Financial money mistakes can easily happen to us all, even when we think we are being a smarty.

While we think we are being smart with our money, sometimes all it takes is one accident and our savings are drained.

Or a layoff throws everything for a loop and our savings tanks to nothing.

It’s easy to make money mistakes, what isn’t easy is changing our habits to benefit our budgets.

You don’t have to repeat your personal finance money mistakes, things can change.

All it takes is some time, effort and usually some hard work to make things change for the better.

Use these tips to easily navigate away from your mistakes to build a better financial future.

Quickly identify where your weaknesses and strengths to turn your financial tide.

Then, use these simple money management tips to make sure you are never in the same place.

Here are a few easy-to-implement tactics that you can do right now to gain a better handle on your finances.

And, if you’ve got plenty of money to go around, these will be useful tips to help you not waste any of it unnecessarily!

money mistakes

1. Failure To Create (And Use) A Budget

Lots of people that have money mistakes have excuses for why they don’t have a budget.  They don’t have time to make one or they are too hard to keep up with. Or, the most common, they already keep track of what they spend (reconciling the bank account).

A budget is the opposite… it is your plan for the upcoming month. You’re planning what to do with the money you haven’t spent yet.

Tell your money where it’s going to go, and I promise you will have more of it. A budget isn’t hard, it’s just part of the simple money management tips that will help you save more and get out of debt.

I’ve even developed a product that allows you to ONLY enter your current spending and I’ll auto populate a budget FOR you. Check out the Cash Flow Formula here.


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

money mistakes

2. Recurring Bills Left Unchecked

Now that you have a nice handy list of recurring bills shown on your budget, call each one of them and see if you can reduce the expense.

Maybe the 3 months of FREE premium channels turned into a monthly charge on your cable bill? Take it off if you really don’t want it and cut the unnecessary. Then, shop around.

There is nothing wrong with calling the competitor for your home loan, car loan, or heath insurance to see how much it would cost from them. These simple money management tips aren’t often done, but can be a huge money saver when you delve into what are are spending versus what you should be paying.

To be honest, this probably needs to be done by everyone every year. Mark it on your calendar right now so you never make these same money mistakes.

money mistakes

3. Subscription Overload

I know, I know, marketers make it SO easy to sign up for a “free” (or super cheap) trial and then you’re suckered into having their service for the long haul (I’m looking at you birch box!). I’ve done this with soooo many things over the years (my hubby usually falls for a premium movie channel like HBO Max, while I am a sucker for natural cleaning products or makeup boxes).

But paying attention to what subscriptions you have signed up for lately could save you quite a bit of pocket change and is one of the biggest money mistakes. It can be super easy to sign up, and then if you don’t cancel before it renews, the charge will hit your account and you’ll be chasing down the credit for weeks.

When you sign up for a free trial, mark on your calendar, right then, when that the trial will be over and set a reminder alarm for a week prior. When you get the reminder, call and cancel before the charges start. That way you will have plenty of time to call and nicely decline their services.

I also get roped into this each year with our car radio service, Sirius. They send me a month free which is great as long as I cancel before the 30 days are over. Usually, it is JUST before we are headed on a (driving) summer vacation. How wonderful… we get uninterrupted radio channels while we drive all over the east coast of the country. No need to “scan” the radio for a good channel to keep us awake!

So I diligently mark it in my calendar (and on a sticky note on the fridge for when we get back) to call and cancel the subscription before they charge me the $14.99 per month. Going to them before the trial is over makes it easier to cancel too. I tell them the truth which is that I only wanted to test it out, and I don’t want to be charged the monthly fee. Easy, peasy!

If you’ve decided to keep the subscription, just be sure you review the charge often. Companies often raise subscription rates by “just a little,” and over time, that “little” can quickly add up to “a lot”.

money mistakes

4. Undiscovered Treasures (For Others)

SELL your stuff.

Take an honest inventory of the stuff in your house… just in time for Spring Cleaning. I know you can find stuff to sell or donate (and deduct on your taxes).

This turns things you are not using into money you can use for your bills or put to building an emergency fund.

It’s one of the easiest money mistakes to make. Do you have a storage facility packed to the brim of stuff you only visit once a year? Why are you paying money to store something you don’t use? Sell it and get out of paying that monthly storage fee.

Learn how to take your junk fabulous items and sell them for the most possible (basically avoiding a yard sale).

money mistakes

5. Having Low Deductibles

Once you have an emergency fund ($1,000 minimum sitting in a savings account) then you need to look at the details on those insurance premiums.

It’s not the same as looking for extra monthly charges. Higher deductibles reduce your monthly expenses.

It’s a super-easy way to save money and one way to stop making these money mistakes!

And you won’t worry about the higher possible cost because you have an emergency fund “just in case” you need to use it.

Think about it. If it costs $20 more per month to have a $500 less deductible, over the course of ONE YEAR you could have saved $600 towards your “Emergency Fund” for that “just in case” situation.

money mistakes

6. Holding On To The Past

Do you have a credit card that you got in college… and it now carries a balance with a high-interest rate? Transfer that bad boy to a lower interest card and purpose to pay it off as quickly as you can.

You are emotionally tied to something that is detrimental to your financial health and is one of the biggest money mistakes!

What about your bank? Is that where you opened your first checking account, and now your “free” account has a monthly fee? Move.

I’m not kidding… it might take 3 months to switch banks and it will be a big pain. But your bottom line is well worth it.

What else are they charging you for? Your ATM? Just listen to what the other banks offer. It might be too good to pass up.

These personal finance money mistakes can be easily remedied with a little investigative work.

money mistakes

7. Over Paying

It can be frustrating when expenses pop up unexpectedly (my washer is on its last leg as I type this for you today) and when urgent problems happen we can feel forced to make a rushed decision, which can lead to paying more than we should. That’s a big no-no and leads you to big money mistakes!

The way to save on these big-ticket purchases needed in a hurry is to use due diligence and take a deep breath by researching the best option you can make at the time.

Ask friends for recommendations and shop around (yes, I’m suggesting going to multiple stores) in order to compare products and make a prepared, informed decision. You’ll even sleep better afterward knowing you made the best decision you could.


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

My husband and I made it a rule that we take 3 days whenever we are buying something that costs over $1,000. In those 3 days (which usually end up being longer than that), we both research what we want to buy, we go to multiple stores and then we make the best decision.

Don’t dismiss the option to buy used or refurbished bigger ticket items too. It is common knowledge that a new car loses 20% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Buying “used” doesn’t mean yukky… or even old!

My first car was turned in from a prior lease. You would’ve thought the previous drivers never even used my car! But with 11,000 miles already on it, we got a great deal!

When it comes to phones and electronics I always let them “work out the bugs” before I get the newest item. Purchasing the prior model always ensures you get the best price!

money mistakes

8. Not Paying Enough

The opposite of over-paying is under-paying, and getting something of poor quality that breaks almost instantly. Then you feel like you threw your money away.

I taught my husband this lesson with shoes. He always thought we should buy very inexpensive shoes. And for sandals or occasional “fun” shoes that is fine, but he struggled with knee and back problems and I immediately asked him to switch to higher quality shoes. Success!

Having more expensive shoes meant he could no longer get multiple pairs, and he had to wear the one pair longer… but it was worth it.

Several other products are the same way. Thrift and consignment shops are great places to get high-end quality clothing at a fraction of the normal price.

Antique furniture lasts years beyond the cheap particle-board stuff you can get inexpensively at Walmart.

All I’m trying to say is that there is a time to skimp, and then there is also a time to value quality over quantity. Your purchases will reflect both at different times depending on the need (and the budget).

Once you have a budget in place, taking a little time a couple of times a year to quickly evaluate your overall finances will help you spend less without noticing, and have more!

You don’t have to repeat your personal finance money mistakes, you can change.

As you can see, you can use these tips to easily navigate away from your mistakes to build a better financial future.

And, these tips you can quickly identify where your weaknesses and strengths to turn your financial tide away from your bad money mistakes.

Then, you can use these simple money management tips to make sure you are never in the same place.


Your Turn: What other ideas do you have for ways to avoid money mistakes? Comment below!

money mistakes
The Truth About How to Avoid Common Money Mistakes