We all make mistakes with our finances from time to time – we’re only human after all! While we may have the odd slip from time to time, there are a few major money mistakes that you need to avoid to prevent yourself from falling too deep. By slightly changing your money habits, you can avoid these mistakes and save yourself some serious cash.
1. Making Too Many Minimum Repayments
When it comes to hefty debts, it can feel impossible to shift. It may be tempting to pay off just the minimum amount each month, but this head-in-the-sand strategy will mean that you are left paying interest for much longer, resulting in a higher overall bill. While it is acceptable to pay the minimum when necessary, you should try to pay more than the minimum on the majority of occasions to save you more money in the long run.
2. Not Checking Your Bank Statements
Checking your statements has become a lot easier in recent years, thanks to the introduction of online banking and banking apps, which means there is no excuse for not keeping track. Despite how easy it is to check your statements, many people just look at the big number to see how much cash they have left. It’s a good idea to look through and see where your money is going and spot any mistakes.
3. Not Checking Your Credit File
Not only is it easy to check your bank statements, but you can also check your credit file for free through Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. It’s essential to keep an eye on your rating and spot any areas for improvements or mistakes, as they could affect your credit applications in the future. While it’s best to have a good credit score that is well maintained, there are credit options available for poor credit, such as no credit check loans or guarantor loans.
4. Not Having an Emergency Fund
Life can be unpredictable when you least expect it, so even if you feel like you are living within your means, this could be dashed at any time. It’s worth putting money aside when possible to help cover any unexpected costs, like a broken boiler or emergency car repairs. In theory, you should aim to have a few months of living expenses in an accessible account, but anything you can put aside may help. Without an emergency fund, you may need to borrow money, but it’s always best to use your own cash where possible.
5. Not Switching Providers
From banking to utilities, there is something to be said for switching providers. In days gone by, there may have been some benefit in being a long-term customer, but these days, new customers tend to get the best deals and options. You should use price comparison sites to work out whether it would be beneficial for you to switch bill or banking providers to get more affordable prices. You can even call your current providers and explain why you are thinking about leaving, as many may miraculously drop the prices for you.
For more support and information on money mistakes, please visit the Money Advice Service.