What mistakes am I making with my money?

Starting your career? With more money in your pocket, you'll likely be thinking of ways to spend your paycheck.

Whether you want to buy a car, get a new apartment or build a new home—making good financial decisions early is the key to living a comfortable, prosperous life.

To make sure you have money left over for all the things that matter to you, avoid these typical money blunders.

What mistakes am I making with my money?

[MUSIC PLAYING] Everybody wants to have extra cash at the end of the month. Even better if there's enough to add to your savings or to put toward retirement. But in reality, that doesn't always happen. Here are six common money mistakes you can avoid to create better money habits.

Mistake number one, spending your whole paycheck. Sometimes it's fun to be a big spender, but you can't do it all the time. Instead, set up automatic withdrawals to a savings account the same day your paycheck goes in. Then you won't even have to think about saving.

Mistake number two, buying coffee every morning and eating out too often. We all have our favorite places to eat, but if you make coffee at home and eat in more often than not, you can easily save a few hundred dollars a month just by living within your means.

Mistake number three, treating your credit card like another source of income. Sure it seems like charging one tank of gas isn't a big deal, but small things add up quickly when you don't pay off your balance every month.

Mistake number four, having zero financial goals. Yes, it's important to cultivate friendships, have fun, and to travel. But think beyond this year. Set some long-term goals and stick to them, so you can enjoy what's ahead.

Mistake number five, failing to meet your 401(k) employer match. If your boss hands you an extra 3% of your salary, you say, thanks, and take it. That's exactly what happens when your company matches a percentage of what you save toward retirement. So take the maximum your company gives you. Don't leave free money on the table.

Mistake number six, neglecting to plan for retirement. Even if your company doesn't have a retirement plan in place, start saving today. The compound interest you earn from starting now will be astronomical compared with what you'll have if you delay.

So avoid these mistakes. Create good money habits now and you'll increase your quality of life today and tomorrow.


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