Financial planning can be a challenge.
Which is why it is always a good idea to enlist the expertise of a skilled personal financial planner, who can help you maximize your savings strategies. Here are some of the most common money management mistakes that you should avoid to achieve a more successful financial future:
Don't Put All Of Your Eggs In One Basket: This is an old, clichéd expression for a reason: people continue to do it, even though it rarely, if ever, yields positive results. For example, if you decide to invest solely in your company stock, and your company should happen to fail or falter, you might find yourself in severe financial trouble.
Solution: Limit investment in company stock to ten percent of your investment portfolio.
Don't Hire A Financial Advisor or Planner Without Doing Your Research: The advice that this person will give you is crucial to both your financial present and future. This is why it is so essential to research anyone and everyone before deciding to hire them thoroughly.
Solution: Research, research, and more research. You'll be paying for their advice, so it only makes sense to know how much they will charge and whether they are indeed qualified to dispense said advice.
Don't Hunt For A Better Job While You're At Work: This may seem like a silly tip to offer, but the truth is that many so-called "professionals" see nothing wrong with photocopying and printing their resumes and cover letters at the office, not to mention spending company hours perusing online job postings.
Solution: Print at home, or go to a photocopy shop. If you don't, you'll run the risk of paper jams, leaving your original in the machine, and, even worse, having to explain your repeated visits to job hunter websites during your working hours.
Don't Automatically Pay Retail: It might be more convenient, but that convenience comes at a price. Genuinely savvy shoppers and savers know that the best deals can be found by shopping around.
Solution: Consider the cost and the long-term effects that each big-ticket purchase will have on your finances, and buy with caution.
Don't Play It Too Safe: It's good to be prudent when it comes to financial matters, but believe it or not, you can be too careful. Hanging on to losing stocks to avoid investing in new ones, being reluctant to trade assets for something more valuable, putting too much cash in one area and not the other: these all constitute what is known as "loss aversion practices."
Solution: Avoid "Loss Aversion" by focusing on the immediate costs and the long-term savings of every financial decision.
Do Not Procrastinate: Failing to enroll in your 401k plan until the last minute, failing to take financial strategies and savings seriously until the last minute, these tactics might be okay, temporarily, for someone in their early twenties, but the fact is, its never too soon to think about retirement.
Solution: Don't pass up free money. Your 401k will be your most valuable retirement asset, and the money you save away today will be the money you are most grateful for in the future.
Don't Blindly Follow Trends: take a tip from the Lemming, a rodent famous for hurling itself off cliffs en masse. Remember that following financial and investment trends without thoroughly investigating their risks and benefits is a sure way to hit rock bottom.
Solution: Investigate each option before investing.
Don't Spend Without A Budget: Most people think of financial planning only in terms of investment, but if you have an income and bills, you have a budget, and it's your job to keep it balanced. Accounting for the allocation of your funds, from the gas bill to groceries, and making sure to set as much aside as possible for life's minor emergencies is the best way to guarantee a secure financial future.
Solution: Develop a budget plan, and stick to it. It may not be easy at times, but it will be well worth it in the long term.
Don't Ignore Interest Rates: Whether it's the rate on your mortgage refinancing loan, your car loan, or your money market, smart financiers know that keeping up with the current borrowing and lending rates is the way to make sure that you are getting the best rates.
Solution: Stay on top of rates and trends, and take out loans when rates are lowest
Don't Go Carte Blanche With Your Cards: Credit cards are not free money, and if you've managed to figure this out on your own, then you are ahead of most people across the demographic board when it comes to smart money strategies. When you don't pay off the balance each month, the finance charges that accrue can ensure that you will be paying for that new furniture or flat screen TV long after you've lost interest in it because you'll still be paying the interest: on your credit cards.
Solution: Use credit cards sparingly and wisely, and make sure to pay off the balance each month whenever possible.
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