Friday, August 3, 2007

6 Ways to Kill Your Savings (DON'T DO THESE)

1. Don't have a budget - If you squander every penny you get, you'll never be ready for the unexpected or retirement. Plan your spending that is within your means. And by all means, pay yourself first (i.e., save some money).

2. Indulge in your whims - If you like it, buy it, right? Wrong! There is no reason to buy things just because they seem nice at the time. Think about the long term uses of the item or the long term implications of spending $250 on a watch "you should have to have". Even spending $30 that you don't need to spend could go a long way to other things like paying down your credit card or adding principle to your mortgage payment.

3. Splurge on gifts - We all know that true love is demonstrated by how many gifts or how much you spend on your children, siblings, family, friends, etc... Yeah, I know: ridiculous. Unfortunately, some people fall into that trap each and every holiday season and end up spending way more than they should and have debt left over until the summer. It's just a bad move. Value is not always about the money! Find that perfect little gift will go a lot further than spending $$$ just to spend it on someone.

4. Go ahead; buy an SUV - When you get the super-dooper SUV that get 15 MPG or less on the highway, your checkbook will be screaming for assistance! See the "Silly Song" about an SUV.

5. Rely on credit for emergencies - Don't worry; you'll never get sick or get into an unexpected accident (like we expect accidents) and have to pay a deductible. Always have an emergency cash fund. It's okay if you pay with a credit card. Just be able to pay if off when the bills comes in!

6. Skip routine maintenance - As long as your car seems to be running fine, why should you do anything, right? WRONG! Get your oil changed regularly. Get your brake pads checked. If your check engine light comes on, go get it looked into immediately. Many times, it may not be a big deal. The key here is to remember that preventive maintenance is WAY CHEAPER than "oh man, my car won't start at all and is really broken" maintenance.

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