5 Money Mistakes To Avoid in 2015

February 11, 2015

5-MONEY-MISTAKES-TO-AVOID 1.  Paying Fees

When was the last time you really looked at your credit card statement? Comb through your bank statements, heating bills & other recurring subscriptions to ensure you aren’t getting charged fees that were put on by mistake or don’t apply to you.  One of the worst offenders for tacking on extra fees are cable and satellite companies; three months in a row, we have had issues with the cable company who covers our tv and internet overcharging us for a package we didn’t sign up for.  If you are enrolled in autopay, be sure to check in on this!

Another thing to look out for are extra fees that do apply to you, but could be readjusted or removed simply because you are a long time customer. Take some time to call your service providers to see what you could be saving based on your loyalty. There may be some one-time discounts that you can take advantage of!

 

2.  Paying For Outdated Insurance Coverage That Doesn’t Fit Your Needs

It is very important to have an annual review of all of your policies with your insurance agent to make sure the coverage is still right for you. If you downsize your home, sell off certain assets, and/or your kids are now grown up and out of the house, your policy may need updated.

There are several life circumstances or life stages that can impact the type of coverage you need. For example, a new young driver in the household typically requires a complete review of your policy to protect the family from an increased risk. Owning a home vs. renting definitely has an impact on the type of policy you have. A few more life stages that have a large impact on the type of policy you will need are: getting married, having a baby and even getting a divorce. These all can require an overall review of your policy and the discussion of the need for life insurance.

An annual review doesn’t take as long as you might think. It could take just 30 minutes to sit down with your agent and go through each insurance policy, the coverage that is included in your policies and any discounts that may be available to you.

 

3.  Disorganization & Clutter

Clutter costs you money- no doubt about it.  As we approach tax season, have you been keeping track of your receipts that could save you money on your taxes?  Do you find that you’re buying duplicates of things you couldn’t find and had to replace, but frustratingly know that the thing you need is *somewhere* in your home?  Worst yet- are you paying for storage that you don’t really need?

Downsizing and donating whatever you don’t absolutely need is key to financial freedom. One common denominator you can find from the stories of people who paid down large amounts of debt or saved big was that they all made it a point to live simpler and get rid of the extra clutter in their lives.  With less to maintain, there’s less to worry about and thus, pay for.  Even if you aren’t paying to store your junk, could you be better off with a smaller living space?  Do you ever wonder what you could accomplish if you had more headspace to be productive instead of simply managing chaos?  Disorganization is costly- this is the year to get organized and that includes using personal finance software to help cut down all on those old bills left lying around.

 

4.  Paying For Convenience or Trying to DIY The Wrong Things

Everything you spend money on should be subjected to a money vs. time analysis.  Would it be cheaper to do a project or task yourself, or would it be more time- and cost-effective to hire it out?  For instance, an easy win for saving money is to pack your own lunches- it doesn’t cost much in time to do so if you’re fine with sandwiches or canned soups!  It can also be cost-effective to paint your own nails and save salon visits for special occasions.

Where you might be losing money is trying to DIY things that are time and talent intensive and would be better hired out.  A good example of this is taxes;  how long does it take you to do your taxes? Is it a good use of your time?  Are you getting the deductions you need for the biggest refund? This same logic applies to any project that is costing you sanity, time or money to fix after a DIY blunder (like trimming your own bangs or trying to tailor a tricky dress that ends up getting botched).

 

5.  Not Updating Your Debt Repayment Plan

Paying down debts can feel like a grind, and it can be a relief to have payments automated each month.  While that’s a solid plan to start with, when was the last time you evaluated the amount you’re paying down, or if there are options in tackling certain debts first that would have a bigger payoff?  Your debt repayment plan should be evaluated every few months, especially as your circumstances change:  you get a new job, a raise, sign a new lease or have any expenses that could impact how much you have to throw towards your debt.

When it comes to credit cards, while it’s wise to pay down the card with the highest interest rate first, there can be a serious morale boost when a smaller debt is completely paid off.  If you’re in debt, remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Keep your spirits up and use your smarts for a double whammy to tackle your debt.

 

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

 

13 comments so far.

13 responses to “5 Money Mistakes To Avoid in 2015”

  1. Great post! I know Josh and I definitely need to re-evaluate our debt repayment plan!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m really good about the others, but #4 I struggle with. I always pay for convenience. I’ve been making more food so that is good, but I still struggle with the convenience of cabs versus public transit.

  3. These are really insightful points to consider! Especially #4 can be a trap! I am guilty of thinking I can do something better myself and then spending way more than I budgeted for supplies and taking time away from more important things to finish. Even though DIY is super fun for me, it is not always the best financial decision!

  4. Michelle says:

    We recently just decluttered our home like crazy since we plan on putting it on the market soon. It saved us a ton of money as all of that extra junk would have needed its own moving truck!

  5. Laina Turner says:

    Great post. It’s so easy to spend without thinking and on things not necessary.

  6. Ali Iqbal says:

    This is really helpful Shannyn, Thanks for sharing. Have a good day 🙂 .

  7. Beautiful article and websight. It covers a lot of a lot of subjects all in one artice. But, I especially like the section about do it yourself vs. having others do things for you. This is something that most of us fall victim to. If we only took time to analyze the value of our own time. Keep up the good work.

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