There are many bad decisions you can make regarding money. They range from simple slip-ups to some truly awful mistakes. Here are the top five that you should beware of...
If you miss a credit card payment, not only will you pay a penalty, but any balance you have will start accruing interest. Your credit card company may also report you to the credit bureaus which may lower your credit score.
Although this may not seem like a big deal, try applying for a new mortgage or a loan for a new car and then get rejected because you find out that your credit score is scraping the bottom of the barrel because there was a mistake that you never cleared-up. Since the government has given you the right to check your credit report free each year (e.g., at sites like AnnualCreditReport.com), take advantage of this and fix any errors you see.
You may have heard this so many times that you start hearing it in your sleep, but please make sure you either maximize or at least make a hefty contribution to your 401K retirement plan. Think of it this way: your company is willing to give you free money. Only a fool would reject this.
One of the biggest recipes for disaster later on in life is if you have no financial goals or plans for retirement. You should have a good idea of when you think you can retire and approximately how much money you will have by then. Otherwise, you won't know when to retire to maiximize Social Security payments, how much money you will have saved, how long that money will last you, etc.
You can have the best laid savings plans but if you do not have an emergency fund, it could be like playing Russian roulette. Disaster could hit anytime and for various reasons you may not have thought of. There may be some truly serious disasters for which an emergency fund may do no good, but having even a modest emergency fund in place will provide a cushion for many unexpected events (e.g., loss of job, car accidents that insurance will not fully cover, home repairs, etc.).
select one here...