Learn how to avoid common money pitfalls so you can keep on budget.

A crucial part of money management is making a budget. Having a money plan and sticking to it can help you reach financial success, but sometimes issues pop up and get in the way. There are some common money pitfalls we all fall into that can cause us to not reach our financial goals. But there are ways to avoid these to make sure you’re making the most out of your money. Don’t fall into these money pitfalls anymore with these simple tips.  

Common Money Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

May 23, 2017

Learn how to avoid common money pitfalls so you can stay on your budget.

A crucial part of money management is making a budget. Having a money plan and sticking to it can help you reach financial success, but sometimes issues pop up and get in the way. There are some common money pitfalls we all fall into that can cause us to not reach our financial goals. But there are ways to avoid these to make sure you’re making the most out of your money. Don’t fall into these money pitfalls anymore with these simple tips.

 

Pitfall: Cell phone overages


Solution: This one is especially common if you share a cell phone plan with family. Go to your carrier’s website, and check to see if they have any overage alerts. Many offer to send text messages that warn you when you’ve used 75% or more of your data. Try connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible to avoid using all of your data, and make sure to turn off any type of Wi-Fi Assist. If this is on, your phone will automatically use your data if the Wi-Fi connection is weak, eating up your data and leading to extra costs.

 

Pitfall: Late payment fees


Solution: Trying to juggle too many payments and getting some lost in the shuffle? Late fees can wrack up costs quickly, so it’s smart to avoid them if at all possible. Keep a planner that holds the information for all your bills in one place to keep on-track. You can also set up automatic bill pay so your bills are always paid on-time, without needing to lift a finger!

 

Pitfall: Overspending at the grocery store


Solution: It’s very easy to walk into the grocery store on an empty stomach and end up purchasing everything in sight. Try to avoid going to the store when hungry to keep overzealous shopping at bay. Another great idea is to always take a list with you to the store. This will help cut down on excess spending and allow you to focus on your needs over wants.

Hungry for more savings strategies? Here are some easy strategies for saving money on groceries. 


Pitfall: Overdraft fees


Solution: Over drafting an account can become pretty expensive over time. Keep track of what bills are due when, and keep an eye on your account to make sure it’s prepared for when the bills become due. Using a tool like FinanceWorks gives you an overview on all of your finances and can even tell you how much money you have available until your next paycheck. Another way to help minimize overdraft fees is to find a checking account that offers overdraft protection. These types of accounts give you a line of credit beyond what’s in your account to protect you from overdrafts.

 

Pitfall: Unexpected costs


Solution: You know the saying “stowing it away for a rainy day”? Keeping a separate savings account for emergencies such as health issues, car problems or home repairs can help you stay on top of your budget. Take a few months to slowly sock away money in a separate account for these just-in-case happenstances. $1,000 is a great starting point for an emergency fund. This way, if an unexpected cost pops up, you’ll be ready and have it automatically covered in your budget.

Start saving up for your emergency fund by finding ways to cut back on spending that you won't even notice.

Pitfall: ATM fees


Solution: When you’re out and about shopping, it may seem simple and easy to get cash at an ATM. But beware! Getting cash this way may have hidden fees, which can slowly add up over time. If you’re a Redstone member, you have access to over 70,000 free ATMs where you can withdraw cash anytime, with zero surcharge fees. Find all of our ATM locations here to help you kiss ATM fees goodbye.

You can stick to your budget and avoid excess costs by utilizing the tips and strategies above. You’ll soon find more money in your wallet and feel better about your expenses month to month. Looking for even more ways to build a better budget? Check out the Secrets to a Simple Budget post or learn about simple ways to save.

Have another money pitfall and a smart solution to add to our list? Post it in a comment below!

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This content is provided for informational and educational purposes only and considered accurate as of the date posted. Views and opinions expressed in comments do not constitute an official endorsement by Redstone Federal Credit Union® or its affiliates. Redstone encourages you to seek professional advice for your personal situation before making any financial decision and is happy to assist you at any of our branch locations.

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