Seven ways you THROW good money away.

By | November 15, 2007

I was going through the bills received and payments made today and I discovered that I had made a huge error in one bill. I hadn’t recorded the transaction properly, so I couldn’t account for the money (its receipt, its whereabouts, or anything)… And this is despite using Technology to make things ‘easier’.

This set me thinking about some of the mistakes I have made, and how these mistakes can cost unexpected dollars and sense. Since this is post is about money mistakes, and some of the problems that follow, I started listing the ways I have made money mistakes (I don’t even mean the big stuff):

1. late paying bills: I neglected to pay a credit card bill on time, and received a surcharge. Recently, I neglected to pay the electricity bills for the home and business. That netted the power company an extra surcharge of about $25 in late payment fees.

2. losing track of money: there are times when I simply dropped the money in the street or left my money in the ticket machine at the subway machine… I’ve lost over a $75 in the past year this way.

3. assuming receipts and change are correct: I found more than once when I got home that there was a problem. The most difficult problem to solve is overcharging: either incorrect pricing or duplicate items on the receipt.

4. making snap decisions: more than once I’ve made a snap decision to pay something earlier or buy an item that I could have waited for. The result was that I completely blew through my budget… Nightmare.

5. lending money: more than once I’ve been asked to lend money to a friend. This wasn’t always good timing as we had our own financial pressures to deal with, and finding myself short of money to do what I wanted BECAUSE I had agreed to lend money. Worse, the money came back late, short, or never!

6. buying duplicates: often I buy a lot of things for the school or the home or myself. More than once I’ve ended up buying duplicates of items that I already had. Once on Amazon, I bought a duplicate of a Seinfeld DVD that I had bought and watched. I often buy additional pens, books, and other items this way.

7. unexpected events: the unexpected wedding invitation or birthday part. Even a works outing. All of these can trigger additional spending that is unbudgeted, and easily cascades to quite a bit more than you intended.

These mistakes can really add up over the year. And some of them can break your budget leaving you short of cash, especially if you are running a tight budget with little or no room to spare.

What kind of mistakes have you made with your money? I’m not talking about the ‘big stuff’… I’m more interested in the little stuff that comes up daily or regularly! Can you add any to the list? I’m sure you can!

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