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Top 6 Money Mistakes I’ve Made (so you can learn from my mistakes and don’t make them!)
I wrote this post because I’m human and I haven’t always been the savviest with my money and there is always room for improvement. I am sharing with you, the ways that I have made mistakes with my money because I want you to be able to make better and more informed choices with your money. Each mistake I have made I have grown as a person and learned a valuable lesson, which made the experiences worth it, but I would love for you to be able to learn from my mistakes, so you can be even savvier with your money.
#1 I Should Have Tracked My Spending Sooner
I started tracking my money in my early twenties, but I definitely could have started tracking it sooner. In a perfect world, I would have started diligently tracking my money and my spending, in my early teen years.
Knowing exactly how much money and where I was spending it each month, would have established true financial awareness much sooner in my money journey. It would have helped me to save even more money and to be able to align my spending with what I wanted most in my life and my goals. I love using Mint to track my spending and I just wish I would have used their service years sooner!
#2 I Spent Money Because I Was Emotional
My second money mistake I made with my money that most people don’t think about, I know I sure didn’t think about it when it was happening, was that I didn’t consciously work on taking control of my emotions which is hugely related to your spending. I remember when I wasn’t talking about how upset I was about something that I held in, that I became very resentful about it. I felt upset and because I didn’t communicate this, I kept bottled up and I felt like I “deserved” something because of “all that I had been through,” which was the story that I kept repeating over and over again to myself. What I ended up doing, was purchasing something that yes, I really loved, but didn’t truly need at that time, that cost me $2500. Purchasing that item for $2500 didn’t throw me into debt, I was able to easily pay for it, but I didn’t truly need it.
Luckily I was able to sell it a couple of years later for what I paid for it when I finally chose to let go of those emotions that I was holding onto and what that purchase signified from the “story” that I had been telling myself.
#3 I Didn’t Get Insurance in Place Before I Left My Career
When I left my 6-figure income to go back to school, I allowed myself to get all caught up in feeling like I had 800 different things to do, all at once. I was moving my things from the place I rented at when I worked, to my home I lived at on my days off and then I was moving to Edmonton for school. I also began school the morning after I moved to Edmonton. I know, talking about cutting time short and I should have truly planned that better.
I was looking into who I was going to switch my health insurance to, now that it no longer was through my work, but I was confused with it and didn’t make it a priority and I didn’t get it switched over to a new health provider, within 30 days (which is what I had to do for my specific health insurance), in order to not have to go through getting my health insurance approved again. So, the 30 days ended up expiring and what happened was that I needed to re-submit all of my health information for approval.
The problem here is that it may have been years since you originally got your health insurance and you may have had some health problems that have come up since then. You may have even just utilized the different health providers that you were covered for and because you have seen other alternative health practitioners, it may show as something “negative” for your new health insurance approval. Either of these may make it harder when seeking approval for your application, which is what I experienced.
This can definitely affect your financial situation when you are no longer covered for certain things that you previously were, if you have to now pay for them out of your own pocket. So, learn from my experience and research different health insurance company’s months prior to your health insurance being cut off if you are switching, so you can submit your paperwork right away and don’t have as many issues.
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#4 I Didn’t Talk About What Was Bothering Me
I have been the type of person in the past for many years, who wouldn’t talk about what I was struggling with the most and kept my emotions in. This lead to my body developing a coping mechanism and then a habit, that when I would feel anxious, I began to eat, to help calm myself. This started to become a habit and became ingrained in my brain, that this is what I would turn to, which lead to stress eating.
This happens so often to people but they don’t usually realize that this coping mechanism has become a habit and that they stress eat when they feel anxious about their finances and aren’t communicating how they are feeling.
Stress eating is no joke and it definitely added up financially, therefore that is why I included it as a money mistake. I know so many women who struggle with stress eating and have told me they have spent $500+ extra on groceries, snacks and eating out a month, when they were stress eating. When I consumed those foods that were sugary and refined, quick carbs, they would spike my blood sugar and then drop off and I would experience the “sugar crash” which drained my energy and in turn, affected my earning potential due to the reduced energy I had to spend time on money earning tasks.
Just think, if you are stress eating and it is costing you an extra $200 a month in groceries and eating out (which is actually quite a low number), over 6 months, that is $1200 you have spent that could have been put towards paying off debt, creating an emergency fund or building your savings.
So when you think that your eating habits aren’t affecting your finances, think again.
#5 I Stocked Up & Had to Throw Things Out
When I was working away from home, I was living in two different places, one on my days off and one I rented so I had a place to stay when I was working. I would stock up on food and “staples” at each place so then I didn’t have to shop as soon as I got there and I didn’t have to worry about running out of food when traveling back and forth. This caused me to have more “staples” than needed and then I ended up throwing out hundreds of dollars of food that had expired, that I never used. What would have been a better option, is if I had taken inventory on the staple items that I had and when they expired and creating a meal planned to get those items used up, saving me hundreds of dollars in food. We always here how stocking up when things are on sale are the way to save money, but it can also be a money mistake that is costing you more than saving you, when you aren’t taking inventory of what you have and making sure to use it before it expires.
#6 I Wasn’t Confident & Didn’t Negotiate Enough
Something I wish I would have worked on sooner would be my confidence. I wasn’t a very confident person growing up and I wish I would have worked on it sooner. Due to my lack of confidence, this affected me by not standing up or speaking my mind when I wanted to, in the form of negotiating. I definitely didn’t negotiate enough. I also still had that “lack” mindset, which would come out in my life also as not thinking that if I didn’t get the item that I wanted for the price that I wanted, that there would be something else that would come along later, for the price I wanted and probably be something even better.
I remember purchasing a saddle for my horse and thinking that it was maybe a little more expensive than it should have been, but because the person was a wealthy person who I didn’t want to “stand up to,” I didn’t say anything. I also thought that because the person was “wealthy,” that they would be charging me a fair price and not overcharge me for it. After I purchased it, I realized that they have definitely overpriced the saddle for what it was worth. I learned my lesson to do my research and to always stand up for myself and that if someone isn’t willing to meet me at my price, then it is totally fine to walk away and that something even better, will come along.
I definitely learned from this lesson, to always remind myself, that something even better will come along for the price I want to pay. This is a phrase I have affirmed myself over and over again and it has helped me to become a much better negotiator and to stand up for myself and to save lots of money when it comes to purchasing things.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love the free e-book I’ve created, 4 Steps to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt.
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