14 Financial Mistakes You Should Stop Making to Save More Money
Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Or maybe, you want to save money but just never end up getting it done? A few years back and even back when I was a student, I remember being horrible with money.
I worked hard to earn every dollar, but when I got paid, those dollars never stayed in my bank account longer than a week. I never saved, and always found myself living paycheck to paycheck.
Looking back, I could have made that money work for me in so many ways. So, I would like to highlight the 14 financial mistakes (even the little mistakes) you might be making today. And these money blunders could quite possibly be preventing you from nailing your financial goals.
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14 Financial Mistakes You Should Stop Making Today
Subscribing to retail stores
Are you subscribed to all your favourite retail stores? If so, your much-loved retail store could be sending you emails with offers that are leading you astray financially.
I know this may seem counterintuitive because hey, you save money through sales. But let’s be real, sales are only beneficial when you actually purchase something you need and not just because it’s on sale, right?
It might sound a little far-fetched, but this is especially true when it comes to online stores. After all, that store is only a click away.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked my email and found these great looking shoes or even stationary (I love stationary) and clicked through to the store without giving it a second thought.
If you find yourself constantly purchasing stuff you don’t need, then online shopping might be your vice. Unsubscribing might seem pretty sad, but it could be just what you need to help you put the brakes on unnecessary spending.
Not shopping smart
Speaking of shopping, when you do need to shop, there are many ways you can shop smart. Most people know about using discount vouchers and cashback apps.
Ebates is a great way to get cashback. If you already shop at any of the merchants listed on Ebates (and there is a high chance you do), then why not use Ebates to earn cash back? It’s free and really easy to use.
You can even decide to put the extra cash you receive through Ebates into a savings account. It might be a few dollars but as we all know, it adds up over time.
Not having a savings account
Whether you have debt or not, saving money should really be on your agenda. You never know when you might need it.
You could go traditional and use the cash envelope system if that works better for you. But setting up an account through your financial provider has the added benefit of being able to put your money into a high-interest savings account.
Whatever saving strategy you prefer to use, the main thing is to have something set up so that you take action and start saving.
Not knowing your weakness
When it comes to correcting financial mistakes, it pays to know your weaknesses (pun intended). What’s your number one spending vice? Could it be coffee or maybe, alcohol?
Just from the simple fact of being aware of the stuff you habitually spend money on, you can take steps to save money in that area.
Even if you only spend a few dollars a day, for instance on your daily morning coffee from Starbucks, it’s worth finding ways to save.
Not knowing when to be frugal
Being frugal is not always the best way to save money. There are certain areas you could be frugal without costing yourself money later.
And then there are times you need to pay for the quality of an item and to get more out of your product. I’m not going to get into the details of what areas these might be for you, but a good example is clothes.
If you always purchase very cheap, low-quality clothes, you could be saving money initially, but ultimately if these clothes don’t last and you frequently shop for more, you might be doing the opposite.
Not paying in cash
It’s pretty self-explanatory. Paying in cash helps keep you more aware of how much you’re spending. I find using credit and debit cards makes it much easier to overspend. This is probably why a lot of people successfully save money using a cash envelope system.
When paying in cash, you can plan ahead how much you will be spending when you go to say, grocery shopping. If you make a pact that you’re only going to spend the cash you have when you go out, it helps you stay accountable to your financial goals.
Not meal planning
Meal planning is an amazing way to save money on groceries. It’s also the best way to cut back on overspending through takeouts, and food waste.
A simple system in meal planning is to take inventory of what you already have in the pantry and fridge, and then based on those ingredients, plan out what you will cook or prep for the week or even fortnight.
Once you’ve got that sorted, it’s really just about writing down what you need (definitely take a list), and sticking to that list when you’re at the supermarket.
Having your meals and snacks prepared or planned ahead of time will mean there’s less temptation for purchasing fast food every other night. It will save you so much money in the long run.
If you don’t have time to meal plan, you can try affordable meal planning services like the $5 Meal Plan. Even though these services cost money, if you tend to find yourself ordering last-minute takeout because you didn’t have time to meal plan, this can save you a TON of money in the long run. Click here to try the $5 Meal Plan for FREE.
Being loyal to name brands
Are you loyal to one name brand or a product that you have always purchased? By trying different products especially when it comes to groceries, you give yourself a chance to save more money.
Just because they’re not constantly featured in advertisements, generic brands of food tend to be written off by most people. Yes, there is something to be said for low-quality generic brands that contain unhealthy food additives and substitutes, and we should exercise caution. But, most often than not, buying generic can be just as good as popular brands.
Not clearing clutter
It might seem funny to think of clutter as something that would interfere with making sound financial decisions, but having too much clutter in the house can indirectly influence how money is spent.
The main problem with having a whole bunch of stuff accumulating in the house is that it makes it difficult to take inventory of what you already own. You may never use some products to their full potential because they’re stored away collecting dust.
You are also more likely to double up because you can’t find something or didn’t even realize you already have it. This is especially true for food in the refrigerator or pantry, but it can happen with your wardrobe or other items in the house.
It’s a good idea to declutter regularly, and even sell or donate things that you are no longer using. You may even make extra cash in the process.
Not having a budget
A surefire way to find yourself living paycheck to paycheck is to not have a plan for your money. Failing to budget and not knowing where you stand financially is not a good place to be.
Budgeting will help you figure out what your net income is and then to allocate your money accordingly.
Similarly, if you have debt, take action sooner rather than later and create a budget. Ignoring debt will stop you from planning actionable steps to overcome it. It’s tough to accept harrowing situations like financial debt. But the longer you leave it accumulating, the more it takes over your life.
Being a product junkie
Do you tend to buy just to try the latest makeup, hair care products or tech gadgets? If you constantly buy the latest and greatest in the hope that the said product will be better than the one you own, you might be a product junkie.
Why not use up all the products you have at home first, before purchasing. Even if you want to try a different brand or product, wait till you need it.
Buying when you’re stressed
Who doesn’t like retail therapy? But it can be a problem if you go on a shopping spree every time you are feeling a bit down or having a stressful week at work. Why not try other ways to combat stress?
Venting to a friend, going for a walk or seeking support if you need it might be just as effective as shopping. And you won’t end up feeling horrible that you wasted money on stuff you didn’t even need in the first place.
Unwilling to put in the work
If you need to pay down debt, save money or earn extra cash, there is one thing you must do. You have to be willing to sacrifice your leisure time (sadly) and put in the work.
It might mean giving up a movie marathon to make money online and doing side hustles in your spare time. Or it could mean giving up expensive date nights, trying no-spend weekends, and being more frugal until you reach your core financial goals.
Working from home doesn’t have to be hard. You can do anything from taking surveys (my favourite is Survey Junkie) to freelance writing. There are so many ways to make money in your spare time. Check out 3 Easy Ways to Make Money Online and Work from Home for ideas.
And that is all for my take on the 14 financial mistakes you should stop making to save more money. If you want to read more about money, here are some posts you might like:
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