15 Common Money Mistakes Holding You Down

Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t ideal. If you constantly feel you can’t keep your head above water financially, it’s time to look in the mirror. All people living paycheck to paycheck are guilty of these financial blunders; how many apply to you?

1. Only Making Minimum Payments

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Only Making Minimum Payments: Unfortunately, although making minimum payments on your bills is admirable, you’re ultimately doing yourself no favours. Minimum payments still incur hefty interest fees; in many cases, the interest accrued is more than the minimum payment itself! To truly pay off bills responsibly, you should devise ways to pay off your balances in full (or, at the very least, make more than the recommended minimum payment).

2. Too Many Subscriptions

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Too Many Subscriptions: Let’s face it:Most of us subscribe to way too many services. From Netflix and Hulu to Spotify and Apple Music (and everything in between), countless services effortlessly take tiny monthly fees from us. In fact, this could very well contribute to our bleak financial situation! If you are struggling paycheck to paycheck, one of the first things you should do is take stock of what you’re subscribed to and make cuts wherever possible.

3. Societal Pressure

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Societal Pressure: Keeping up with society’s trends is exhausting; status symbols are everywhere, and unfortunately, they all cost significant money! Ask yourself, do you need to upgrade your smartphone every year? Do you need to be seen driving the newest cars while running errands? In most cases, the answer to these questions is resounding, “No.”

4. Lack of Planning

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Lack of Planning: Unfortunately, many people don’t have the foresight to adequately prepare their financial futures for success, resulting in them living paycheck to paycheck. It’s a sad state of affairs; too many men and women prefer to ignore warning signs and live in a state of willful ignorance instead of setting themselves up to be financially successful!

5. No Emergency Fund

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No Emergency Fund: Consider living paycheck to paycheck as an emergency. It’s one of the most dire financial situations a person can find themselves in (even if it doesn’t always feel that way). What would come in handy in this situation? That’s right, an emergency fund!

6. Late Bill Payments

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Late Bill Payments: Don’t overestimate the importance of paying bills on time. Sure, you won’t get arrested for paying a bill past its due date, but the result is arguably just as catastrophic. If you consistently pay bills late, consider taking out a small personal loan to get back on track. Otherwise, you’ll find it near-impossible to stop the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.

7. Impulse Buying

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Impulse Buying: Tiny, near-imperceptible impulse purchases go a long way to ensuring anybody will stay living paycheck to paycheck. Nobody needs Starbucks every morning; nobody needs to grab a soda or energy drink every time they fill their vehicle with gas. By cutting back on impulse buying, you’ll find significantly more money in your account, leading to getting yourself out of the vicious cycle.

8. Not Knowing Your Worth

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Not Knowing Your Worth: It’s sometimes too easy to be complacent with jobs and work, but not knowing your worth severely restricts your earning potential! Your occupation (and pay grade) may be to blame if you constantly live paycheck to paycheck. If you have unique skills or traits that make money for your company, demand proper compensation that reflects your impact.

9. Predatory Automobile Loans

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Predatory Automobile Loans: While automobile loans are a necessary evil in today’s society, getting suckered into a predatory loan helps keep even the most sensible person underwater. Living paycheck to paycheck is exceedingly difficult when you are saddled with a substantial monthly car payment (paired with a sky-high interest rate, of course). Getting yourself into a more sensible mode of transportation will help ease the financial burden.

10. Laziness

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Laziness: Being lazy is a harsh accusation, but it’s fair in the financial literacy world. It’s easy not to care about your financial situation. It’s easy to “kick the can down the road” and ignore your responsibilities, but trust me, they will eventually catch up to you! Being lazy isn’t a temporary trait; training yourself to be proactive will take discipline. Sadly, living paycheck to paycheck is a byproduct of being lazy.

11. Ignoring Your Bank Accounts

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Ignoring Your Bank Accounts: Ignoring your problems never solves them, and the day you start facing your bank accounts head-on is when you begin living more fruitfully than paycheck to paycheck!

12. Not Paying Yourself

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Not Paying Yourself: Many believe the key to getting out of the paycheck-to-paycheck grind is paying yourself! What this means is straightforward: Every time you receive a paycheck or income, transfer a pre-determined percentage to another account. The transfer amount doesn’t necessarily have to be significant; smaller amounts tend to fly under the radar, and over time, your separate “pay yourself” account will grow surprisingly! Before you know it, you’ll have a backup account with enough money to get yourself out of the rut.

13. Credit Card Recklessness

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Credit Card Recklessness: Responsible credit card use is easier said than done; if you pay off your total credit card balance monthly, you’re golden. However, suppose you let your balance increase over time. In that case, you’ll incur devastatingly high fees that will do you zero favours. If you’re struggling financially, determine whether you’re being reckless with everyday credit card spending.

14. Ignoring Budgets

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Ignoring Budgets: Blowing through weekly, monthly, or yearly budgets is a perfect example of a lack of discipline to succeed financially. Remember, budgets exist for a reason! Writing down your expenses and associated income should give you a clearer perspective on your financial situation; ignoring these figures will spell disaster.

15. Zero Savings

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Zero Savings: If you neglect your savings account, you’re ostensibly neglecting your future, so in theory, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Putting aside small amounts of cash monthly toward a savings account shows forward-thinking, accountability, and financial savviness! Many regard their savings account as a safety net and report feeling greater peace of mind when their accounts are plump with cash! (Who wouldn’t?)

The post 15 Common Money Mistakes Holding You Down first appeared on LoveLists.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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