Whether you're living paycheck to paycheck or building your future in a long-term career, you're probably no stranger to financial issues. These days, adults of all stripes are faced with numerous money issues that can seriously snowball over time to become life-altering problems if they aren't handled carefully.
This means that for you to live your life to the fullest, you'll need to know what to look out for -- and how to prepare for anything life might throw at you.
Today, let's take a look at eight of the most common financial mistakes that adults make and how you can avoid them.
1. Mishandling Credit Cards
If there's one thing nearly everyone with money troubles in the modern world has in common, it's credit card use.
Now don't be mistaken -- properly handling a credit card can be a great way to build your credit and ensure you always have some extra money around for emergencies and necessities.
But if you don't know the proper etiquette, you might end up way worse off. For instance, if you only ever pay the minimum on your balance or ever miss a payment, you might find yourself accruing high interest and severe penalties on your account.
In other words, you'll end up in even more debt.
2. Not Keeping a Savings
If you're able to set money aside as a parachute to save you from hitting the ground hard after unexpected events, you'll be able to avoid adding to your credit card balance.
In the past, we've discussed the incredible value of keeping a budget for yourself and your family. One of the key aspects of budgeting is undoubtedly a smart savings account to keep you safe and sound.
But remember, any time you don't have the money put aside, you can easily apply online or in person for a personal loan of up to $1,400 from Atlas Credit! That way, you can pay the money back within 5 to 12 months without having to worry about it killing you with credit card debt.
3. Poor Expense Planning
Too many of us have a constant slew of minor expenses. At this point, we all know we could cut back on our latte, scratch-offs, and fast food habits.
Those little things definitely add up, but so do the big.
For instance, you might be tired of your old car and trade it in for a new one with a monthly payment higher than you first realized. You may end up also buying much more house than you can afford and failing to make monthly mortgage payments. Or, you might put yourself through a private university on student loans alone and end up with well over $100,000 debt.
Too many people believe they can squeeze their way into a bigger and better life and simply figure out how to make ends meet, then end up bankrupt with ruined credit.
4. Obsessing Over Your Credit Score
Guess what? Your credit score doesn't define you. It doesn't determine whether you are a good person. It can't fix your financial future. While you should monitor your credit score, you shouldn't stress out about it. You don't need a perfect credit rating to obtain the money you need.
Even if you have demonstrated poor money management in the past that led to personal finance issues, you can come back from a low credit score. And you can still get a loan with one. Atlas Credit makes loans based not on your credit score but on your future potential to pay the loan back. Once you have shown you can make regular loan payments, your credit score will rise.
Still, you will probably never obtain a perfect credit score, and that is okay. You don't need it.
5. Skipping Renter's Insurance
If you don't own a home, you might not think you need insurance. But what happens if you rent and your things are destroyed in one of the natural disasters that occasionally strikes Oklahoma or Texas? Or what if your valuables are stolen? Renter's insurance is a small expense that covers the value of your property.
Even if you don't have anything really valuable, the cost of all your small possessions adds up. Plus, renter's insurance does more than pay for your things if they go missing. It also covers your liability in case someone has an accident at your rental, whether it's an apartment or a house. You may think you'd be covered under your landlord's policy, but you aren't. Renter's insurance is a smart bet against the unexpected.
6. Settling for Your Current Financial Earnings
One of the most common financial mistakes to avoid is complacency. Your earning potential could potentially be more, but if you haven't asked for a raise or looked around for another job, you will never know how much income you're leaving on the table. You can discover your potential by:
- Setting up a meeting with your boss to discuss your accomplishments over the past year. Prepare ahead of time by listing everything you have contributed and ask for a raise at the end.
- Scheduling an interview with another company. Even if you love your job, you could be making more money somewhere else. It doesn't hurt to test the waters, and then you know how much you are worth. You can leverage another job offer into more money at your current job or leave for greener pastures.
7. Failing to Teach Your Kids About Money
Did anyone ever talk to you about common money mistakes when you were growing up? If you have had money management problems in the past, it may be because you never learned about finances. Don't let your kids fall into the same trap. Talk to them about basic financial literacy and explain the importance of saving early. You should also inform them about:
- Credit cards
- Interest rates
- Saving for retirement
They're never too young to learn about money.
8. Not Setting Goals
Think about where you'll be in a few years. Maybe even a decade.
What do you see?
If you're reading this, odds are you haven't put much thought to it. If that's the case, it's time to start planning.
You must have financial goals lined up for both your near and far future. That means where you'll be next year, and where you'll be when you retire.
And as the population of the world lives longer, you might need to plan for an even greater number of years than you expect. Your grandparents might have lived into their seventies and eighties, but there's a good chance you could live to be well over a hundred!
Don't let these same mistakes add up over time to destroy your credit and your bank account. Playing smart with your finances is your golden ticket to a comfortable life!
If you find yourself suddenly tight on funds, consider applying for a personal loan from Atlas Credit. People all over Texas and Oklahoma have qualified for loans up to $1,400, even if they have bad credit. Explore the website or stop by an Atlas Credit location today to find out more about how you can start rescuing your finances!