This is my personal top five list of the worst things you can do with your money
1. Pay ATM fees (or for that matter, any bank fees) – There are banks out there that won’t charge you just for the privilege of having a checking account. You shouldn’t be paying a monthly maintenance fee or ATM fees. Ask your banker how to eliminate the fees. If they can’t, or won’t, move your money to a better bank.
2. Pay interest or finance charges on credit cards – Paying interest or finance charges is a complete waste of perfectly good money. It might have been a great deal when you swiped your card, but when you add interest, you’ll end up paying more than it was worth. If you currently have credit card debt, try moving it to a card that offers zero percent interest on transfers for the first 12-18 months. Once you are out of debt, pledge that you will not pay interest or finances charges ever again.
3. Sign without reading the fine print – Never sign anything that you don’t read. If you read it and don’t understand it, then ask questions or do your own research to understand it before going forward. I speak with so many people who just signed an agreement thinking they got a great deal, and then were blindsided hidden fees and additional charges. Were they really cheated? No, they just read the price in the big print, and not the details in the small print.
4. Pay for unused services (or things) – Are you paying a monthly fee for services you don’t use or could get for free? If you’re actually using them, that’s fine. But if you not, you could use that money for something that will actually make you feel good. I cancelled my magazine subscriptions because I wasn’t reading them. If you pay a credit monitoring service, you can do this for free with very little time investment. Are you paying for online services instead of using the free version? If so, are you actually making the most of it?
5. Duplicate Spending – Have you bought something at the store only to find out you already had one in the back of the closet? That is duplicate spending. You can resolve this by getting organized and getting rid of the clutter. If you know where to find something, you can easily access it before you go out and buy a duplicate.