out in their career, take positions or job offers with better salaries versus jobs that provide growth. Jobs that offer growth are remarkable learning opportunities that open the doors for you to build your work experience and ultimately end up with a larger salary than you initially set out to make. Consider the big picture when weighing career options.
4. Not Using a Budget System
Learning to manage your money like a pro takes time and practice. You aren’t going to know everything right off the bat. Remember that a budget can go a long way towards ensuring your success. Without one, you are unlikely to have a clear picture of where your money goes each month. Without a budget, it becomes much easier to overspend because you aren’t keeping track of the categories that you spend or the amount you are spending in those categories. Innocent purchases can add up quickly and hit your wallet hard. Do yourself a favor and find a budgeting system that works for you.
5. Overusing Credit Cards
You’ve probably already heard this one, but it is worth repeating. Treating your credit card as if it was a short-term loan program can get dangerous quickly. If you don’t budget or spend carefully, this is doubly true. It is easy to rack up a large credit card balance that you are unable to pay. The best thing you can do is use your credit card sparingly. If you don’t have the money for your purchase in your bank account, don’t purchase until you do have the funds to cover it.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today