Photo: Flickr / almostsummersky
Age 30 gets inflated by everyone, from the media at large to our mothers at home. We recently read a creative take on turning 30 at The Frisky, which published “30 Things Every Woman Should Quit Doing By 30.“In response to that piece, we’ve asked users and experts for the top 30 bad financial habits to drop by age 30. Whether you’re over or under the 30 mark, however, take heed:
1. Putting rent on a credit card and not paying it off at the end of the month.
2. Assuming that you’re too young (or too old!) to start investing for the future.
3. Not knowing what an IRA and a 401(k) are, much less the difference between them.
4. Having debt left to pay off, other than student loans or a mortgage.
5. Going without an IRA or 401(k).
6. Smoking cigarettes. (Yes, we know, but we’re adding it anyway.)
7. Keeping all of your money in a checking account.
8. Giving out your social security number unless you have confirmed that it is absolutely necessary.
9. Impulse shopping—you should learn to buy what you actually need.
10. Asking parents for money.
11. Not asking for a raise when you deserve one.
12. Waiting to start your financial planning until after you’re married.
13. Thinking that investing can only be boring.
14. Only focusing on yourself without doing any charitable giving.
15. Paying your credit card without checking the charges on the bill.
16. Not having a firm grasp of your budget: what you can afford, what you can’t, when you can afford to splurge a little, and when you need to save for a while.
17. Not knowing and taking steps to improve your credit score.
18. Dipping into an emergency fund for non-emergencies (having nothing to wear is not an emergency!).
19. Paying late fees—on anything.
20. Not naming beneficiaries or having a will.
21. Not saving a set amount automatically out of every paycheck.
22. Not having enough or the right insurance: health, life, renter’s, homeowner’s, car, etc.
23. Not having AAA if you own or rent cars.
24. Indulging in retail therapy.
25. Assuming others know best when it comes to your money.
26. Ignoring your FSA. If you are lucky enough to work for an employer who offers a Flexible Spending Account, take a long look at your out-of-pocket medical expenses and see if you can’t lower your costs by using pretax dollars to fund qualified FSA expenses (which can include doctor visits, prescription co-pays, braces & glasses).
27. Assuming that men are better at investing than women.
28. Ignoring coupons. They exist for a reason, you know.
29. Paying bills by snail mail.
30. Quite simply, living beyond your means.