Financial wellness benefits provider Edukate’s top eight money mistakes to avoid:
1. Not having an emergency fund
Set up an automatic withdrawal every paycheck to start building up your emergency fund.
2. Not maxing out your retirement plans
Once your debts are cleared and your emergency fund is full, what’s next? There’s no arguing the 401(k) is a great way to fund your long term savings, especially if you aren’t one of the lucky people to have a pension. Consider the tax advantages of maxing out both traditional and Roth 401(k)/403(b) contributions before you start saving elsewhere.
3. Not utilizing all of the benefits your employer offers
Only about 40% of employees say they fully understand the benefits at their job. Talk to your work’s HR team or check out your benefits portal to find out what your employer offers—and put them to use.
4. Being oversubscribed
You have Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, cable/satellite TV, satellite radio, a couple magazines, a beauty box subscription and a gym membership. Do you know what it all costs? There are likely cheaper alternatives and things you really can live without.
5. Not using technology to manage your finances
Technology continues to find ways to help save and plan for the future. For starters, check out smarthome tools like Nest or Ecobee to save money on heating/cooling bills.
6. Waiting too long to invest
Many baby boomers say their greatest investment regret was not starting sooner. In a recent survey, many young Gen Z and millennial respondents said they didn’t plan to start investing until the age of 28. Whitlow says the best time to start investing in your financial future is today, not later.
7. Not understanding the true cost of big purchases
With interest rates still at record lows, it may be tempting to make a big purchase like a car or home. Make sure you understand the true cost of ownership and factor in routine maintenance, insurance, and unexpected repairs before deciding if you can afford it.
8. Being afraid to ask for discounts
Most of your monthly bills can be renegotiated at a lower rate. Even big companies like your cell phone and cable providers, car insurance, and delivery services can be negotiated with—you just have to ask.