Tuesday, June 3, 2008

10 Miscellaneous Money Mistakes Part 2

Yesterday I shared 5 financial mistakes I've made over the years. Today, here are 5 more.

6. I've sunk a lot of money into depreciating assets.

I've purchased cars that cost my entire annual salary and then spent 4 or 5 years paying them off. I've spent $2,500 to $3,500 on a couple of computer systems. I allowed Dell to set up my new laptop (the one I was going to pay cash for) on their financing with pre-authorized monthly withdrawals that barely reduce the principal owing each month by $10 or so. (Their explanation for doing the financing plan was that their kiosks aren't set up to accept Interac.) And I didn't pay it off when I had the cash in hand!

7. I often don't pay in a timely manner, even when the money is in the bank.

This one is related to the last one. I also forget to pay things like my cell bill or the bottled water. Because I know I have this tendency, I put everything that has a fixed monthly amount on pre-authorized withdrawals. But I won't do it with bills that vary from month to month and I always have good intentions of paying the bills when they're due but my follow-through is not so good. This means I also incur extra charges, such as more interest, late fees, etc.

8. I let my daughter talk me into buying a $500 gym membership.

She was going to a great gym, just for women, we could go together and I paid for 18 months up front. Then they bought their new house and she quit the gym because they had to cut back on their expenses. I haven't been back since. I'm really busy and I don't have that motivation I had when we were going together. But I feel guilty. I'm wasting the money, the clock is running on the membership, and I'm not getting in shape!

9. I don't always file my taxes on time.

Since I normally get a small refund it's not a big deal, right? I mean, in Canada there's no requirement to file a tax return if you don't owe money (unless CRA asks you to do it, of course). But the problem is that you don't get the child benefit or BC benefit unless you file (the universal child care payment is automatic if you have a child 5 or under whether you filed or not). We earn enough that I don't get the maximum, but that's still $50 to $75 per month that I haven't been receiving because I hadn't filed. That's $600 to $900 per year! I need to give my head a shake. Anyway, I'm caught up now and am anticipating the nice retroactive payment that will turn up around July.

10. I don't know how to say "NO".

Not to my hubby. Not to my kids. Not to non-profits within my religious community. I'm good with telemarketers, at least.

So, there you have it. Ten financial errors that continue to hold me back. But the picture isn't all black. Tomorrow I'm planning to post some of the good moves I've made!

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