Financial Mistakes I Routinely Made

Working harder on being an example.
Had No Financials Goals
Not only did I not have goals there was no plan either. I always had some arbitrary idea in my head of the things I hoped to accomplish financially but I never really put any thought into it. I'm not sure if I thought the retirement fairy was going to solve all my problems or if I thought I would actually find a leprechaun and his pot o' gold. As silly as that sounds it was more realistic then any existing plan I had in place.

How I fixed it:
I thought about what I wanted to achieve and wrote it down. While I may have big dreams, I started with goals that were realistic and I made a plan to reach those goals.

Spent Money I Didn't Have
Almost every month I was spending money on things I didn't need with money I didn't have. Then when the next month rolled around I would pay for most of the stuff I bought and then have to start using credit cards to make it through to the next paycheck and continually keep this ridiculous cycle going. It was just plain stupidity at its best and at its worst a financial bomb just waiting to explode in my face.

How I fixed it:
I stopped making unnecessary purchases and stopped using my credit cards until I got myself out of debt. I have recently started using credit cards again but now I am using their power for good, as in cash back bonuses, instead of for evil, using them as extra cash to hold us until the end of the month.

Always Went Out to Eat
I was always coming up for a loss at dinner time. I either didn't have this ingredient or the time to defrost something. I would throw my hands up and our family would go out to eat. We would go out probably twice a week, if not more. For a family of five it adds up quick. Now you might not think this is necessarily a financial mistake but I think going out to eat was just another symptom of our horrible spending behavior.

How I fixed it:
Meal planning! This has made dinner time so much easier and saved so much money. We still go out to eat occasionally but not to the extent that we were. I also started trying to experiment more with our food. Having fun and exciting meals helps me want to stay in and try new things.

Waited to Save
I always told myself when we made more money we'd save. Or after things settle down with our finances. We did save for a house purchase but we had no plan to save for anything else. Once we bought our house we had very little savings and no plan to have more.

How I fixed it:
This was easy, I just set up automated payments into our savings accounts. We have a savings for retirement, emergencies and education. We might even be a little save crazy with clothing, home repairs and Christmas savings too. Maybe it's because we had so much financial uncertainty in the past but these savings accounts do make me sleep better at night. I only wished I had started sooner.

I know we all have our own financial mistakes but there is always time to turn it around. It's never too late.