Put these on your not-to-do list. You'll be glad you did.
Have a high smartphone bill? Paying too much for garbage service each month? How about that cable TV bill – how many channels do you have that you don't really watch?
9. Not Getting on the Same Financial Page With Your Spouse
If you want to crash and burn financially, not getting on the same page with your spouse about money is a surefire way to do it.
When you got married, you became one – one in purpose.
8. Putting Retirement on the Back Burner
Saving for retirement is critical. If you're trusting Social Security to be your sole source of income, think again. It's not likely that you'll be able to maintain your lifestyle with Social Security benefits alone. If you would be able to, congratulations, you're living pretty frugally!
7. Ignoring Your Insurance Options
If you were to die right now, would your family be financially OK? If not, you may need life insurance.
6. Letting Hubris Get in the Way of Smart Investing
If you're not a financial professional or haven't been exposed to financial education, you really can make some huge mistakes by going it alone. That's not to say some people can't do it, but you may regret it down the road when you try to short a stock (a move that the pros make) and end up losing a huge amount of money. Investing in your own financial education by at least meeting with an adviser, however, is smart.
5. Buying a New Vehicle When You Can't Afford It
Vehicles are important for many people, but they can also become a discretionary black hole. If you are planning on buying or leasing a vehicle when you know you don't have the money, please don't.
4. Neglecting Your Emergency Fund
Emergency funds help protect you from the inevitable. You're going to have a financial setback at some point. It could be a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand.
3. Buying a Financial Product Without Doing Your Homework
I know a woman who paid more than $3,500 in variable annuity fees and didn't even know it. Don't think it can't happen to you.
2. Not Paying Off Credit Card Balances Every Month
Credit card debt can pile up fast. If you're not paying off your credit cards every month, you should start. The interest on credit cards can divert money from other important goals like buying a home or saving for retirement. (You can make a credit card payoff plan using this calculator.)
1. Waiting to Start a Budget
Have you procrastinated on starting a budget? It's time to sit down and get your spending under control.
The beautiful thing about a budget is that it not only keeps you on track with your spending, but it tells you what you should feel free to spend. Have you ever eyed a triple-scoop ice cream cone and thought to yourself, "You know what, I'm not sure I should buy this – perhaps I'm spending too much money on little things."
No more, my friend. No more. When you have a budget, you know how much you can spend and still be OK.
The long-term benefits of having a budget are incredible.