By Cameron Huddleston
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While overspending on clothes and food can be obvious ways of wasting money, there are other more subtle missteps you may be making financially. For example, If your employer offers a workplace retirement plan such as a 401(k) and will match employee contributions, you’re making a mistake if you’re not contributing enough to the plan to get the full match. As one financial planner puts it…”It’s free money.”
If you’re trying to spend less so you can save more, there might be some obvious mistakes you’re making with your money. For example, you’re likely losing a lot more than you’re making if you’re gambling at the casino every week. And you’re certainly not doing your finances any favors if you’re dining out for lunch and dinner every day.
But there are plenty of other ways you might be losing money that aren’t so obvious. Here are a number of mistakes you’re making that you might not realize are costing you a lot.
BEING FINANCIALLY DISORGANIZED
One of the biggest money mistakes people make is being financially disorganized, said Kathleen Grace, a financial planner and managing director at United Capital. This can end up costing you a lot of money, she said.
For example, if you’re not keeping tabs on your accounts, you could end up paying bills late and getting hit with late fees.
If you’re not tracking your spending and trying to get by without a budget, you’ll end up overspending.
Fortunately, there are plenty of financial apps, such as Mint and Prosper Daily, that can help you keep tabs on your accounts and spending, and send you alerts when bills are due or you’ve exceeded your budget.
LEAVING MONEY FROM YOUR EMPLOYER ON THE TABLE
If your employer offers a workplace retirement plan such as a 401(k) and will match employee contributions, you’re making a mistake if you’re not contributing enough to the plan to get the full match. “It’s free money,” Grace said.