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10 Money Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make this Year

10 Money Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make this Year

Now that the New Year has been sufficiently “rung in,” it’s time to get down to the business of those pesky resolutions. While you already may have bailed on your lofty diet or exercise plans for the New Year (there is still plenty of time to get back on track!), you may not be able to afford to let your financial resolutions slide. Really, if you’ve got goals like buying a home or taking a trip this year, a few mistakes could mean that you won’t be able to afford it!

Instead of slacking on fiscal goals for the future, try avoiding these 10 money mistakes right now:

1. Not setting financial goals. If you’ve got nothing to work toward, you’ll do just that… work toward nothing. Start with small, reachable goals like increasing the minimum payment you’ve been making on your credit cards or putting just a few dollars away in a rainy day fund each week. Once you see progress, you may be inclined to increase your goals!

2. Not saving any money. Even if you feel that you’re living paycheck to paycheck with absolutely nothing left over to stash away, you’ve got to take another look. Again, start small. Putting away even the smallest percentage of your paycheck will add up eventually.

3. Not tracking your expenses. This pretty much goes hand-in-hand with saving. If you don’t have an accurate grasp on what money is coming in and going out, you won’t know what you might be able to do with it! Get familiar with your expenses, so that you can create a budget!

4. Not taking advantage of your company’s 401K. You’ve probably been told that it is never too early to begin thinking about retirement. Most companies make this very easy for their employees to do by matching employee contributions. Find out what your company contributes and start contributing, too!

5. Not paying off credit card debts. So, you’ve got a great history of making credit card payments. Congratulations! You know what would be even better? Paying those debts off, so that monthly payment money is in your pocket and not your creditors’!

6. Not knowing your credit score. Talk about some scary territory, here, especially if you’re planning for a major purchase in 2017. One of the first things a lender will look at is your credit score; so, you don’t want to be surprised by what they might find. Request a copy of your credit score and start working on it now if you need to!

7. Not saying “no” every once in a while. Those morning coffee runs, lunches out and bi-weekly happy hours add up... fast. Find out just how quickly by passing on an event every once in a while. But, be careful. Saying “no” to Tuesday’s happy hour doesn’t mean you should make up for it by buying a few rounds for everyone on Thursday!

8. Not using coupons. You don’t have to be good at coupon clipping to take advantage of deals when you’re shopping. There are apps galore that will help you save on every purchase from shampoo to shoes to salon services – and everything in between! Vow to never pay full price this year and see instant savings!

9. Not allowing any fun money. Oh, come on. Having good money habits can’t be all work and no play. The quickest way to derail any resolution is to totally deprive yourself! Instead, reward your good financial behavior every once in a while by enjoying a night out or buying that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing.

10. Not thinking long-term. We know; we said start small when it comes to your financial goals. We meant it. But, you can’t forget to think about the future as well. Remember, the reason you want to avoid these money mistakes is because you have greater goals like buying a home, taking a vacation or, even, retiring. Don’t forget about the big picture when it comes to your finances!

This post is sponsored by PA Preferred Mortgage:

Pennsylvania Preferred Mortgage is a full service mortgage banker and is a member of the Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC family. Specializing in residential and refinance loans, Pennsylvania Preferred Mortgage offers a wide range of mortgage products, including fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and renovation financing. Learn more at www.papreferredmortgage.com.