As you make your way through the financial times that surround the holiday season, try to keep your eyes on the goals you have. Often we run into trouble thinking with our hearts but leaving our minds on standby as we make financial choices. There are a host of things to avoid but most of all, try to make decisions that make sense, and to think carefully before taking any financial actions. Think of the long-term consequences of your choices today and you may avoid long-term financial heartache. Here are some things to try to avoid
Murphy’s Law. Everyone thinks about Murphy’s Law like it is something that won’t strike THEM. But it is a truism that when you fail to plan, it is often like you plan to fail. Bad luck strikes us all, but simple things can keep Mother Murphy’s favorite son AND his laws at bay. Make sure you don’t miss your insurance payments. Keep your insurance up to date, and evaluate your insurance every year to eighteen months. Is all the risk in your life addressed in one way or another? Knowing and identifying your risks, and having a stable plan to make sure loved ones are provided for in case of calamity, that is a large part of the trouble. So make a good plan, and allow for the unexpected and the unforeseen.
Piling Up Debt. It is hard in the times we live in to live without some sort of a credit card, even if it is one that is not used. The responsible use of credit is one thing that will bear huge dividends later on. So do not charge your cards to the max, make your payments on time, and avoid shopping repeatedly for new deals on credit offerings. Find a good deal, and then stick with it. Try advancing payments to pay off debt early if you can swing it. And when you can pay in cash and live reasonably within the means you have, financially.
Savings. Many people do not have the option of saving at times in their lives. But if you can, save and invest your earnings wisely. If you start young, the miracle of compound interest can make you financially sound faster than ever before. If you wait, you are working against time.
Wrong Way Driving. If you are set on buying a new car, don’t. With depreciation, the moment you drive off the lot you just lost thirty percent of your cars value. Find a gently used car that you like, and drive with common sense maintenance and you will save big in the end.
Missing the Match. Make sure if there is any program that matches your retirement investments in any 401K plans you own, to use them. This is a simple way to maximize your investment and earning potential.