21. Drinking Fancy Coffee
David Bach’s famous “Latte Factor” concept made Americans aware of what their coffee habits are doing to their bottom lines. A $4 cup of joe per day comes out to almost $240,000 when compounded at 6% for 40 years. Check out your own personal latte factor using Bach’s online Latte Factor calculator.
22. Not Keeping an Emergency Fund
Without an emergency safety net in place, it’s easy to break out the credit cards and ruin a well-thought-out budget if the car breaks down or the roof leaks. Having an emergency cushion of three to six months’ worth of expenses can keep your plan in place when unexpected events occur.
23. Buying Groceries Without a List
People who shop without a list can easily fall prey to grocery shopping “creep,” the phenomenon that happens when you add “just one more thing” to your cart several times per trip. You probably don’t need chocolate-covered pretzels or frozen waffles. Having a list keeps you from running afoul of your spending plan and spending more than anticipated.
24. Not Tracking ‘Invisible’ Expenses
“It’s easy to scrutinize your tangible expenses, like groceries and gas,” said Paula Pant, founder of the Afford Anything blog. “But many people let money leak from their ‘invisible’ bills, like insurance premiums and mortgage interest.”
Pant suggested consumers take one day per year to shop for competing insurance plans and mortgage rates. “These expenses can move the needle far more than shaving 10 cents at the pump ever could,” she said.
25. Letting FOMO Get the Better of You
Fear of missing out — aka FOMO — can cause you to spend money unnecessarily. “You need to turn off social media sometimes so that you don’t always cave to FOMO,” said Martin Dasko, author of “Next Round’s On Me: How to Achieve Financial Freedom in Your 20s” and the Studenomics blog.
“This dangerous habit convinces you that you’re always missing out and that you need to participate in everything,” Dasko said. “It’s OK to stay in. It’s OK to do your own thing. You’re not always going to miss out.”
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