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5 Money Mistakes to Avoid

Sure, we all make mistakes from time to time. It’s part of growing up, right? Here are five tips to help you avoid some common money mistakes many people make:

  1. Buying things you don’t need – with interest.
    Impulse buying happens to us all. Those fun shoes on sale or hottest smartphone that you just have to have. But if you make that impulse buy with a credit card, be ready to pay more than what’s on your receipt. Take advantage of 0% financing if available or be smart when paying your credit card bill. Pay as much as you can every month and get that balance down as soon as you can.
     
  2. Getting into debt – big time.
    Those loans and credit card bills sure add up quickly. Every year, millions of adults find themselves drowning in debt. Don’t be one of them. If you can’t avoid it, make sure to start paying off the highest interest debt first, it’ll save you money in the long run. If you’re in too deep, seek advice from a reputable credit counselor. The Federal Trade Commission can help.
     
  3. Getting a bad reputation – with creditors.
    If you don’t pay your bills on time you run the risk of ruining your reputation with your creditors and the credit bureaus that they report to. Every time you try to rent or buy a home, get auto insurance, get a car or look for a job – your credit report is checked out. And you want your potential boss, landlord or insurance company to like what they see. So, do everything you can to pay your bills on time and check out your credit report once a year to see what they see.
  4. Having one too many – credit cards.
    Most experts will tell you that having two to four credit cards is plenty. Go with five or more and you’ll find yourself spending even more money that you don’t have. And the more credit you use, the less likely you’ll be able to get a loan in the future. Resist those “can’t miss” credit card promotions companies send to get you to open new accounts. You’ll be glad that you did.
     
  5. Paying too much – in fees.
    As a credit union member you already have access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Make sure to take advantage of that and avoid out-of-network ATMs and their crazy expensive fees. Look for free checking accounts and try not to bounce checks whenever possible. Play it safe and look into overdraft protection for your checking account. And, again, pay off your credit cards as soon as possible to avoid those high interest charges.