Most financial bloggers, myself included, are always telling you ways to fix your personal finances. But what if you arenʼt aware of the bad things youʼre doing that are wrecking your finances in the first place? If you arenʼt sure of the cause of the problems, but trying to fix them, itʼs like putting a band-aid on a major wound. If you arenʼt fixing the underlying problem, things arenʼt going to get any better.



Are you doing any of these things?

Overspending. Are you spending more than you bring in each month? This is one major way to wreck your finances. If you are spending more than you earn, the deficit has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is probably being covered by taking on debt. As your debt increases, that leaves you less money to save. As you debt grows, your quality of life decreases. You donʼt have as many options in life and your probably always stressing about how you are going to make ends meet and itʼs probably pretty hard to sleep at night.

Not Saving. Are you not setting aside any money for a rainy day? What are you going to do when the car breaks down or you have an unexpected medical expense? If you have kids or own a car and/or home, Iʼm willing to bet good money that you will have an unexpected expense within the next couple of months. Not only is it important to save for those things that may pop up right now, itʼs also important to save for your future. You donʼt want to have to work in your golden years when you should be relaxing and enjoying the good life.

Paying Unnecessary Fees. Are you giving away money to your bank? If youʼre paying monthly bank fees, you may as well take your money and flush it down the toilet. There are many ways to avoid those pesky bank fees; especially the ones just for having an account with the bank.

You may not even need to change banks. Most banks have several different account types to fit your needs. If you arenʼt sure which one is best for you, go in and talk with your bank and have them help you pick a better account.

Most accounts these days are free when you have your paycheck directly deposited into your bank account. Iʼve had my paycheck direct deposited every since I started my job 10 years ago. No matter what, I know on payday my paycheck is there waiting for me. I like not having to go to the bank and wait in line to deposit a check. I donʼt even remember the last time I went inside my bank.

Being Oblivious. Donʼt have a clue about who or what you have or what you owe? If you donʼt know where you are financially, you canʼt make it better or move forward. If you were to ask me how much money I have, I would be able to tell you within a few dollars. If you wanted to know how much money I owed, I could also tell you within a few dollars. Maybe Iʼm a bit more obessive about my finances than most people but I like to know whatʼs going on. I think I have a bit of OCD because I check all of my financial accounts each day. I know this is overkill for some people but this way, if something is not right, I can catch it immediately and get it fixed.

Keeping Up With the Joneses. Just because your buddy Joe just bought a new car, doesnʼt mean you have to buy one. Do you really need to upgrade to a larger home? Just because your friends are doing it, it doesnʼt mean you have to do it too.

(Photo credit: jack_a_daniels)

4 comments

  1. Jackie // April 17, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

    Nice "reversed" way of looking at this. I think that being oblivious is probably the biggest "wrecker" when it comes to finances. Just paying attention instead can make a huge difference.

  2. Roshawn @ Watson Inc // April 17, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

    I agree with Jackie, being oblivious is probably the biggest way we wreck our finances. It is so easy to not realize that you are not making mistakes.

  3. Christina // April 18, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

    Another one is your really wrecking your finances if you don't really have a goal to start with..then everything follows, you tend to overspend, you don't save, you don't really care much about the fees you pay..that's it. Don't expect you'll be financially stable.

  4. Car Negotiation Coach // April 18, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

    Creating a monthly budget or listing expenses and doing an audit are good ways to find some of the "leaks" in your finances.