Nobody’s perfect; everybody makes mistakes sometimes, and if you ever doubt that just look back on this year’s Grammys and Oscars. Adele restarted her homage to the late great George Michael after she began the song off key. Warren Beatty picked up the wrong envelope and announced the incorrect film for the winner of the best motion picture category.
While these celebrities have to face their mistakes in front of millions of people around the globe, we usually make our biggest blunders in private. But just because we don’t have an audience of 32.9 million like this year’s Oscars doesn’t mean the errors we make can get swept under the rug. Our money management mistakes can have a profound effect on our long-term finances. The following bad habits are just some of the ways Canadians are jeopardizing their financial futures.
Making & Then Shelving a Budget
All too often, Canadians make a budget and then never revisit it again, but it’s a living and breathing financial tool that needs consistent care. When you let your budget collect dust, you’re diminishing its effectiveness in saving you money. It should grow as your life does, so you must update it as changes come to your living situation, career, family, and life goals. Financial advisors suggest you adjust your financial plan at least once a year to make it as operational as possible. And if you’ve never made a budget before now is the time to learn how. There are a variety of online resources and mobile apps that can help you if you find yourself stressing in front of a blank Excel worksheet.
Skimming Terms & Conditions
Even a well-crafted budget can leave you adrift when unexpected bills, repairs, and necessary purchases come your way. Many Canadians are disregarding conventional lending opportunities when an upcoming bill affords very little time to apply and wait for approval. In their stead, they’re turning to payday loans. While these cash advances are a convenient way to pay for your obligations, they’re like any financial responsibility. You need to understand the full rates, terms, and conditions before you agree to take them. Take the time to learn about your finance options and see if you’re capable of taking on this or any other financial assistance. By keeping yourself informed, you improve the chances of finding the best loan for your situation.
Ignoring Small Fees & Charges
It’s hard to weigh the significance of a few loonies. That’s what you’re looking at when you withdraw from a bank machine that isn’t with your branch or when you decide to send an e-transfer out of convenience. On their own, these charges don’t amount to much, but if you find yourself do these things often, they can add up over the year. Eliminate these unnecessary fees by paying attention to how you withdraw your money. It’s also a good idea to look over the last several financial statements to see which fees are hurting your finances the most.
Admit it—you’re guilty of a few financial bad habits that could be costing you a lot of money. Make sure you aren’t making any of the common mistakes listed above. Start a budget and comb through your finances to catch any more money management faux-pas you might be making. When you cast a sharp eye to the fees you pay as well as to the rates, terms, and conditions of financial products you use, you increase your chances at financial success in the future.